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What a Cruz Presidency Would Look Like



Ted Cruz’s advisers were behind the North Carolina anti-gay bill.

As he worked to rally evangelical voters a week before North Carolina’s March 15 primary, Ted Cruz gave a speech at a church in the Charlotte suburb of Kannapolis, where he was joined by a trio of prominent local social conservative supporters: Charlotte pastor and congressional candidate Mark Harris and the Benham brothers, the telegenic real estate entrepreneurs whose house-flipping show on HGTV was canceled in 2014 when their history of anti-gay activism came to light. At the event, Cruz thanked Harris for “calling the nation to revival,” and called David and Jason Benham “an extraordinary voice for the Christian faith.”

For years, Harris and the Benhams have been at the forefront of every battle to oppose gay rights in North Carolina. This past February, they were at it again, this time against a nondiscrimination ordinance proposed in Charlotte that, among other things, allowed transgender people to use public restrooms based on their gender identity and protected LGBT people from discrimination by public institutions. The advocacy of these top Cruz supporters against the Charlotte ordinance eventually led the North Carolina legislature to push through one of the most sweeping anti-LGBT measures in the country, a law that has caused a national outcry and caused many companies, including PayPal, to scrap plans to invest in the state. The law, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, strikes down all existing and future LGBT nondiscrimination statutes in North Carolina and requires that transgender people use bathrooms based on their sex at birth.

Not that any of you need reminders of what this hell would consist of, but the more you know.

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  • CP

    It took me a while to conclude this, but yep, he’s by far the worst potential president of this election cycle. Yes, even worse than Trump.

    • pillsy

      I worry that if Trump is President, we’d wake up one morning and discover that we’ve nuked Denmark.

      I worry that if Cruz is President, we’d wake up one morning and licosver that Denmark has nuked us.

    • I just don’t get the sense that Trump has any desire to actually govern. He just wants to 1.) win, while 2.) getting as much attention as possible. If the unthinkable happens and he gets the presidency, it is entirely possible that he’ll be a figurehead who says dumb and inflammatory things in the media, but who ultimately is just a warm body with a pulse and an arm to sign Paul Ryan’s budgets. Disastrous on the whole, sure, but he himself would be a relatively benign part of it.

      Cruz, on the other hand? He would actively, tirelessly work to get terrible, regressive policy measures implemented.

      • Rob in CT

        I think this actually understates the damage Trump could do.

        Not just out of ignorance/uninterest.


        “If people screw me, I screw back in spades.” The audience claps. Trump: “Is there something wrong with that? Tell me.”

        • That’s totally fair, but I think the terror of a Trump presidency would be due to the fact that he is an irresponsible actor, not that he would walk into the job with very clear ideas on horrible things he would want to accomplish.

          • Rob in CT

            I agree with that. But I did find that article interesting because it strongly suggests that a lot of Trump’s rhetoric is… well, sincerely held belief? He’s been saying similar things for decades, apparently.

            I just found out that apparently there is to be a Trump rally here in Hartford tomorrow afternoon. I’m torn between being happy I was planning to leave work early to run errands and considering whether (instead) there is going to be a protest I can join. Which would be weird for me, since I’ve never protested anything in my life.

            • N__B

              Silent protest: get two of the foam-rubber hands with big fingers and just stand there, hands held high.

          • STH

            The problem is that he would outsource all the actual work involved in being President to people who DO have very clear ideas on the horrible things they want to do. He’s already said he’d go with Heritage picks for SCOTUS.

        • delazeur

          But that’s just taking him at his word while he’s in attention-grabbing mode. The guy was a centrist until 2008, and I for one would not be surprised if President Trump turns out not to be very much like Candidate Trump.

          • Rob in CT


            Or put it this way: let’s say he was a centrist. Obama’s election then drives him fucking insane.

            What does that tell you about him (also, read that Vox piece I linked)?

      • We had an utter moron who farmed the work out to others as President. His name was George W. Bush, and he was the worst President in American history. On the other hand, I have to agree that Cruz would certainly be worse.

        Lindsay Graham doesn’t say much that I agree with, but he was right about the choice between Cruz and Trump. Sadly, he is too gutless to say, “Both would be terrible! Run for your lives!” That basically means that having said something sensible he immediately went back to being Lindsay Graham.

        • Rob in CT

          Isn’t “run for your lives!” the essence of most of what Lindsey Graham has to say (at least about FP)?

        • efgoldman

          His name was George W. Bush, and he was the worst President in American history.


          • Aubergine

            Each century gets its own stinker. For the 19th, Buchanan has a close rival in Pierce, and many a barstool has supported supporters of each as the argument rages on. In the 20th, you have the Trifecta of Suck: Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. The first two had no ideas and the third had bad ideas. Bush the Younger set the standard for presidential disaster in our century. It is the Republic’s bad luck that it faces even worse only 16 years into it.

    • DrDick

      That was evident to me very early, but, coming from Oklahoma, I am much more familiar with the breed than most here.

  • David Hunt

    The only good thing that would come of a Cruz presidency is that I’d feel compelled to read the Handmaid’s Tale as preparation and I hear that it’s a good book.

