by United States Senator Ted Cruz (R – Texas)
On Sunday, June 30, millions of Egyptians turned out to protest President Mohamed Morsy and his Muslim Brotherhood-dominated regime. Fed up with his disastrous economic mismanagement and systematic disregard for constitutional freedoms, the Egyptian people took to the streets to demand his resignation. “Leave! Leave!” they chanted in what may have been the largest demonstration in the history of the Middle East — if not the world.
It was a breathtaking scene — and potentially a watershed moment. Unlike the angry, disaffected youth who raged through the Arab Spring in 2011, these crowds, like those in the recent protests in Turkey, were made up of middle-class citizens protesting against a regime with an unpleasant tendency to trample on the rights of women, Christians, and Jews — and to stifle the independence of the press and judiciary, ruining the economy in the process. While there has been some unfortunate violence, the Tamarod (“Rebel”) movement is also organizing demonstrations, gathering signatures of no confidence in Morsy’s government (it has gathered 22 million already), and threatening additional civil disobedience in the form of strikes if Morsy does not step down.
One would expect to find the United States standing firmly with these people. Surely, after our long and lonely search for secular and democratic partners in the Arab world, we could find some common ground with them. Surely, we could see the value of an administration in Egypt that could act as both a southern bulwark for Israel and a much-needed partner in countering the terrorist outposts in the Sinai and Horn of Africa. And surely, we could help support a government that could stand as an example for struggling states like Libya and Iran — one that proves Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East are not predestined to live in oppressive theocracies.
Tragically, America has been relegated to the sidelines. The number of U.S. Embassy personnel has been reduced, and a travel warning has been issued for Americans in Egypt — and for good reason. The people protesting in the streets were not only carrying anti-Morsy signs. They were also carrying signs with slogans like “Obama Supports Terrorism” and “Obama Supports Morsy,” as well as pictures of the American ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, with a large red “X” through her face. Some of these were set on fire. On Friday, Andrew Driscoll Pochter, an American college student who was in Egypt to teach English to schoolchildren, was stabbed to death as he took pictures of the protesters.
In what has to be one of the most stunning diplomatic failures in recent memory, the United States is — in both perception and reality — entrenched as the partner of a repressive, Islamist regime and the enemy of the secular, pro-democracy opposition.
It did not have to be this way.
When Morsy was elected a little more than a year ago, President Barack Obama could have expressed strong reservations about a member of the Muslim Brotherhood taking control of the country. He should have also been more aggressive about using American aid to extract concessions from the Egyptian government on human rights, as well as economic and political reform. Instead, Obama made a personal call to congratulate Morsy, characterized his election as a “milestone” in Egypt’s progress toward democracy, and pledged $1 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded aid. In the ensuing months, Morsy received a steady stream of assistance from the United States in the form of arms sales, unconditional financial aid, and visits from high-level officials such as Secretary of State John Kerry — all of which enhanced the strength and legitimacy of his regime.
Emboldened by U.S. support, Morsy consolidated his power — removing the traditionally pro-American military leadership, imposing an Islamist constitution, marginalizing the judiciary, and turning a blind eye to brutal attacks against religious minorities, including Coptic Christians and Shiite Muslims. Morsy also began to agitate for the release of the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman, who orchestrated the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Offensive remarks describing Jews as “bloodsuckers” and “the descendants of apes and pigs” soon came to light. Still, the United States continued to place its resources at his disposal — apparently on the grounds that a budding Islamist dictator with a healthy hatred of Israel and America was the appropriate recipient of Abrams tanks and B-16 bombers.
More recently, as opposition to Morsy coalesced around the Tamarod movement, the Obama administration missed the opportunity to support its efforts and further the vital interests of the United States without firing a shot. Instead, the sole priority seems to be to defuse the situation and preserve the status quo. Ambassador Patterson has assumed the leading role in implementing this policy, meeting with members of the opposition not to encourage them to pursue a true secular democracy in Egypt but to try to persuade them to tone things down. Patterson has said she is “deeply skeptical” of their movement.
Obama, traveling in Africa on the eve of the protests, offered no words of support. Instead, he admonished the demonstrators to remain peaceful and made the tepid recommendation that Morsy engage in a “constructive conversation” about reform, since the president of the United States could not take a side in this debate.
