Chris Graham: Back to Kenya, indeed, Cruz Pere and Fils

So you’ve heard that Rafael Cruz, also known as the father of Ted Cruz, the Tea Party favorite, said at a 2012 political event that “we need to send Barack Obama back to Chicago, back to Kenya.”

chris-graham-links3Oooh, yeah. Ouch. Bad news for Cruz, right?

(Well, considering what else he does to get attention, actually this is pretty tame. Just play along.)

So there we are, bad news. But then we get this money quote from a spokesperson for Sen. Cruz.

(Which means that your tax dollars paid for this formulation.)

The money quote: “These selective quotes, taken out of context, mischaracterize the substance of Pastor Cruz’s message.”

And there we have it. The old “taken out of context” defense.

What kind of context, then, might we need to understand the comments from Cruz the Elder?

Back to Chicago is one thing. Back to Kenya? Given that the president never actually lived in Kenya, that one’s tough to process without referencing the birther movement, the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party that is so far out there that it even thinks George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are Marxists.

So there’s some context. How about this context – Ted Cruz, who aspires to be the Republican Party presidential nominee in 2016, is the one who wasn’t actually born in the United States, not Barack Obama.

Cruz was born in Canada, where his Cuban-born father, often cited by his son as a symbol of the “American dream,” got his start in the oil industry before settling in the States.

Which is all well and good in terms of context. One foreign-born American, the father of another foreign-born American, whipped up a political rally by slurring an America-born American as having been born somewhere other than America.

This is what passes for reasoned political discourse in some parts in this day and age.

As to the “substance of Pastor Cruz’s message,” that one’s easy. He doesn’t like Barack Obama, at least what Barack Obama stands for. Barack Obama, see, is a Democrat, and Democrats, by definition, are socialists, which is a bad thing (much worse than liberals, the “l word” that is no longer biting enough to serve as a political insult anymore on the right).

The relevance to this in terms of Ted Cruz is that he regularly trots his father out as a surrogate for political purposes.

There’s your substance, taken in context.



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