Ted Cruz And The Question Of When A Candidate Is “Qualified” To Be President

Do we really want to put another first-term Senator with no executive experience in the Oval Office? Because beyond the mere legal requirements, it does not appear that Ted Cruz is qualified to be President.

Ted Cruz Flag Background

Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s announcement yesterday that he was entering the race for the Republican nomination for President has raised some interesting questions about what it means to say that a person is or is not “qualified” to be President of the United States. Speaking strictly from the perspective of the requirements set forth in the Constitution, of course, it is clear that Cruz is legally qualified to serve in the office he is seeking. He is over 35 years of age, he has been a resident of the United States for at least the past fourteen years, and, notwithstanding the fact that he was born in Canada, he is a “natural born citizen.”  Many times when people refer to “qualification” in this context, though, they are talking about much more than the bare legal requirements for the position. After all, under that standard Sarah Palin was qualified to be President when John McCain selected her to be his running mate in 2008 even though it quickly became apparent that she would have been nowhere near prepared to fulfill the demands of that position if fate had required her to do so. Therefore, when we’re talking about qualifications in this context, we’re really talking about something more ephemeral than bare legal requirements, namely the question of whether or not a particular candidate has the experience and skills necessary to be President.

Both in 2008 and continuing right through today, many Republicans make precisely this argument about President Obama, that his resume prior to running for President was paper-thin and displayed none of the kind of experience one would hope to see in a President, specifically executive experience and experience dealing with a legislature. One could also make the argument that the past six years justify this argument to at least some extent given that President Obama has shown a distinct inability to deal with Congress, no matter which party it was controlled by, doesn’t seem to be all that interesting in trying to craft agreements with the opposition, and has not run an Executive Branch that has been very good at either get its message across or getting its job done. Indeed, the Obama Administration has been markedly bad in all of these areas compared to either the Clinton or Bush 43 Administrations, both of which were headed by men who had served as Governors prior to becoming President.

On the partisan side, though, Barack Obama’s lack of experience has become something of an article of faith on the right, which is why it’s interesting to see Commentary’s John Steele Gordon argue that, like President Obama, conservatives should recognize that Ted Cruz is not qualified to be President:

1) Executive experience. He has very little. He was director of the office of policy planning at the Federal Trade Commission and associate deputy attorney general in the early  years of the George W. Bush administration. He served as solicitor general of Texas for five years (2003 to 2008) and thus has more experience than President Obama. But that’s not saying much. He was only a cog in the administrative machine. I imagine that the solicitor general of Texas presides over an office small enough for him to know everyone in it. Going from there to the presidency is a bit like going from executive officer of a destroyer to Chief of Naval Operations in one leap.

2) Legislative experience. Again, Cruz’s experience is very thin. He’s been a senator from Texas for a little over two years. He has not been in a leadership position. Indeed he has often defied the leadership of his party.

3) Foreign affairs experience. Like Obama, Cruz has none.

4) Education. Here Cruz has it all over Obama. They both had Ivy League educations, but Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Obama’s grades are state secrets, a pretty good indication that they are not impressive, as he is not exactly the type to hide his light under a bushel. We do know he received no honors upon graduation. While Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, he published nothing in it. Cruz was primary editor there and was executive editor at the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review. After graduation, Cruz clerked for Circuit Court Judge J. Michael Luttig, and then for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a very high honor in the legal profession.

5) Negotiating skills. Like Obama, Cruz doesn’t seem to have any and no desire to use them if he did. He’s a bomb-thrower and an ideologue, insisting on touchdowns or nothing rather than moving the ball down the field.

Leaving aside Steele’s comments about the education issue, which I find to be utter nonsense for the most part, his point is pretty clear, and it’s similar to one that I made yesterday in some exchanges I had with people who seemed to be thrilled by the idea of Ted Cruz running for President. If there was something problematic with a first-term Senator with no executive experience was a bad thing in 2008, then why would it be a good thing in 2016? Even asking the question, of course, assumes that there was ever anything intellectually honest about the arguments about Obama’s experience that were being made in 2008. Given the fact that the person running against Obama had no executive experience either and that his running mate was demonstrating on a daily basis her lack of ability for any position of national responsibility, it’s hard to conclude otherwise.

Despite this, I think there is merit to the idea that candidates with thin resumes and, most importantly no executive experience should be viewed skeptically when they through their hats into the ring for President. The thin resume is relevant because it gives us very little basis upon which to judge what kind of President the candidate in question might be, how they would approach complex issues of foreign or domestic policy, and whether or not their judgment can be trusted when it comes to making the many decisions that a President has to make on a regular basis. Executive experience is relevant because, while being a Governor, Vice-President, General in the military, or Cabinet Secretary is not exactly the same as being President of the United States, these positions do involve the same sort of skills and duties that a President performs. Someone who has never held such a position in their entire life should arguably have to make a strong case for why they should essentially be given on the job training in the Oval Office. Given that, a candidate that has both a thin resume and no executive experience is arguably not sufficiently prepared for the tasks that a President has to perform and should be passed over in favor of better qualified candidates.

Other abilities are arguably also relevant to a President’s job, of course. In today’s age, the ability to be a strong public speaker and spokesperson for one’s agenda is certainly an important part of the job, as is the ability to project the kind of leadership that Americans and others in the world expect from the President of the United States. Some may argue in favor of other characteristics that are less easy to measure such as “compassion.” Additionally, even the most skilled and qualified person in the world may not be the right candidate for you if they hold positions that you fundamentally disagree with, though. Leaving aside the issues, though, it certainly seems as though a candidate’s experience ought to be a relevant concern when a political party is choosing a nominee.

The 2016 race looks as though it will see one of the largest Republican fields we’ve seen in quite some time. There will be current and former Governor’s running for office as well as other Senators like Ted Cruz, and with minor exceptions they are going to agree with each other far more than they disagree. Given that, it seems to me as though Republicans would be well advised to choose a nominee who has a record that shows that they have the skills necessary to be President, rather than a guy who is only two years into his first term in the Senate. Beyond the mere legal requirements, it certainly does not appear that Ted Cruz is qualified to be President.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Barack Obama, Campaign 2016, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Kylopod says:

    So you think Lincoln wasn’t qualified?

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Oooh, I want to pull a Republican Troll trick and say that I am instantly and without the slightest self-consciousness, switching sides to proclaim that no 1st term Senator can possibly be qualified!

    Not really, because I have some intellectual integrity. But I can see that it must be liberating to be unabashedly hypocritical.

  3. @Kylopod:

    Lincoln is always the counterexample people bring up. Obama hasn’t exactly been a Lincoln, in my opinion, and Cruz is certainly no Lincoln.

  4. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis: You didn’t answer the question. Was Lincoln qualified to be president?

  5. grumpy realist says:

    Doug, you’re being too logical and rational here. Cruz wants to be the standard-holder of the bomb-throwers, and he’s likely to find full support from the Republican base, because that’s what they want to be: bomb-throwers.

    It’s like what’s going on in Louisiana, Kansas, and Wisconsin: the election of a bunch of tax-cutting supply-sider idiots who are driving their states into the ground but keep getting re-elected by the local populace.

    The older I get, the more I think Mencken was right.

  6. @Kylopod:

    My answer is that Lincoln is an exception that proves the rule. Based on his resume alone, the answer seems to be no but we already know how history turns out so it’s kind of hard to make that evaluation in hindsight.

    Would you say that someone who has only served one term in the House of Representatives is someone who should be trusted to be President of the United States today?

  7. al-Ameda says:

    To a certain degree we filter that (qualified to be president) out during the primaries, then we hope for the best.

    Has Obama been a very good or great president? I don’t think so. A good president? I believe so – especially in the context of being handed the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The fact show steady economic growth since 2009, a steadily decling rate in unemployment, a doubling of the value of the DJIA, low interest rates, and saving hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Auto Industry at a time when the economy was shedding jobs at a rate over 700,000 per month. There is strong disinformation out there, but facts show other wise.

    Generally, I fault Obama for believing that the political opposition would eventually work with him – even after Mitch McConnell, in 2009, counseled Republicans to oppose everything the Administration proposed. That should have tipped him off that Republicans were bold enough to be as unreasonable as it takes – enough to shutdown government twice and threaten a default on federal securities.

  8. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Obama hasn’t exactly been a Lincoln, in my opinion, and Cruz is certainly no Lincoln.

    The question wasn’t “is Obama a Lincoln?”, it was “was Lincoln qualified?”

