In his latest expression of faux-outrage, Sen. Ted Cruz slammed his boot on a table during a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Thursday. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene later joined Cruz in blasting the FBI for supposedly politicizing its training. At issue is an unverified document identifying symbols that could be indicative of militia violent extremism (MVE).
Trying to come across as some brave patriot, Cruz declared: “I will self-report right now that every day in the Senate I wear my boots that have the Gonzales battle flag on the back of them.” In a video, Greene offered her admission that another listed symbol, the Gadsden flag, hangs outside her office, adding, “That’s really odd to put on the list of militia violent extremism.” Greene then concluded that because the FBI considers “Second Amendment logos to be violent extremism,” it means “our government is turning against the American people.”
Insisting that the alleged guidance “makes no sense,” Cruz reclaimed his boot and asked FBI Director Chris Wray, “What are y’all doing?” Wray, who continues to serve after having been nominated by Donald Trump to replace Jim Comey in 2017, promptly shut down the madness by pointing out what Cruz, Greene, and others are no doubt choosing to ignore.
Wray explained that when publishing such intelligence documents, the FBI normally takes “great pains” to “put caveats and warnings in the document to make clear that a symbol alone is not considered evidence of violent extremism.” Sure enough, according to reporting from Newsweek, the following sentence appears in boldface near the top of the very document in question: “The use or sharing of these symbols alone should not independently be considered evidence of MVE presence or affiliation or serve as an indicator of illegal activity, as many individuals use these symbols for their original, historic meaning, or other non-violent purposes.”
Cruz and Greene’s latest lame attempt to invent a controversy to excite their fringe base has failed. Like the recent deplorable efforts of several Republican Senators who tried in vain to block vital legislation to expand healthcare for millions of veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, Republican failure is becoming a trend.
In the meantime, Democrats are presenting a stark contrast in both ideas and leadership. Protecting same-sex marriage and abortion, lowering gas prices, brokering a deal to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, save the environment and more, all while decapitating Al Qaeda without a single civilian casualty, Democrats are proving they can lead the nation forward, even in the face of egregious Republican obstructionism. With just a few months left until the midterms, the Democratic Party is sailing with new momentum.