To the editor:
As I watched coverage of the recent Conservative Political Action Conference outside the nation’s capital, I kept thinking the theme song for the event should have been Judy Collins’ classic folk tune, “Send In The Clowns.”
The two aspiring right wing presidential candidates who topped the conference’s leadership straw poll, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, seemed not to have clue as to how to lead the country except to say, as Paul did, that America is great because of “liberty”, while Rubio said America does not need new ideas to restore its greatness because America is, well, “America.”
“Liberty” and “America.” Paul must have said “liberty” a dozen times in his speech, and Rubio did the same with the word “America”, but neither offered anything of substance as to how they would address the myriad issues confronting the nation and the world today, but both words were successful at bringing the true believers in the crowd to their feet.
Ted Cruz, the new Tea Party senator and Joseph McCarthy imitator from Texas, piggy backed on both the “America” and “liberty” themes with allegations that those who support stronger gun safety measures are guilty of undermining both.
Now, as a liberal who supports the assault weapons ban, I’ve accepted the ban is unlikely to be reinstated. But Cruz also maligned Americans who support national, standardized, background checks being done on any and everyone looking to buy a gun.
Cruz’s comments about those who support background checks were reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s campaign-killing “47 percent” remarks last year.
Like Romney insulting nearly half of all Americans, Cruz’s accusation that more than 80 percent of Americans, that is how many support universal background checks by the way, including 80 percent of actual gun owners, are deliberately undermining “liberty” and “America” is not likely to play well beyond the “New American Right” and Tea Party zealots.