The president’s comments fall into an all-too-familiar pattern. We are witnessing a moment of real opportunity for reform in Egypt right now, just as we witnessed hopeful moments in Iran in 2009 and Syria in early 2011. In both cases, meaningful change might have been encouraged through robust economic and moral support for the protesters and diplomatic pressure on the regime. But in both cases, the United States opted for a policy of strategic silence.
The result? In Iran, we saw the window for change snap shut as the mullahs brutally crushed the protests and accelerated their nuclear weapons program. In Syria, hopes that President Bashar al-Assad would turn out to be a reformer proved groundless and the situation descended into chaos. Today, some 100,000 Syrians have been killed, and both Hezbollah and al Qaeda are engaged in a vicious civil war — one the president is now dragging the United States into, albeit with no clear purpose or strategy.
Hopefully, we can avoid repeating the same mistake yet again in Egypt. As we prepare to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this week, halfway around the globe Egyptians may witness the birth of their own freedoms. It is a great pity that Obama’s policies have provoked so much hostility toward the United States from the very people we should most want to support — and it would be an even greater pity if his accommodation of the Morsy regime helped the Egyptian leader remain in power. Since the president has refused to act, Congress should move quickly to freeze all aid to Egypt that is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. We should treat with great caution any proposal to deploy U.S. forces to Egypt in response to these events. And we should find the courage to speak out forcefully on behalf of those advocating secular democratic reforms in Egypt.
During an impromptu moment in the third hour of a recent nationally syndicated radio show, three doctors, practicing three different specialties, located in three different areas of the country called to bemoan the future of their profession under Obamacare. They spoke about how doctors are being driven from private practice into hospital practices by disparate reimbursement rates because hospital groups are easier for the government to control. They spoke about how hospitals are given financial incentives to reduce care to patients in a method similar to the unpopular HMO model of care promoted by the Clinton administration. They spoke about how increased electronic record keeping burdens are meant to calibrate and manage patient care so as to reduce the cost of care to the government rather than improve the quality of outcomes. Remember when Dr Obama told you to take the blue pill instead of the red pill? One doctor even spoke about how the Veterans Administration denies hip and knee replacements to young veterans. Since the “shelf life” of a prosthetic hip is 10-15 years, a young veteran would require more than one during the course of his lifetime.
This is occurring under the backdrop of rising private health insurance premiums, rising Medicare premiums, businesses large and small dropping full-time employees so as to minimize their health insurance burden under Obamacare, reports that 3/4 of policyholders could be hit by massive taxes on “Cadillac” health plans, labor unions relinquishing support for Obamacare and liberal media cheerleaders worrying that the failure to implement health insurance exchanges might turn the public against Obamacare even further as the cost of creating these exchanges continues to rise. An author of Obamacare in the United States Senate worried recently about a coming “train wreck!” even as President Obama proclaimed that most people are “already experiencing most of the benefits of the [Un]Affordable Care Act, even if they don’t know it.” These “benefits” include the loss of care for subsidized enrollees in California’s health insurance exchange, Covered California. Enrollees must not like their doctors very much because many will not be allowed to keep them!
Yet, rather than running for the hills allowing the Democrats that championed Obamacare’s passage to wear it as an albatross around their necks, Republican “leaders” in Congress seek to strengthen Obamacare while simultaneously negotiating to exempt themselves and their staffs from its effects. In a moment of obvious frustration, Chip Roy, Chief of Staff to Senator Ted Cruz, suggested in a private email leaked to an online newspaper, “The message [stinks]! We oppose Obamacare. Period. We will repeal it. Period.”
During this period of prolonged high unemployment where nearly 10 million Americans have left the workforce, it has become clear that even if Congress or the Obama administration were to grant an individual or a group an exemption from the mandates of Obamacare, there is no escaping its effects on the broader economy. Yet, rather than concentrating their efforts on plans to scale back Obamacare or directing voters’ attention to all of the ill effects that it will bring, many Republicans in Congress are focused on immigration reform proposals that were not a focal point of the recent election and barely 5% of the electorate consider important. Considering that the cost of Obamacare continues to be revised upward and the federal debt approaches $17 trillion, voters are puzzled as to why many Republicans are laboring to pass a $6 trillion boondoggle instead of fighting to scale back Obama’s nearly $2 trillion health insurance mess!
Given this administration’s recurring difficulty embracing the truth, it is amazing that Republicans do not push back more forcefully and more often against President Obama’s attempts to ‘fundamentally transform’ America. Chip Roy is incorrect. The Republican message does not stink. It is nonexistent.
