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Ted Cruz takes up the bizarre claim that the Planned Parenthood shooter is “a transgendered leftist activist.”

Nothing to see here, move along
Nothing to see here, move along

The right-wing distraction machine has shifted into high gear. Now Republican presidential wannabe Ted Cruz is seizing on the bizarre notion, advanced by fringy right-wing ideologues, that the alleged Planned Parenthood shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, is a trans woman.

And he’s doing so as a way to distract from the increasing evidence that Dear’s terrorist assault on a Planned Parenthood clinic might just possibly have something to do with abortion.

Here’s what Cruz said earlier today, as reported by the Texas Tribune.

“The media promptly wants to blame him on the pro-life movement when at this point there’s very little evidence to indicate that,” Cruz said.

When a reporter reminded Cruz it has been reported Dear made a comment about “baby parts” while being apprehended, Cruz retorted, “It’s also been reported that he was registered as an independent and a woman and transgendered leftist activist, if that’s what he is. I don’t think it’s fair to blame on the rhetoric on the left. This is a murderer.”

That’s right. Cruz wants us to think that it’s as silly to conclude that Dear is anti-abortion as it is to conclude that he’s a “transgendered leftist activist.”

Cruz is also fighting against the notion that an armed assault on a Planned Parenthood clinic that left three people dead should be called terrorism.

Asked if we could call the shooting an act of domestic terrorism — as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has — Cruz again urged caution about drawing conclusions from the shooting at this point. 

“I would call it a murder, and we’ll see what the facts are,” Cruz replied. “It was a multiple murder of what appears to be a deranged individual. And it was horrific, it was evil, and we’ll find out more out about the facts, but I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”

Nothing to see here!

H/T – Thanks to AnAndrejaPejicBlog, the first person to let me know about this

 

 

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Antisocialite
Antisocialite
6 years ago

Being registered as an Independent means nothing. Bill O’Reilly and Glen Beck used to refer to themselves as independents all the time. (Not sure if they still do, I can’t bring myself to follow the crap they spew anymore. ) It’s a game right-wingers like to play so they can deny what they really are with a straight face.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

Colonial friends, what exactly does being “registered” entail?

Here in the UK you can become a member of a political party in that you pay a subscription and you get newsletters and the like. There’s no public register of membets of parties though.

What’s the deal over the Pond and why is the information in the public domain?

guy
guy
6 years ago

When registering to vote, some states may allow or require people to declare their political affiliation. It is mostly used to prevent people from voting in primaries for the other party to favor a weak candidate who will be easily defeated in the general election. That is not a hypothetical; in states where people may vote in both primaries candidates may specifically recommend doing that. I believe it is usually protected by privacy laws, but someone got ahold of the shooter’s registration form, which is where the gender thing comes from. The registration may also be in order to sabotage the party’s primary; people don’t generally give up their vote for their party’s primary to do that but I have heard the concept discussed.

Chaos-Engineer
Chaos-Engineer
6 years ago

Colonial friends, what exactly does being “registered” entail?

Giving your current address to the government, so that they can put you on the list of people allowed to vote in a particular district. In some states, you can optionally specify a party when you register, which gives you the right to vote in that party’s primary elections as well. But this varies from state to state – some states have “open primaries” and allow anyone to vote in primary elections, and other states have “closed primaries” where you can only vote in your own party’s primary. Oh, and some states have “caucuses” which are sort of like closed primaries but not really. Some people pick their party registration strategically – they might register for a party they don’t like, in order to cast a primary vote for either the most-unelectable or the least-bad candidate. That’s generally considered to be underhanded but it’s not illegal.

Anyway, this is a government record, so parts of it are in the public domain. There are also public records of which candidates you’ve donated money to. (If you don’t want people to know who you’ve donated to, then you donate the money to a Political Action Committee supporting that candidate instead. Our campaign finance system is horribly broken, by the way.)

If you join a party by showing up to meetings or doing volunteer work for them, then that’s an internal party matter and isn’t in the public domain.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ bvh and chaos

Thank you ever so much for that. It all makes sense now. You’ve even explained primaries which was something else I was dead confused about.

We don’t really have anything like that here, parties choose their own candidates to put up. How they decide is up to them, sometimes there are internal elections sometimes they just “parachute” a candidate in much to the annoyance of the locals.

Orion
Orion
6 years ago

Massachusetts has an interesting compromise between open and closed primaries. When you register to vote, you don’t have to declare a party. If you don’t declare, you can vote in either primary. If you do vote in a primary, you become a registered member of that party, and can’t vote in the other one.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

Ah, now I’m confused again 🙂

dhag85
6 years ago

Are @bvh and @guy the same person, and in that case why do I sometimes see @guy and sometimes @bhv?

dhag85
6 years ago

bhv = bvh, sorry

Xanthë
6 years ago

the previous thread had someone within the first dozen comments (now deleted, thanks moderators!)

For the record, I looked at the wrong page and the offending comment is still there. (At least in my error I’m able to quote myself without invoking the Blockquote monster to mangle my post.)

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

In Minnesota you don’t register for a party at all. If you go to a caucus, you sign an agreement that you aren’t and won’t be active in other parties. I don’t know how enforceable that is. I doubt violating the agreement would be legally actionable, but I guess if you’re caught breaking it you won’t be able to caucus for that party anymore.

