How Breitbart News Began the Mainstreaming of the Alt-right

With Trump placing Breitbart News chair, Steve Bannon, in charge of his campaign and with the resignation of Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign is signalling an embrace of the alt-right base. This is an unprecedented move by a Republican presidential candidate and is itself tied to Breitbart News‘ shift from conservative Andrew Breitbart’s vision for his conservative media empire to Bannon’s recently evolved alt-right vision.  The story of Breitbart News‘ evolution from Tea Party conservative powerhouse under the direction of the late Andrew Breitbart to the home of the alt-right is reflected in The Hill‘s recent article entitled “How Breitbart turned on Ted Cruz.”

While Bannon began as a supporter of Ted Cruz, he reportedly became enraged with Cruz and began to shift his support toward Trump, while trying to “destroy” Cruz along the way.

The Hill reports:

In late January, Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon was tipped off about a story that he hoped would damage Ted Cruz.

Bannon, who this week became CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was told that a radio advertisement would be landing in Iowa aimed at hurting Cruz with evangelical voters — the very constituency the senator was depending on to win the state’s caucuses on Feb. 1.

The line of attack, which was being pushed by Cruz’s presidential rival Mike Huckabee, was that Cruz had donated only a small fraction of his income to his church, not enough to fulfill his tithing duties of 10 percent.

Bannon was excited by the story, stating that it could spell the end of Cruz’s candidacy. He told his reporters to chase the story hard, though their efforts turned up nothing new.

Bannon didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from The Hill, but a spokeswoman for the conservative news sight downplayed any work Breitbart’s reporters did on the tithing story.

“With regards to your question on Ted Cruz: Breitbart did virtually zero reporting on this,” Breitbart spokeswoman Alexandra Preate said.

Preate would not comment further, however, and did not deny that Bannon was pushing reporters to pursue the storyline.

In the early stretch of the presidential campaign, Breitbart was seen as a staunch supporter of Cruz, with Bannon leading the charge. Coverage of the Texas senator was favorable, with Breitbart at one point getting an exclusive look at Cruz getting his children ready for bed.

But Breitbart’s allegiances shifted as Trump’s campaign caught fire.

The Hill notes that “the story of how that happened, which has never before been told in such detail, provides a vivid illustration of how Trump’s rise has changed the balance of power in the conservative media, and by extension, the entire Republican Party.”  And it does so, additionally, because it helps illuminate the power shift we’ve seen from limited government Tea Party conservatives to the nihilistic, “burn it all down,” racist and anti-Semitic alt-right.

As Bannon himself moved more towards Trump, his directives to subordinates indicated that Breitbart News would follow suit.  While this caused a lot of Andrew Breitbart’s original team to leave the site, the new focus on Trump—and on relentlessly attacking Ted Cruz, as Trump’s most formidable challenger—transformed the former conservative powerhouse site into what has been disparagingly called “Trumpbart” or “Trump Pravda.”

The move was not instantaneous.  Initially bristling at a couple of Cruz’s moves, Bannon began to seethe with resentment and anger towards the senator from Texas.

The Hill continues:

The first strike against Cruz came in July 2014, when Cruz joined Bannon’s sworn enemy, the conservative radio host Glenn Beck, on a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border. Cruz’s staff described the trip as a “humanitarian” mission to help a church provide supplies to needy families.

Bannon thought the trip painted Cruz as soft on illegal immigration, and Breitbart ran a story titled, “Ted Cruz Joins Glenn Beck for ‘Soccer Balls and Teddy Bears’ Event.”

“Steve was still ranting about that trip six months later,” said a source who worked with Bannon at the time.

Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier declined to comment for this story.

The second strike against Cruz came in April 2015, when the senator signaled his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and the fast-track legislation needed to push it through Congress.

Making matters worse, Cruz promoted his support for fast-track authority in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Bannon made clear to Breitbart staffers that he wanted to destroy Ryan’s political career and what he called his “globalist” agenda. Shortly after Ryan became Speaker last October, Bannon began instructing reporters to look for ways to take him down. That effort culminated earlier this month in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Ryan in his Wisconsin primary, with the challenger heavily promoted in Breitbart coverage.