The Message Stinks! http://t.co/HoclVDdZtB
— American Thinker (@AmericanThinker) May 30, 2013
Earlier today, 16 Republicans voted to bring a bill to floor of the United States Senate that they had not read. That is not because they are lazy. It is because the bill was not available for ANY United States Senator to read because it had not been written completely. For all these Senators know, the bill to curtail our second amendment rights might contain riders funding or expanding the powers of Obamacare. It will likely contain earmarks for other special interest spending, something that is not unheard of in Washington, DC. If the TARP bill contained a $2 million earmark for the makers of wooden arrows which everyone agreed was the cause of our economic recession, anything is possible. Yet, here we are in 2013 passing bills so we can find out what is in them.
While I commend Senator McConnell for voting with the minority, today’s vote demonstrates both his weakness and his lack of conviction for preserving the Constitution. I could never imagine 16 Democrats abandoning Harry Reid to vote their ‘conscience’, in part because it would imply they have one. The very first thing Harry Reid did after the vote was take to the floor of the United States Senate and thank his good friend, John McCain. Perhaps McCain and his good friend Lindsey Graham, up for re-election in 2014, are the new leaders of the Republican Party.
The GOP needs to do a lot of soul searching if it wants to regain majority status. Considerable effort has been expended blaming the Tea Party movement for recent electoral losses. I beg to differ. Our legislators read bills before voting on them!
“Every Republican officeholder and candidate in the country should have two words tattooed on their hands; growth and opportunity.”
Those are the reasons U.S. Senator Ted Cruz gave for introducing his ‘Restore Growth First – Defund Obamacare’ amendment to the continuing resolution to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year. Cruz seeks to frame the conversation emphasizing that restoring economic growth from the current average of 0.8% to the historical average of 3.3% will go a long way toward solving our unemployment problem, balancing our budget and preserving our military strength. Cruz understands that Obamacare will accentuate our economic difficulties. Attendant issues are forcing employers to cancel coverage as a result of rising premiums and limit employee hours to escape coverage mandates. As such, Cruz proposes to postpone funding Obamacare at least until our economy begins to grow again.
Yet, Cruz is a realist understanding that when there are 55 Democrats in the U.S. Senate “emphatically in favor of Obamacare,” the likelihood of passing such legislation is slim. Nonetheless, Cruz is pressing on as part of a broader effort to turn the conversation to issues that benefit Republicans, and Americans! Cruz wants Obamacare to be part of a broader conversation about tax and regulatory reform and the burdens government is placing on small business. Cruz is offering his amendment in no small part so that an amended continuing resolution will return to the House of Representatives and force Republican leadership to revisit their decision to re-authorize the Obama-Pelosi-Reid budget of 2009 that the federal government is continuing to operate under. Cruz understands that visiting these issues at every availability will shift the topics of conversation from gun control and immigration to those of interest; not only by grassroots activists who have been leading the fight against Obamacare but also unaffiliated less partisan voters.
GOP House “Leadership” caused a stir over the weekend when they suggested they would continue passing legislation without the support of a majority of their caucus. Republicans across the country would do well to follow the advice of the Pied Piper. Republican politicians and political operatives might be pleasantly surprised to discover that when you distinguish yourself from your political opponents by word and by deed, people will follow.
— FreedomWorks (@FreedomWorks) March 11, 2013
In the wake of being pummeled by ads depicting him as a heartless robber baron who leaves cancer-stricken women to die, Mitt Romney unveiled his VP selection on a Saturday morning at 9am on the final weekend of the Olympic Games. This was not only an effort to stem the tide of negative news coverage, but also an effort to allay conservative fears reignited by remarks made by his press secretary defending Romneycare. Lest anyone forget, in answer to an ad accusing Mitt Romney of killing a cancer-stricken woman several years after she left her job at a Bain Capital owned plant, Mitt Romney’s press secretary stated,
“To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care.”
In other words according to Mitt Romney’s chief spokesperson just last week, if this woman had been living under socialized medicine in Massachusetts, she would have been fine. It is only because she lived in one of the 49 states without socialized medicine that she dropped dead!