    • Orphos

      It really is. And not to sound like a prepper or anything, but – Act now! copies may be sold out later.

    • twbb

      Man, you beat me to it; I was literally in another window scrolling through the book trying to find a quotable passage to put here.

    • Heck of a book. I had it assigned to me as summer reading by the nuns. Blew my little mind.

  • Warren Terra

    I’m a little bothered that we’re only hearing about the anti-Gay aspects of this horrible bill. On the one hand: it’s nice that this form of bigotry is now so outrageous and unacceptable that the gay- and trans- bashing aspects are the main avenue of attack on the bill. But: the bill does so, so much more!

    It apparently invalidates state laws against age discrimination and other unjust causes of job loss:

    One of the least discussed aspects of the state’s new discrimination law is the fact that is strikes down an employee’s right to sue a company for wrongful termination.
    But now with HB2, Compton can no longer file suit in state court. His only avenue is to go federal.

    Said Van Kampen, “That’s because the law virtually eliminated the North Carolina prohibition on discrimination based on, in Rick’s case, age, disability.”

    Thirty years of legal precedent vanished overnight.

    “We immediately had to pickup a phone and call all of our clients and say they had just lost half their claims,” Van Kampen said.

    The law also prevents local areas from having minimum wages higher than the rest of the state does.

    It would be great if – without any diminution in the outrage over the anti-gay aspects of the law – these other effects were more widely discussed.

    • Orphos

      I would _really_ like the NC Republicans to become the anti-old-age party (or something more catchy). Please, please, please let that happen.

    • AMK

      Rich people and corporate executives (including, of course, media executives) have gay kids and relatives. They don’t have kids who will ever need a strong minimum wage or serious employment protections. It’s that simple.

    • Rob in CT

      It’s a club shit sandwich. Lots of layers.

    • I’ve seen lots of articles discussing the other portions of the bill. However, the transphobic portions encourage harassment of people who already face a great deal of violence.

      • Warren Terra

        Really? Because I’ve mostly seen it discussed as if it were only an anti-gay/anti-trans bill. Look at the Springsteen stories, for example.

        I think it’s great that people take such offense at NC’s anti-gay/anti-trans bigotry, I just wish the stories on that would include mention of the law’s other awful effects.

        • kped

          Same, that’s all I’ve heard about, the bathroom stuff in particular. Until this comment, I wasn’t aware of the other stuff.

          But the other stuff has gotten more people active. I wonder if Springstein would cancel a concert if it was just some little talked about law that did something against old people? Probably not, it just wouldn’t gain traction.

        • I don’t know what to say? I haven’t done tally to compare the number of articles that address the discrimination portions v. the employment portions (or all of the bill), but they’re there.

          Full disclosure – I have 0 idea what’s going on on the TVtubes.

          • Warren Terra

            I dunno about the TV, too.

            But: let’s take a look at two of the major stories to emerge from the response to the bill: Springsteen cancelling his concert, and Paypal cancelling their new facility and its 50 (?) jobs. And let’s look just at the New York Times, because it’s the paper of record, it’s a serious operation rather than some gossipy scandal sheet, and I’m only allowed two links anyway.

            Their Springsteen story: 350 words, 7 paragraphs (of a sort), and the issue is described as being about “the state’s new law on gay and transgender rights”. No mention is made of the law abolishing other bans on discrimination, and no mention is made of it banning local minimum-wage boosts.

            The PayPal story (or other related stories) depends on which article you look at, and how long they are. I can only link one more, so here’s the one that best suits your argument. It’s 815 words or so, 16 paragraphs, plus some tweets quoted, and it does mention that the law “also prohibits local governments from setting minimum wages above the state level and strips veterans of anti-discrimination protections”, in the ninth paragraph. But: I think this is unusual. Another story, at 1350 words, covers both North Carolina and Mississippi and only discusses LGBT-bashing, no mention of the law’s other effects; similarly a 1000-word article a couple of days later updating with various boycotts and non-boycotts in response to NC and MS’s laws, only mentioning the LGBT issue. A 314-word story on Deutsche Bank cancelling its 250-person expansion in NC only mentions LGBT issues. Etcetera, etcera.

            So: it’s great that people are outraged by the anti-LGBT bias. But I really do think the law’s other pernicious effects are slipping under the radar, and as cackalacka suggests below I think that even if the backlash yields some retreat on the LGBT-bashing the law’s other effects will be untouched.

            • cackalacka

              Paypal cancellation was 400 jobs. Deutsche Bank another 250.

              But that’s alright because in NC, we’re developing technologies that will monetize angry white old peoples comments on local media outlets and Facebook.

              Suck it, libtards.

      • cackalacka

        The anti-transgendered facets are awful, but at the end of the day are a red cape for the media bull to chase.

        Local folks who are paying attention know the end game: a slight walk-back of the more explosive aspects (anti-LGBT), keeping the bathroom part in (to placate the rubes), while leaving in place the part that takes an enormous shit on the remaining economic engines of the state (erosion of any local control in Charlotte, Triangle, Triad, Asheville, and Wilmington.)

        McCrory redefines cowardice and cynicism to new levels.