Cruz ultimately walked back his support for trade promotion authority, voting against fast-track legislation and explaining his decision in an exclusive for Breitbart News. But that conciliatory gesture wasn’t enough to win back Bannon, or at least not enough to overcome his growing affection for Trump.

“Steve has always been basically an anti-trade guy,” said a second source who worked closely with Bannon at the time. “That’s one of the fissures with the Trump and Cruz support.

As this unfolded, Breitbart News began running with the invented “issue” of Cruz’s status as a natural-born citizen.  Although Trump himself had stated earlier that he didn’t think there was an issue, that’s exactly the rabbit hole Trump’s band of merry conspiracy theorists went down to the raucous cheers of the formerly-fringe alt-right who had been nursing conspiracy theories and wild-eyed ideas about Obama’s eligibility for the better part of a decade.

This is an alt-right meme Trump very famously tried to parlay into a viable presidential campaign in 2011.  To quote Amanda Carpenter, Trump in 2011 was “an Alt-Right internet troll who appeared in human form on cable TV.”  And he was quickly dispatched.  Trump didn’t have a venue in 2011 for his alt-right ass hattery.

By 2016, however, there were a handful of conservative outlets willing to listen to the alt-right message . . . and to get on board with it.  Among them, Bannon’s Breitbart News.  Dragged out of the dark corners of the internet usually reserved for Alex Jones and his anti-Semitic, white nationalist, tin-foil hat-wearing ilk, the alt-right subculture suddenly had an accepted “right stream” media outlet.  Even the alt-right knew that only their fellow fringe true believers listened to Alex Jones or spewed their venomous bile on obscure internet discussion boards, but the entire conservative movement read Breitbart News.  In Bannon’s Breitbart News, they had a legitimate voice, and in Trump, they had a candidate they could get behind.

Again from the Hill:

In January, When Trump began raising questions about Cruz’s Canadian birthplace and his eligibility to be president, Breitbart jumped on the storyline.

Bannon ultimately scored a concession out of the Cruz camp. When the Cruz campaign decided to release the birth certificate of the senator’s mother, it did so by giving it exclusively to Breitbart.

. . . .  The same source defending Bannon pointed out that Breitbart never supported the “birther” movement questioning President Obama’s birthplace. The source defended the coverage of Cruz’s citizenship and said that the Breitbart chairman simply wanted Cruz to explain the issue to voters.

Bannon’s antipathy for Cruz was apparently fueled by Cruz’s counter attacks against Trump.

Bannon’s underlings felt that he’d hitched his wagon to Trump by the time of the first Fox News debate in August — the one where Trump had a famous confrontation with co-moderator Megyn Kelly.

And by January 2016, when Cruz stopped praising Trump and started attacking him as a liberal, Bannon became increasingly enraged and instructed his reporters to hammer Cruz.

Throughout this period, Breitbart staff made no secrets of their close ties to the Trump campaign.

Bannon kept colleagues abreast of his near constant contact with Trump and Corey Lewandowski, who was then Trump’s campaign manager.

This is not a case of as goes Breitbart News, so goes the conservative movement because the alt-right is proudly and avowedly not conservative.  This is, to use former Breitbart News editor-at-large Ben Shapiro’s words, a “take over of the GOP” that was enabled, in part, by Breitbart News and Trump’s own existing, if shifting, alt-right positions on a handful of issues dear to the alt-right movement.

Shapiro pinpoints a day when Breitbart News‘ seismic shift to and embrace of the alt-right became crystal clear.  He writes:

But it wasn’t until March 29 that Breitbart’s full embrace of the alt-right became clear. That’s the day the site featured Yiannopoulos’s lengthy piece glorifying the alt-right. Yiannopoulos had already given interviews in which he stated that “Jews run the banks” and “Jews run the media,” dismissing anti-Semitic memes as merely “mischievous, dissident, trolly.” He wrote, along with co-author Allum Bokhari, this insane sentence: “There are many things that separate the alternative right from old-school racist skinheads (to whom they are often idiotically compared), but one thing stands out above all else: intelligence.”

