The Widdershins

The Cruz callousness…

Posted on: January 22, 2016

Ted Cruz is scary.  When I say scary, I mean puckering-up scary.  His ambition is singular and unwavering.  His Cruzcapacity for self-promotion is McCarthy-esque.  At best his ethics are, let’s say, pliable.

Ambition and self-promotion can be measured objectively, but ethics is different.  Ethical elements are subjective; they present greater difficulty in measurement.  Tangible examples are really the only telltale trail.  A fine example of the malleable nature of Mr. Cruz’s ethics was detailed in an article Wednesday.  So fine was the example, it suggests the pot at the end of the Cruz ethics rainbow is bone dry.

A bit of explanation is needed.

As you probably know, Cruz was a law clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist (with whom he regularly played croquet).  Each Justice, including the Chief Justice, is responsible for fielding emergency motions from an assigned federal court of appeals.  Emergency motions are a regular part of death penalty cases.

hands up CruzDuring the time crunch leading up to an execution, everyone within the appellate process is on full alert including the clerk of the Justice assigned to the particular Circuit.

A stay of execution might or might not be granted by the court of original jurisdiction.  If a stay is not granted, it is immediately transmitted to the appropriate Circuit Court of Appeals.  If a stay is again denied, it is immediately transmitted to the Justice assigned to that Circuit.

This is where clerks enter the process.  They review the documents and prepare a memo for their Justice with a recommendation.  They talk with the Justice, usually by phone since it is most likely after hours, and the Justice makes a decision.  The clerk then prepares a memorandum for the other Justices detailing the reviewing Justice’s reasoning.  From there, a vote is taken and a decision is made.Hands Cruz

During Cruz’s tenure, he was known for his review of death penalty cases.  He had fervor for such cases, described by one fellow clerk as a “dime store novel” view of the death penalty.  He punctuated his memoranda with any lurid or gory details of the underlying case.  One fellow clerk said, Mr. Cruz’s memos on death penalty appeals always boiled down to “frivolous, meritless, deny,” and she added his writing approach “made a lot of people really angry.”

Cruz’s attitude toward the death penalty is not what caught my eye since everyone “goes to the prom wearing their own dancing shoes” – meaning, everyone’s experiential data is unique.  What caught my eye from the article was this:

Mr. Cruz usually reserved his enthusiasm for the late nights when a prisoner from the appeals circuit under Chief Justice Rehnquist’s oversight was slated for execution. On those nights, when he was responsible for addressing the flurry of 11th-hour defense motions, he would rouse the chief justice at home, give his recommendation, get the chief justice’s vote and then write up a memo that explained why the chief justice had voted to deny an emergency postponement of the execution.

Per custom, Mr. Cruz, whom some clerks recalled as speaking flippantly of the execution during those solemn nights, would circulate that memo to the other clerks on duty, who would then call their bosses to vote on the appeal.

During one of those late-night executions, some clerks received an additional message from Mr. Cruz on the internal email pleading for more collegiality, especially toward him.

“We should all try and get along,” Mr. Cruz wrote.  (Emphasis my own.)

Cruz sidewiseLet’s review.  Whether you are pro or anti-death penalty, the taking of the life of a citizen is the gravest of governmental actions.  It is an act of finality where questioning certainty should always be foremost.  It is a solemn act that should weigh heavily upon the heart and soul of every citizen especially those involved in the execution process.

As an integral part of the ritualized process of capital punishment, Cruz chose to focus not on the import of the moment, not on the life about to be taken, not upon any potential for uncertainty, but instead chose to focus on himself and his desire to be treated with greater deference.

This is the only example I will ever need to understand Ted Cruz.


from Ann Telnaes of The Washington Post © 2016


30 Responses to "The Cruz callousness…"

Prolix, this post literally gave me chills! Seriously, I am shivering and cold. Looking at Grandpa Munster’s grandson first thing in the morning really creeps you out.


@1, Cruz actually took croquet lessons (who knew there was such a thing) prior to his clerkship so as to not “disappoint” Rehnquist. As usual, Cruz was worried about the wrong thing causing disappointment.

His actions are scary but just as equally disgusting. It apparent that Cruz is incapable of seeing anything beyond what and how things affect him.

Croquet lessons. How bad can you be at croquet? More importantly, who cares?

@3, Fredster, someone who would go to the time and trouble to take croquet lessons is someone who is totally obsequious and servile in their nature and manner. A “listen for” in psychology would be looking for someone who is emotionally fragile with an over-abiding need for validation from authority figures. In short, someone who is antithesis of a leader.

Prolix, I believe Teddy could be suffering from a lack of paternal pats on the head. I’m guessing we all went through that (or thought we did) ourselves but most people do grow out of it. Maybe Teddy didn’t.

@5, I agree with you on all points, but when you say most, it is a lot closer to a 50/50 split on growing out of it. About 50% don’t and a large segment of the other 50% just learn how to manage it.

The lack of meaningful physical contact from birth to 3 and the lack of affirmation thereafter is an unquenchable driving force throughout life. You can put Cruz in the thirsty category.

Do you smell that? If you do, you are smelling failure. The thing stinking is 13 Hours at the box office. It flopped, not just a little bit, a stomach burning belly flop from the high board. This smelly failure was despite Fox going all out to give the movie free advertising.

Megan Kelly, the self-proclaimed totally non-political Fox anchor, spent an hour and 22 minutes on the movie including running the whole trailer when the movie was announced. Now, that was big news.

Here’s a breakdown of the 32 segments totaling almost three hours of free Fox fluffing.

@6: I’ll gladly stand corrected on that.

Being a military brat I had a goodly number of those missing pats on the head because many times Daddy wasn’t even in the country or was on an unaccompanied tour of duty. I guess you could put me in that learn how to manage it subcategory. It was what it was at the time.

I had CNN and MSNBC on, going back and forth. Anderson Cooper was covering the blizzard that may affect 85 million people on the East Coast. Meanwhile Chris Hayes had a statistician from 538 on, doing his best to get the guy to say that Bernie has the lead in Iowa and no way Hillary can win. The guy wouldn’t do that. 🙂

@9, I saw the 538 guy. Thank goodness Nate and his greasy hair had the evening off.

Mark this down: Hillary will win Iowa. Her ground game is the best in history. Her caucusteers are the most reliable. She will not be denied Iowa this time around.

@Prolix: from your fingers and keyboard to the ears of the Iowa caucus voters.

@9, msnbc never changes do they?

@10, I believe!

Yep. Run for the hills evil. I hope the people who voted him into office are taking all this in. Maybe they’ll show better judgement in the future. I would love to see him lose his senate seat, too.

@13, now that is Change I can Hope for.

@12, I really believe the narrative is media inspired and Hillary’s camp is playing along to “exceed expectations.”

@15: I agree with that on the media. A “bad” Hillary story seems to always be at the ready. Again with Chris Hayes. He brought up the fact that in the Iowa caucuses if a candidate doesn’t get 15 percent this happens:

Democratic candidates must receive at least 15 percent of the votes in that precinct to move on to the county convention. If a candidate receives less than 15 percent of the votes, supporters of non-viable candidates have the option to join a viable candidate group, join another non-viable candidate group to become viable, join other groups to form an uncommitted group or chose to go nowhere and not be counted. Non-viable groups have up to 30 minutes to realign, if they fail to do so in that time, they can ask the for more time, which is voted on by the caucus as a whole.

Hayes kept wanting to get the 538 guy to say that probably the O’Malley voters won’t get the 15 percent and they would likely go to Sanders. The 538 guy would not go along with that.

I actually hope Ted Cruz beats Trump in Iowa and New Hampshire, just to show Trump how deluded he is about being a viable candidate. Then he can retire to.the sidelines and become another fringe cartoon character who runs every four years, like Santorum.