    • McAllen

      I agree with this, but I also want to push back against you (and Erik) calling it an “anti-gay” Bill. It’s an anti-LGBT Bill, and specifically anti-trans. This is important because, as cackalacka mentions above, the governor is getting a lot of attention for walking back the general LGBT aspects while keeping the anti-trans bathroom policies in place.

      • rea

        It’s an anti-human bill, really

  • AMK

    There’s some satisfaction in watching how quickly these laws sink once-credible national aspirations…first Pence in Indiana, now McRory in North Carolina. The contrast with, say, Scott Walker–who’s no different than these guys, but spent most of his time and an energy bashing unions instead of gays—is very telling.

    • Scott Walker began and built his career on union bashing. Sadly for him, he couldn’t take it national, because nationally unions are already doing far worse than they were in Wisconsin. He has the political acumen of a not particularly bright barnacle. Launching a campaign based on crushing unions forever in the US for the 2016 election, is like launching a campaign based on eliminating smallpox in 2016.

      • AMK

        Very good point….once he got out of Wisconsin he had much less material to work with. But I still don’t remember seeing Google and Disney and Apple and all the other righteous heroes up against the barricades when he was busy dismantling employee protections.

  • Warren Terra

    Oh, and RE the “bathroom bill” aspect, there’s this delightful insight into Louis Gohmert.

    • John not McCain

      For some reason Gohmert never passes up an opportunity to remind people that he’s a dangerous pervert who needs to be restrained. Maybe it’s a cry for help.

      • kped

        Did you hear about the Harvard Finals Clubs being told to integrate women? The leadership is saying that will likely endanger women and lead to more rape.

        Future Louis Gohmert’s running that club! “We can’t allow women, our members are disgusting rapists”.

        • John not McCain

          I did read about that. On the one hand, I want to respect their honesty. On the other, I try to be a decent person and can’t bring myself to respect anything about them at all.

          Maybe they’re trying to set up an affirmative civil defense: “We did warn them, after all.”

          • Warren Terra

            It’s like the old saw (that I can’t source) that goes something like “Hand over your money or else I shall be forced to kill you, and then you will be a murderer”.

            • Rob in CT

              Lincoln @ Cooper Union:

              That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, “Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!”

        • N__B

          I was so much happier before I googled that.

  • rea

    That flag has a gold fringe, which means that North Carolina is under Admiralty (martial) Law, and the Constitution will not be enforced. Somebody better call a county sheriff.

  • Nobdy

    This stuff is deeply unpopular on the national level. Cruz can’t be attacked from the left in a republican primary because…well…that’s not permitted by their norms. But I think that the more he continues to engage in it the more toast he is in the general. Democratic operatives just have to keep hammering Cruz on this stuff.

    Unlike the terrible economics, which most people don’t understand (Maybe the dollar SHOULD be backed by gold?) and the saber rattling, which their ambivalent about, the anti-gay anti-woman stuff is going to be electoral poison outside the regressive belt.

    I hate these horrible laws but I’ll be glad if we can tie the Republican party as a whole to them, and it can suffer the just desserts of being the party of bigotry.

  • Crusty

    I believe or at least hope that at some deep down level, even republican turds who don’t like the geyz recognize that these laws, that strike out at a particular group just to be mean to them, are the opposite of government leaving people alone and staying out of people’s lives.

  • keta

    I’m wondering: will the latest bombshell revelations that Ted’s padre was part of the hit team that assassinated JFK help Cruz in the primary, or hurt him?

    On the one hand, Kennedy was a filthy lecherous Dem who soiled the Oval office (and every other room in the White House); on the other hand, Cruz senior was a stinking commie infidel-traitor who helped knock off a sitting, riding president in the bestest state of the union.

    It’s a toughie.

    • Murc

      I’m wondering: will the latest bombshell revelations that Ted’s padre was part of the hit team that assassinated JFK help Cruz in the primary, or hurt him?

      Well, Cruz being the zodiac killer hasn’t hurt him so far, so his dad being the second gunman shouldn’t either.

    • Nah. It the fact that Cruz Senior spent a half hour licking blood and brains off the limo seats that might damage his popularity.

    • tsam

      I don’t know. Can we prove that he’s ever masturbated? Because that’s just a bridge too far.

  • Joe_JP

    To show another path is possible in red states:

    In stark contrast to his counterparts in neighboring states, Louisiana Gov. Jon Bel Edwards on Wednesday signed an executive order that establishes anti-bias protections for LGBT people and rescinds an earlier “religious freedom” order seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination, says Chris Johnson in The Washington Blade.


  • tsam

    When dildos are outlawed, only outlaws will have dildos everyone will just continue to use them and hopefully set fire to Ted Cruz.

    • efgoldman

      …hopefully set fire to Ted Cruz.

      Actually, with all his hypocritical bible-thumping dominionism, I expect him spontaneously to combust during his speech at the convention.

  • Fozzz

    I noticed that Cooper is now +4 ins SUSA’s latest poll, where McCrory was +3 in their earlier poll back in February.

    Hopefully this issue stays in the news.

  • lff

    How about we ditch this “evangelical” tag for something more accurate and descriptive like “Radical Christians.”


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