October 29, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz defended his friends at ALEC during a Senate hearing on the Stand Your Ground laws Tuesday, while paying lip service to his deep regret that Trayvon Martin lost his life and found no justice because of those very same laws.

Describing ALEC as an "organization that promotes common sense legislation", Cruz entered "multiple letters that have been submitted to [him] by organizations concerned by the targeting of ALEC."

Who would those be, I wonder? Take your pick from this list. I'm guessing many of the letters came from those organizations. The idea that ALEC represents free speech is just absurd. There's nothing free about turnkey laws which are then forced into legislators' hands by the billionaires who write them.

Earlier Cruz indirectly rebuked at least two of the panelists in the room with his claim that there is absolutely nothing racist about these laws. In fact, Cruz argued that such laws somehow actually help people of color, using a law Obama supported in Illinois in 2004 as an example.

“The notion that Stand Your Ground laws are some form of veiled racism may be a convenient political attack, but it is not born out by the facts, remotely,” he added, noting that President Obama supported an expansion of a similar law when he was a lawmaker in Illinois. As has been pointed out in the past, the law Obama supported in 2004 is not as permissive as Stand Your Ground laws typically are, and notably does not permit the use of “deadly force” as Stand Your Ground does in Florida.

Following Cruz' remarks, Senator Durbin countered with a sharp retort of his own about the state of race relations in this country:

“This continued reference to inflaming racial tension, my friends, we’ve heard this before, over and over again,” he continued. “We have problems with the issues of race in America that we have to face squarely, and when people are being discriminated against, whoever wherever in America, the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights is not going to back away.”

Cruz is one of those politicians who is quite skilled at whitewashing truth in favor of those who pay his bills, and I expect he had a debt to pay to the corporate backers of ALEC for his dangerous and disgraceful behavior earlier this month during the government shutdown, so he delivered the goods laced with pious faux concern for victims of these pernicious laws.

His billionaires must be so proud.

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