I look forward to the Democratic results from Iowa and New Hampshire. It’s much easier to voice your opinion on the phone, then it is to drag yourself out to a caucus in the deep February cold. Hillary is a veteran at this game….Bernie, not so much.

I would take Trump over Cruz; that’s how scary I find Cruz.

I agree with Sue. Cruz scares me far more than Trump does. When I look deep into Trump’s eyes, I see P.T. Barnum. When I look into Cruz’s eyes, I see Satan.

@16, Again, a wishful media narrative. It is entirely likely that O’Marty won’t hit the 15% threshold.

The reason he won’t hit the 15% threshold is that his most energetic polling has never topped 4%. So if his 4% is forced into redistribution and the 4% is a hard 4%, unless Bernie is overperforming beyond any polling so far, even the outlier polls, it doesn’t make a difference.

There are about 6 imponderables that must align before the scenario Chris Hayes and the rest of the salivating MSNBCers so want to happen can happen. It won’t. But endlessly talking about them fills their air time so that the MoveOn Bernbots can put their basement masturbatoriums to good use.

@17, 18, and 19, I don’t want Cruz to have air in a hermetically sealed can. I agree with Sue and Beata, the man is evil incarnate. If you think Lee Atwater or Karl Rove are capable of unspeakable acts against humanity, let Ted Cruz get hold of the RNC and the Koch network’s money. The internment of his definition of “unsavory Americans” would be codified and enacted before you could say, “Texas a$$hole” three times just like Beetlejuice.

How would Cruz ever get hold of the RNC? He won’t be the Party’s nominee.

@22, sorry, I had to go dig out the satellite dish. Eighteen inches of snow is more of an obstacle than it used to be.

Because he is brilliant — politically, strategically, organizationally. Having fought Mitch McConnell in hand-to-hand combat, I recognize unscrupulous when I see it. Cruz has his plans, down to his inaugural underwear, thought out.

I agree, right now, I would say Cruz won’t be the nominee because there is a lesser of two evils — that is Trump who is a malleable and whose belief system is about a micron thick — he’s a better bet with the RNC moneyed class.

What would happen if Trump lost to Cruz in Iowa and NH is a tectonic shift among the hordes of anger-mongers. While Trump is strong in the south, if he takes a bloody nose in the first two, Cruz surfaces as the viable alternative among the pitchfork crowd. The thumpers let themselves be heard courtesy of his father’s non-stop preach/pandering and then they’re off to the races.

If you take Cruz’s and Carson’s thumper numbers, Cruz is a bit shy of 40%. Peel off Santorum and Huckabee’s collective 6% nationally and probably closer to 15-20% in the South and there’s a real possibility Cruz could win with all the “mainstreamers” still in the race. Cruz is capable of making a VP deal with Huckabuck.

Cruz drafted on Trump hoping he would self-immolate. I still think at some point in Trump’s blathering he will immolate. Priebus front-loaded the primaries hoping to get an early winner, that plays into Cruz’s strategy, and it only takes 1,200 or so delegates to win.

If Cruz, by some happenstance any of this comes to pass, is the nominee, he will have wrested it from the cold, dying hands of the Establishment. He’s entirely prepared to do that — it’s what he was built to do.

That is when it’s time to pack and ex-pat.

A really good article on the media narrative of “it’s close in Iowa.”

I have to agree with Sweet Sue and Beata about Cruz; he scares the living shite out of me.

Prolix@20: Whenever I see Chris, or Kornacki (didn’t know he had a change of duty at msnbc & he has one of the MTPD shows) I keep in mind what you said about their mentor and that calms me down a bit.

Hey everyone, go check out the excellent article that Prolix has shown in his comment at 24. Explains a lot!

@16, I did not know that. Another reason why I think cacauses should be abolished for primary voting.

@18 & 19, agree.

@24, good article.

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