  9. dmichael says:

    Wow. So you imply “that President Obama has shown a distinct inability to deal with Congress, no matter which party it was controlled by, doesn’t seem to be all that interesting [sic] in trying to craft agreements with the opposition, and has not run an Executive Branch that has been very good at either get [sic] its message across or getting its job done.” Except for the first 18 months of his first term, or until Scott Brown was elected from Massachusetts, Obama did not have a filibuster-proof Senate and the House has been controlled by the right-wing obstructionists since 2010. Republicans have no responsibility for the failure to enact meaningful legislation? The ACA was NOT a major legislature accomplishment? You jump to evaluate Obama on your view of his performance in the first six years of presidency but feel evaluating Lincoln inappropriate. Lincoln is not “the exception that proves the rule” but an example of how wrong your theory is.

  10. Hal_10000 says:

    I think the Lincoln comparison is weak. Lincoln was running in a different time. He had to organize a coalition within the young Republican Party and persuade the Party leaders directly of his qualifications. That’s a little different from winning a primary among voters.

    The thing about Cruz (and Bachmann; and Caine; and Palin) is that he’s not really running for President. He’s shown no interest in governing. And I find it highly unlikely he would win the nomination. The Republicans may flirt with crazy; they may go on a date with crazy; they may fool around in the back seat of a car with crazy. But in the end, they’ll go with someone not crazy. In 2012, with the Tea Party at its zenith and a whole ward of people to choose from, they went with … Mitt Romney, who’s so sensible you could use him as a floor wax.

    No Cruz is running for Rush Limbaugh. He’s running for Fox News. He’s running for speaking gigs and fame and attention. If you listen to his fans, they can never talk about his accomplishments (since there aren’t any). They talk about how he verbally attacks Obama and Pelosi and Reid. That’s his gig. That’s his future.

  11. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Mitt Romney, who’s so sensible you could use him as a floor wax.

    Now that one was a classic. Well done, sir 😀

  12. Davebo says:

    Obama hasn’t exactly been a Lincoln, in my opinion,

    I’d agree. But would you say, given hindsight, that he was or was not “qualified” using whatever metric of results you choose to apply to the phrase.

    We all know the results of the past 6 years. Given that the economy isn’t in shambles and that the ACA was indeed passed and seems to be working very well how would you compare Obama to Lincoln based on the challenges faced and the situation after facing said challenges upon leaving office?

    Just use today as his last day in office for the question.

    And no Doug, no one expects you to admit that the ACA is working very well. That’s a bridge too far and we get it.

  13. C. Clavin says:

    One could also make the argument that the past six years justify this argument to at least some extent given that President Obama has shown a distinct inability to deal with Congress, no matter which party it was controlled by, doesn’t seem to be all that interesting in trying to craft agreements with the opposition, and has not run an Executive Branch that has been very good at either get its message across or getting its job done.

    YOU SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED FOR HAVING WRITTEN SUCH UTTER NONSENSE.
    At the minimum an unbiased writer…one not suffering from acute ODS…would have recognized Republicans role in creating this so-called inability. Republicans set historical records for using cloture. Republicans walked from the Simpson Bowles Commission, and the Grand Bargain. Republicans refused to vote for their own Healthcare Reform program. Republicans refused to proceed on Immigration Reforms sponsored by their own members. Republicans are working to undermine active foreign policy negotiations.
    I realize you believe in the magical Presidency…and that merely by sprinkling Unicorn Tears Obama should be able to make this all go away. Wishing and hoping won’t ever make your beloved Republican Party sane.
    As far as getting it’s job done…in spite of the reflexive intransigence of Republicans this has been, empirically speaking, one of the most productive Presidency’s in the modern era. If Obama was a member of the Republican Party they would already be naming airports and streets and schools and hospitals after him.
    You shame yourself, sir.

  14. Davebo says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Agreed. If there’s a digital god that will become a new “internet tradition”.

  15. Jeremy R says:

    “Obama’s grades are state secrets, a pretty good indication that they are not impressive, as he is not exactly the type to hide his light under a bushel. We do know he received no honors upon graduation.

    It’s funny — back before he was elected, RW media used to be able to at least acknowledge his academic achievement. For example, here’s an article arguing against his candidacy in the Weekly Standard from 2007:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/316vvyov.asp

    He graduated Harvard magna cum laude. This was one honor you unquestionably had to earn. It’s a very impressive feat. Back in Obama’s days at Harvard, more than 50 percent of the class graduated cum laude, a fact that made graduating “with honors” a meaningless accomplishment. But graduating magna was a different kettle of fish. Barack Obama graduated right near the top of his law school class.

    That fact, along with his presidency of the Law Review, makes his uniform popularity all the more impressive. Law schools are intensely competitive places. People who thrive to an unseemly extent, as Obama did, are usually subject to an array of resentments. After all, the lawyers of tomorrow populate law schools; pettiness and insecurity reign supreme.

    The people that Obama so thoroughly charmed generally weren’t the charm-prone types. I say the following as a well known Republican partisan–the fact that his classmates so universally held him in the highest regard suggests that Barack Obama may truly be a special person.

  16. CSK says:

    The people who tell you that Obama was totally unqualified to be president will insist that Cruz is perfectly qualified because Cruz loves the country and the Constitution, and Obama hates both. (I’m not kidding; I read occasionally at the sites where the “base” congregates, and that is their reasoning.) These are, of course, the same people who told you last week that Scott Walker had the qualifications to be president because he’s been a governor. They have a new flavor of the week every five minutes.

  17. Moosebreath says:

    @Hal_10000:

    “Mitt Romney, who’s so sensible you could use him as a floor wax.”

    I think he’d be better used as a dessert topping.

  18. CSK says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I think you’re absolutely right about Cruz’s motivations for running. Or pretending to run. He has a book coming out in a few months, which maybe pre-ordered on Amazon. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

    He’s marketing his brand to the saps.

  19. de stijl says:

    exception that proves the rule

    I’ve always hated this phrase. An exception disproves a rule. Try dropping that bon mot in math class and see what happens.

    The only reason that I can for its existence is as a cheap rhetorical trick that allows a debater to ignore counter-examples that undermine his previous assertion.

  20. Charon says:

    @de stijl:

    The word “prove” has an alternate meaning as a synonym for “test.”

    For example, in my old industry, “meter provers” were devices used to calibrate meters.

    Rephrase as “The exception tests the rule” and the expression actually makes sense.

  21. CSK says:

    @de stijl:

    The word “prove,” in the saying “the exception proves the rule,” does not mean that it verifies the rule. It means that it tests the rule. The White Sands Proving Ground (now the White Sands Missile Site) is where various types of aircraft are “proven,” i.e., tested.

  22. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @dmichael: While you’re largely correct, the counter-arguments are also convincing.

    -The Obama administration has been consistently bad at communicating their achievements and goals. Even when they did good, few people noticed.

    -They had quite a few complete screw ups on their watch (VA, OC website etc.) and have a bad track record in concentrating on things, instead jumping from topic to topic along with the news cycle.

    -Obama seems to be rather bad at smoozing. While I don’t mind and it was irrelevant under the current conditions this would have been bad in better times.

    He is still decidedly above-average between ACA and the saved economy but let’s not paper over things too much.

  23. MBunge says:

    Doug’s description of Obama’s Presidency is impressive in its complete denial of reality.

    Let’s just take the two most obvious points.

    1. Obama got health care reform passed. Clinton couldn’t even get a Democratcally-controlled Congress to vote on health care reform.

    2. Holding up George W. Bush as an example of executive competence is insane. I mean, where does one begin?

    Mike

  24. PD Shaw says:

    2) Legislative experience. Again, Cruz’s experience is very thin. He’s been a senator from Texas for a little over two years. He has not been in a leadership position. Indeed he has often defied the leadership of his party.

    Lincoln was in effect the leader of the minority Whig party in the Illinois General Assembly, with accomplishments ranging from relocating the State Capitol to Springfield, designating roads that would later become highways and interstates, and chartering the state bank. These were different times, but that meant that he had opportunities to help create new laws, institutions and improvements, both as a legislature and an esteemed appellate lawyer.

    But he got the nomination because he arguably defeated the presumptive Democratic nominee Stephen Douglas in nationally published debates twice, once by getting more Republican votes cast in the subsequent election (but not enough Republican seats), and by getting Douglas to take a position that alienated him from the South. In retrospect, he was an obvious choice.

    Cruz supporters think he is the obvious choice because he took on Obama more than any other candidate. But Obama is not running.