. . . . If Republicans aren’t careful, [Bannon]’ll inflict similar damage on their party now that he’s the top man running their standard-bearer’s campaign. If they don’t know it yet, the alt-right surely does. As one of its own, Richard Spencer, explained: “Breitbart has elective affinities with the alt-right, and the alt-right has clearly influenced Breitbart. In this way, Breitbart has acted as a ‘gateway’ to alt-right ideas and writers.” There’s now a path for this same kind of thinking to infiltrate the GOP.

This “gateway” to alt-right ideas is a gateway to everything that conservatives stand against.  The alt-right, like any segment of a political party or movement isn’t monolithic, but there are some key elements beyond rampant anti-Semiticism and white nationalist isolationism that compose the majority of the alt-right’s ideology and agenda.  For example, they almost unanimously sneer at conservatives for being “principled,” for supporting legal immigration, for focusing on the Constitution (a document they see as a barrier to their own white nationalist-isolationist agenda), and for working to change the GOP from within rather than “blowing it up.”

Warning that one of the primary goals of the alt-right is to crush conservatism, Shapiro writes:

Constitutional conservatives can’t stand the alt-right. Conservatives — real conservatives — believe that only a philosophy of limited government, God-given rights and personal responsibility can save the country. And that creed is not bound to race or ethnicity. Broad swaths of the alt-right, by contrast, believe in a creed-free, race-based nationalism, insisting, among other things, that birth on American soil confers superiority. The alt-right sees limited-government constitutionalism as passé; it holds that only nationalist populism on the basis of shared tribal identity can save the country. It’s a movement shot through with racism and anti-Semitism.

Bannon, ensconced apparently in alt-right ideology, has an agenda that he thinks Trump has missed.

Ken Stern, writing for Vanity Fair, explains:

On the surface, Bannon at least has the benefit of being politically sympathetic with Trump; Breitbart, under his leadership, after all, has become “Trump Pravda,” as one former staffer described it to me. But when I talked with Bannon, he expressed a wariness about the political genuineness of the Trump campaign persona. Trump is a “blunt instrument for us,” he told me earlier this summer. “I don’t know whether he really gets it or not.”  It is likely that Bannon’s political calculus here, if not Trump’s, will be less about winning an election that seems a bit out of hand and more about cementing an American nationalist movement.

The Hill concludes by noting that Bannon has not given up on Cruz and his “future” (presumably in the new alt-right nationalist party—with or without Trump) and that he hopes Cruz “will come around.”

My guess is that Cruz will most certainly not come around to the Bannon-Trump alt-right worldview . . . even as we see many former Tea Party members and conservatives tentatively embrace the rising alt-right.

Trump “Dances a Little Sidestep” On the Second Amendment

One issue that poses a problem for Donald Trump is his changing, and often contradictory, stances on the Second Amendment.

You may remember him coming out in support of Obama following the Sandy Hook shooting.

In case you’ve forgotten, Obama’s remarks included the following:

It comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize, no matter how much you love these kids, you can’t do it by yourself. That this job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community, and the help of a nation. And in that way, we come to realize that we bear a responsibility for every child because we’re counting on everybody else to help look after ours; that we’re all parents; that they’re all our children.

This is our first task — caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.
And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?

So far, so good(ish), and next comes the setup:

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.

And then the hammer, a velvet one in this speech, but the meaning was clear to all who heard it:

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

And in the coming weeks, he did just that . . . tossed aside the velvet hammer and went for the anvil: Obama pushed for gun control measures, none of which would have stopped Sandy Hook (or the San Bernardino or Orlando terrorist attacks).

We know very well where Obama stands on gun grabbing and the Second Amendment; however, it’s not as clear where Trump stands. On the one hand, he thinks that certain gun bans should be in place to prevent (somehow?!) terrorists from obtaining and using guns, and on the other hand, he states that had the victims in the Orlando venue been armed, they could have protected themselves.  He has walked that back now.  In a tweet.

ABC News reports:

Donald Trump has warmed to potentially changing gun laws to ensure that no one with even “an inclination toward terrorism” can legally purchase guns, while reiterating that the Orlando nightclub massacre might not have ended so tragically had clubgoers been armed.

“If in that club, you had some people, not a lot of people … but if you had somebody with a gun strapped on to their hip, somebody with a gun strapped on to their ankle and you had bullets going in the opposite direction, right at this animal who did this, you would have had a very, very different result,” Trump, who has called himself the protector of the Second Amendment, said Saturday at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.

