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Ted Cruz and John C. Calhoun (history lesson)

Senator Cruz is the reincarnation of John C. Calhoun. In 1832, Calhoun of South Carolina proposed that states have the right to nullify federal laws they do not like. Southern states were opposed to a tariff on manufactured goods passed by Congress. The agricultural South imported manufactured goods from Europe and was afraid that a tariff would raise the cost of what it imported. Southerners were also afraid European nations would retaliate by placing tariffs on what the South exported to Europe: cotton and tobacco.

Senator Cruz and the Tea Party Republicans have dredged up nullification because they couldn’t repeal the ACA. By refusing to vote for the continuing resolution unless the ACA was defunded they would accomplish what they couldn’t accomplish by voting to repeal the ACA more than forty times.

President Andrew Jackson was so enraged by the actions of Calhoun that he was ready to lead the troops to South Carolina and hang Calhoun. Cruz ought to be thankful Old Hickory is not president today. Henry Clay defused the crisis and President Jackson did not have to hang Calhoun. However, on his deathbed, Old Hickory said that his greatest regrets in life were that he didn’t shoot Clay and hang Calhoun.

Nullification didn’t work, so the South resorted to secession instead of trying to nullify the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. People like Cruz simply don’t understand that no matter how much you may dislike a law, you do not have the right to nullify the law if you are in the minority.

William Boernke

Lincoln, NE

Oct 24 2013 - 4:03pm

The story behind the story of the shutdown

Although Cruz may appear to be a lying, pompous, obnoxious weird bird, in hindsight I believe he played a game which was really no lose for him, in the long run, and lose/lose for the president. Despite Obama’s feigned ignorance of the ACA rollout mess, I believe the soon-to-occur website disaster was a known fact among DC insiders. Cruz probably thought that Obama would take the bait first put on the hook: delay the individual mandate. And maybe he should have. The reality is, the system is not and won’t be ready for a long time. But if he caved in on that compromise, he would have given in to extortion, as he had in 2011 and previously.

So Obama held his ground, which exposed the ACA online mess as what Cruz claimed it to be , “not ready for prime time.” Obama insisted on timely rollout and as they say, the rest is history.Unless it is fixed in short order (what I read is that it can’t be, the system was poorly designed, inadequate and may have to be junked), the Tea Party and its spokesmen will have their example of why government can’t be active in healthcare or any substantial social undertaking.

I believe the canny Cruz tried to capitalize on what he knew that Obama knew, that the rollout would be a bust. Obama took one of the two options available, to thwart extortion. That option exposed Obama’s folly.

Asher Fried

Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Oct 23 2013 - 6:01pm

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