Mansplaining at its finest. Amy Davidson, at the New Yorker:
“I am not a sixth grader,” Senator Dianne Feinstein told Ted Cruz in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday. “I am reasonably well-educated, and I thank you for the lecture.” She looked, really, like she might throw some water in his face. So did Senators Leahy and Schumer, who were on either side of her. They were there to vote on an assault-weapons ban; it got out of committee by a vote of ten Democrats for, eight Republicans against. Before it did, Cruz found time for a bit of sophistry. He noted that the bill listed “particular firearms that, if this bill were passed, Congress would deem prohibited. It seems to me that all of us should begin as our foundational document with the Constitution.” He explained to Feinstein that the Second Amendment gave people the right to bear arms, in a tone that suggested that she might not have heard about it. Would she, he asked, alter the First or Fourth Amendments “only to the following books…Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures properly apply only to the following specified individuals.” Feinstein:
Let me just make a couple of points in response—one, I’m not a sixth grader, Senator, I’ve been on this committee for twenty years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I’ve looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I’ve seen the bullets that implode… Look, there are other weapons. I’m not a lawyer, but after twenty years, I’ve been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it. This doesn’t mean that weapons of war…and the Heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here. And so you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time.
She noted that there were a lot of guns that people could still carry (“Do they need a bazooka?”). She added, “So I come from a different place than you do.”
Cruz, with no betrayal of embarrassment, said that he didn’t doubt “her sincerity or her passion. At the same time, I note that she has not answered my question.” As he and Feinstein started interrupting each other about books, Leahy, the Committee Chairman, jumped in:
LEAHY: I appreciate that discussion of books. I know that you have that in your state of Texas, where your educational boards tell people what books they should and shouldn’t read in schools, something that we would not do in Vermont.
CRUZ: Mr. Chairman, I, I appreciate your, your acknowledging that the state of Texas allows books.
A Texas-Vermont showdown—can it be that Cruz is not entirely endearing himself to his colleagues? Charles Schumer, at this point, was practically bouncing up to say “Child pornography books!”—as an example of limits. Feinstein reiterated the point she had made by citing Heller in the first place: “It’s obvious that there are different tests for different amendments.” (And Cruz, for all his pedantry, gave a truncated and ahistorical version of the Second Amendment.)…
Yes, I am aware that this ban is almost certainly not going to become law — although I think it’s a valid bargaining chip in the fight to ban extended clips/magazines, which would be more effective than a model-by-model ban list anyway. But can you imagine this little putz Cruz talking like this to another Congressman? The thought would never cross his furrowed brow, not because he was afraid that his opponent would sneak up in the cloakroom and give him an atomic swirly, but because Ted honestly doesn’t think women deserve the same basic courtesy he’d show to a male work colleague (he’s snotty to Leahy, too, but he doesn’t attempt to lecture him.)
I mentioned this in a thread yesterday and I heard from the highest authority on this very blog, that DiFi is one of the “worse elected Democrats in the Senate” and theorfore both Cruz and DiFi can both DIAF. I pointed out that you don’t have to like or agree with the woman to be pretty PO’ed that Cruz would talk to her such a condescending and sexist manner, especially when you point out he did not talk to male counterparts that way.
I figured I’d have to wait for one of the lady FPers to bring up the sexism in Cruz demeanor to DiFi. So thanks for this Anne Laurie.
Of course he would.
Ted Cruz, is just Bachmann in a suit.
Cruz doesn’t care that DiFi is a woman. He’s the biggest freshman grandstanding putz in the Senate since…well, maybe ever.
If Lil Chuckie Schumer was pushing what DiFi is the architect of then he’d schmarm the fuck out of Schumer as well.
Ted Cruz is a thoroughly despicable example of a human being.
Dianne Feinstein has not just seen people shot, she tried to revive either Mayor George Moscone or Harvey Milk (I’ve forgotten which) after Dan White shot them. She was interviewed about this when the movie Milk came out and said when she touched one of them to try to stop the bleeding (IIRC) she put her hand right into one of the bullet wounds.
Rachel Maddow had a good segment on this last night and didn’t neglect to point out the male condescension. Women can detect that in a nanosecond.
Apparently we’re supposed to respect Rand Paul for his stance on domestic drones because at least he has one good idea but revile DiFi for her stance on assault weapons because she only has one good idea.
No, I don’t get it, either.