  25. de stijl says:

    @Charon: , @CSK:

    I’ll use CSK’s example because I don’t even know what a “meter prover” looks like.

    It means that it tests the rule. The White Sands Proving Ground (now the White Sands Missile Site) is where various types of aircraft are “proven,” i.e., tested.

    Aircraft testing is performed to see whether the aircraft meets the predetermined specifications, yes? If an aircraft cannot meet one or more of the specifications, it would fail the test.

    Or are you saying the the testing itself helps to refine the specifications (i.e., the result of the test changes the rule)?

    If that is the case, that means the initial specifications (or to tie this back to the OP, the assertion that one-term Senators are underqualified to be President). In other words, doesn’t that mean that the “rule” was wrong? The exception tested the rule and therefore the rule was found to be wanting.

    (Please let me know if I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying and I’m way off base.)

  26. superdestroyer says:

    Presidential politics has become like the old NBA draft when the top draft picks were high school students and no one would draft a senior even if that senior had a stellar career. People are now voting on potential instead of on performance. If one looks back at history, we used to pick many of our president after they had developed a long resume in politics. Now having a long resume is a liability and not having a record is an asset.

  27. Just Me says:

    I thought Obama’s resume was thin and think he’s been a pretty bad president.

    I think Cruz’s resume is pretty thin and probably won’t vote for him but if Warren is the democratic nominee it will be a wash since neither has much of resume.

    I do think executive experience helps. I think given the fact that the vast majority of meaningful and not so meaningful legislation occurs at the state level state executive experience is generally a training ground with a few exceptions.

    I will find it interesting to see democrats who voted for Obama and didn’t think his resume was thin try to argue Cruz’s resume precludes him from running.

  28. Charon says:

    @de stijl:

    A meter prover is usually a length of pipe of known volume, through which a known volume is pumped and compared to the reading of an inline meter.

    What I was saying is that rules can sometimes be generalisations that usually hold but not always. Exceptions can indicate how reliable the rule is.

    I used to be involved in aircraft testing at Edwards AFB. The testing (performance testing, anyway) was not whether the plane met specs or not, it was exactly how much runway you need to take off, exactly how far can you fly on a given amount of fuel, stuff like that.

  29. humanoid.panda says:

    @Just Me:

    I will find it interesting to see democrats who voted for Obama and didn’t think his resume was thin try to argue Cruz’s resume precludes him from running.

    Resume? No.

    Disposition, temperament, extremism, and detachment from reality, yes.

    Also, in terms of experience and resume, the most qualified President of the last century or so was Herbert Hoover (self made man; organizer of giant relief efforts in Europe and Russia; a very succesful Commerce Secretary; extremely knoweledgeable about economics and public policy). We all know how all that ended…

  30. Slugger says:

    In fact, we don’t use a candidate’s self assessment to judge his (her) qualifications. We have a system of trial by ordeal which includes the inevitable weighing by the media and pundits to be followed by the harrowing process of the primaries. This includes lots of sniping, inane attempts at witticisms, and general mockery.
    Now, I think it behooves the people in charge of the party brand to keep out some of the riffraff. No matter how much one loves the Republican party, it is hard to gaze on Messieurs Cruz and Trump and not laugh a little at the idea of these creatures vying for the most important job in the world.

  31. C. Clavin says:

    Fvck experience. Cruz is verifiably wrong on every position. Not opinions. He’s wrong.
    Climate change.
    Personhood.
    Civil rights.
    Healthcare.
    The IRS.
    Immigration.
    Wrong.
    I don’t care if he had the most impressive resume on the planet.
    He’s wrong about everything.

  32. JKB says:

    But he would be the first Hispanic president. That should trump all those pesky “qualifications”.

  33. humanoid.panda says:

    The sad truth is that the US presidency is almost certainly a job too complex for any one person to hold, and is much more dependent on luck and timing than anyone is willing to concede (if those helicopters don’t crash, Carter gets reelected, and the 1983/4 recovery is credited to him. Shit hits the fan in Iraq about 9 months earlier, Kerry gets elected in 2004, and the economic collapse happens under him. In both cases, history looks so much different). For that reason, I don’t think resume is an important consideration. What I look for at a president is
    1. The ability to win a national primary- that shows stability of mind, organizational skills, and lack of major skeletons in the closet.
    2. Temperament.
    3. Accepting expert consensus about major issues a president has to deal with.

    By that definition, almost anyone who wins a Democratic primary can be an ok president, and almost no winner of a GOP primary can do so and maintain 3.

  34. CSK says:

    @de stijl:

    If you take it way back to ancient Rome, the expression is a legal term that means the existence/validity of the rule is proven by the fact that exceptions to it exist, which does make sense. If I say to you that the library is closed on Sundays, that validates/proves the fact that it is open the other six days.

    But I understand your confusion: The expression has been so used and abused that it really has no current agreed upon meaning, except perhaps in the scientific/technological sense of proving/testing.

  35. Charon says:

    @Charon:

    Exceptions can indicate how reliable the rule is.

    Alternatively, can indicate what are the conditions that cause the rule to fail.

  36. superdestroyer says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Carter did not listen to his expert and was a failure. The misery index in 1980 was at its peak (high inflation, high unemployment, high crime). Economist has to invent terms to deal with Carter.

    Also, Clinton succeeded by throwing the Congressional Democrats under the bus and making deals with the Republicans. Do you really think there were a lot of Democratic Party experts begging for NAFTA, welfare reform, defense of marriage act, and deregulating the banking industry?

  37. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Carter did not listen to his expert and was a failure. The misery index in 1980 was at its peak (high inflation, high unemployment, high crime). Economist has to invent terms to deal with Carter.

    In fact, one of the two reason Carter lost the election exactly because he appointed and listened to his expert, Volcker, who engineered a terrible recession by hiking interest rates in order to kill inflation.

    Do you really think there were a lot of Democratic Party experts begging for NAFTA, welfare reform, defense of marriage act, and deregulating the banking industry?

    DOMA no, but Clinton’s leading economic experts, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, were both Democrats, and major supporters of bank deregulation and free trade, for better or worse.

  38. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: And of course, my rule of thumb applies today, not so much historically. Back in the 1980s, for example, Reagan administration had a a very respectable stable of foreign policy realists one could trust. That tradition was clobbered to death…

  39. de stijl says:

    Charon & CSK,

    I’ve read what you said and also looked it up in Wiktionary and I understand the original meaning and the ways it can be properly used: “Parking prohibited on Sundays.” This implies that parking is not prohibited on the other six days of the week.

    Except that everyone uses it incorrectly. (Kind of like “begging the question”, but don’t get me started.)

    The expression has been so used and abused that it really has no current agreed upon meaning, except perhaps in the scientific/technological sense of proving/testing.

    The current (non-technical) received definition is “There, I’ve said the magic phrase so now I get to ignore your counter-example that invalidates my assertion. I’m not going to discard or change my rule, because Neener-neener.”

  40. superdestroyer says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    But Robert Reich in his cabinet was against the same thing. Maybe the skill that you are looking for is the ability to manage a large staff with a lot of big ego and conflicting ideas. GW Bush is the classic example of someone who could not handle his staff.

    Also, something that is not shown on a resume is whether someone is a shoot the messenger type of manager or not. GW Bush was considered a shoot the messenger and thus, the messengers never deliver accurate information. I would assume that Cruz would also be the type of shoot the messenger and that is why no one on his staff is telling him he cannot win.

  41. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    Eh,no. Latinos are not some homogeneous block of voters all in tune with one another and engaged in some sort of delightful ongoing bake sale. They have tribal boundaries and dislikes just like the rest of us.

    The biggest block of Latino voters in the US? Mexican heritage, and Mexicans don’t particularly care for Cubans.

    More importantly, they can tell the difference – even if the tone deaf GOP can’t.

  42. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Um, no. The expert that fixed the economic mess created by Nixon that Carter got stuck with was Paul Volcker.

    He was selected by Carter.

  43. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    But Robert Reich in his cabinet was against the same thing. Maybe the skill that you are looking for is the ability to manage a large staff with a lot of big ego and conflicting ideas. GW Bush is the classic example of someone who could not handle his staff.

