The true motives behind Ted Cruz’s ludicrous ‘Barbie’ tantrum

by admin

This week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, declared war on the new “Barbie” movie, which he claims promotes “Chinese propaganda.” Cruz says a cartoonish world map advances China’s controversial and contested claim to the South China Sea. Barbie is the movie about a doll.  

Cruz has given right-wing media a story to engage with this weekend, a new bright shiny thing to chase. Pundits can discuss the merits of the movie and how it’s brainwashing Americans. Of course, none of that will be true. The map is as real as Barbie herself. It’s a film prop with lots of dotted lines and dashes. 

Personally, I like pink and I’m super excited about the movie. I’m also not going to engage in Cruz’s nonsense. Because I know just what he’s up to. It’s all about the distraction.

Here’s what’s really going on in America right now. 

I’m also not going to engage in Cruz’s nonsense. Because I know just what he’s up to. It’s all about the distraction.

In Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to draw new voting maps that reflect census data showing the state should have two majority Black electoral districts. But the Republican Legislature has refused to do that. Instead lawmakers submitted a new map that has just one majority Black district. In other words, a state Legislature refused to follow a decision by the Supreme Court. It’s a major breakdown in the rule of law. 

Meanwhile, Florida is making some eye-popping changes to its curricular standards. It will now teach historical “facts” its governor, Ron DeSantis, seems to think are more fair and balanced. For instance, middle-schoolers will learn that during slavery, enslaved people learned skills that benefited them personally.

Women in Texas are taking the witness stand to tell horrifying stories about the physical and emotional costs of medically dangerous pregnancies their doctors were unable to end because of abortion restrictions. Some of those women have been irreparably scarred, making future pregnancies impossible or incredibly risky. Their testimony dramatically highlighted the way such bans make women unable to protect their health.

In sum, across the country women are losing their rights. Black people are watching their history get officially white-washed. And the LGBTQ community, especially transgender people, remain high-profile targets of the unwoke right. Oh, and Supreme Court justices are engaging in behavior that would get mere mortals fired from their government jobs, if not worse.

Come on Barbie, let’s go party.

Senator Cruz would love it if the media fixated on fake controversies instead of on the myriad ways Republicans are pushing to undermine and restrict rights and freedoms in America. 

The leader of their party and front-runner for the 2024 nomination has been indicted twice, and received a target letter from federal prosecutors suggesting he will soon be indicted a third time, with a fourth (fourth!) indictment on the horizon in Georgia. A federal judge in New York confirms that it’s appropriate to call Trump a rapist, after a jury previously found he had defamed and sexually abused E. Jean Carroll

Trump, of course, did not act alone in his various schemes. He was surrounded by his staff, his lawyers and even some lawmakers, although the politicos seem to have faded out of view. Cruz himself engaged in some questionable behavior. For one thing, he got 10 of his Senate colleagues to join him in a pledge not to certify the election until an unprecedented voter fraud probe in six swing states was completed. This plan, which did not succeed, seemed designed to work alongside the fake electors scam set in motion by his longtime colleague and co-clerk, John Eastman.

As then-Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming said in 2022, “I think that Senator Cruz knew exactly what he was doing. I think that Senator Cruz is somebody who knows what the Constitution calls for, knows what his duties and obligations are, and was willing, frankly, to set that aside.”

Cruz, educated at Princeton and Harvard Law School, is the former solicitor general of Texas. After law school he clerked for both 4th Circuit Court Judge Michael Luttig and Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

But do go on about a movie that has single-handedly made hot pink cool again.

These efforts do a disservice to Americans at a time when our democratic institutions are still fragile.

These efforts do a disservice to Americans at a time when our democratic institutions are still fragile. Distraction from the facts is a strategy designed to facilitate the specter of a former president, whose rampant criminality continues to be celebrated in some quarters of the country, to return to the White House.

Memories fade quickly in an era of mass media consumption. The aftermath of 2020 could have been much worse. People lost their lives while, for 187 minutes, the 45th president of the United States reportedly threw ketchup and refused to calm his rioting supporters. The only logical conclusion is that he refused to quell the attack because he hoped it would succeed. He wanted to stay in office. He didn’t care about democracy. 

But sure, Senator Cruz, tell us about the most important controversy in America this weekend.

Joyce Vance

Joyce White Vance is an MSNBC columnist and NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst. She is a law professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and a former U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Alabama.

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