With questionable claims, ranging from the invented (Muslims celebrated 9/11 in New Jersey) to the downright bizarre (pyramid grain storage, anyone?) seeming to hint at an end to the extended fifteen minutes of fame of GOP luminaries Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson, conservatives seem to be eying Ted Cruz for his turn.
And while Cruz seems to be eager to get behind the wheel of his party’s primary clown car, it’s worth noting that he is by no means a less worrying choice. He may be less prone to Carson’s public habit of wild stories, or Trump’s abrasive style, but he is easily as extreme and fact-adverse (this is the same person, remember, who was just a few days ago pinning the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting on a “transgendered liberal activist”).
He is as anti-abortion as it gets, throwing his weight behind so-called personhood measures that would confer legal personhood on a fertilized human egg (which would not only ban all abortion, but would have vast implications for reproductive options like fertility treatments); he is a notorious science denier; when it was a politically relevant earlier this year, he promised to make same-sex marriage a primary issue in his 2016 bid; and he encouraged states to simply ignore the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality; he’s doesn’t think atheists are “fit” to be president; he has celebrated an endorsement from an anti-abortion activist who thinks that abortion providers should be executed, and declared that we need “more leaders” like him; etc.
It should not, then, come as a surprise that Cruz chooses some of the Right’s more extreme figures to further his political aspirations. Right Wing Watch recently took a look at one of those people: newly appointed Virginia Cruz state campaign co-chair Richard Black:
Black, who wants to ban abortion in all cases and made waves by “passing out plastic fetuses before a crucial abortion vote,” once denounced abortion rights as reminiscent of Nazi Germany and likened abortion clinics to Nazi death camps like Auschwitz.
He is also an opponent of contraceptives, calling for a law that would outlaw the morning-after pill and referring to emergency contraception as “baby pesticide” and “a toxic method of eliminating a child.”
No fan of gay rights, Black responded to the Lawrence v. Texas decision overturning state anti-sodomy bans by declaring, “If I’m the last person on the face of this Earth to vote against legalizing sodomy, I’ll do it.”
He once tried to mandate that adoption agencies inquire whether prospective parents are “known to engage in current voluntary homosexual activity” and attacked a state initiative to make it easier for gay couples, who were not allowed to legally marry at the time, and other unmarried couples to apply for home mortgages by insisting that Virginia “is now spending $90 million to subsidize sodomy and adultery” and having tax dollars go towards “supporting a radical homosexual agenda.”
Right Wing Watch documents a number of other examples, but the crucial point about all of this is that Cruz obviously doesn’t have a problem with these extreme statements since he’s happy to have Black co-chair his Virginia campaign. And why would he, after all? Black’s language may, in some cases, be more bizarre than Cruz’s, but his policies and goals are the same.
And, anyway, a man who thinks reading Green Eggs and Ham is a good use of the Senate’s time, or an appropriate response to a vote on healthcare, probably isn’t in a great place to criticize someone else’s judgment.