    Fair enough, but notice that in the current crisis, Reich, Summers and Rubin were all for Keynesian solutions…

  44. stonetools says:

    Experience and qualifications are all well and good, but what matters above all is right policy. Hubert Hoover was better qualified than his successor, but it was FDR who figured out a way to turn around the economy during the Great Depression, because he was willing to experiment and to try things that Herbert Hoover wouldn’t.
    Obama’s predecessor had the executive experience Doug thinks is qualifying for President, but I think even Doug would concede that Obama was and is a better President than Bush. He’s better because his policies have been better. Obama did turn around a collapsing economy. He did get us out of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq ( for the most part) . He did pass landmark legislation, in the face of implacable opposition from the Republicans, the Koch Brothers, and conservative media. That makes him a highly successful President- not top three, but certainly ahead of both Bushes.I’d point out that GHWB had every qualification you could think of , and was a genial schmoozer too, but apart from winning the Persian Gulf War, did little of note.
    C. Clavin put his finger on the problem of Ted Cruz. It’s not that he is inexperienced, or unqualified. It’s that he is wrong on just about everything that matters. That’s why he would be a terrible President, not the thinness of his resume.

  45. de stijl says:

    A: All swans are white.
    B: There are black swans in Australia.
    A: Ah, the exception that proves the rule!
    B: Which begs the question, why don’t you change your rule?
    A: Ha ha! You misused the phrase “begging the question!” I win. You lose.

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    And he’s the reason Reagan didn’t look like an old senile fool.

  47. de stijl says:

    @stonetools:

    I’d point out that GHWB had every qualification you could think of , and was a genial schmoozer too, but apart from winning the Persian Gulf War, did little of note.

    Souter replacing Brennan, and Thomas replacing Marshall was a pretty big deal.

  48. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    My answer is that Lincoln is an exception that proves the rule.

    That makes it sound as if the history of the American presidency reveals a clear picture with men with vast reservoirs of experience at the top, and neophytes at the bottom. In fact, the standard rankings of the presidents show no such thing. Several of the presidents regarded as among the greatest (Truman, Eisenhower) had little or no previous political experience, whereas some of those presidents with the fattest resumes (Buchanan) have been among the worst.

    Moreover, your statement suggests that the only way a president with a thin resume can convince you he was prepared for the office is if he goes down in history as one of America’s greatest presidents. (I suppose if you were living in 1860, Mr. Lincoln would have to bring you a time machine in order to get your vote.) But why place such a high barrier? What about presidents who have been merely pretty good or okay? If any of them were “unqualified” according to your criteria, even that would suggest qualifications aren’t everything. I’d say that as long as a president is competent in the office, that suggests they had enough preparation.

  49. michael reynolds says:

    How dumb is Ted Cruz? He didn’t buy his own URL: http://www.tedcruz.com/

    Every time I have a plausible idea for a book or book series? I snatch up the URL. Not rocket science.

  50. Andre Kenji says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Ted Cruz is a White with a Spanish surname. His background makes him very different from other Cuban-Americans, and he is even more distinct from Puerto Ricans and Mexicans.

  51. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: And for Doug, the Wiki article states:
    The phrase is derived from a legal principle of republican Rome: exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis (“the exception confirms the rule in cases not excepted”),”
    Your “Parking prohibited on Sundays.” being a straightforward example.
    Wiki lists examples of other correct usages.

  52. superdestroyer says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    But Carter also selected William Miller who is considered on the worst Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and did not have a clue of what he was doing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._William_Miller

    n November 1978, only 11 months into his term, the dollar had fallen nearly 34% against the German mark and almost 42% against the Japanese yen, prompting the Carter administration to launch a “dollar rescue package” including emergency sales from the U.S. gold stock, borrowing from the International Monetary Fund, and auctions of Treasury securities denominated in foreign currencies.[5][6] This proved only a short-term fix; while temporarily steadying the dollar, it soon resumed its fall.[7] The portmanteau stagflation, the combination of stagnation and inflation, increased in popularity during this time to describe the high rate of inflation that was failing to spur the economy.

    Kind of hard to blame everything on Nixon.

  53. gVOR08 says:

    Presidents since WWII:
    Truman – legislator, VP
    Eisenhower – zero political experience
    Kennedy – legislator
    Johnson – legislative leader, VP
    Nixon – legislator, VP
    (Agnew – governor)
    Ford – legislative leader
    Carter – governor
    Reagan – governor
    H. W. Bush – legislator, VP
    Clinton – governor
    W. Bush – governor
    Obama – legislator
    (From memory, feel free to correct.)

    I fail to see how one can derive a general rule from this list.

    (If you wish to argue that Eisenhower had big time executive experience in a highly political setting, that would constitute a valid exception that proves the rule. If the rule weren’t BS.)

  54. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve read hundreds of resumes, interviewed a hundred plus candidates, and hired a couple dozen. It isn’t the experience on the resume. It’s what did that experience show about you, and what did you learn from it.

    Re Doug’s, and other’s, opinion of Obama, I’ll throw out my standard remark that conservatives find pragmatism incomprehensible.

  55. Guarneri says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Well there you have it. If he agrees with me, he’s qualified. If he disagrees, he’s not.

    On next weeks edition of How Pathetically Shallow Can You Be?……………

  56. Barry says:

    Doug: “One could also make the argument that the past six years justify this argument to at least some extent given that President Obama has shown a distinct inability to deal with Congress, no matter which party it was controlled by, doesn’t seem to be all that interesting in trying to craft agreements with the opposition, and has not run an Executive Branch that has been very good at either get its message across or getting its job done. Indeed, the Obama Administration has been markedly bad in all of these areas compared to either the Clinton or Bush 43 Administrations, both of which were headed by men who had served as Governors prior to becoming President.”

    Gawd, this is bad. President Obama has done a great job of getting things done. The thing is that (a) he’s been dealing with the most f-ed up situation in many, many years. One which *you* helped create, and (b) he’s been doing so with a frankly disloyal opposition, which puts party over country, and over God, and which is funded by the financial elites, who don’t want their corruption trimmed back even a little.

  57. Tyrell says:

    I would prefer that the president have served in the military. I am not saying that this should be a military requirement, but military experience and knowledge would be helpful in foreign policy.

  58. C. Clavin says:

    @Guarneri:
    No…you are wrong.
    Climate change…he is denying science. It’s not an opinion…it’s science.
    A single cell is not a person. It’s not an opinion…it’s science.
    Civil rights. Everyone should be treated equally. That’s not really an opinion…it’s one of our founding principals. However it is Cruz’s opinion that some people should be treated differently from others.
    Healthcare. Obamacare is working better than promised, and far better than what existed before. That’s not an opinion. It’s fact. He’s wrong when he says it isn’t, and he has to lie to make his case.
    The IRS…he says they have 100,000 agents. That’s wrong. It’s not an opinion…it’s fact.
    Immigration. He talks about amnesty. No one is proposing amnesty. This is not an opinion. It’s a fact and he’s wrong.
    These are not opinions. Republicans seem to pride themselves on being wrong about everything. Their 30 year chase of the Laffer curve comes to mind. But there is a serious problem when you cannot support your positions without presenting demonstrably false information.

  59. Ken says:

    @Hal_10000: Basically his entire campaign is going to be an extended, expensive job interview for Fox News Channel

  60. Pinky says:

    Reviewing gVOR08’s list, I realized that we’re talking about (at least) two different things. One, the more obvious one, is how much and what kind of experience helps shape a person to be a more effective president. The second one is how a candidate’s experience reveals to the voter whether he’d be a good choice.

    Some people are seemingly born for their moment. Lincoln was one. In his case, the voters didn’t really have the necessary information to decide whether he’d be a good president. They knew he could talk, but that was about it. The country got lucky that they elected a symbol who turned out to be an excellent president. Of course, if he’d had more experience, he could have done a better job selecting generals, but he succeeded at his primary goal.

  61. stonetools says:

    Heh.


    Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare.

    The newly announced Republican presidential candidate told CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday that he will sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act — a law he has been on a crusade to kill.

    “We’ll be getting new health insurance and we’ll presumably do it through my job with the Senate, and so we’ll be on the federal exchange with millions of others on the federal exchange,” Cruz said….
    Cruz’s admission comes one day after CNN first reported that the senator would no longer have access to health benefits through his wife’s employer, Goldman Sachs. Heidi Cruz, a managing director at the firm’s Houston office, has gone on unpaid leave for the duration of the senator’s presidential campaign and will not have access to the company’s benefits during that time.

    So the asshat who was willing to shut down the federal government to dismantle the program that offers health insurance and access the medical care for millions is now going to get health care through that very program! Have we reached peak irony yet?

