Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed tonight that it’s important for Republicans to lead with a “positive, optimistic agenda” when they take over the U.S. Senate. But unless your idea of “positive” and “optimistic” is more hearings on Benghazi and maybe impeachment, don’t hold your breath.
There was a real party-like atmosphere on the Fox set tonight. Megyn Kelly had just brought in two candy machines. I guess champagne would have been too obvious.
Cruz, however, appeared from some remote location. With his sincerest face, Cruz spoke about his vision for a GOP-run senate:
Now that we have won the election, it is incumbent on Republicans to stand up and lead. It is incumbent on us to deliver with a bold, positive, optimistic agenda focused on jobs and economic growth and opportunity focused on defending our Constitutional rights.
…We’ve got to …listen to the priorities of the people and I hope come January, Republicans stand united… and we systematically, one after the other, vote on positive pro-growth ideas. We vote on tax reform, we vote on regulatory reform, we vote on embracing the American energy renaissance, we vote on going after and stopping ObamaCare.
Right. Because nothing says “positive, pro-growth agenda” like taking away people’s health insurance.
Kelly wanted to know whether the Senate would start investigations into Obama the way the House has. She asked, “Do you expect we’re going to see hearings looking into what you’ve described as the president’s lawlessness now that the GOP controls the Senate?”
In short, you betcha!
CRUZ: Absolutely, Megyn. I think that is one of the biggest differences we’re gonna see with a Republican majority, is finally meaningful oversight of the Obama administration from the U.S. Senate. …I hope we begin serious, careful, systematic, sober hearings examining executive abuse, regulatory abuse, lawlessness, abuse of power, whether it is the IRS wrongfully targeting citizens, whether it is the debacle of Benghazi… or whether it is the lawlessness that has pervaded ObamaCare as the president and the executive branch has tried to pick and choose which laws to follow. I hope we see serious senate oversight on all of those fronts.
Kelly wondered if that might hurt the Republican brand to those Americans who “just want to see you get something done” instead of tying up government with “hearings about this and about that” which might hurt GOP chances for 2016.
Cruz said he has traveled all over the country “and I haven’t heard that sentiment expressed from anyone.” He claimed that mostly people want “jobs and economic growth and opportunity.” But their second wish, he dubiously claimed, is that “They are dismayed by an administration that is targeting our Constitutional rights and they want leaders in the senate to stand up and defend the Constitution.”
Really? According to ABC News, after the economy, the biggest issues on voters' minds were Ebola, gay marriage and marijuana legalization.
But nobody challenged Cruz’ assertion.
Also, in case you're wondering, Cruz refused to say he'd support Mitch McConnell As Majority Leader.
As you’ve acknowledged, Richard Nixon was not impeached, because he resigned in disgrace to avoid that situation. But you haven’t acknowledged that Richard Nixon was facing serious charges, not just of his complicity with the activities of the intelligence establishment and their intersection with CREEP but also his direct involvement in the cover-up of the activities around the Watergate break-in. Were he not facing serious charges, he would not have resigned. By your logic, one would think he shouldn’t have resigned, since you believe his actions weren’t that serious. History records that his actions really were that serious.
You’re correct to note that no President is “squeaky clean”. But there’s a difference between that generalization and a statement where you say that President Obama’s actions were far more serious than what happened in the Nixon Administration. That statement seriously undermines your argument that you are somehow “middle of the road” about this.
And we should note that the actions of the George W. Bush Administration were challenged for their legality multiple times – in far more serious matters than anything the right wing has attempted to smear the Obama Administration with over the past six years. To only recount two situations, there’s the Wilson/Plame matter, and there’s the illegal conduct of AG Alberto Gonzales and his outrageous firings – which led to Gonzales being forced to resign in disgrace.
We should note that multiple members of the Reagan Administration were prosecuted for criminal conduct – not because of policy differences but for pursuing their policies via criminal means. Just look up the documents rescued by the National Security Archive and you may find some very interesting material on this matter.
As for Bill Clinton, he committed perjury while being questioned in a “gotcha” situation. I agree he should have told the truth. But there’s a pretty big difference between that scenario and the serious criminal behavior seen in the Nixon, Reagan and Bush White Houses. It’s long been a right wing approach to find false equivalences between various Presidents, but it’s unfortunately never found much purchase for those of us keeping track of the actual history.
