Ezra Klin does a good job of debunking Ted Cruz's applause-generating rant at last night's debate -- or at least part of the rant. Here's the part Klein debunks:
"The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media," Ted Cruz said with considerable disgust. "This is not a cage match."
Cruz ticked off the insults the CNBC moderators had lobbed Wednesday night at the assembled Republicans. "Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don't you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues?"
Klein points out that the questions Cruz complained about actually were substantive, and that his characterization of them was inaccurate. But here's the part of the rant Klein didn't address:
CRUZ: The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, "Which of you is more handsome and why?"
Perhaps the Democratic debate Cruz described really took place in some parallel universe, from which it was broadcast to the assembled citizens of Wingnuttia. In the world as we know it, the debate questions were quite different. Here was the first question addressed to each of the candidates by moderator Anderson Cooper in the actual Democratic debate:
COOPER: ... Secretary Clinton, I want to start with you. Plenty of politicians evolve on issues, but even some Democrats believe you change your positions based on political expediency.
You were against same-sex marriage. Now you're for it. You defended President Obama's immigration policies. Now you say they're too harsh. You supported his trade deal dozen of times. You even called it the "gold standard". Now, suddenly, last week, you're against it.
Will you say anything to get elected?
COOPER: Senator Sanders. A Gallup poll says half the country would not put a socialist in the White House. You call yourself a democratic socialist. How can any kind of socialist win a general election in the United States?
COOPER: ... Governor Chafee, you've been everything but a socialist. When you were senator from Rhode Island, you were a Republican. When you were elected governor, you were an independent. You've only been a Democrat for little more than two years. Why should Democratic voters trust you won't change again?
COOPER: Governor O'Malley, the concern of voters about you is that you tout our record as Baltimore's mayor. As we all know, we all saw it. That city exploded in riots and violence in April.
The current top prosecutor in Baltimore, also a Democrat, blames your zero tolerance policies for sowing the seeds of unrest. Why should Americans trust you with the country when they see what's going on in the city that you ran for more than seven years?
COOPER: Senator Webb, in 2006, you called affirmative action "state-sponsored racism." In 2010, you wrote an op/ed saying it discriminates against whites. Given that nearly half the Democratic Party is non-white, aren't you out of step with where the Democratic Party is now?
That was typical of the debate. Do you see any questions about handsomeness? Neither do I. But conservatives feel entitled to their own facts as well as their own opinions.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog