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Ted Cruz is trying his level best to make Donald Trump seem like a better choice

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I’ve argued that Trump’s willingness to pump racist rhetoric and nativist xenophobia to 11, along with his open affection for authoritarian strongmen who murder protesters and unfriendly journalists, pose a fundamental threat to the American political system in a way that makes even Barry Goldwater On Steriods With the Libertarian Streak Replaced by Cult-like Fringe Evangelical Fanaticism (BGOSWTLSRBCFEF for short) seem like the lesser of two very evil evils.

Presenting Ted Cruz’s new foreign policy team:

The first name on the list? Frank “Obama is a Muslim” Gaffney, Bloomberg reports. Gaffney is the Joe McCarthy of Islamophobia. His think tank, the Center for Security Policy, is dedicated to raising awareness about the jihadist infiltration of the American government. For Gaffney, Barack Hussein Obama is but the tip of the iceberg — in truth, the Muslim Brotherhood has placed operatives throughout the federal government. Among their top agents: Clinton adviser Huma Abedin and anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist. In conservative circles, it’s one thing to accuse liberals with foreign-sounding names of “stealth jihad.” It’s quite another to say the same of a white male libertarian who has devoted his life to the noble cause of widening the income gap. After Gaffney wrote a full book on Norquist’s alleged sharia schemes, he was banned from the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference. (The strongest verifiable evidence of Norquist’s jihadist sympathies appears to be that his wife is a Muslim-American).

Here are some other things that Gaffney believes:

1. Saddam Hussein was behind the Oklahoma City bombing.

2. Obama incorporated the Islamic crescent into the logo of a new missile-defense group.

3. By appointing a Muslim-American to New Jersey’s state judiciary, Chris Christie may be complicit in treason.

Gaffney isn’t merely a disseminator of conspiracy theories; he’s also a disseminator of methodologically flawed studies, including a poll that Donald Trump has used to justify his Muslim ban.

Cruz’s other advisers are nearly as alarming. His list includes three other employees of Gaffney’s think tank, along with former assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy, author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America; Iran-Contra schemer Elliott Abrams; and Michael Ledeen, a former Reagan official who once said, “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”

You couldn’t do worse than that if you tried (that’s not meant as a challenge, Donald).

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