Apparently, Trump’s view of gun control would include anyone on the terror watch list; a list that includes such infamous would be terrorists as Fox News contributors and little children.

ABC News continues:

Trump has warmed to some measures of gun control, telling ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl that he would be open to restricting individuals on a terror watch list from buying guns, a stance that puts him in direct opposition from many in his party and the National Rifle Association, which endorsed Trump in May.

“We have to make sure that people that are terrorists or have even an inclination toward terrorism cannot buy weapons, guns,” Trump told Karl in an interview to air Sunday on “This Week.”

If Obama said this, we’d—quite rightly—be outraged. Setting aside clear conflict with the Second Amendment . . . an “inclination toward terrorism”? What is that and how is it measured? And by whom? And on what authority is our Constitutional right to bear arms revoked because of some perceived “inclination”?

Given what we know about the government’s ideas of what a terrorist is (someone who supports the Tenth Amendment, the Constitution, and / or is pro-life or is a veteran of our armed forces, as but a few examples), this seems like a horrible idea. Even assuming that a President Trump would change all of this, do we really want to deprive American citizens of their Second Amendment rights based on a secretive list that is compiled somewhat randomly and with broad scope to ensure there’s no suggestion of discrimination?

And when did the government start knowing what people’s inclinations are? How would a President or his/her administration monitor every person’s “inclinations” and determine that they cannot own a gun based on those “inclinations”?

How does Trump reconcile the rights of the people and weigh in the Second Amendment against his belief that it is best to deprive citizens of their right to bear arms because they have the wrong “inclination” or appear on one of many government lists?

As one might expect from someone with Trump’s limited critical thinking skills:  It’s just easier to deprive anyone of their Second Amendment right to bear arms if, you know, they are on a list: “Asked by Karl if his position is that those on the no-fly or terror watch list should not be able to purchase a gun, Trump responded, ‘I’d like to see that, and I’d like to say it. And it’s simpler. It’s just simpler’.”

This is the same logic Trump applied to “closing the internet” before decrying as “foolish people” everyone who responded with “oh, freedom of speech, freedom of speech.”  Those pesky Constitutional Amendments throw a wrench into his childish worldview quite often.

It’s so much simpler to just deny gun ownership rights to a bunch of people who are tossed on a no-fly list for no apparent reason (including people like Weekly Standard columnist Stephen Hayes).

I say “no apparent reason,” but there are several ways one might be added to the no-fly list: one might be a terrorist or have terrorist ties, one might have traveled to a flagged country or region, one might have a name similar to that of a known terrorist, one might be added because someone somewhere made a “clerical error,” one might have no connection to terrorism but simply have outstanding warrants, one might have tweeted “controversial” statements on Twitter, and etc.

In other words, the no-fly list has morphed into a political tool much like an “enemies list” and into a law enforcement tool that far exceeds its original intent.

Preventing people who appear on these lists from buying guns may be “simpler,” but it is also problematic. Such slippery slopes that are enthusiastically traversed by the well-intentioned and the ill-intentioned alike require some forethought and consideration. The current government lists (no-fly, terrorist, selectee, someone insulted Obama or doesn’t like his policies) are arbitrary and random, with “clerical errors” abounding and common sense tossed to the winds. People are not notified when placed on such lists and may have no idea they are on one until they try to fly . . . or purchase a firearm.

Yet in practically the same breath that Trump calls for a “simple” blanket ban on anyone who turns up, often through no fault of their own and always with no due process and little recourse, on a no-fly or terrorist watch list, he also insists that an armed public is a sure means of thwarting or minimizing terrorist (or in the case of Sandy Hook, mentally-unstable) carnage.

Trying to make sense of Trump’s seemingly contradictory statements about our Second Amendment rights, I couldn’t help but think of the following hilarious bit from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas:

Trump’s both for gun control and against it. You know, if some data entry clerk gets a name wrong or something, you simply forfeit your Second Amendment rights; it’s the price you pay for safety: your Second Amendment rights are subsumed by the Greater Good and in the name of National Security.

Fuzzy Rant: #NeverTrump

I haven’t written for a while, but I am just floored by the support The Donald has been receiving, the bizarre delusions about Marco Rubio, and the general anger, disgust, and horror felt by conservatives like me at the prospect of a Trump presidency.

