David Brooks: Ted Cruz is a Pagan Brute

e3b01-cruz-at-value-voters-summit-2015I couldn’t agree more here with David Brooks. Remember, Brooks is a guy whose flirtation with evangelicalism is informed by people like the late John Stott and Tim Keller.

Here is a taste of his column, “The Brutalism of Ted Cruz.”

The case reveals something interesting about Cruz’s character. Ted Cruz is now running strongly among evangelical voters, especially in Iowa. But in his career and public presentation Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered the Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion and grace. Cruz’s behavior in the Haley case is almost the dictionary definition of pharisaism: an overzealous application of the letter of the law in a way that violates the spirit of the law, as well as fairness and mercy.

Traditionally, candidates who have attracted strong evangelical support have in part emphasized the need to lend a helping hand to the economically stressed and the least fortunate among us. Such candidates include George W. Bush, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.

But Cruz’s speeches are marked by what you might call pagan brutalism. There is not a hint of compassion, gentleness and mercy. Instead, his speeches are marked by a long list of enemies, and vows to crush, shred, destroy, bomb them. When he is speaking in a church the contrast between the setting and the emotional tone he sets is jarring.

And more:

The fact is this apocalyptic diagnosis is ridiculous. The Obama administration has done things people like me strongly disagree with. But America is in better economic shape than any other major nation on earth. Crime is down. Abortion rates are down. Fourteen million new jobs have been created in five years.

Obama has championed a liberal agenda, but he hasn’t made the country unrecognizable. In 2008, federal spending accounted for about 20.3 percent of gross domestic product. In 2015, it accounted for about 20.9 percent.

But Cruz manufactures an atmosphere of menace in which there is no room for compassion, for moderation, for anything but dismantling and counterattack. And that is what he offers. Cruz’s programmatic agenda, to the extent that it exists in his speeches, is to destroy things: destroy the I.R.S., crush the “jackals” of the E.P.A., end funding for Planned Parenthood, reverse Obama’s executive orders, make the desert glow in Syria, destroy the Iran nuclear accord.

Read the entire column here.

One thought on “David Brooks: Ted Cruz is a Pagan Brute

  1. Brooks has jumped the shark, I think; certainly labeling him “conservative” is increasingly risible, even for the left. In rebuttal, David French, Harvard Law grad and constitutional scholar.

    David Brooks does not like Ted Cruz. In an escalating series of attacks, Brooks has gone from saying that Cruz doesn’t “live within the confines of reality” and is “nakedly ambitious” — a “selfish Machiavellian” — to now saying that Cruz’s rhetoric is “Satanic” or perhaps “Mephistophelian.” But Brooks really tears into Cruz in his latest column, arguing that his speeches are “marked by what you might call pagan brutalism.” He claims that Cruz’s “career and public presentation” are devoid of “the Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion and grace.”

    To bolster his argument, Brooks highlights the Supreme Court case of Dretke v. Haley, claiming that it presents Cruz at his pharisaical worst, “applying the letter of the law in a way that violates the spirit of the law, as well as fairness and mercy.” Brooks not only mischaracterizes the case, he does so in a way that indicates that he’s the one lacking in charity — that his hatred for Cruz is impacting his professional judgment.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/429777/ted-cruz-christianity

    BTW, Cruz argued and won the case in question before the Supreme Court, 6-3, with liberals Ginsburg and Breyer joining the majority.


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