Sunday, January 17, 2016

Is Ted Cruz Trying to Dupe Christofascist Repulicans?

Cruz with wealthy gay donor
Ted Cruz is relentlessly pandering and prostituting himself to the Christofascists in the GOP base, especially in Iowa where he has garnered endorsements from leading anti-gay hate groups.  Meanwhile, he is down playing the Wall Street money that is funding his campaign and his ties to Goldman Sachs, a leading supporter of LGBT equality and gay marriage.  Michelangelo Signorile has a post in Huffington Post that looks at how Cruz may be playing the Christofascists for fools.  Here are excerpts:
Ted Cruz has been attacking "New York values," something he declined to describe at first, saying people across the country would simply "know" what he means, until Thursday night's GOP presidential debate, when pressed to give more detail. He then said, "Everybody understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal and pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage. And focus on money and the media."

That was rich considering how much he and his wife Heidi -- a Goldman Sachs investment manager for several years -- love that New York money, and thus support the very values to which he's pointing. Not only are some of his biggest campaign contributors Wall Street financiers, like the hedge fund operator Robert Mercer, who backed Cruz with $11 million (and who lives on Long Island) but as the New York Times reported yesterday, Cruz and his wife took an undisclosed loan from her employer, Goldman Sachs, to fund his first Senate campaign, in addition to one from New York-based Citibank.

But it gets richer: Just a few months before Cruz took that Goldman Sachs money, Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of the New York-headquartered investment banking firm, had been given an award by the Human Rights Campaign, because Blankfein and his firm had become leaders on marriage equality. Goldman Sachs wasn't just another "pro-gay" company -- it was one that had been a driving force on influential Wall Street for LGBT equality. Goldman had long provided full benefits for domestic partners, and since 2002 had even paid for gender confirmation surgery for transgender employees.

As commentators have discussed, disclosing the loan also would have sent the wrong message to the tea party at the time when Cruz was running as a tea party darling. Banks were being bailed out, angering tea party activists, and Goldman had been at the forefront of the firms whose reckless actions led to the mortgage crisis.

But what's been less noted is how the religious right, another force behind Cruz, would have responded if it knew at the time that Cruz was taking a loan from a company that had helped make marriage equality a reality in June of 2011 in New York State, less than a year before Cruz took that loan. Much of Cruz's campaign has been based on his supposedly uncompromising evangelical beliefs, including opposition to gay marriage.
Certainly any card-carrying evangelical opposed to marriage equality should have been loudly lambasting Goldman Sachs at that time -- and even now -- and should have been boycotting it rather than taking a loan from it. And let's not forget that Cruz had no problem being hosted at the Manhattan home of two gay hoteliers in New York last year who introduced him to some funders -- until the news got out and Cruz ran for cover.

It would certainly be interesting to know what evangelicals think now of Cruz taking a loan from Goldman Sachs rather than railing against the firm at the time for contributing to what Cruz claims is "the very definition of tyranny." Maybe gay marriage -- and New York values -- are not tyrannical enough to turn money away.

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