I would also add that DiFi is incredibly non-confrontational for a politician, in fact that’s one of her shortcomings, so she must have been incredibly furious at this little insect, to go off like that.
From what I have read, Cruz is so obnoxious, opportunistic and fake, that he irritates colleagues all across the spectrum. A guy has to be pretty darn obnoxious to do that in certain wings of the spectrum, but looks like o’ Ted has the knack.
I hope that characteristic of his will do some good work in the future for the commonweal.
But Cruz apparently is an expert at playing the dupes, so it will be a spectacular show while it lasts.
In case you missed it, Ann Coulter actually — amazingly! — thought Ted Cruz was right! Via Juanita Jean’s ….
Meanwhile, at CPAC, they had a minority outreach panel and hilarity ensued when one of the participants thought this would be a great opportunity to defend slavery.
Just can’t imagine why black people find the Republican Party repulsive, do you?
Josh Marshall’s post on the background of Feinstein and guns was a huge eye opener for me. I was a year old when Harvey Milk was assassinated, so I’m way too young for any of that to be part of my political memory, and I didn’t realize it was something that had happened just days after Jonestown.
I had no idea about her background at all, really. But that background story was probably the most interesting thing I’ve read in weeks.
I’m guessing Ted Cruz is also too young to understand that context.
I don’t think Feinstein’s argument in response was very good at all. Of course he’s a dick, but saying that you have served in Congress for a long time and have had experiences is not an argument. A Senator of her experience should have been able to trounce his shitty logic on constitutional grounds alone.
Also, why doesn’t she just say: We HAD an assault weapons ban for 10 years. WHAT damage was done to the Constitution or the 2nd Amendment?
@Corner Stone: Indeed. Some folks were not forced to be confronted by that man’s temperament and “integrity” prior to Nov. 2012.
He talks like that to any opposition. Congenitally, he is a dick.
Can I say that?
edit @BGinCHI: I think she was knocked off base a bit and her response lacked force and clarity, but maybe that is just her.
West of the Rockies
I think it’s all sound and fury. I doubt Cruz will have lost any supporters after the exchange. I doubt Feinstein will be reappraised by those on the right. The MSM will dutifully report the exchange (maybe) and all will be forgotten in another 24 hours. It was not the epic takedown on the order of, say, “You’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Texas, once again, has thrust an idiot onto the stage. Crap.
@Anniecat45: She tried to revive Harvey Milk. That putz Cruz has had less exposure to the real thing that Feinstein has.
Audience member, not participant. While what the guy said was gobsmackingly gobsmacking, he doesn’t represent anyone except himself.
Just Some Fuckhead
When God handed down the 10 Amendments to conservatives on Mt. Sinai, he told them exactly how they were supposed to be interpreted, libtards.
Ted Cruz, everything is bigger in Texas, especially the assholes.
“But can you imagine this little putz Cruz talking like this to another Congressman?”
Absolutely. That guy is a dick and a fool.
Given my two bozos in the Senate (Arkansas), I wish they all could be California girls.
@West of the Rockies:
It’s kind of funny that people remember that as an epic takedown when the guy who was supposedly “taken down” ended up winning the election.
I mean, sure, it was a great line, but it didn’t actually accomplish anything.
“But can you imagine this little putz Cruz talking like this to another CongressMAN”?
Of course I can. A putz is a putz.
I’m a native San Franciscan, well acquainted with Dianne. She’s accomplished two great things in her career as a public servant. The (expired) ban on automatic weapons, as well as the fight she continues to wage on its behalf, is one; and her earlier, enlightened leadership as mayor of the City in educating the public about the AIDS epidemic, and funding that battle, is the other.
Cruz is an equal opportunity idiot. And Dianne is otherwise no great shakes.
West of the Rockies
@BGinCHI: I agree… I didn’t feel all riled up and “So there, take that!” after watching the exchange. Maybe Feinstein just wasn’t expecting such misinformed if vaguely articulate questioning.
@BGinCHI: I thought it was weak as well. I don’t know why it’s being described as cock-punching Cruz.
The irony is that during the FISA bill debate, DiFi lectured the senators who supported amendments in the exact same way that Cruz lectured her: like they were sixth graders. Too bad somebody didn’t stand up to her like she stood up to Cruz.
Maybe you just have to be a girl to get it.
I don’t think so. Whether they like it or not, he represents what is going on at CPAC. A segregationist feels comfortable enough to discuss his views in a discussion about how to be a teapartier without being seen as a racist @sshole.
When a jackass like Cruz pulls something like this on you, you’re too pissed off to collect all your thoughts. I’m not a huge Feinstein fan but as a female I can totally put myself right in her shoes.
I think Cruz would talk that way to any man woman or child if the thought it would do him some good.
Contra Coulter, I didn’t hear DiFi say she was offended. The only substantive criticism I’ve heard of DiFi’s reaction was that she did not point out the simple fact that no right in the Bill of Rights is absolutely unconditional, but she clearly implied that response, and it so obvious I don’t see how that is a big criticism. Or, just as I should be able own a home suitcase nuke after Chinese hackers destroy all government in the US (thanks for the heads up, NRA), I should be be able to yell ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater just to see people stomp each other to death, or slander my jackass ex-landlord any way I please for trying to cheat me out of my move-out payment.
I watched the clip of DiFi talking about the Moscone/Milk assassination on TPM, and I can see why she has deep feelings about it. The California 101 massacre occurred just as she became Senator. I’m no DiFi fan, but she is doing this from conviction of personal experience, and good for her.
You got there first…what you said.
I forgot how awesomely entertaining CPAC can be:
Honest to God, the Onion couldn’t have come up with a better panel title, particularly hours after Trump came out in favor of a path to citizenship only for white people.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
I tried to stop Cruz from getting elected. I contributed to campaigns, I wrote rather scathing LTEs, and I told all of my family to vote against him, and I voted against him.
Cruz’s behavior was a perfect example of mansplaining. Feinstein was great up until she apologized to Cruz for objecting to his behavior.
So much for that minority outreach, lol. Not that this is all that surprising. Who did they think they were kidding?
Ella in New Mexico
My biggest frustration with this interchange was how freaking long it took the Democrats on this committee to remind this idiot that we limit Constitutional rights all over the God-damned place in this country, most of the time thanks to his stupid party.
Why are we always so slow at shutting down the stupid in these situations? Sit there trying to be all nice and rational while Tea Party Ted gets to chalk one up with his fellow hypocrites.
West of the Rockies
@Mnemosyne: Yeah, I guess it was winning the battle and losing the war… still, it contributed to the lasting impression most Americans have a Dan Quayle. Sadly, the man did spawn and has a son with political aspirations….
@nancydarling: Been one all my life. Next?
Christ. I never thought I’d see the day where I missed Kay Bailey Hutchinson. And yet, here we are.
Ella in New Mexico
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
You live in Texas. There’s nothing more you could have done short of assassinating the jerk. It’s not your fault.
@askew: Yeah, me too. The apology pissed me off. DiFi should have continued doing some ‘Tha’s Distinguished Senator Feinstein to you, jerk’-splainin to Cruz.
Did Cruz ever effing apologize for saying butt dumb insulting stuff in public?
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Southern Beale: I’m trying to find out if this is performance art. I would hate to post about it and then find out he was performing. The whole routine seems pretty outrageous.
Who’s the regular poster here who knew Cruz as an undergrad? Did he talk like this then? Was he frequently beaten to a bloody pulp?
@West of the Rockies: His questions weren’t stupid, they were strictly ideological. If someone like her who makes policy can’t handle that I have no idea what she thinks she’s doing.
Any PhD student, or well-educated person generally who studies that subject ought to have knocked his dick in the dirt. I was doing it from my couch without thinking twice.
Come on, people. We are smarter than this!
@Zifnab: Don’t feel too bad. My home state has foisted both Nixon and Reagan on the nation.
@Ella in New Mexico:
Leahy had to come up with his reply on the fly. Cruz practices his little schtick in the mirror. The man is a walking GOP Talking Point who won election in the great state of Texas by calling our Lieutenant Governor a dirty liberal. If he didn’t have the ability to vomit up nonsense like this ad nauseam, he’d never have been elected.
@JWL: Your home state is California, the most awesome state in the country. You don’t get to bitch.
Sorry to go off topic, but this should be fun to read about in the next few days. Will Wolfie or self-parody Pelley cover it?
CPAC Event On Racial Tolerance Turns To Chaos As ‘Disenfranchised’ Whites Arrive
Oh, it gets better.
This was also the panel at which a black attendee (who identified himself as a conservative) emphasized that the GOP needed to do a better job of minority outreach and said that he wasn’t seeing much success on the party’s part, got screamed at by other attendees for his observations — and was escorted from the room for causing a disturbance (yes, the black guy).
