This is easily the weirdest presidential election of my lifetime. Between Trump, the contested GOP convention, the wife-ranking, the superdelegate wrangling, the endless debates and the nontraditional menu of candidates, along with all of the screwy details in between, it continues to generally freak me out.
And now... dildos and artificial vaginas.
It turns out, potential Republican presidential nominee, current second-place contender, and mouth-booger sufferer, Ted Cruz, once defended a Texas law that banned the sale or purchase of "dildos, artificial vaginas, and other obscene devices" in the Lone Star State.
Rewind to 2004. The owners of a chain of adult stores challenged the Texas law, suggesting that selling and buying sex toys was protected under the 14th Amendment and its right to privacy, as well as Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the state's ban on sodomy. (Mother Jones' David Corn reported that Texas law enforcement once conducted a sting operation to nab a Texas mom who happened to be a salesperson for a sex toy retailer.
Yep, Texas absolutely has its law enforcement priorities in order.
After initially losing the case, the then-attorney general and current governor, Greg Abbott, along with his solicitor general, Ted Cruz, composed a 76-page argument for the Court of Appeals in defense of the anti-dildo law. Among other arguments against selling sex toys, Cruz wrote that the alleged right to sell dildos and artificial vaginas isn't "deeply rooted in the Nation's history and traditions." But I'm sure Ted Cruz will tell us that the Founders absolutely had AR15 assault rifles (see also "obscene devices") in mind when they authored the Second Amendment.
Of course, it all boiled down to protecting us -- and especially the children -- against the dangers of buying artificial vaginas, etc. Were they worried about dildos infiltrating retail outlets throughout Texas and -- GASP! -- sold right next to those AR15s? Cruz wrote in his appellate brief that Texas had an obligation to discourage "prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors."
"There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship," Cruz wrote. Again, if stimulating one's genitals isn't enumerated in the Constitution, then you're not at liberty to do so, nor is anyone allowed to sell you a device that helps you in that endeavor. Overall, Cruz made the case that selling dildos was not unlike prostitution.
Fortunately for sexually frustrated Texans, the court of appeals disagreed with Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott, ruling: "An individual who wants to legally use a safe sexual device during private intimate moments alone or with another is unable to legally purchase a device in Texas, which heavily burdens a constitutional right." The court also concluded, "Whatever one might think or believe about the use of these devices, government interference with their personal and private use violates the Constitution."
Dildos -- 1.
Freedom -- 1.
Ted Cruz -- 0.
The fact that Cruz failed to see the difference between prostitution and dildos illustrates his desperate, flailing obsession with making square pegs -- or dildos -- fit into round... holes? Sorry. Anyway. Again, he argued that buying a sex toy is like hiring a hooker, even though a dildo isn't a living human being who can be potentially exploited. For Cruz, a woman and a sexual appliance are more or less the same thing. It's like his exploitation of Green Eggs & Ham during his filibuster of Obamacare funding. He thought he could conflate not liking green eggs and ham with not liking Obamacare, but he refused to understand that the main character in the story ends up liking green eggs and ham. Doy. Fortunately, the appeals court noticed that he was trying too hard to shoehorn dildos into the same category as sex workers.
It's also important to note that this all went down in 2007 and not 300 years ago when people thought sperm contained teeny-tiny, fully-formed humans. In the 21st Century, one of our A-list presidential candidates argued that you aren't at liberty to purchase sex toys for private in-home usage.
Yes, Ted Cruz believes in small government, but not so small that it's unable to protect you from your own orgasms.