We all remember how conservatives and the media used Reverend Wright to attack President Obama.
It struck me as strange that the media now seems to be giving Ted Cruz a pass for the same sort of issue - for in fact a much worse issue - the hateful, extremist rantings of his father, Rafael Cruz.
WATCH: Ted Cruz's Dad Calls US a "Christian Nation," Says Obama Should Go "Back to Kenya"
In April, Rafael Cruz, the father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), spoke to the tea party of Hood County, which is southwest of Fort Worth, and made a bold declaration: The United States is a "Christian nation." The septuagenarian businessman turned evangelical pastor did not choose to use the more inclusive formulation "Judeo-Christian nation." Insisting that the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution "were signed on the knees of the framers" and were a "divine revelation from God," he went on to say, "yet our president has the gall to tell us that this is not a Christian nation…The United States of America was formed to honor the word of God." Seven months earlier, Rafael Cruz, speaking to the North Texas Tea Party on behalf of his son, who was then running for Senate, called President Barack Obama an "outright Marxist" who "seeks to destroy all concept of God," and he urged the crowd to send Obama "back to Kenya."
Comments uttered by a politician's parent may have little relevance in assessing an elected official. But it's appropriate to take Rafael Cruz into account when evaluating his son the senator. Ted Cruz, the tea party champion who almost single-handedly spurred the recent government shutdown, has often deployed his father as a political asset. He routinely cites his Cuban-born father, who emigrated from the island nation in 1957, when he discusses immigration and justifies his opposition to the bipartisan reform bill that passed in the Senate. (Ted Cruz hails his father as a symbol of the "American dream" who came to the United States legally—though Rafael Cruz began his career in the oil industry in Canada, where Ted was born.) Moreover, Ted Cruz campaigns with his father...
...I want to know more about this Free Enterprise Education Center. What in the world is that all about?
A few weeks ago, he sparked headlines when he told a gathering of Republicans in Colorado that Obama has vowed to "side with the Muslims," that Obamacare mandates "suicide counseling" for the elderly, and that gay marriage is a plot to make "government your god."
As Rafael Cruz recounted at the Hood County tea party event, he had a powerful role in shaping his son, introducing Ted, when he was in middle school, to the Free Enterprise Education Center, where the young Cruz was flooded with Austrian School libertarian economics and archly conservative interpretations of US history. Cruz excelled in this setting and went on to become part of a traveling road show of teens called the Constitutional Corroborators. They appeared at Rotary Club luncheons across the state to extol the wonders of the free market and the US Constitution. While the Rotarians ate lunch, the whiz kids transcribed from memory the articles of the Constitution on easels placed at the front of the room.
Clearly, Cruz's issue with his father is in fact much much worse than the "Reverend Wright" problem. Rafael Cruz is not just a pastor whose church Ted attended for a few years. Rafael Cruz is his father. Ted has been influenced by him for his entire life, from birth to now. Rafael has actively campaigned for Ted. Ted has not disavowed his father's words. He has merely stated that his father doesn't speak for him (wink wink).
Ted Cruz's father is spewing wild, outrageous birther-type accusations about the President and the media appears reluctant to hold him accountable for it. This is vastly different from the way the media rabidly tried to hang Reverend Wright around Barack Obama's neck.
It's time for the media to explain this disparate treatment.