Incidentally, I’d be very interested to read a SINGLE real charge that you (or the right-wing) could actually use as grounds for impeachment. The trouble is, dude, that “President while Black” is NOT an impeachable offense. And that is pretty much the ONLY charge you wingnuts have that could stand up for more than even half a second of scrutiny.
Of course, I’m hoping the Dems finally get a spine and pull the old GOP filibuster tactic to kill any (and preferably, every) GOP-led motion. Not that that’s actually going to happen.
“So…..which Committee Chair do you think Cruz will get?”
Hmmmmmmmmm, perhaps chairman of the anti-communists committee? Remember: this is the SAME Ted McCarthy Cruz who once called Harvard University “a hotbed for Communists”.
So IOW they’ll have a totally different agenda than they do now.
Come January, I expect Congress to completely blockade any appointments and any proposals coming from the Obama Administration. Any judicial positions not filled yet? Tough. They’ll all be blue-slipped or ignored. Any cabinet vacancies? Tough. Any Supreme Court justices wish to retire? Tough. This will be a concerted effort, designed to make sure that President Obama cannot appoint a single further person.
I also expect the GOP in the Senate to vote in lockstep to repeal the ACA immediately, as well as to take the most draconian GOP positions as regards taxes, wages and things like ANWAR, oil drilling, fracking, etc. They know that these bills will never actually get signed, but they’ll hope that if they throw enough of them at President Obama, they can pressure him into signing a few so that he can appear reasonable. The only way any of that will be stopped is if enough Dems can actually find the backbone to stand up and say “Oh no, you don’t!”.
I also expect people like Ted Cruz to demand exactly the kinds of witch hunts he’s promulgating here. Plenty of “investigative hearings” into anything and everything the GOP would like to use as campaign fodder for 2016, including a revisitation of Benghazi, the IRS matter, Solyndra, and even Fast & Furious will all be thrown on the table. The GOP hope here is twofold – one, that they can embarrass President Obama and his cabinet onto the defensive for his remaining two years, and two, that they can trump up enough faux outrage over one of these ideas to justify impeachment hearings.
And we should not be surprised when the GOP rushes to impeachment proceedings – this is something they’ve been salivating about doing, all the way back to 2009. It doesn’t matter that they don’t have any real legal basis to do so. It doesn’t matter that this could be electoral poison to many of their candidates. They just want to try to nail this guy. Because they really do hate him that much.
The one positive that can come from this mess is that this kind of behavior by the GOP will not go over that well when it comes to the 2016 situation. I don’t know that the GOP has done anything to try to assuage their inability to reach voters outside their limited base. And we should be clear that the majority of the people who voted in this midterm, as usual, were disgruntled GOP voters who wanted a final shot at an outgoing Dem President they despise. When it comes to a Presidential election, we’ll have a different idea happening – first, the GOP will need to find a candidate they can even agree on supporting. Next, they’ll have to find a way to appeal beyond their own hardcore base, without the right wing accusing their candidate of being a RINO, etc. If 2012 is any guide, they’ll go into the next election cycle full of bravado, thinking they’ve got it locked up. If that’s the case, we’ll just have to see how Hillary Clinton or whoever the Dem candidate finally winds up being can handle the pressure. My instincts say that the GOP glee here will be short-lived. But we’ll have to live through at least a year of gloating by the Limbaughs and the Hannitys before that becomes clear.
One other note, as the media is repeatedly talking up President Obama’s “unpopularity”. The reality is that President Obama’s popularity ratings are certainly down, but not in the dumpster by any means. He’s nowhere near the truly horrifying numbers that were seen by George W. Bush when the economy predictably collapsed on his watch (something most of us saw coming and which Bush clearly was hoping would happen at the beginning of the NEXT president’s term. It’s more than clear that Bush was hoping he’d be remembered as a Calvin Coolidge or a Ronald Reagan rather than as a Herbert Hoover…) Nor is he in the precarious criminal situation that nearly saw President Reagan pursued for what happened with Iran/Contra. The clear mood of the voters is disgust with the inability of the government to operate. The problem is that each side is invested in blaming the other for the gridlock. Sadly and predictably, more GOP supporters showed up at the polls yesterday, and those voters obviously blame the Dems for the situation more than they blame their own guys.
Also: Gun Control, Gender Equality, ending the racial and religious divisions, Education reform, Bringing outsourced jobs back to the states, ending corporate personhood, ending (or at least putting stricter regulations on) fracking, alternative energy, handling Isis before they become a more noted domestic threat…
Oh, I’m sorry- I forgot. Ted was talking about what certain people want, the other 99% can go suck it dry.