The only time I ever caucused was in 2008. Minnesota is a later primary/caucus state so the Democratic nomination is usually wrapped up already.

guy
guy
6 years ago

The most important thing to remember about US political parties is that our first president, George Washington, thought political parties were a terrible idea and we shouldn’t have any, and they weren’t originally written into our laws. Therefore, most of the actual laws about them are state-level. Illinois does not require registration but you may only vote in the primary for one party.

Also, the way US voting is structured, votes are for specific individuals rather than parties, so the parties need to select a single candidate in advance and put them on the ballot. I’m not actually sure to what extent primaries are legally required vs. done because the parties have agreed to use them. If there’s a state that allows party leaders to simply select candidates, the two major parties haven’t made use of it.

Also technically voting in presidential elections and presidential primaries is to select people who will vote on the president rather than directly voting for the president, because when the Constitution was written communications were poor and the average voter wouldn’t know much about the candidates. These days they’re generally legally bound to vote for the candidate on the ballot so it doesn’t matter much. Apparently if no one gets a majority of the delegates voting for them in the final stage of the presidential primary the delegates may switch their votes in subsequent rounds, but it’s been a while since that happened.

@dhag85

Apparently same person; I’m only seeing guy on my posts but see @bvh when people refer to me. Obscure format issue, I guess. Maybe when combined with the gravatar both names have the same checksum or something.

dhag85
6 years ago

@bvh/guy

But.. how did your reply end up before my question? What’s going on here?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ dhag

Maybe it’s a time zone thing. Aren’t you a few hours in the future in Scandinavia? 😉

dhag85
6 years ago

@Alan

Hah! Am I finally understanding how time zones work?

guy
guy
6 years ago

I’d been replying to Alan via the link from the wordpress comment email thing, so apparently my post got placed directly after his rather than after any comments posted between when I started typing and when I posted it.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

I am suddenly very glad that CT and PA handle primaries the same way — you can declare a party affiliation when you register, but this is optional. You must be registered as the party whose primary you want to vote in to vote in it. So I’m registered democrat, I can (and very likely will), vote in the democratic primaries, what I can’t do is vote for the least electable (or least horrible) republican. I can, however, vote for Sanders, who isn’t doing PAC contributions btw.

Never thought I’d see that as a simple method though!

Antisocialite
Antisocialite
6 years ago

If you must know, I was talking about the bigot mindset, not my personal midset, and I frankly think that’s pretty clear.

Kale, it was very clear to me you were referring to the bigot mindset.

I get being careful of word usage, but why does it feel like a few people lie in wait for someone to say the wrong thing?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

What a shock. Dear was a rapist and a stalker too.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20151130/PC16/151139933

megpie71
6 years ago

Alan: As far as I can figure out (Australian) the US presidential primaries are basically what every single political party here calls “pre-selection”. Usually in parliamentary systems, party candidate pre-selection occurs behind closed doors, and all the in-fighting, wrangling, vicious back-biting, back-stabbing, knifing and full-on politicking is reserved for those who have paid party membership fees in order to get involved. In the USA, as far as I can tell, they’ve brought it out into the open as a general spectator sport.

guy
guy
6 years ago
Reply to  megpie71

A participatory one; anyone who’s allowed to vote in the general election can potentially vote in one or more primaries (depending on the state as discussed above). It’s run on basically the same mechanics as the general election. There’s also caucuses, which I’m given to understand involve a meeting and group discussion that are open to anyone but represent too much of a time commitment for many people, so they tend to favor candidates with a smaller but more dedicated base. Some states do primaries, some states do caucuses, some let the parties pick one of the two. My home state is in the third category but generally has used primaries, so I’m not too clear on the mechanics of caucuses.

Orion
Orion
6 years ago

If there’s a state that allows party leaders to simply select candidates, the two major parties haven’t made use of it.

This is not correct. Republicans did this in Virginia last year, and I believe Kentucky may be doing it this year. In most states (maybe all states), the parties aren’t obligated to hold a primary elections, and minor parties frequently don’t. The state government manages primary elections as a service to the parties which they can opt into or out of year-by-year.

guy
guy
6 years ago

The Virginia Republican Party did a caucus recently, though last year they did have a primary for Congress and the House Majority Leader lost it. I am unaware of any instances of the major parties having the party committee simply select a candidate when at least two are running, though it’s reasonably common for incumbents to not have any primary challengers.

I would not be surprised to learn that they can skip having a primary or caucus in many states, but to my knowledge they’ve never actually done that when more than one person is participating. Probably because that’s a pretty good way to alienate the base and ensure a general election loss.

Orion
Orion
6 years ago

I can confirm that Kentucky Republicans canceled their presidential primary this year, opting to pick their candidate at a caucus. They will still hold a primary election where voters can cast ballots to select candidates for congress, senate, and the like. This is unusual and extremely expensive, but they’re doing it as a favor to Rand Paul.

Rand Paul is currently one of the Senators from Kentucky. If his run for president fails, he wants to keep being Senator. Unfortunately for him, his term expires this year, so he’d have to defend his senate seat in both a general election and in the Republican primary. It turns out that Kentucky law makes this difficult. Parties aren’t required to hold a primary, but if they want the state to run an election for them, they have to follow the state’s rules. Kentucky law prohibits one candidate from running for 2 offices on the same ballot. Therefore, if Republicans voted for their Senator and President simultaneously, he’d be forced to give up one of them.

To get around this, the Republican have agreed that he can put his name up for Senator on the primary ballot, and they will hold a separate caucus on a different day to make their presidential nomination.

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