Dana “Mad Bitch Beer” Milbank at WaPo:
Sen. Ted Cruz, in a speech to fellow conservatives at the Federalist Society this week, provided detailed evidence of what the right calls the “lawlessness” of the Obama administration.
The Texas Republican, in his latest McCarthyesque flourish, said he had a list of “76 instances of lawlessness and other abuses of power.”
To his credit, Cruz made his list public. But perhaps he shouldn’t have. An examination of the accusations reveals less about the lawlessness of the accused than about the recklessness of the accuser.
Cruz was particularly agitated about President Obama’s use of signing statements, executive orders, recess appointments and unconfirmed “czars” — omitting the salient detail that this president has used four less than George W. Bush, for whom Cruz worked as a campaign adviser and administration official.
Beyond such perennial check-and-balance disputes, Cruz’s list was a recitation of policy grievances (Cruz, if you haven’t heard, doesn’t like Obamacare very much, nor the president’s immigration policy). These were interspersed with some whoppers that the senator, a former Texas solicitor general, couldn’t have researched thoroughly.
Consider item No. 2 in the “Other Abuses of Power” section: “Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.” This does sound bad — and strange, given that Obama had publicly said he was “angry” about the release, which was “a bad decision.”
The footnote on Cruz’s allegation points to an article in the Australian newspaper, a curious source. I looked up the article, which stated that “the U.S. wanted Megrahi to remain imprisoned in view of the nature of the crime.”
Milbank goes on to detail about half a dozen other alleged errors in Cruz’s list of abuses of power. I’m not surprised. In all likelihood Ted didn’t prepare the list himself, he probably had one or members of his staff do the drudge work. Nonetheless, the boss is responsible for the work of his underlings.
I applaud Dana Milbank for taking the time to fact-check Ted Cruz. We shouldn’t trust any politician too much. The more important the situation, the more important it is to double-check what they tell us.
I only have one request – have reporters treat every politician and government official exactly the same.
When Harry Reid says things about Mitt Romney’s taxes or the Koch brothers, check to see if he can back up his claims. When Nancy Pelosi makes up quotes from an anonymous Republican “friend”, verify the person exists and made those statements. When she says that the families of the Benghazi victims don’t want a new investigation, ASK THEM if that’s the truth.
Pretty much every thing that comes out of Barack Obama’s or jay Carney’s mouths should be thoroughly fact-checked.
Not only that, but reporters should fact-check each other too. So when Candy Crowley misstates the facts in a Presidential debate, the public will know that she was wrong and Mitt Romney was right.
I realize that this is a radical idea, but I think if the news media were to try it the public would really appreciate it. It would be good for the country too.