In an effort to allay some of those conservative fears, Mitt Romney nominated House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as his running mate. As the author of the House Budget Plan, Paul Ryan is the face of Republican efforts to reform entitlement programs and create a more growth oriented economic environment. Mind you, the House Budget Plan does not endorse the Cut, Cap and Balance approach promoted by the House Republican Study Committee. In fact, the House Budget Plan does not endorse a balanced budget amendment at all preferring to balance the federal budget slowly over time, over the next 28 years. That aside, by nominating Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney demonstrated he intends to make reforming entitlements and promoting economic growth the centerpiece of his fall campaign.
In picking Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has overlooked one key area of disagreement between the two, tax policy. Mitt Romney’s tax plan favors an across the board rate cut maintaining the “progressivity” of the Internal Revenue Code, Mitt Romney’s word and a funny one for someone seeking to convince Republican voters of his conservative bona fides. The House Budget Plan by contrast, favors a flattening of the Internal Revenue Code to two individual rates and a significant tax simplification effort. Mitt Romney favors no such effort with the exception of a willingness to phase out or eliminate deductions for mortgage interest and state and local taxes for taxpayers in the upper income brackets. The problem with the Romney approach is that he does not favor a rate reduction that will equal or exceed the phase-out thus INCREASING the net tax liability of small business owners in the upper income brackets that the ENTIRE GOP Congressional caucus pledged to protect.
Before Mitt Romney announced his VP pick, President Obama launched a character assassination calling Mitt Romney a ‘Reverse Robin Hood,’ stealing from the poor to give tax breaks to the rich. Ignoring the Marxist assumption that it is “stealing” money from low income earners and the federal government money if higher income earners are not taxed as heavily, Mitt Romney would do well to negate this political narrative by endorsing a flat tax that goes beyond the House Budget Committee proposal and is completely flat and independent of income source and taxpayer status. This proposal would tax all income at one rate, no matter the source or status of the taxpayer. It would be hard to argue Mitt Romney is a ‘Reverse Robin Hood’ in such an environment. If you make more, you pay more but you are not penalized for making more. Further, such a proposal would eliminate the negative economic incentives the Internal Revenue Code provides by directing economic activity to tax-advantaged enterprises. Also, such a proposal would eliminate the cudgel legislators wield over taxpayers for directing tax policy. In one instance, tax revenue rose by nearly 80% over a three year period in the early 2000’s when Russia implemented a flat tax. Not only is a flat tax good politics, it is good policy as well.
When the excitement of the VP announcement dies down and the political conventions are over, Mitt Romney will have to combat the same character assassinations that were haranguing him prior to the announcement. On July 31st in Texas, an insurgent grassroots Tea Party candidate shocked the political establishment beating a sitting Lt Governor for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. The Lt Governor was a $20 million self-funded candidate in his fourteenth year of elected office. Yet in the span of two short months, Ted Cruz turned a 150,000 vote deficit after the initial primary into a 150,000 vote win after the runoff election representing a nearly 30% vote swing. He did it by embracing the grassroots, attending over forty Tea Party forums across the state and engaging voters at every opportunity. When the Lt Governor embraced his inner Obama accusing Ted Cruz of being responsible for the suicide of young man, a character assassination similar to the ones Mitt Romney is now facing, voters were in a position to give Ted Cruz the benefit of the doubt. This was not merely because of the ridiculousness of the charge, but also because voters knew Ted Cruz since he had made himself accessible to them. Republican strategists might be quick to dismiss the Cruz win as one of a conservative candidate in a conservative state. After all, the saying goes that Presidential elections are won and lost fighting for “moderate” votes. Yet according to a Yankee Institute survey, a whopping 70% of true blue Connecticut voters support cutting spending without raising taxes. In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker survived a recall vote with a 10% margin of victory after signing legislation ending forced unionization. Over 60% of Connecticut voters favor the abolition of teachers unions according to the same Yankee Institute survey.
Mitt Romney needs to leave his Boston Brahmin liberal elitism in Taxachusetts and embrace the conservative values that are held dear by Paul Ryan and represent the core of the Republican Party. Mitt Romney needs to propose policy initiatives that move him closer to Paul Ryan and not use his VP pick as conservative window dressing. Mitt Romney should not shun conservative voters. We are hard working Americans who, after the federal government has racked up $16 TRILLION in debt, have had enough. Win our hearts and minds and the rest will follow. Need proof? Ask Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan!