(ETA: OK, I didn’t really have to link that article [since you did already] or point out to you specifically what else it said [since you obviously know]. But I did want to emphasize it for the other folks here.)
@BGinCHI: What you don’t do when you’re being inappropriately patronized — and it’s even more important if you’re a woman being condescended to by a man — is allow the conversation to become all about your reaction to your opponent’s attitude. You might allow yourself one brief, snarky remark about the ill-advised nature of his tone, but it had better be funny and sharp and you’d better pivot quickly to taking apart his remarks on substantive grounds. She’s been doing this for decades; she ought to have this down.
I understand why she was mightily pissed off — she should have been. I even understand why she got flustered; I’ve been there more than once myself. But she let this asshole set the framework of the exchange and she didn’t firmly grab the upper hand on its content.
@Southern Beale: to bring the story full circle
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@jl: I love the “the KKK was started by Democrats so we’re not racists, we just think whites are better.”
West of the Rockies
@BGinCHI: In my mind, I was comparing the exchange to the debate between Obama and Romney where Obama just didn’t bring his ‘A’ game or simply did not anticipate the river of horse shit that was going to flow from Rmoney’s mouth.
Oh hhell, there was somebody there in Revolutionary War garb, over and above the confederate T-shirt guy! So much for the decent people dress-code.
@Svensker: hope u read the whole article at TPM:
It was a bit more than one participant. And if CPAC doesn’t want “one audience member” to become front and center as emblamatic of your org, then maybe don’t invite members of white nationalist org to your party.
West of the Rockies
@Ash Can: Of course, the MSM won’t report this. Instead, we’ll get a report about how the GOP is making great strides to right the ship and that 2014 looks to be a banner year for Repubs!
I just spent fifteen minutes Googlng “Scott Terry” to confirm that this wasn’t a hoax. The story was so outrageous I honestly thought it might be some bizarre James O’Keefe type scam designed to somehow embarrass ThinkProgress. But no, the idiots who run CPAC actually let known white supremecists attend their little bund rally and ask a black Republican during a diversity seminar questions about anti-white discrimination and about how good slaves had it. I’m nearly speechless over it.
@Ash Can: But seriously, why aren’t there more black Republicans? I just don’t understand.
@scav: I hope he didn’t spill on his red coat. Those GOP buffets can really be scrums.
I’m sorry, are people still trying to pretend that defending against the Gish Gallop is so easy-peasy that any idiot can do it even after seeing the multiple of examples of it being really fucking difficult to defend against?
After some point, maybe we should admit that it’s a difficult thing to argue against and come up with a new defense strategy rather than continuing to insist that it’s totally easy and Obama/Feinstein/whoever is just an inexperienced boob who can’t handle public speaking.
Hmmm. how some of you could say ‘Eh’ to DiFi after that monsterously (obviously tiny) dick Cruz threw down a whole bunch of bullshit….Dudes! WTF? DiFi could have done better but was obviously meaning everything she said. Cruz was just being a troll. And it worked. I’ve held my nose & voted for DiFi every time she’s run. She pisses me off like no other Democratic member outside of what Lieberman used to. For the record, Boxer is a way way better Senator. And in all honesty I don’t like her bill. Rather than burn political capitol for something everyone knows she’ll never get she should have concentrated on the 100% background check and limiting clip sizes to 10 rounds. Both of which are doable even in this Congress.
But you won’t find me dissin’ DiFi because of that unholy twit Cruz. He’s askin’ for someone to make an example out of him (which I also don’t want no matter how much my juvenile ego might like that).
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): To tell you the truth, that crossed my mind too. The guy is so over-the-top, I have to wonder. But the fact that we even have our doubts whether someone like this is serious or not speaks volumes about these people.
@Zifnab: As long as they’re going to be neo-confederate theocratic fanatics and just plain shitty humans, their “minority outreach” is going to spare this beleaguered nation a world of grief in the long run. I hope they keep it up, and I have every confidence that they will.
Villago Delenda Est
Do you know who else practiced their schtick in a mirror?
West of the Rockies
@Villago Delenda Est: Ted and Helen?
Villago Delenda Est
@West of the Rockies:
@Villago Delenda Est:
@shortstop: You said it much better than I did. Agreed.
