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Ted “Calgary” Cruz

I don’t know why exactly the blowhard Ted Cruz continues to fascinate, but he does.

Shaking Hands
Shaking Hands

I don’t know why exactly the blowhard Ted Cruz continues to fascinate, but he does.

Believe it or not, it looks like Sen. Ted Cruz is still a Canadian citizen. Although it has now been over a month since he promised to renounce his Canadian citizenship – which he obtained by virtue of his birth in Calgary, Alberta – there has been no indication (whether press release, statement or otherwise) announcing that he has followed through on the commitment.

(click here to continue reading Ted Cruz’s origins continue to haunt him – Salon.com.)

and his willfully ignorant schtick seems to have started grating on his fellow party members…

“It’s pretty clear they had no plan all along,” said a senior House Republican aide after the vote on Friday. “They already let Senate Democrats leave for the weekend. Where is the action?”

There are a several ways they can actually fight this battle. Senate Democrats ultimately need some Republican votes to advance any continuing resolution: 60 votes are required to begin and end debate; Democrats have 55. One option would be to take to the airwaves and grassroots to raise the heat on fellow Republicans to filibuster until Democratic leaders agree to keep the provision of the House’s bill that defunds Obamacare. Another option for Cruz and his colleagues is to raise a ruckus and demand an open debate, creating an opportunity to mount endless talking filibusters until Democrats fold.

But these options would risk a government shutdown as the eyes of the nation look upon them, subjecting them to fierce criticism for grinding federal services to a halt for the purpose of waging a divisive, ideological battle. Even worse, it risks damaging the GOP’s credibility in upcoming elections and would place the blame squarely on them.

One thing is for sure: Cruz and Lee will lose the battle. Democrats vow not to defund Obamacare, and even if Congress does so, President Barack Obama has threatened to veto it. The only question is if Cruz and Lee go down fighting and leave it all on the field, or if they relent and reveal that their Obamacare rhetoric was a bluff all along.

If, by some miracle, Senate Republicans are successful in delaying the legislation long enough to face a real government shutdown — the first since 1996 — the party is likely to pay a political price. Cruz has seemed unconcerned about the political blowback of such a scenario, likening a shutdown to an extended weekend in July.

(click here to continue reading Ted Cruz’s government shutdown posturing is exposed by fellow Republicans.)

Outhouse
Outhouse

And Cruz is not friends with some parts of the Republican leadership:

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace said Sunday morning that he’d received opposition research from other Republicans about Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in advance of Cruz’s appearance this morning, a serious indication of how upset the GOP is with the Senator leading the risky charge to defund ObamaCare.

“This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington,” Wallace said. “As soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats but from top Republicans, to hammer Cruz.”

“This was a strategy laid out by Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz without any consultation with their colleagues,” said Karl Rove. “With all due respect to my junior Senator from Texas, I suspect this is the first time that the end game was described to any Republican Senator. They had to tune in to listen to you to find out what Ted’s next step was in the strategy.”

(click here to continue reading Chris Wallace: GOP Sent Fox Opposition Research on Ted Cruz | Mediaite.)

Steve Benen of Maddow blog has more:

From Ted Cruz’s op-ed this morning on a right-wing website1:

Senate Republicans should demand a 60-vote threshold for any effort that would add Obamacare funding back into the House bill. This is the battle line: Senate Republicans must stop Reid from rejecting the House bill and adding Obamacare funding with merely 51 votes.

The House bill must be protected.

That would be the House bill that Cruz has already said publicly that he expects to fail.

So, as a procedural matter, Cruz wants Senate Republicans to get behind him and vote, in near-complete unanimity, to filibuster the House bill they want to pass. Cruz will tell Reid and Senate Democratic leaders, “We’ll continue to block the bill we support until you agree to let us filibuster your amendments.”

Why would Dems agree to this? They wouldn’t.

But Cruz thinks he has some leverage. Indeed, when Harry Reid laughs in his face, Cruz will say, “Oh yeah? Either you agree to let us filibuster your amendments or we’ll continue to block the bill we support until the government shuts down.”

This plan could work if Senate Republicans were united around the idea. In fact, if nearly every GOP senator announced today, “We stand with Ted Cruz and we’ll all oppose the bill we support until Harry Reid meets our demands,” then the odds of a shutdown would increase dramatically.

But there’s no evidence this is likely to happen. On the contrary, quite a few GOP senators — none of whom actually likes Cruz — consider the whole scheme kind of silly and want Cruz to just go away. (Over the weekend, Republicans even started sending opposition research to Fox News about the junior senator from Texas.)

Making matters worse, even if Senate Republicans felt overwhelming pressure from unhinged Tea Party activists and actually endorsed this scheme, they’d make it impossible to blame Democrats for the shutdown — GOP senators have created the shutdown by filibustering their own bill.

 

 

Useful as a Canadian Penny
Useful as a Canadian Penny

Circling back to his citizenship woes, I have personal experience with Canadian rules, albeit with different end goals – I just wanted my U.S. Passport. I’ve always been a US citizen, but getting a passport was a bit of bureaucratic line-dancing. Ted Cruz is attempting to renounce his birth country for political reasons, and because a large portion of his base has spent the last 6 years gnashing their teeth that President Obama wasn’t a natural born citizen, despite the fact that Obama’s mother is from Kansas.

In order to fulfill his promise to the voters, Cruz must therefore submit proof that he is a U.S. citizen, which will be trickier for him than for most people. Cruz has thus far released only his Canadian birth certificate, which confirms that he was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1970, and additionally states that his mother was born in Wilmington, Dela. The second part is crucial – Cruz’s only claim to U.S. citizenship through his mother – but it is also hearsay. The birth certificate is primary evidence of Cruz’s own birth, but the entry about his mother merely records her assertion to the Alberta Division of Vital Statistics. Even though I don’t personally dispute what he says, “My mother said so” is not what is usually meant by “proof.”

How, then, can Ted Cruz prove his U.S. citizenship to the satisfaction of the Canadian authorities? He could submit his passport, or perhaps the document called a Consular Certificate of Birth Abroad (if his parents obtained one), but those would have the same hearsay problems as his birth certificate. The only sure-fire evidence, therefore, would be his mother’s birth certificate, presumably issued when she was born in Delaware.

But even that presents a problem. Only one of Ted’s parents was a citizen when he was born (his father is a Cuban émigré who did not take U.S. citizenship until 2005), and he therefore falls under a special section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies to “Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent.” Under that provision, Cruz only qualifies for American citizenship if his mother was “physically present” in the United States for 10 years prior to his birth, five of which had to be after she reached the age of 14. The only definitive way to prove Eleanor Cruz’s 10 years of physical presence would be with documents such as leases, school registration, utility bills or tax records.

(click here to continue reading Ted Cruz’s origins continue to haunt him – Salon.com.)

Glancing at the update U.S. Passport rules, I’m glad I jumped through the hoops when I did, tough as they were, because rules and requirements look more complex now. I mean, Jesus H., just read what I would have to do now. Thankfully my situation was taken care of several years ago. In any case, Ted Cruz is smart enough to realize he may have trouble quickly making this issue go away, especially if his mother didn’t file the proper paperwork (Consular Certificate of Birth Abroad) upon his birth. 

Footnotes:
  1. Real Clear Politics []

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