The Texas GOP just nominated a crazy conspiracy theorists for the Senate...
He thinks George Soros wants to ban golf: Like many conservatives, Cruz believes that the United States' sovereignty is under assault from an obscure United Nations agreement called Agenda 21. Although Agenda 21 does not have the force of law, right-wingers believe the treaty's sustainable-development precepts will force Americans to live in "hobbit homes" and forcibly relocate residents from rural areas into densely populated urban cores.
As Senator, he's pledged to confront the Agenda 21 menace head-on. Here's a video of Cruz discussing the treaty with Beck, in which Cruz concurs that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could become vessels for the mass eviction of rural Americans in the name of sustainable development:
He thinks Shariah is creeping: At a campaign forum in July, Cruz told a questioner that "Shariah law is an enormous problem" in the United States. Although plenty of Texas Republicans have voiced concerns about the slow creep of Islamic law into their state, there's no evidence that that's actually happening.
He believes in nullification: Before the Supreme Court upheld the legality of the Affordable Care Act once and for all, Cruz argued that Obamacare could simply be nullified by states if they disagreed with it. He believed that if two or more states formed an "interstate compact," they could ignore the law because the compact supersedes federal regulation. He also thinks Medicare is unconstitutional.
He's really, really proud of his executions: The Texas Observer's Anthony Zurcher, who has a very good profile of Cruz, breaks it down:
Cruz claims he's proudest of the 2008 case Medellín v. Texas. He cited the case by name during his closing statement at the January 12 GOP Senate candidates' debate in Austin. It's easy to understand why. The case featured a United Nations court, federal government intrusion on state power and a Texas favorite: the death penalty. The case involved Jose Medellín, a Mexican citizen on death row for the rape and murder of two teenage girls in Houston, and 50 other similarly situated Mexican nationals who had not been informed of their right to seek legal assistance from the Mexican government following their arrests. Mexico had challenged the convictions before the International Court of Justice, which ruled that the United States had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and that the cases should be reopened.
The Bush administration attempted to force a recalcitrant Texas appeals court to reconsider Medellín's case in light of the international court’s decision and U.S. treaty obligations. Cruz countered that neither the international tribunal nor the federal government could tell Texas courts what to do.
Medellín was executed in 2011. Cruz was so excited he made it into a campaign ad:
He is afraid of teh gayz: During the primary, Cruz used his opposition to gay rights as a wedge against lesser opponents like former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, noting that his opponent had marched in not one but two pride parades. "When the mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride, that's a statement. It's not a statement I believe in":
This can't be right, tea party darling, Rick Perry endorsed David Dewhurst. Cruz was a Bushie—and still is. He got positions at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission and, recognizing that service, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appointed Cruz as the state's solicitor general in 2003. Last year, when Cruz filed for U.S. Senate, it was the up-and-coming political star of the Bush family, George P. Bush, whose group Hispanic Republicans of Texas became one of the first to give him a big endorsement.
To save face, virtually all of Perry's campaign team was dispatched to help rescue what was looking more and more like a sinking ship. Perry didn't withdraw from the field; determined to show that he still ruled Texas, the governor waded deeper into the race, recording ads and campaigning for Dewhurst—even after Perry, in a stunning moment, got booed at the state's Republican convention for championing the lieutenant governor. He was in a lose-lose situation: Even if Dewhurst won, the governor had lost the Tea Party status he'd once enjoyed. But Cruz's victory was worse; after his own embarrassing time on the national stage, Perry had bet on the wrong horse at his home track. In the end, his endorsement of Dewhurst seems like a net-minus.
If this were just about the Tea Party, we would have seen at least some level of consistency in last night's outcomes. But while Cruz beat Dewhurst, three different state legislative runoffs resulted in Tea Party losses, largely because they'd supported major cuts to public schools. ParentPAC, a pro-public education group, had major victories in the state. There was a hard-line Tea Party victory in the state Supreme Court race, but in the state's Railroad Commission, the Tea Party candidate lost.
All things considered, it's hard to argue that this political drama marks an ideological revolution. Cruz and Dewhurst are both tied to different establishments—but they agreed on almost every issue, down to the syllable. It wasn't a victory for the right wing, even though everyone—including NPR—is trumpeting it that way today.