    Of course this is all of a piece with Paul Ryan going to college on his father’s Social Security benefits or Ayn Rand-the founding mother of libertarianism-going on Social Security and Medicare late in life. Hypocrisy must be a requirement to a conservative, I guess.He’ll have some interesting questions to answer on the campaign trial, though.

  62. Gavrilo says:

    The idea that Obama wasn’t qualified to be President wasn’t dreamed up by Republicans or the McCain campaign. Hillary Clinton had been hitting Obama on that every day for 6 months during the Primaries. Remember the 3:00am phone call ad?

  63. Mikey says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Climate change…he is denying science. It’s not an opinion…it’s science.

    Relevant item from the Washington Post:

    Ted Cruz says satellite data show the globe isn’t warming. This satellite scientist feels otherwise

  64. Tony W says:

    @Tyrell: Military experience, per-se, is not necessarily useful. Both of my kids served (enlisted) and neither gained any presidentially-relevant experience while teaching rifle skills and arresting drunken Marines. Perhaps you can make an argument that very senior military officers understand ‘foreign policy’ better because they deeply know the ramifications of fvcking it up.

    The post-Vietnam pendulum swing toward worship of our military is getting pretty silly. I imagine it’s required to keep a volunteer force from requiring the kids of congressman to serve.

  65. Jack says:

    @Hal_10000:

    No Cruz is running for Rush Limbaugh. He’s running for Fox News. He’s running for speaking gigs and fame and attention. If you listen to his fans, they can never talk about his accomplishments (since there aren’t any). They talk about how he verbally attacks Obama and Pelosi and Reid. That’s his gig. That’s his future.

    And, prior to Obama’s election, his fans could not talk about accomplishments. He too verbally attacked Bush, he blames Bush for stuff still today, that has happened on his watch. That’s his gig, that’s his present. That’s his future.

  66. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Kind of hard to blame everything on Nixon.

    And another thing: Nixon didn’t have an opposition congressional party trying to sabotage his negotiations with China, either.

  67. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    He too verbally attacked Bush, he blames Bush for stuff still today, that has happened on his watch.

    So, what has Obama blamed Bush for “still today”?

    Not that it matters but:

    (1) Bush handed off a collapsed economy, that left a big problem for the president to deal with, and he has done so effectively, despite Republican aversion to the facts of the recovery.

    (2) Bush went to war in Iraq based on a non-existent threat from Iraq, and in so doing ceded power in the region to Iran, and created the current chaotic conditions in that region

  68. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    Of course, if he’d had more experience, he could have done a better job selecting generals, but he succeeded at his primary goal.

    Could he, though? Was the lack of good generals in the initial years a factor of Lincoln’s not selecting them, or that they weren’t in place yet. Grant, the most successful general, was a civilian in Illinois when the war broke out, Sherman was only the colonel of a company of three-month volunteers, and Sheridan started out as a commissary officer.

  69. Jesús Huerta de Soto says:

    @Gavrilo:
    Yeah…I think it was about 3:00 am when Seal Team Six shot OBL in the head.
    You remember….the guy Bush promised to bring to justice, and then gave up on.
    It’s not about experience. It’s about who has the knowledge and the smarts to get stuff done.
    Obama’s record…to anyone without ODS…is remarkable.
    All Cruz can say is no…and lie to justify it. Which makes him the perfect Republican…and the worst possible President.

  70. C. Clavin says:

    Oops…forgot to change back from Jesús Huerta de Soto.

  71. gVOR08 says:

    @Rafer Janders: And based on his resume, McClellan was a wonderful choice.

  72. Just Me says:

    The asshat is getting Obamacare because he has to-There isn’t much of a secondary, no. Exchange healthcare market if you don’t have it available through your employer.

    My husband is self employed, I am not eligible for healthcare through my employer (they lowered most of the staff below the full time threshold and dropped us from the healthcare we had when working full time hours). Obamacare is pretty much our only option.

    I think it’s hypocritical to call him on signing up when it is required by law. There are quite a few journalists in Obamacare because it’s what’s available and it’s required to have insurance but that aren’t happy with the system.

  73. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    This whole “is he REALLY qualified” game is simply a way of rationalizing one’s opinions and prejudices.

    “Is Rubio qualified?” “Yes, technically, but…”

    “Is Obama qualified? Yes, technically, but…”

    Is there convincing evidence Zimmerman committed a crime when he shot Martin?” “Not technically, but…”

    “Is there convincing evidence that Wilson violated Brown’s civil rights when he shot him?” “Not technically, but…”

    “Could Obama be legally impeached by the Congress?” “Yes, technically, but…”

    What you’re saying, Doug, is that Cruz is not qualified for your endorsement. You’re just projecting that opinion of yours into what you want people to see as self-evident common sense.

  74. Barry says:

    @de stijl: “I’ve always hated this phrase. An exception disproves a rule. Try dropping that bon mot in math class and see what happens.”

    I think that the idea is that if people repeatedly use the same single counterexample to disprove a rule, then that rule is pretty good.

  75. Barry says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    “-The Obama administration has been consistently bad at communicating their achievements and goals. Even when they did good, few people noticed.”

    That’s half true, and IIRC Obama might have admitted it by now. OTOH, we saw the entire ‘liberal’ MSM drop the Commander-In-Chief line quite conveniently when he was elected, and also saw them give support to every lie that the right came up with. Compare Birtherism to Trutherism.

    “-They had quite a few complete screw ups on their watch (VA, OC website etc.) and have a bad track record in concentrating on things, instead jumping from topic to topic along with the news cycle.”

    They had several minor screw ups. If you’re using a bad launch of a website as a ‘complete screw-up’ at the presidential level, then you’re really reaching.

    “-Obama seems to be rather bad at smoozing. While I don’t mind and it was irrelevant under the current conditions this would have been bad in better times.”

    As has been pointed out, he got health care reform passed, which other president had been unable to. And that was with the 100% nihilistic and disloyal opposition of the GOP, and several Democratic Senators who were best described as back-stabbing b*stards.

    He did this while dealing with the rest of the sh*t handed to him by the GOP.

    “He is still decidedly above-average between ACA and the saved economy but let’s not paper over things too much.”

    Your sentence contradicts itself.

  76. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “I’d point out that GHWB had every qualification you could think of , and was a genial schmoozer too, but apart from winning the Persian Gulf War, did little of note.”

    First, you brush aside running a war so competently that it was an easy victory.

    Second, you’re overlooking that whole matter of ‘winding down the Cold War in a way which didn’t involve thousands of nuclear detonations’.

  77. gVOR08 says:

    @Just Me Actually, he had options. He should have been able to persuade some backer less controversial than Goldman Sachs to put his wife on the payroll for insurance. Of course he seems to be short on big buck donors, but there must be a gas station or doctor’s office in Houston or DC that could put her on the books and pretend she works there. He’s only 44. He could go bare and take his chances. Which is what a lot of people would be forced to do if he succeeded in killing Obamacare.

    But yes, it is hypocritical to make a thing of it. As it would be to go birther on him. Which isn’t going to stop me from having a little fun with both whenever the circumstances allow. Just as I’ll occasionally refer to him as Raphael when I find it amusing.

    And it is a valid comment on his planning skills that he allowed the situation to develop.

  78. Barry says:

    @Tyrell: “I would prefer that the president have served in the military. I am not saying that this should be a military requirement, but military experience and knowledge would be helpful in foreign policy.

    Bush, George W.

  79. Barry says:

    @Ken: Basically his entire campaign is going to be an extended, expensive lucrative grift and job interview for Fox News Channel.

    FIFY

  80. Barry says:

    @Gavrilo: “The idea that Obama wasn’t qualified to be President wasn’t dreamed up by Republicans or the McCain campaign. Hillary Clinton had been hitting Obama on that every day for 6 months during the Primaries. Remember the 3:00am phone call ad?”

    Yes, her campaign was hitting on that theme right up until Obama beat her in the whole ‘getting delegates’ thingie.

  81. Barry says:

    @Jack: ” He too verbally attacked Bush, he blames Bush for stuff still today, that has happened on his watch. That’s his gig, that’s his present. That’s his future.”

    He (and I) have blamed Bush for the massive disasters which Bush and the GOP created, and which will still be causing trouble twenty years from now.

    And disasters whose clean-ups the GOP has done it’s nihilistic, disloyal best to sabotage.

  82. Barry says:

    @al-Ameda: “And another thing: Nixon didn’t have an opposition congressional party trying to sabotage his negotiations with China, either.”

    In fact, Nixon sabotaged US negotiations in the Viet Nam War.

