Stateside,  Vote 2016

Ted! Ted! Ted!

If I wanted to, I suppose I could drive for an hour over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Liberty University in Lynchburg to hear Senator Ted Cruz of Texas become the first Republican to officially announce his candidacy for President of the United States. (You can watch his video announcement here.)

But I don’t, so I won’t.

Cruz, correctly identified by fellow Republican Senator John McCain as a “wacko bird,” has made quite a name for himself since he entered the Senate in 2013.

• During a filibuster against funding the Affordable Care Act, he read the entire text of Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham.”

• He compared opponents of defunding the Affordable Care Act to appeasers of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and compared himself and his fellow defunding advocates to the Rebel Alliance against the Empire in “Star Wars.”

• After helping to force a two-week shutdown of the federal government in an unsuccessful effort to defund the Affordable Care Act (which cost the American economy $24 billion), Cruz and other Republicans tried to divert attention from the mess they created to the temporary closure of the World War II Memorial in Washington.

• He claims to “stand for marriage” but said he will introduce a Constitutional amendment allowing states to ban marriage if it is between two people of the same sex.

• He approvingly quoted leftwing former Congressman Dennis Kucinich (now affiliated with libertarian former Congressman Ron Paul’s Institute for Peace and Prosperity) that an American attack on the Assad regime would turn the U.S. into “al Qaeda’s air force.”

• Cruz’s father Rafael, with whom Ted has a close political relationship, is even wackier than his son— or at least more willing to be outspokenly wacky.

I can only assume that the rightwing Republicans who are so dubious about Obama’s birthplace and his Constitutional right to serve as president will be equally interested in the fact that Ted Cruz’s genuine birth certificate shows that he was born in (shudder) Canada.

(The US Constitution requires that the President be a “natural born Citizen” of the United States. Most legal experts believe that because Cruz’s mother was a US citizen, he is constitutionally qualified to be President, even though he was born outside the US. I’m willing to accept that.)

But as Josh Marshall noted:

[Y]ou have to wonder what kind of influences he was exposed to growing up in a primitive, post-colonial setting like Canada during the radical Trudeau regime.

Update: Here’s a report on Cruz’s speech at a Liberty University convocation, where attendance by students is mandatory.