Your eyes do not deceive you. Not only is Sen. Ted Cruz holding a Corona beer in his hand to toast deceased right wing press agent Andrew Breitbart, but the man standing on his right is a convicted felon named Ali Akbar. (The woman in the middle appears to be conservative blogging chiropractor Melissa Clouthier.)
Here at BU, we’ve tracked Akbar for almost four years and observed his palsy relationship with Ted Cruz for almost three years, so imagine how amusing it was for us when the Senator told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt “the simple and undeniable fact is the overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats” yesterday.
There is no polling or other scientific evidence that violent criminals tend to have liberal political attitudes. In fact, prisoner opinions are rarely examined at all, creating a vacuum of statistical fact into which Cruz may insert any ‘truth’ he likes.
Cruz followed up that slanderous gem with an assertion that President Obama’s plan to reduce America’s massive prison population is actually a scheme to increase Democratic votes. Yet Akbar’s presence in the above photo, which was taken at the 2013 BlogBash party during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), suggests that Ted Cruz enjoys his own measure of support among rank felons.
Displaying his expertise on the topic of criminality, Cruz has denounced Planned Parenthood as a “criminal organization” for months. Then, in reaction to Robert Dear’s terrorist attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last Friday, Cruz also used his appearance on Hewitt’s show to whine that Republicans are the ‘real victims’ in the story.
“This whole episode has really displayed the ugly underbelly of media,” Cruz said. “Every time you have some sort of violent crime or mass killing you can almost see the media salivating. Hoping, hoping desperately that the murderer happens to be a Republican so they can use it to try to paint their political enemies.”
Cruz said Democrats fight for convicted felons to be able to vote.
“There’s a reason why the Democrats for years have been viewed as soft on crime,” Cruz said. “The Democrats know convicted felons tend to vote Democrat.”
Hewitt’s interview took place a day after Cruz hilariously tried to call Dear a transsexual, indicating that he and/or his staff are loyal readers of the dumbest right wing blogger on the planet, which provides us a helpful baseline for weighing his opinions on what the US prison population thinks about anything at all.
Given that twice as many people shopped on Black Friday last week than voted in the last midterm election, what’s truly clear is that Republican blowhards like Cruz tend to win with low voter turnout, and that disenfranchising felons is just one of the many ways they deliberately suppress the vote, and moreover that Cruz totally approves of taking the vote away from as many people of color as possible by any means necessary.
Implicitly praising the ‘tough on crime’ policies which consistently target minority communities and have made America’s prison system the largest in the world, Cruz unintentionally reveals why he absurdly accuses the Black Lives Matter social movement of advocating the murder of police. His words have nothing to do with the actual homicide rate of police officers, which is at an all-time low, and everything to do with upholding the status quo of white political supremacy in America. For a man whose continued residency in the halls of political power depends in part on the suppression of minority votes, putting as many black men as possible in jail — or better yet, on a coroner’s slab — is an effective means of retaining his office. It’s as rational and logical as an Ayn Rand screed, see?
If I am painting Cruz with an overly-broad brush, then what are we to make of his sweeping statements to Mr. Hewitt? After all, I’m not running for president. In fact, Cruz’s remarks run contrary to the current trend towards prison and sentencing reform in conservative circles, putting him on the retrograde side of his own political movement.
Cruz is evidently quite willing to make an easy exception for black felons who grow up to become conservative shills. He’s also quick to dismiss and ignore Richard Dear’s cold-blooded murder of police officer Garrett Swasey over the contrived ‘baby parts’ smear as some sort of attack on conservatives. So when Cruz claims that “violent felons are Democrats,” what he actually means is that he disowns violent felons who support conservative causes — and then projects their behavior on his political enemies.
The reverse implication of his words, ‘Democrats are violent criminals,’ is what he hopes Republican primary voters will hear him saying.