  83. Barry says:

    @Just Me: “The asshat is getting Obamacare because he has to-There isn’t much of a secondary, no. Exchange healthcare market if you don’t have it available through your employer.”

    No, he could just go out and buy it. The thing is that he doesn’t, because it’d cost like crazy, have massive deductibles and co-pays, have a low lifetime cap, and would exclude pre-existing conditions (or would have, but for Obamacare).

    And the further dishonesty in this is that as an ex-Senator and presidential campaigner (with a wife on sabbatical from G-S), insurance companies would presumably be careful about screwing the Cruz family over. The publicity and payback would be bad.

  84. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Please link to what Obama blames Bush for, that happened on his watch?
    And if you are thinking ISIS don’t bother…ISIS is the direct result of the chaos Bush unleashed in Iraq, inciting a civil war between Sunni and Shia, and installing a Shia Government that has failed to deal with the far larger Sunni population in any reasonable fashion. Biden predicted this outcome long before Obama became President.
    What else you got?

  85. Barry says:

    @gVOR08: “He should have been able to persuade some backer less controversial than Goldman Sachs to put his wife on the payroll for insurance. ”

    Oh, adding on to ‘Just Me’. Mrs. Cruz is a partner at G-S (IIRC, she became one when Mr. Cruz became a Senator – just coincidence, of course). She’s got to be pulling down a couple of million per year, and will go back to that job if Cruz loses.

    They can (a) afford any policy they like and (b) pay any steep out of pocket expenses.

    This is a case of a multi-millionaire b*tching about how his government subsidies aren’t big enough.

  86. Moosebreath says:

    @Just Me:

    “I think it’s hypocritical to call him on signing up when it is required by law.”

    And the reason his wife could not sign up to keep her existing health plan under COBRA for the next 18 months is?

  87. Surreal American says:

    @Barry:

    Wait, did I miss something? Did Ted Cruz resign or recently state his intent to resign soon?

  88. anjin-san says:

    @Just Me:

    There isn’t much of a secondary, no. Exchange healthcare market if you don’t have it available through your employer.”

    This is simply not true. I’ve been carrying my own health insurance via an individual policy for the last three years, and getting covered was pretty simple.

  89. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Barry:

    Honestly, he can’t just go out and buy it. The Grassley Amendment essentially forces members of Congress and their staffers to enter the PPACA exchanges.

  90. Jenos Idanian #13 says:
  91. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Barry:

    Mrs. Cruz is a partner at G-S (IIRC, she became one when Mr. Cruz became a Senator – just coincidence, of course).

    She’s a managing director (which isn’t as impressive as it sounds. It’s the investment banking equivalent of the proverbial bank vice president. Traditional banks have more vice presidents than they do tellers …) Goldman promoted 280 people to managing director in 2013 alone.

    Partners at GS are now (bizarrely) termed by the firm as “participating managing directors”. She hasn’t hit that realm (yet).

    Best guesstimates of her salary package are probably in the $350k range, with a healthy bonus, but nowhere near what PMDs receive.

  92. Just Me says:

    Moose breath-the reason would be Cobra is ridiculously expensive and comes with a time limit for coverage.

    Once again he has to have insurance by law-I’m struggling to see the hypocrisy here.

    Anjin San-I can tell you where I live there pretty much isn’t a market for non Exchange healthcare plans. If you don’t have insurance through your employer or can’t afford the insurance your employer offers your only real option is Obamacare exchanges.

  93. stonetools says:

    @Barry:

    First, you brush aside running a war so competently that it was an easy victory.

    I agree that’s a substantial achievement. ( Winding down the Cold War was really just a matter of staying out of the way while the supposedly mighty Soviet empire collapsed. The real credit goes to the people of eastern Europe and Russia who went to the barricades).
    I was making the comment in the context of Doug’s statement about Obama’s supposed lack of legislative achievement. Compared to GHWB, Obama accomplished a lot legislatively, despite his lack of schmoozing skills. I think the whole schmoozing srtuff is grossly overrated, anyway. When your party has big majorities in Congress, you’re a legislative genius: when you don’t, you aren’t .
    You also have to weigh Clarence Thomas in the balance bwhen you are judging GHWB’s legacy,too.

  94. stonetools says:

    @Just Me:

    I’m sorry, but as has been said, he had options. As it happens, his best, most affordable option was to go with Obamacare.You would think that as a true blue, he man conservative, he would choose to go bare, or choose the secondary market, like millions did before Obamacare. But no, he decided to go with the affordable government provided option, so yeah, he is big time hypocritical.
    Had he kept his mouth shut, I’d give him a pass, but since he is the anti-Obamacare poster child, he should be nailed to the wall ( or the cross, if you like) for any compromise with the great Satanic government program that will end American civilization as we know it, if you believe him.

  95. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: ZOMG! Cruz obeyed a law that he disagreed with, and is trying to repeal! He should have followed the Obama Doctrine and simply declared that the law didn’t apply to him!

    Here’s an alternate, more honest viewpoint: once he’s seen ObamaCare from the inside, he’ll be even better qualified to evaluate it.

  96. anjin-san says:

    @Just Me:

    Anjin San-I can tell you where I live there pretty much isn’t a market for non Exchange healthcare plans. If you don’t have insurance through your employer or can’t afford the insurance your employer offers your only real option is Obamacare exchanges.

    I’m curious, where do you live? I also note that, given the circumstances you describe, I would expect you to be an enthusiastic supporter of Obamacare.

  97. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: But assuming he might make an honest assessment of Obamacare is a bridge way too far.

  98. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Cruz and honest…two words you hardly never, ever, see together.
    http://www.politifact.com/personalities/ted-cruz/

  99. Tyrell says:

    @Tony W: Yes, good points there. Look at Ike. He came along at the right time – the Russians were trying to take over everything and had the bomb. Ike had an advantage: no country would dare mess with the “architect of D Day”, the hero of WWII ! Yet his philosophy was to kerp the US out of brushfire wars. He publicly voiced the opinion that nuclear weapons were on the shelf with everything else, while privately saying that they could never be used. In leaving office, he warned of the growing ” military – industrial complex”, still an issue.

  100. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Is there convincing evidence Zimmerman committed a crime when he shot Martin?” “Not technically, but…”

    Was George Zimmerman defending himself after having stalked a kid who was wearing a hoody in the rain and packing Skittles? “Not really, but technically, a jury might think that …”

  101. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell: Eisenhower also said, in a letter to his brother,
    “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

    Their number is no longer negligible.

  102. LC says:

    just curious if Doug is going to come back to respond, or just ignore all the commenters who called him out on his hackery.

  103. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    G-d, please don’t give him an opening to rant about Zimmerman for another 50 pages …

  104. C. Clavin says:

    @al-Ameda:
    Jesus-Gawd, man…don’t feed the troll.

  105. humanoid.panda says:

    @Just Me:

    Moose breath-the reason would be Cobra is ridiculously expensive and comes with a time limit for coverage.

    And here is the hypocrisy: in a world where Cruz manages to repeal ACA, people who lose their jobs will be forced to either go on ridiculously expensive COBRA plans, or go naked. He, rightly! considers neither a good option, and yet has no problems to consign tens of millions of people to make that choice.

  106. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: In a way, the Cruz family is really an ACA poster child: one spouse decided to quit his job in order to support a massive risky undertaking the other one is attempting, and they need a reliable, transparent, affordable backstop that is not nearly murderous as COBRA, and don’t want to be concerned about preexisting conditions, and now have it. Unfortunately, the odds of anyone in the “liberal media” pointing this reality out rather are zilch.

    [Actually, I am my wife are in somewhat similar position, in that in a few months I am set to lose my employer provided insurance for a few months, at the very least, just as my wife is set to to open her open business. Ina pre ACA world, she would have stayed in her terrible job, and paid for subppar insurance. Now, we have access to a gold-level insurance for 2 for about 700 dollars a month, with a tiny subsidy. In other words, this s*t is personal]

  107. Tillman says:

    @humanoid.panda: Never heard a good retort to the idea that Obamacare (and in a better world, whatever hybrid of this and single payer we’ll eventually come up with) allows for greater entrepreneurship by giving folks the safety of leaving their jobs to found their own businesses.

    I’m sure there has to be something you can say against it…

  108. Tony W says:

    @Tillman: I have long maintained that is the core reason you see moneyed interests so violently opposed to it. That’s why they’ll pay the pundits to talk against it, and why Cruz will pontificate for hours on the floor of the Senate to try and kill it – even at the risk of government default.