Ella in New Mexico
Seriously, our side has no “mirrors” to practice in front of? None of us could ever possibly predict these stupid little tirades and have SOME sort of prepared response in their heads?
Shit, “Child Pornography Books are illegal” and “Ever heard of Fucking FISA, Pinhead” blurbled out of my mouth before Cruz even finished his statement.
When our leaders don’t “Nancy-smash” within 10 seconds, these asshat’s outright hypocritical lies become inviolable truths of conventional wisdom in the minds of 47% of America.
I went to college with Ted Cruz (I didn’t know him personally, but he had a reputation as a douche even then). All I can say is that I hope I haven’t let myself go that badly… Well, that and that I’m horrified that my generation seems to be represented in politics by people like him and Paul Ryan. Yeesh…
@Southern Beale: my head has metaphorically exploded. I was explaining it to Mr WereBear and I held the sides of my head together as it sank in.
It’s been 150 years since the Civil War.
The Republic of Stupidity
You don’t have to be black to find that freak show disgusting…
Here’s what Senator Fienstein wanted to say:*
Okay, shitbird. I’ll get to your fuckwitted, splitting hairs question in a second, but I’ve walked the walk and part of that walk took me into City Hall were the Mayor and a one of our councilmen were shot by some lunatic that probably shouldn’t have had a gun in the first place, so yeah, I think there should be some fucking regulation. As for your crackpot talking point about the First Amendment, I’m sorry- question, there are slight limits on free speech and there should be. I took a bit of issue and went to-to-toe with a couple of sleazeball porn producers called the Mitchell Brothers back in the day. They’re famous for a couple of titles your dad probably jerked off to when he went out for cigarettes. I had this crazy idea that schoolchildren shouldn’t have that stuff slammed into their faces to and from school. Oh by the way, one of them shot the other. I’m sure Artie Mitchell might have a strong opinion on gun control. Next session we’ll have a seance to find out. So yeah, some limits to “constitutional rights” do and should exist. In conclusion, I’d just like to say this: “Go ‘Niners.”
*Or so I imagine.
I can’t stand Feinstein (alas, she’s one of my Senators, but is balanced out by the fantastic Barbara Boxer… can’t have everything I guess).
But this assault ban is Feinstein’s THING; she’s been working on it for decades. The original ban in the 90s was, IIRC, her bill.
And, one thing Feinstein has going for her which became a big advantage in this brouhaha, is a colossal, epic, universe-sized, too-big-for-Costco-even, massive EGO. I mean, god damn, Senators are all egomaniacs, but Feinstein’s ego is so huge it dwarfs the egos of even the MEN in the Senate. And it’s only gotten worse the longer she’s been in office.
So here’s this condescending n00b turd trying to lecture her. Hahahaha. NO fucking way she was going to sit still for that, and good on her to come out swinging.
Have to say, though, it was Schumer really delivered the knockout punch. Oh, you don’t think there are limits on the 1st Amendment? Go yell fire in a crowded theater, while handing out some child porn, and see how far you get with that, you clueless asshole. BOOM. Now sit down and shut up, and let the grownups decide this shit. Which means, first we pass Feinstein’s bill. Then we tell Cruz to STFU again, just to make sure he gets the point.
Actually, I knew Ted Cruz personally and was at school with him. I can attest that he’s as much of a total dick to men as he is to women. He doesn’t give ANYONE basic courtesy, men or women.
My preferred response:
DiFI: “Thank you for explaining that for me Mr. Cruz I really had no idea. I’ve been sitting here in the senate all these years and you’d have thought someone would have explained that to me before. Thank you. Just to be totally clear, then, you’re saying that the first ammendment means we can’t ban any books at all, even the ones we really really don’t like?”
Cruz now has a choice. He can admit that he’s wrong and there are some limits on free speech, in which case you lawyer him, and say “so there are limits on free speech. Well then there can also be limits on what guns we get to carry. You really have helped me solve this problem. Lets vote for this bill then.
Or he can double down and say “no, we can’t ban any books.” Then you nail him. “So you believe that if someone produces a book full of photos of grown men having sex with 8 year old boys then we should not prohibit this? I’ve never seen child pornography defended from the house of the senate floor before. Do your voters back in Texas know that you are in favor of allowing child pornography into their libraries, their schools, their homes? “
I looked it up & found out that Dianne Feinstein was the Mayor of San Francisco when that little pissant Ted Cruz was in the sixth grade!