Republican super-lawyer Ted Olson — who, along with co-counsel David Boies, successfully defeated California’s gay marriage ban (Proposition 8) — has a few choice words for GOP presidential hopeful, and Tea Party favorite, Ted Cruz.
Olson was responding to Cruz’s recent comments to Jeffrey Toobin about gay marriage, in which Cruz suggested that voters have the right to vote away the rights of minorities.
Here are Cruz’s comments at the Texas Republican Convention earlier this month (June, 2014):
“Marriage is under assault,” Cruz told the crowd. “It is under assault in a way that is pervasive. We’re seeing marriage under assault in the courts, including, sadly, the Supreme Court of the United States. It struck down the California marriage laws. California had a referendum. They asked the voters of California, ‘Do you want marriage to be a traditional marriage between one man and one woman?’ And the voters of California—those crazy right-wing kooks—said, ‘Yes, now that you mention it, we like marriage to be between one man and one woman!’ Went to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court said, ‘You can’t say that,’ and struck it down. You want to know what judicial activism is? Judicial activism is judges imposing their policy preferences on the words of the Constitution.”
Olson, appearing on Ari Rabin-Havt’s show on SiriusXM, walked Cruz through how American democracy actually works:
“It is a sad thing when people don’t understand that the people cannot vote away the rights of minorities.”
And it got even better when Olson, a lifelong conservative Republican, compared Cruz to the kind of people who felt that blacks shouldn’t be permitted to marry whites, less than 50 years ago:
“This is very very said, it’s very very unfortunate. It is the same sort of thing that people said 40 some years ago when the Supreme Court overturned the laws of 16 states, supported by 2/3 of the population of the United States, that made it a felony to marry someone of a different race.”
And Olson is correct. In fact, 73% of Americans opposed inter-racial marriage in 1968, the year after the Supreme Court’s momentous decision striking down racist miscegenation laws in the Loving v. Virginia decision:
There’s a wonderful ABC News on the 1967 Loving decision, that includes a great tidbit from the ACLU lawyer talking about the state of Virginia’s position on why it was bad for society if blacks were permitted to marry whites:
“They seemed to say that there was a present-day justification for these laws. That is, that they’re interested in the welfare of the children of such marriages.”
Cruz is also apparently out of touch with American history as well. More from Toobin’s story:
Ted Cruz, the Republican junior senator from Texas, has heard the line about how the Party needs to become more moderate to win Presidential elections. “It is amazing that the wisdom of the chattering class to the Republicans is always, always, always ‘Surrender your principles and agree with the Democrats,’ ” he told me. “That’s been true for my entire lifetime. The chattering classes have consistently said, ‘You crazy Republicans have to give up on what you believe and become more like Democrats.’ And, I would note, every time Republicans do that we lose.” Cruz then offered a short history of recent Presidential politics. Richard Nixon ran as a conservative, twice a winner; Gerald Ford, moderate, loser; Ronald Reagan, also twice a winner. “President George Herbert Walker Bush ran as a strong conservative, ran to continue the third term of Ronald Reagan, continue the Ronald Reagan revolution,” Cruz went on. “Then he raised taxes and in ’92 ran as an establishment moderate—same candidate, two very different campaigns. First one won, second one lost. In 1996, you got Bob Dole; 2000 and 2004, you have George W. Bush; 2008, John McCain; 2012, Mitt Romney. And what does the entire D.C. Republican consulting class say? ‘In 2016, we need another establishment moderate!’ Hasn’t worked in four decades. ‘But next time will be the time!’ ”
It would seem Senator Cruz is a tad confused. First off, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan would be liberals in today’s Republican party. Let’s start with Nixon: fervent supporter of the Clean Air Act and creator of the EPA and OSHA. Nixon was also, reportedly, a “champion” of affirmative action.
As for Ronald Reagan, he raised taxes, a lot. Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, thinks her dad would have been in favor of gay marriage. And even Ronald Reagan’s uber-conservative son, Michael, admitted that his dad would have a hard time getting the GOP nomation today:
“If you look at my father and you just knew him as governor — raised taxes, signed an abortion bill, no-fault divorce, and a few other things — today, the argument against him would come from the right, not from the left,” Reagan said. “He would have trouble getting his own nomination, but yet he ended up being the greatest president in our lifetimes.”
As for McCain, the man is a lifelong conservative Republican who played a liberal in 2000, then went back to being a neanderthal in 2008. Then he lost. In Romney’s case, the man is a flamingly pinko who pretended to be a hard-right Republican in 2012, and lost. Both men lost after they ran as Republicans.
Speaking of the country’s pro-conservative tilt, someone should ask Cruz how much the American people loved his federal government shutdown.
Olson concluded by suggesting that Ted Cruz is not and should not be the future of the GOP:
“Ted Cruz is just plain wrong about that, and it’s unfortunate because that is not and should not be the future of the Republican party.”
Here’s a short 2 minutes-and-change snippet from the interview:
And here’s ABC’s reporting on the Loving v. Virginia decision back in the day: