Ted Cruz defends American exceptionalism

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on Sean Hannity’s show to discuss the situation in Syria, where Cruz made a point of bringing up Vladimir Putin’s New York Times op-ed, because he wanted a chance to respond to it:

“Autocrats have reason to fear when Americans focus on our principles, and focus on exceptionalism, because it’s been American exceptionalism that stood up to the Nazis, stopped the murder from the Nazis,” said Cruz.  “And it was American exceptionalism that stood up to the Soviet Union and freed hundreds of millions from behind the Iron Curtin.  So Putin is right to be concerned about American exceptionalism.”

Cruz is too polite to say “damn right,” but I think the “damn” is fairly well implied.  He was also very gracious in commending President Obama for abandoning his unilateral war plans and consulting with Congress – something many suspect was not done because Obama suddenly discovered a new reverence for the Constitution, but Cruz didn’t sound like he was administering a backhanded compliment.

He professed himself dubious that the Russians would actually be able to confiscate Syria’s weapons of mass destruction (or are truly interested in doing so) but allowed it would be great if that’s what ended up happening, observing that allowing those weapons to fall into the hands of al-Qaeda was the worst possible outcome.  “Trust but verify,” Cruz declared, invoking Ronald Reagan’s advice for dealing with the Soviet Union.  He worried that American weakness was being projected into a dangerous part of the world, and noted that the purpose of the American military is not to defend “international norms.”

Cruz also had a bit to say about his effort to defund ObamaCare.  “You lose a hundred percent of the battles that you refuse to fight at the outset,” he said, resolute in his determination to fight a difficult battle.  He may take some encouragement from the new CNN poll that shows ObamaCare’s support among the public dropping below forty percent – a drop the pollsters attribute, in part, to the efforts of “conservative groups to try and defund the health care law.”