Ted Cruz makes the mistake of asking a law expert which voter ID laws are racist on live TV

Ted Cruz makes the mistake of asking a law expert which voter ID laws are racist on live TV

It is very hard to come up with descriptors for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. He is a truly loathsome human being. The levels of bigotryhypocrisy, and legislative malfeasance he has participated in over the last decade are hard to categorize with a few words. His fellow GOP sociopaths dislike him because he is a detestable human being to be around. His one guiding principle is power for himself, and his intellectual bankruptcy begins and ends with first-year high school debate rhetoric. The illusion, however meager, of Cruz’s intelligence and rhetorical talent was exposed as fraudulent after the repeated televised shellackings he took from Donald Trump during the Republican primaries.

On Wednesday, during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, Sen. Cruz was doing his best to misrepresent reality and Republican racist voter suppression tactics, questioning professor Franita Tolson of the University of Southern California’s law school. Sen. Cruz, who on his best day has the intellectual capacity and integrity of a preschooler’s first papier-mâché project, was outmatched—to say the least. Enjoy.

Cruz began by asking whether or not voter ID laws are racist. It’s the kind of sweeping generalization that racists with a third-grade education consider the best way to argue about things. If you answer yes, then the rest of the questions Ted Cruz will send your way will point out the nuances of racism, and in so doing, make your argument seem unsophisticated.

PROF. FRANITA TOLSON: Thank you for your question. So, it depends. One thing we have to stop doing is treating all voter ID laws as the same—

SEN. TED CRUZ: –Okay, so your answer—I want to move quickly. So “it depends” is your answer.

PROF. TOLSON: Yes, that’s my answer.

A reminder, the only “it depends” in Sen. Cruz’s worldview is whether or not something he says or does will bring him closer—in his estimation—to becoming the next Republican nominee for president of the United States. There are no other considerations for Cruz.

Cruz, having been stopped at his opening gambit and old-timey lawyer trick of trying to get someone on their heels by, in essence, telling them to speed up, is forced to ask a secondary question. 

SEN. CRUZ: Okay, so what voter ID laws are racist?

PROF. TOLSON: Apologies, Mr. Cruz. Your state of Texas, perhaps?

SEN. CRUZ: Okay, so you think the entire state of Texas is racist? What about requiring an ID to vote is racist?

Once again, Cruz is attempting to put sweeping generalizations into the mouths of other people. Unfortunately for Ted Cruz, this isn’t a third-grader being asked about their favorite ice cream flavor. The people at the hearing are accomplished professors who have, unlike Ted Cruz, continued their education past the fragile ego of a 14-year-old in the middle of puberty.

PROF. TOLSON: So I think, sir, that’s pretty reductive. I’m not saying the entire state of Texas is racist.
Calling Ted Cruz “reductive” is something every person having an exchange with Ted Cruz should do. It will forever be applicable to any conversation with him. Calling him “intellectually vacuous” would be good, too.
SEN. TED CRUZ: You just said my state of Texas. So you tell me what about the Texas voter ID laws is racist.
PROF. TOLSON: Absolutely. So the fact that the voter ID law was put into place to diminish the political power of Latinos, with racist intent, and has been found to have racist intent—

Prof. Tolson is referring to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Texas’ 2011 voter ID law resulted in a violation of the Voting Rights Act because of its “discriminatory effect.” That’s a fact. In fact, that’s the evidence Ted Cruz was implying didn’t exist. Cruz, having just run into a wall of reality, farts his way forward by reasserting that Prof. Tolson said that all voter ID laws are racist. He asks Asian Americans Advancing Justice President John Yang what his opinion on the matter is. Mr. Yang, like Tolson, isn’t a dunderhead like, say, Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn, and can see exactly what Sen. Cruz is very messily trying to accomplish, and responds beautifully: “I agree with Professor Tolson. Voter ID laws can be racist.” The “can” in that sentence is a reminder that Ted Cruz is still full of shit.

Cruz moves on to President of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Thomas Saenz, who replies, “There are some voter ID laws that are racially discriminatory in intent.” The “some” in that sentence is a reminder that Ted Cruz is full of shit. At this point, Sen. Cruz, having gotten exactly none of the results he was looking for, tries again to illustrate that left-wing communists are calling all Americans racist.

SEN. CRUZ: How about in practice? In intent, fine, you say there’s some racist with a malevolent intent lurking in the back of their mind. But let’s just talk about as a practical matter. When I go to vote, they ask me for my ID. I pull out my ID. I show it to them. I vote. Is that racist?

Cruz is trying to make it seem as if these three witnesses are suggesting Ku Klux Klan officials are wearing robes and burning crosses while they are writing down the voter ID laws. And while it would surprise no one if it turned out that some of the authors of these racist voter ID laws have literal KKK hoods hidden away somewhere, that is not what they are saying or have said. Saenz begins to reply: “If the law that requires you to do that was motivated by racially discriminatory intent, under our Constitution—“ but Cruz interrupts him at the word “motivated” to perform an exercise of rhetorical theatrics, asking, “What about the effect? Set aside intent. Set aside intent, I’m asking about the effect.” 

Saenz goes back to finishing his response:

MR. YANG: Yes, in effect, I think that there are discriminatory effects from a number of voter ID laws.

Having completely lost his attempts to hide how goddamn racist he and the Republican Party are, Cruz goes in on a full make-em-up of what just transpired.

SEN. CRUZ: The record should reflect all three of the Democratic witnesses invited by the chairman maintained to this committee that voter ID laws can be, in many instances, in most instances—I think are the various ways they formulate it—are racist.

The record doesn’t reflect that, nor should it. Cruz is a one-trick pony who says sophomoric things for the cameras. How long it takes him to brainstorm these political theatrics is hard to say. I suspect he spends very little time on them, being that they’re all the same. 

Cruz finishes by just misrepresenting facts, saying that “35 states” have voter ID laws, and adds that Democrats and “radical” leftists are attacking the will of the people. As of this story, only seven states have strict photo ID laws, and only four have strict non-photo ID laws. The movement by conservatives to enact dozens of new voter restrictions and more severe voter ID laws that disproportionately suppress the voting rights of communities of color is not something the majority of Americans support.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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