Ted Cruz appeared on Fox News over the weekend, where he shared this insight: “I recognize that Barack Obama does not wish to defend this country. He may have been tired of war, but our enemies are not tired of killing us.”
Look, if the far-right senator wants to argue that President Obama, despite his record of success, is bad at defending this country, fine. It’s a topic worth debating. If Cruz wants to argue that Obama has been successful thus far in defending the country, but his plans for the future lack merit, that too can be the basis for an interesting conversation.
But that’s not what the Texan said. Rather, he told a national television audience that the president “does not wish to defend this country.” It’s about intent and motivation. In Cruz’s mind, Obama isn’t bad at national defense; Obama doesn’t even care.
It’s hard not to wonder how Cruz explains the last seven years. President Obama has had striking successes on national security, preventing terrorist attacks, killing all kinds of terrorist leaders, and helping dismantle terrorist networks. Last year in The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, hardly a liberal, wrote, “Obama has become the greatest terrorist hunter in the history of the presidency.”
In Cruz’s mind, was the last seven years just a charade? Does Obama keep racking up counter-terrorism victories for show, hoping to obscure the fact that he “does not wish to defend this country”?
Yesterday, the senator had some additional words of faux wisdom. The Washington Post reported:
Sen. Ted Cruz Sunday continued to call for Muslim refugees from Syria to be barred from entering the United States but opening the borders to displaced Christians, arguing there is not a “meaningful risk” that Christians will commit terrorist acts.“There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation,” Cruz (R-Tex.) told reporters in a middle school gym here.
First, I can think of all kinds of instances in which Christians – or at least people claiming to be Christians – have committed acts of terror, and it’s bizarre for a presidential candidate to pretend otherwise.
Second, Cruz’s nonsense is intended to serve as justification for a discriminatory refugee policy: as the Republican senator sees it, the United States should welcome some of ISIS’s victims, but not others, based solely on whether Ted Cruz approves of their religious beliefs.
What’s to stop some terrified Muslim family from claiming to be Christian in the hopes of finding sanctuary? And how would Cruz tell the difference? And why is it that Cruz previously said accepting some Syrian refugees would be fine?
He didn’t say.