Dallas, TX –Tea Party Express, the nation’s largest tea party political action committee, brought together Texas Tea Party leaders today in Dallas to reject claims that Dewhurst has obtained tea party support. Tea Party leaders from all over Texas signed the attached letter.
Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer said, “Over the past month, the Dewhurst campaign has waged one of the most offensive and misleading political smear campaigns of this election cycle. In the past week Dewhurst has doubled down by claiming support from the tea party. Tomorrow will be an unquestionable exhibition of statewide grassroots Tea Party support to the contrary.
“Dewhurst is right to believe the tea party will be the deciding factor in tomorrow’s election, but unfortunately for him, that support is with Ted Cruz. We are going to stand together and show David Dewhurst just what tea party support looks like!
“This showing of support will also aim to combat some of Dewhurst’s most appalling distortions. After traveling through the state over this past week, it has been evident that Dewhurst’s dishonest campaigning must be addressed.
“What today will be about is bringing together the most influential tea party leaders in the state to share their reasons why Ted Cruz is the strongest and most qualified candidate in tomorrow’s runoff election,” Kremer concluded.
Below is part of an email I received from Heidi Cruz, the wife of Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Texas Ted Cruz. Voters expect candidates to distort each others record to gain political advantage but the attacks of the Dewhurst campaign are of another sort altogether. Lt Governor David Dewhurst has chosen to use his sizable personal fortune to run the most outlandish FALSE disgraceful negative attack ads maligning Ted Cruz’s patriotism and accusing him of being responsible for the death of a child. Fortunately, many in Texas share my outrage and are supporting Ted Cruz as a result. If you are a Texas Republican voter and you are on the fence, please vote for Ted Cruz if for no other reason than to send a message to politicians that we want them to focus on serious issues. Given the urgent need to repeal Obamatax, cut spending and start paying down our debt, voters should expect nothing less!
Down in the polls and grasping at straws, the Dewhurst Attack Machine is getting more and more vicious. The leading Dewhurst Super PAC—which is run by Dewhurst’s former chief of staff and campaign manager—just began airing a despicable, false ad about my husband Ted that one commentator called the nation’s “nastiest ad of the campaign cycle.”
Dewhurst is using the suffering of a grieving mother to try to blame Ted for the death of her son. But Ted had nothing—absolutely nothing—to do with the criminal proceedings surrounding that juvenile prison scandal, and Dewhurst knows it. The attack is a lie.
As a mother of two young girls, my heart weeps for this mother who lost her son. But I am repulsed by a desperate politician willing to exploit her grief to try to falsely claim, in the final days of the campaign, that Ted is responsible for killing children.
Texans are tired of Dewhurst’s desperate lies about Ted…..
(1) Ted Cruz was correct at the Belo Texas Senate debate when he said David Dewhurst’s amnesty position goes beyond that of Barack Obama. Dewhurst “support[s] a guest worker program for those here today illegally.” That means every man, woman and child including, presumably, criminal drug traffickers after they finish serving their prison sentences.
(2) Dewhurst continues. “I want to build a system where all immigrants from anywhere can come out of the shadows and be full participants in everything good Texas has to offer.” Presumably, this includes access to Texas public education including subsidized tuition at Texas public universities, Medicaid benefits, Social Security benefits and the like. Are Texans prepared to pay higher taxes to subsidize the cost of these privileges of citizenship for illegal aliens?
(3) In addition to immigration, Dewhurst talks proudly about bringing home the bacon for the South Texas community he was visiting. “In 2005 I instructed our Senate Finance Committee to invest over $800 million more in higher education. In May of last year with Senator Zaffirini the two of us with the House wrote a bill to invest $1.9 billion in new university construction.
And yes it appears that Texas A&M International received a disproportionate share. I wonder why?!”
(4) Dewhurst talks about fighting to INCREASE spending, yes INCREASE! “Politics is a team sport and with friends and allies like Senator Zaffirini in 2003 when the House wanted to cut $500 million from higher education I said, “Over my dead, cold body” and we restored the money.”
There is a reason the Tea Party movement has been successful at driving out big spending politicians of all political stripes. People are tired of an ever growing government and the demands it places on individuals and the economy writ large. People want to elect politicians who will treat the government’s money as if it is their own. Even if one wants to allow some or all illegal aliens to stay and work in this country if they have committed no OTHER crime, as residence without citizenship or a visa is a crime, do we really want to afford the privileges of citizenship to those who are not citizens? If we go down that road, what is the value of citizenship?