First, Rubio lost this primary back in 2011 when he distanced himself from the TEA Party; he sealed the deal when he became Chuck Schumer’s pet republican on the Gang of Ocho debacle.  He didn’t understand what he had done or what it meant, but we all did.  I live in Florida, and I am certain that Rubio would never have won reelection to his Senate seat . . . let alone the presidential primary here.  He cooked his own goose by being too malleable and too dishonest (a thing I warned about long before he joined Schumer’s amnesty train).

Rubio aside and off to the what not to do if you want to be president dungeons, I’m definitely, 100% #NeverTrump. I was in 2011-12, and I am now. He’s a person who, because of his progressive beliefs in the all-consuming power not only government but of the executive branch, will quickly either get himself impeached (with ROARS of approval from everyone from the most crazed Bernie supporter to the most adamant supporter of the United States Constitution) or who will bring this republic to its knees.

I believe that.  With all that I am.

Trump is a self-serving, self-aggrandizing, self-promoting horror show.  He’s also vulgar and repellent to me on an instinctual level.

When he had his “feud” with Rosie O’Donnell, another big-mouthed bully from New York, I thought I would be popping popcorn, but no, instead, I found them both so repellent and so deeply disgusting that I tuned it out after The Donald observed that O’Donnell had too much poop on her butt when she went to the bathroom.  He was vile.  She was vile.  Both were so completely devoid of character or grace or common decency that I tuned them both out.

Fast forward to the last GOP debate: my sister has gathered her family, among them my ten-year-old niece and six-year-old nephew, to watch as a form of civic engagement.  As soon as The Donald starts bragging about his penis size, my horrified and embarrassed sister rushed the children to bed amid questions about “what’s ‘down there,’ Mommy?”.  Sorry, but my idea of president is not someone you have to treat as R-rated and whose speeches cannot be watched by your children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews because you never know what obscenities this clown will unleash.

A potential American president who needs a seven-second delay?  Seriously?

I’ve said repeatedly that I don’t “get” the Trump mania, and I really don’t.  I get the anger and frustration that voters feel; I feel that myself.  But how does putting a big government proponent who favors the health insurance mandate and loves the idea of private individuals and businesses using eminent domain, a person whose first impulse is to sue and to expand the rights of people to sue journalists, help America?  How is that “making America great again”?

Let’s trample all over the 1st Amendment, says Trump, amid cheers from his adoring fans!

Hey, that whole 4th Amendment?  I don’t know anything about it, but hey, if the government needs access at the expense of your Constitutional right to privacy, that’s that!

Um, the 2nd Amendment?  Well, I love guns, and gun owners love me. But you know, if we confiscated the weapons of legal gun owners, well, hey!  We’d know that only the bad guys and police had guns.  Um.  Or something.

Oh, and the Tenth Amendment?  Naw, that’s just silly. I’m The Donald.  I’ll just mandate stuff that supersedes states’ rights.  Who cares?  I know best!   Look how successful Trump Water, Trump University, Trump Airlines, and a hundred other failed Trump enterprises were!

I create jobs!  You know who I really love to hire?  Illegals!  They work cheap, sleep at the job, and don’t pester you for benefits.  Americans don’t want to be waiters!  So I bring in illegals to do it.  Yay!  I am a great, the greatest really, businessman ever.  Ever.

Remember when Obama called the United States’ military “his” military and declared that they fight for him?  Well, that’s nothing!  According to The Donald, the military will do anything he orders, including following his unlawful orders should be become commander in chief.  Oh, sure, he walked that back, but do you really believe he doesn’t imagine himself CEO of America . . . . and of her military?  You’re excused for not seeing the CEO elements, you unwashed employee masses, because Trump actually refers to his potential presidency as his “reign.”  Woohoo!  He won’t be our “boss”; he’ll be our king.  We love that autocratic totalitarian stuff in America, right?

And he keeps winning.  Trump chumps don’t care about his past, his vulgarity, his vile bragging about buying and selling government officials (which he’s done for decades), or about his pride in being part of the “establishment.”  They don’t care that he sees the United States military exactly as Obama does, as his own personal army.

