CRUZ: You know, let me say something at the outset. The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media.As if to prove Cruz's point, Salon called his attack "paranoid," and The Washington Post, apparently watching a debate in some alternate universe, said that the palpably biased, and even more palpably nasty, CNBC moderators "out-maneuvered the contrary parliamentarian." So much for Salon and The Washington Post.
(APPLAUSE) This is not a cage match. And, you look at the questions -- "Donald Trump, are you a comic-book villain?" "Ben Carson, can you do math?" "John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?" "Marco Rubio, why don't you resign?" "Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?"
How about talking about the substantive issues the people care about?
QUINTANILLA: (inaudible) do we get credit (inaudible)?
CRUZ: And Carl -- Carl, I'm not finished yet.
CRUZ: The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, "Which of you is more handsome and why?"
And let me be clear.
QUINTANILLA: So, this is a question about (inaudible), which you have 30 seconds left to answer, should you choose to do so.
CRUZ: Let me be clear. The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate. That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.
And nobody watching at home believed that any of the moderators had any intention of voting in a Republican primary. The questions that are being asked shouldn't be trying to get people to tear into each other. It should be what are your substantive positions...
I've seen pretty much every presidential debate since 1980, and Cruz's response was the single most effective moment of any since that 1980 debate (because of that debate, Reagan, running even in the polls with Carter when the debate started, won the election a few days later in a landslide). I've seen Cruz do this before to great effect, and I've also seen him ad lib lengthy filibusters with more coherence than any of the other candidates could muster if their speech writers had written it out. He's not only flat-out brilliant but can't be flustered--he's argued numerous cases before the US Supreme Court, which is about as intense as it gets.
The progressive media mocks, belittles, and reduces to caricature middle America and anyone who doesn't buy into the the Northeast Corridor group-think. (I wonder, did anyone in the news media ever ask the president to explain his comment about Pennsylvanians--"they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment . . . .") They are so right about everything, they don't even deign to explain why (ever read Media Matters?).
Last night, Cruz had the temerity to talk back to his moral superiors, the all-knowing, enlightened progressive media, and in the process, he took back the moral high ground.
Cruz's slap-down resonates here. He tapped into a frustration we constantly experience writing this blog. When we talk about the need for fair processes for the presumptively innocent--processes no more "extreme" than those called for by numerous prominent law professors--the progressive blogosphere brands us misogynists, "rape apologists," and "victim blamers." A far left civil rights group put us on its hate list (I suspect it was encouraged to do so by a certain prominent feminist blogger). A feminist professor compared my blog to a white supremacist blog.
My politics are certainly to the left of Ted Cruz. But the smug, superior, chattering classes have made it personal for me, and based on my often quite nasty experience writing this blog, I say, "Go, Ted Cruz!"