    There just can’t be that much money and passion behind the “yeah, I’m only 20 and I just don’t want to carry health insurance” crowd.

  109. humanoid.panda says:

    @Tillman: What you forget is that REAL entrepreneurs, men like Hank Rearden and John Galt are a) paragons of physical perfection and b) either don’t have families or hate them with burning passion. Why would people like that need health insurance?

  110. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Actually, Cruz doesn’t have to sign up for Obamacare (although I’m certain you-and he-would like that to be the case).

    The Affordable Care Act does not compel members of Congress to enroll in DC’s health care exchange; it simply cuts off the government contribution to their insurance plans if they buy their policies elsewhere. “The final rule extends a Government contribution towards health benefits plans for Members of Congress and designated congressional staff so long as the health benefits plans are purchased via the appropriate SHOP as determined by the Director,” a summary of the final rule says. “Nothing in the final rule or the law prevents a Member of Congress or designated congressional staff from declining a Government contribution for him or herself by choosing a different option for their health insurance coverage.”

    In other words, Cruz “could purchase coverage in the outside market but would get no subsidy from the FEHBP program,” Tim Jost clarified for ThinkProgress, referring to the acronym for the federal health care program. “It seems like the primary other option he would have is to take advantage of COBRA through his wife, though he’d be forgoing the employer contribution. He could also buy non-group coverage,” Larry Levitt, Senior Vice President at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said. Cruz could also potentially purchased insurance through his presidential campaign’s presumptive health care insurance. In those instances, however, he would have had to give up his employer’s contribution and likely pay more for insurance than he is now being charged under Obamacare.

    The article goes on to say that Cruz might sign up for insurance on the Texas excghange-in which case he would be in an excellent position to explain to 1.5M Texans that they would be better off without subsidies should SCOTUS spit the dummy on the Burwell case. It would serve Senator A$$hat right if he lost his subsidies, but there are actual human beings that would suffer in that case, so let’s hope the Supreme Court makes the right decision.

  111. humanoid.panda says:

    @stonetools: Cruz is not eligible for subsidies if he buys his insurance in Texas, but if subsidies are voided, he could expect a doubling of his premiums next year, as the death spiral starts. Of course, unlike the 1.5 million other people on that exchange, he can afford higher prices.

  112. gVOR08 says:

    @Tillman:

    Never heard a good retort to the idea that Obamacare … allows for greater entrepreneurship…

    In Doug’s Lee Kuan Yew thread I took the opportunity to point out that the net liberty in the country is increased by Obamacare. Doug has not risen to the bait.

  113. Monala says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: Your points 1 and 2a are true. While 2b is true, I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I think one of our big problems with politics is the tendency to jump from thing to thing to match the news cycle, rather than focusing on solving real problems.

    As for the last point, that’s only partly true. Obama is actually great at schmoozing with ordinary Americans. He’s terrible at schmoozing with DC pols and the media. The latter has an impact on your point #1, but I for one appreciate his appreciation for the people he’s here to serve.

  114. wr says:

    @Just Me: “I think it’s hypocritical to call him on signing up when it is required by law.”

    He is free to exercise his liberty from government tyrrany and buy his insurance on the open market — just like he wants everyone else to do.

  115. Moosebreath says:

    @Just Me:

    “the reason would be Cobra is ridiculously expensive”

    1. COBRA just removes the employer contribution to the policy, roughly tripling the cost to the employee. Given his salary (and the amount previously earned by his wife, which Harvard Law estimated at $350,000 per year), they can afford it.

    2. Given that he is trying to remove the ability to obtain inexpensive health insurance from millions of others, complaining about the cost to a family whose combined income in the last few years was in the half-million dollar range seems remarkably hypocritical to me.

    “and comes with a time limit for coverage.”

    Yes, 18 months, as I noted.

  116. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Here’s an alternate, more honest viewpoin”

    Finally — after years of trying, Jenos says something funny!

  117. Davebo says:

    @Just Me:

    I think it’s hypocritical to call him on signing up when it is required by law.

    There is absolutely no legal requirement that he be insured. He can just pay the penalty just as many do.

  118. Rafer Janders says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Given his salary (and the amount previously earned by his wife, which Harvard Law estimated at $350,000 per year),

    Oh no — $350,000 is just her base salary, independent of bonus. Her bonus would most likely have been several millions a year. MDs at Goldman Sachs don’t expect to live on their salary alone — it’s the bonus that really provides the money.

  119. J-Dub says:

    but military experience and knowledge would be helpful in foreign policy

    Doesn’t seem to have helped Tom Cotton much.

  120. J-Dub says:

    We need James P here to support Cruz

  121. James P says:

    @J-Dub: I prefer Walker.

    Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Cruz, but I think Walker is better positioned to carry the flat against Hillary or Warren in November.

    Cruz has won in a very red state. Walker has won three times in four years in a blue state while running on a conservative record. That makes him stronger as a candidate.

    I’m not anti-Cruz, he’s my favorite Senator (although I am quickly warming to Cotton as well), but I am thinking in terms of who is the best person to run and I think that is Walker.

  122. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James P:

    Hi, James. As promised …

    You claim to have received a PhD in London directed by Jesus Huerta de Soto, addressing “the effects of monetary policy on currency valuation”.

    Dr. Huerta de Soto is not now, nor has he ever been, a faculty member of any educational institution in the UK.

    Further, I am in possession of a concise list, directly supplied to me by Dr. Huerta de Soto, of all 23 doctoral recipients whose programs were directed by him. None of these 23 dissertations address “the effects of monetary policy on currency valuation”.

    More to the point, none of the 23 people on this list are Americans.

    More pointedly, there is no record at LSE’s theses records portal, which catalogs every dissertation received by the school since 1905, of any submission referencing “Huerta” as anything other than an original author or an inline citation. No record of anyone by that name serving as either an advisor or as a committee member for any PhD program at LSE, and there are only 12 mentions of the name, so it’s not a long list to peruse …

    You have repeatedly declined to, indeed you have actively avoided addressing that quandary here – despite numerous requests for you to do so.

    Would you care to make a statement concerning your abject lie? This won’t go away until you explain it …

  123. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Several is probably a stretch, given that she works in Houston and she’s involved with energy. $1M+ is certainly a possibility, but those bonuses tend to be reserved for highly profitable divisions like equity finance and leveraged. Energy is an also-ran on Goldman’s income statement. I’d have my doubts it reached or exceeded $1.25M

  124. humanoid.panda says:

    @James P: So, what’s up with your dissertation thing? Did you figure out how many PhD students an average professor has during a given semester?

  125. Mikey says:

    @Obvious Troll Unable to Substantiate His Claims: You claim Dr. Jesus Huerta de Soto as an adviser, but who else was on your committee? When did you defend? Who was there?

  126. Dave D says:

    @James P: Can Walker run on his record though?

    “Wisconsin ranks worst among the 50 states in terms of a shrinking middle class, with real median household incomes here falling 14.7 percent since 2000, according to a new report.

    Also, the median household income in Wisconsin was $60,344 in 2000 but now stands at just $51,467 after adjusting for inflation. That’s a dip of 14.7 percent.”

  127. Guarneri says:

    I’d say when you trade Gitmo detainees for traitors who served with “honor and distinction” you are qualified.

  128. steve says:

    I know you didnt serve in the military, but I hope the distinction between deserter and traitor is clear.

    Steve

  129. de stijl says:

    @Barry:

    I think that the idea is that if people repeatedly use the same single counterexample to disprove a rule, then that rule is pretty good.

    The makes sense in general, but when someone derives a “rule” from a set where n=2 (i.e., the number of Presidents who were previously one-term US Senators), it deserves to be mocked.

  130. James P says:

    @Dave D: Here is Walker’s record.

    In 2009 there were 16 Planned Parenthood clinics. Today there are two because Walker defunded them.

    Walker signed a right to work bill.

    Walker broke the backs of state unions.

    Walker balanced the budget while cutting taxes.

    Walker rejected Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

    Walker refused to create Obamacare exchanges.

    Walker joined the nationwide lawsuit to oppose Obamacare.

    Walker defunded Common Core and passed laws restricting it.

    That’s Walker’s record.

    I think Cruz is terrific, but Walker has accomplished far more. I realize his record may not be appealing from your perspective, but Walker is running in a GOP primary. He is trying to appeal to people who think like I do rather than people who think as you do. When the masses learn of all he has done (not said – done) to advance conservatism in a blue state they will be impressed.