Trump chumps want to blow up the Republican party  And they may well do that.  In the process, though, they will blow up our republic.

I will never vote Trump.  I will write in my preferred candidate before I validate that walking horror show.


Trump and Cruz Call Rubio Out on his Gang of Eight Amnesty Push

As the Republican presidential primary heats up, illegal immigration is again taking center stage.  While this is nothing new (as we know President Reagan attempted to address it in the ’80s, John McCain made it a priority in ’08, and on), the discussion has taken an interesting turn this election cycle.

At issue, of course, are Obama’s executive amnesty, the recent influx of illegal immigrants (including huge numbers of children), the vast number of illegals currently living and working in the U.S., border security (such as it is), and a host of related issues including the burden of illegal immigration on tax payers in terms of jobs, health care, schooling, police and judicial involvement, and various entitlement costs.

Marco Rubio’s involvement with the Gang of Eight, particularly his subservience to bipartisan efforts with Chuck Schumer, has not gone unnoticed by either the conservative base nor by the other presidential hopefuls.

When Rubio ran for the Senate in 2010, he was claimed to be an adamant opponent of amnesty, and only once elected did he jump at the chance to work on a massive “comprehensive” amnesty plan.  At the time, Professor Jacobson noted that Rubio was “played” by both Schumer and the GOP pro-amnesty McCain-Graham tag team (and he was right).

Since then, Rubio has tried to distance himself from his own choices (while raking in money from pro-amnesty supporters behind closed doors), but it’s worth noting that his mentor Jeb Bush probably played a role in decisions that Rubio now seems to regret.  For example, like Jeb, Rubio was very quick to distance himself from the TEA Party that was instrumental in electing him to his current seat in the Senate; this is not unlike Jeb’s negative assessment of the conservative base when he dismissed us as unnecessary to his presidential ambitions.

To me, it seems that Rubio’s amnesty lies are, er flip-flop is, more rooted in his being a campaign conservative who says one thing to get elected and does the opposite once in office.  That’s not a rare thing in American politics, so it’s somewhat amusing to me when Donald Trump now claims that Rubio’s support for amnesty is “because he’s Hispanic.”


This seems to be an off-the-cuff remark and not his campaign’s message; he also does not reject the idea of Rubio as his VP running mate should he win the GOP nomination.  However, even if a comment made in passing, this seems a simplistic and somewhat specious argument.

Beyond the points made above, not only are the majority of GOP establishment (i.e. supporters of amnesty) white, but one of the staunchest opponents of amnesty is himself Hispanic.


Ted Cruz has stated that he literally laughed out loud at Rubio’s bizarre claim that his position on illegal immigration is the same as Cruz’s.

Politico reports:

[Cruz] told reporters after, “In the “Gang of Eight” fight Marco chose to stand with Chuck Schumer and to lead the fight tooth and nail for a massive amnesty plan. I chose to stand with [Alabama Sen.] Jeff Sessions and to lead the fight to defeat amnesty.”

Cruz’s broadside was the latest in an escalating feud between the two senators that blew up in the wake of Tuesday’s fourth GOP debate, during which both had strong performances. Rubio over the past couple of days has tried to equate Cruz’s record on immigration which his own more relatively conciliatory one, while Cruz has pushed back hard on those efforts.

“I have to admit that I laughed out loud at that,” Cruz said earlier Friday on Mike Gallagher’s radio show, in response to Rubio’s assertion on Thursday that they held similar views on immigration reform. He went on to add, “that statement was truly stunning. That’s like Obama saying my position is the same as his on Obamacare. That’s like Ayatollah Khamenei saying my position is the same as his on the Iranian nuclear deal.”

Cruz, you may recall, led the fight against the Rubio-Schumer Gang of Eight amnesty bill.  Watch:

And the bill was stopped in its tracks.

Like Trump, Cruz has released his own illegal immigration plan summary in which he focuses on three key elements:  securing the border, restoring the rule of law, and reforming legal immigration to protect Americans.  See link for discussion of each point.


A Cruz Administration’s first priority for immigration reform will be to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. We will:

  • Build a wall that works.
  • Triple the number of Border Patrol agents.
  • Increase vital aerial surveillance and other technology along the border.
  • Finish the biometric tracking system at our nation’s ports of entry.


