Beto O'Rourke has turned out to be one of the most inspiring political candidates in 2018. The fresh faced Texan is dynamic, charismatic, and giving incumbent Senator Ted Cruz all he can handle in Texas. His ability to compete the deep red state is a testament to his ability to appeal to a large cross section of American society, and his political future is most certainly a bright one.
However, like almost every other modern Democrat, O'Rourke suffers from the terrible disease of apologizing for telling the truth.
During their debate on Tuesday in San Antonio, O'Rourke called Ted Cruz out for being a liar. "He's dishonest," said O'Rourke. "That's why the president called him 'Lyin' Ted,' and it's why the nickname stuck — because it's true."
Fast forward a few days, and O'Rourke is now walking back his statement, telling ABC's "This Week" that his line on Cruz, “wasn't the best phrase for me to use, but, you know, I'm going to do my best to stay focused on the future."
Why O'Rourke has a problem with this is perplexing -- Cruz is a notorious liar who has been consistently dishonest throughout his political career. O'Rourke wasn't saying anything wrong, he was simply pointing out the fact that Cruz says things that are verifiably untrue.
Take for example, Cruz's claim in 2013 that he "voted repeatedly to fund the government, and in 2013 it was Harry Reid and the Democrats who voted no, who voted to shut the government down just like this week.”
This is categorically untrue. Cruz and the House Republicans at the time rejected any funding bill that did not delay the implementation of Obamacare, leading to a prolonged government shutdown. In fact, Cruz was central to Republican efforts to shut down the government, irritating his own colleagues who also believed he was entirely to blame. Reported Politico:
At a closed-door lunch meeting in the Senate’s Mansfield Room, Republican after Republican pressed Cruz to explain how he would propose to end the bitter budget impasse with Democrats, according to senators who attended the meeting. A defensive Cruz had no clear plan to force an end to the shutdown — or explain how he would defund Obamacare, as he has demanded all along, sources said.
More recently, in a political, ad Cruz stated that O'Rourke supported "acts that desecrate our American flag," and claimed he was "grateful" for those "burning or desecrating the American flag."
O'Rourke has never stated he approves of people burning the flag, and the quotes Cruz used were taken severely out of context.
Cruz's history of lying and making provably false statements is so extensive that Politifact has ranked well over 60% of what he says publicly to be utter bullshit:
O'Rourke might be trying to rise above the nasty politics Cruz engages in, but this doesn't mean he has to stop calling his opponent out for lying through his teeth. There is no need to apologize for calling a rat a rat, and O'Rourke, like most Democrats in America, need to be OK with this.
Republicans have no qualms about lying to the American people -- they have elected the biggest liar in the history of the Republic, and enable him to stay in power by telling more lies ("No evidence of collusion!" "Trump respects women"!"). Republicans lie about tax cuts, they lie about not wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare, they lie about voter fraud and they lie about violence on the Left.
"Republicans keep trying to revive themes from the Nixon and Reagan eras—and keep bumping into the truth that not only their president, but also many of their voters, believe exactly the opposite," wrote former Republican David Frum.
"Republicans are conscious of Trump’s incitements at the time they occur. Yet they somehow cannot retain the memory of those incitements between the occurrences. “Republicans produce jobs, Democrats produce mobs” has become the party’s closing slogan—even as it urges voters to think of the election as a referendum on the record of Trump, the mob-leader-in-chief."
Lying is now so fundamental to what it means to be a Republican in 2018, that telling the truth is an act of outright rebellion.
Democrats do not seem to be fully aware of the deadly power games Republicans are playing. Politicians like Beto O'Rourke appear to think that Ted Cruz has some sort of innate decency, that he will play by the rules and engage in a fair contest to win in November. This could not be further from the truth. Cruz, like almost every other successful Republican today, has risen to power by lying. He cannot tell the truth, because the truth would unveil Cruz's true ambition of dismantling the welfare state, putting billions of dollars into the pockets of his donor friends, and rolling back a century's worth of progress on women's rights.
O'Rourke has an opportunity to alert the public to this very obvious fact, and yet he is apologizing for it.
This is why voters have a hard time rallying behind Democrats, because they almost always fold when Republicans challenge them. If there is anything to be learned from Donald Trump, it is that Americans respect leaders who do not say sorry. If Trump refuses to apologize for lying, then why can't Democrats refuse to apologize for telling the truth?
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