    He think took this record and was reelected (twice if you count the recall) while running on that record. The libs threw the kitchen sink at him and he kicked their rear ends.

    What GOP primary voters want are two things: a conservative and a winner. Walker is the only guy in the field who I see who is BOTH.

  131. de stijl says:

    @Guarneri:

    I’d say when you fail to meet your service obligation to the Air National Guard and are AWOL you are qualified.

  132. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James P:

    😀 ————> James <———— 😀

  133. Dave D says:

    @James P:

    Walker balanced the budget while cutting taxes.

    Amazing his tax cuts when he didn’t have the money to pay for it.

    “Meanwhile, the state’s projected gap in its current budget ending June has risen to $396 million — or about 1.2% of the spending planned for the 2013-’15 budget.

    The state is again facing a gap in the 2015-’17 budget because of tax cuts enacted by Walker and lawmakers and lagging growth in other state taxes in recent months.

    The projected weakness in the state budget matters because it eventually could lead to cuts in spending on priorities such as schools or increases in state taxes or fees.

    The latest estimates by the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget office jumped by more than $1.1 billion over the previous estimate of a $642 million gap released in May. The projections from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau were released Monday for the budget beginning in July 2015 and ending in June 2017.”
    But he used Paul Ryan Wisconsin math
    “The governor’s plan relies on new projections that the state will end its current budget in June 2015 with a $1 billion surplus in its main account.

    As Governor Walker said, we don’t want to leave anyone behind in Wisconsin’s economic recovery, which is why his plan targets income tax relief to the lowest income bracket,” spokesman Tom Evenson said. “If you’re a family making $40,000, your savings will be $58. No one will see bigger savings than that.”

    I’m sure those 58 dollars will completely cover the 2 billion dollar budget shortfall my former brethren will be burdened with. But you’re completely wrong because he didn’t balance the budget while cutting taxes. Follow my previous link to see the degradation of the middle class in Wisconsin. Look at both of my new links to see that the tax breaks didn’t pay for themselves and created a budget shortfall. But at least those pesky teachers can’t collectively ask for a raise.

  134. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Dave D:

    Remember, he’s a PhD in Economics LOL

    Maybe he skipped class on the day they discussed budgeting?

    Or, for that matter, math in general …

    ROFL … 😀

  135. humanoid.panda says:

    @Dave D:

    “If you’re a family making $40,000, your savings will be $58. No one will see bigger savings than that.”

    That one is a James P level of dishonesty: is he actually claiming his Walker’s big tax income break will provide less than 58 dollars of “relief” to a family making, say, $400,000?

  136. stonetools says:

    So is James P short for James Perjurer?
    Or for James Pusillaminous?

    We already have established it’s not short for James Phd.

    Maybe James Pwnd.

    Pro tip, James P: You have been so throughly discredited here that it’s really time for you to move on back to the friendly confines of the Free Republic, where your fraudulent claims will go unchallenged. You can tell them you fought the liberals and “won”, if you like. None of us will know or care.

  137. Barry says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “Several is probably a stretch, given that she works in Houston and she’s involved with energy. $1M+ is certainly a possibility, but those bonuses tend to be reserved for highly profitable divisions like equity finance and leveraged. Energy is an also-ran on Goldman’s income statement. I’d have my doubts it reached or exceeded $1.25M”

    Do you have an address to which I can send some canned food to feed his starving children?

  138. Barry says:

    @James P: “I think Cruz is terrific, but Walker has accomplished far more. ”

    And every single bit of it is worse for the people of Wisonsin – the non-rich ones, at least.

  139. gVOR08 says:

    @Barry: Obviously James P regards that as a feature, not a bug.

  140. Dave D says:

    @humanoid.panda: Even if that were true which it isn’t. How is that an economic package to fall back on at the expense of the budget? My dad at the time couldn’t have been happier about it. Kept telling me Walker was some genius for cleaning up Doyle’s mess and giving him property tax breaks, even as the WEDC was hemorrhaging tax dollars without a single job created by its policies. Now between the budget shortfall and the soon to come tax increases on gas and vehicles to patch the shortfall in the roads budget I finally got him to admit that it was an insignificant tax cut compared to lost revenue. And he is finally seeing that tax cuts after tax cut will not raise revenue because taxes are low enough. That said he still likes Walker because of his DNR reforms and how they affected our area where we deer hunt.

  141. C. Clavin says:
  142. dmhlt says:

    @de stijl:

    It’s a legal maxim, established in English law in the early 17th century. Written, as law was in those days, in Latin:

    Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis
    “The exception confirms the rule in the cases not excepted’

    “Proves” means TESTS the rule
    We are open every day
    We are open every day EXCEPT CHRISTMAS

    “Except Christmas” PROVES the rule
    It means the author thought about the meaning of “every day” and PROVES it by adding “except Christmas”.

    Think of it as:
    “The exception gives Authority to the Rule.”

  143. humanoid.panda says:

    @Dave D: The terrifying thing is that people like Christie, Walker and Brownback drove their states into a deep hole at the top of the business cycle. What the hell will happen to those states during the next recession?

  144. James P says:

    @Barry: What if you support rich people? If Walker helps rich people, that’s a bad thing?

  145. Rafer Janders says:

    @James P:

    What was the title of your dissertation, and why isn’t it to be found on the LSE website?

  146. James P says:

    @Rafer Janders: 1) It is

    2) How is this even peripherally germane to Ted Cruz’ qualifications to be POTUS?

  147. Rafer Janders says:

    @James P:

    No, it’s not.

    Simple question, again: what is the title of your dissertation?

  148. al-Ameda says:

    @James P:

    @Barry: What if you support rich people? If Walker helps rich people, that’s a bad thing?

    Me personally? I support rich people because they already have low self-esteem, and now, although our top marginal tax-brackets are at historic lows, many feel over taxed and unappreciated. This is unacceptable in America.

    I’ve asked all my friends and acquaintances, and business associates to support my non-profit organization – “A Car Elevator Is A Necessity” – all proceeds go to under-privileged people with a net worth of at least $500 Million, a notarized statement attesting to a lack of car elevator facilities in their primary or summer home residences, and finally a doctor’s statement that worries about taxation have caused Low Marginal Tax Rate Pre-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. We’ve already assisted 62 qualified rich people install needed car elevators.

    You can find a list of our success stories and deeply moving testimonials at:

    http://www.LSE-Car-Elevator_Project.com

  149. James P says:

    @Rafer Janders: Yes it is.

  150. Rafer Janders says:

    @James P:

    Then please link to it by title on the website. Show us where it is to be found.

  151. humanoid.panda says:

    @Rafer Janders: I’m starting to suspect that James P is actually enjoying the attention. After all, if you have no self-respect, you can’t be humiliated, and if your goal in life is to get attention, to get 10 or so people vastly smarter than you to go goose-chasing your lies is a major accomplishment.

  152. James P says:

    @humanoid.panda: If it helps your self esteem to consider yourself one of those 10 “vastly smarter” people, god bless.

    I deal with vastly smarter people all the time — mostly at Red State and Free Republic.

  153. Surreal American says:

    @James P:

    I deal with vastly smarter people all the time — mostly at Red State and Free Republic.

    Ha! Well how about that? You do have a sense of humor after all.

  154. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    I deal with vastly smarter people all the time — mostly at Red State and Free Republic.

    Given your showing so far we have no doubt that you’re dealing with vastly smarter people a lot of the time :D.

  155. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    Well played, sir. Well played … 😀

  156. Andre Kenji says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    I’m starting to suspect that James P is actually enjoying the attention.

    I suspect that he is a sockpuppet by a Liberal that wants Conservatives to look bad. He can´t be real.

  157. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji: I don’t think he’s any more outlandish than Eric Florack or Jenos or Bill. The only difference is that he’s just been caught making up stuff about himself.

    Now, Superdestroyer is another matter….

  158. Thomas Weaver says:

    As for being qualified, I believe that I, a high school graduate, with my work and world experiences am extremely qualified. Of course, that is what I think. And, after six years of our current commander-in-chief’s blunders, feel that anything I would have done would have been more successful then him. Then again, probably about 60 other million people feel the same way. The problem is: not all of them vote and some that do are what are known as low-info, you know that 47% group…

    Ted Cruz, is more then enough qualified if he does what he says, but therein lies the problem with any candidate.

  159. al-Ameda says:

    @James P:

    I deal with vastly smarter people all the time — mostly at Red State and Free Republic.

    Until now, I had no idea that you were released on O.R.