22 February 2013

A New Voice for OIP Derangement Syndrome

Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, has quickly made himself into the prime champion of OIP Derangement Syndrome in the U.S. Senate. Specifically, the type that manifests itself in making wild claims without evidence about President Barack Obama and anything associated with him.

Jane Mayer reports for the New Yorker reports that in July 2010 Cruz told a home-state crowd that Obama “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School” [there is no such position] because ”there were twelve [law professors] who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”

Cruz presented no evidence for that wild yet specific accusation. Charles Fried, a prominent Republican at Harvard Law School who actually mentored Cruz, scoffed at all parts of his claim, from the lack of other known Republicans on the faculty to the idea that any of his colleagues wanted to overthrow the government.

During committee debate on the nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel to the Secretary of Defense, Cruz declared: “It is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea.” Cruz of course presented no evidence of either possibility. Even his fellow Republicans chided him.

Cruz also said that “Hagel’s nomination has been publicly celebrated by the Iranian government.” He couldn’t provide good evidence to support that claim. Politifact gave Cruz’s statement its worst rating, Pants on Fire.

In January Cruz told a right-wing audience that Hagel and John Kerry, now secretary of state, are “less than ardent fans of the U.S. military.” Cruz presented no evidence for that claim, either. Nor did he address the evidence that both men volunteered for military service while the US was at war. Cruz, in contrast, has never served in the military; he spent his early twenties at Harvard Law School.

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