Now Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas is in trouble for giving praise to the late Jesse Helms, the conservative senator who represented North Carolina for 30 years and fought against a variety of civil rights legislation dating back to the Voting Rights Act in 1965, according to the Huffington Post. He said that the Senate needed to have 100 more members like Jesse Helms.
Jennifer Rubin, for instance, suggested that Helms, unlike Cruz, was no isolationist, which is perhaps dubious because Cruz has described his own foreign policy position to be between that of Ronald Reagan and that of Rand Paul, arguably not an isolationist position.
The Daily Beast hammered on Helms’ opposition to liberal civil rights legislation, suggesting that he ought not to be praised by anyone, especially Cruz. The article also claimed that Helms ran the “most racist political ad in recent memory” when he is alleged to have accused his opponent of taking jobs away from white to give to blacks. Helms was also homophobic the article asserts.
The Austin Chronicle went on in the same vein with an article with a sarcastic title, “Ted Cruz: You, sir, are no Jesse Helms,” terming the late senator an obstructionist and a bigot.
Helms has been dead for the past five years, but apparently still has the capability from beyond the grave to annoy and outrage. One suspects that Cruz, noting that he does not share all of Helms’ civil rights views, was praising Helms’ ability, which he shares, of being able to not care what the media thought of him and not specific policy positions. In any case if called on it, Cruz can always call attention to the much beloved late Democrat Robert Byrd, former senator from West Virginia and former member of the Ku Klux Klan.