Ted Cruz Is Launching A National Attack on Planned Parenthood

Ted Cruz on August 21, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images)

Ted Cruz on August 21, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.
(Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images)

While everyone is concentrating on the circus that is the Donald Trump campaign, Ted Cruz and other religious conservatives are quietly working to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. In the wake of edited videos that were designed by anti-Planned Parenthood activists, right-wing politicians across the country have seized the opportunity to launch an all-out assault on the organization.

In Kansas, Louisiana and other states, governors have possibly violated federal law by ending Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood, much to the glee of anti-choice activists. Governor Bobby Jindal did so, even though the two Planned Parenthood clinics in Louisiana do not perform abortion services.

Now Ted Cruz is launching a 50-state campaign to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, even though federal money is prohibited for most abortion services under the Hyde Amendment. Across the country, churches are being recruited to join this effort, which also sneakily doubles as supporting Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign under the guise of a moral and religious crusade against Planned Parenthood.

Via The Texas Tribune:

More than 100,000 pastors received e-mail invitations over the weekend to participate in conference calls with Cruz on Tuesday in which they will learn details of the plan to mobilize churchgoers in every congressional district beginning Aug. 30. The requests were sent on the heels of the Texas Republican’s “Rally for Religious Liberty,” which drew 2,500 people to a Des Moines ballroom Friday.

“The recent exposure of Planned Parenthood’s barbaric practices . . . has brought about a pressing need to end taxpayer support of this institution,” Cruz said in the e-mail call to action distributed by the American Renewal Project, an organization of conservative pastors.

The push comes as Cruz seeks to grab a decisive edge in a crowded primary-within-a-primary, with half a dozen GOP contenders battling for what he has referred to as “the evangelical bracket.” (Source)

The evangelical Christian voting block is absolutely crucial to the success of anyone who wants to be the Republican nominee, and Ted Cruz knows this. With candidates like Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and others who are all aggressively courting evangelicals and other fringe elements of the GOP, this is a pretty clever move on Ted Cruz’s part by donning the crusader’s cloak in the decades-long battle to end funding for Planned Parenthood.

As long as there is not a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate and there is a Democrat in the White House, radicals like Ted Cruz have very little chance of ending funding to the organization. Cruz and fellow primary candidate Senator Marco Rubio have both floated the idea of shutting down the government in order to do so, something Senator Mitch McConnell and other party leaders absolutely cannot allow and have stated their opposition to.

The establishment GOP is trying to avoid a repeat of 2008 and 2012, and has tried to steer the party away from making controversial social issues the central message in political campaigns, with very little success. However, without the support of gun fanatics and evangelical voters, the road to the Republican nomination is nearly impossible. The problem then is that all of the radical rhetoric used to secure the support of the GOP base is then used in campaign advertising against them in the general election. In other words, only a person espousing the fringe talking points has a solid chance of winning the nomination, but only a GOP moderate can avoid an electoral blowout in the general election.

As demonstrated with the launch of his attack on Planned Parenthood, Ted Cruz may come across as crazy, but he’s also politically savvy and will use his ultimately failed presidential candidacy to become a greater force within the Republican Party. Then again, if liberals and progressives don’t get off their butts and go vote, Planned Parenthood being defunded could be a reality instead of the religious right’s fantasy that Ted Cruz is playing to.


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