We need a President who will follow the law, hold those who break it accountable, and take seriously the duty to protect Americans. To restore the Rule of Law, a Cruz Administration will:

  • End President Obama’s illegal amnesty.
  • Increase deportations and end catch-and-release.
  • End sanctuary policies, sign Kate’s Law, and deport criminal immigrants.
  • Prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving financial benefits and strengthen E-Verify.


In order to strengthen our immigration system, protect national security, and better serve American workers, we must:

  • Suspend the issuance of all H-1B visas for 180 days to complete a comprehensive investigation and audit of pervasive allegations of abuse of the program.
  • Halt any increases in legal immigration so long as American unemployment remains unacceptably high.
  • Enforce the public-charge doctrine.
  • End birthright citizenship.

Cruz makes his point via Twitter:

The question facing Republican primary voters is: Has Rubio learned his lesson?  Perhaps an even more pertinent additional question is: Have we, as we watched Rubio go from TEA Party hero to GOP establishment zero, learned our lesson?

Fuzzy Shorts: “Obama’s a Muslim,” Islamophobia, the 2016 Presidential Race

What a couple of weeks!  With so much going on, the time seems ripe for another “Fuzzy Shorts” post, so here goes . . .

What Upsets Leftists About “Obama’s a Muslim”?

Everyone’s trying to pile onto Trump for not defending Obama’s religion . . . including Hillary Clinton who started the whole thing in the first place.  What I can’t understand is why the progressives–left and right–are so outraged.

You’d think they believe that being a Muslim is a bad thing or that Islam is an undesirable religion to which one should denounce any connection. Why is the left, who despises Christianity to the point of removing God from the Democrat platform, so insistent that Obama is a Christian?  So insistent, in fact, that they are demanding that every GOP candidate agree that he is, in fact, not just a Christian but definitely not a Muslim?

What happened to tolerance?  Wouldn’t his being a Muslim (if he is, which I doubt, though there is food for thought on that) be a wonderful banner under which they can march in robotic lockstep?  The first black president is also the first Muslim president!  It’s a twofer you’d think they’d embrace.  But no, the very idea is anathema to them.  Who’s the real Islamophobe in this?

Ben Carson, the Islamophobe  . . . and Christianophobe

Meanwhile, Ben Carson is under fire for his comment that an American president should not be a Muslim.  This seems eminently reasonable to me given the nature of the American republic in which the power (supposedly) rests with the people and the nature of Islam in which the power purportedly rests with Allah but actually rests with Imams.  The two just don’t mesh.  That’s not bigotry, it’s just simple fact.

A fact that prominent Islamists have acknowledged repeatedly.

Carson has now come out and stated that he wouldn’t support a Christian theocracy in America, either.  And he’s right on that, too.  For the same reasons.

Rick Perry and Scott Walker Out of 2016 Race

I can’t stand Rick Perry, so I was happy to seem him exit the race as early as he did.  He’s an awful candidate, and worse, while he has some conservative ideas, he’s basically a “compassionate conservative” (i.e. a progressive).  The thing that made him anathema to me was his Islamic curriculum in Texas public schools, but there were other things that he did that I, as a Constitutional conservative, didn’t like one bit.  It’s all moot now, anyway, because he’s no longer governor of Texas, and he’s never going to be president. Yay!

Scott Walker was a bit of a surprise, however.  I expected his candidacy to be stronger than it was, but he made so many mistakes, was so uninspiring (lacked that fire in the belly we like to see in a presidential candidate), and just didn’t have enough (any?) knowledge about foreign (or, for that matter, domestic) issues.

He’s going back to Wisconsin to be a great governor, but he may be back on the national stage if he can take some time from combating unions and running his state to bone up on the myriad issues that a president must have done pat . . . or at least have heard about.

Who Thinks of Christians as “Crusaders”?:  Obama . . . and ISIS



Jeb Bush and the Second Amendment

Did he say that the right to bear arms is a “states rights” issue?


Seems so. Or maybe not.  He just seems clueless about foundational principles, and that, to me, is the real problem.  That and the fact that he’s running on his somewhat conservative record as Florida governor . . . a record he effectively denounced in 2012 when he stated that he “used to be a conservative.”