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Response to Attack on Ted Cruz

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Because Cruz kept a repeat offender in prison, Brooks says he’s not a good Christian. David Brooks does not like Ted Cruz. In an escalating series of attacks, Brooks has gone from saying that Cruz doesn’t “live within the confines of reality” and is “nakedly ambitious” — a “selfish Machiavellian” — to now saying that Cruz’s rhetoric is “Satanic” or perhaps “Mephistophelian.”

But Brooks really tears into Cruz in his latest column, arguing that his speeches are “marked by what you might call pagan brutalism.” He claims that Cruz’s “career and public presentation” are devoid of “the Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion and grace.” To bolster his argument, Brooks highlights the Supreme Court case of Dretke v. Haley, claiming that it presents Cruz at his pharisaical worst, “applying the letter of the law in a way that violates the spirit of the law, as well as fairness and mercy.” Brooks not only mischaracterizes the case, he does so in a way that indicates that he’s the one lacking in charity — that his hatred for Cruz is impacting his professional judgment. Here’s how Brooks describes the case:

Here’s how Brooks describes the case:

In 1997, Michael Wayne Haley was arrested after stealing a calculator from Walmart. This was a crime that merited a maximum two-year prison term. But prosecutors incorrectly applied a habitual offender law. Neither the judge nor the defense lawyer caught the error and Haley was sentenced to 16 years. Eventually, the mistake came to light and Haley tried to fix it. Ted Cruz was solicitor general of Texas at the time. Instead of just letting Haley go for time served, Cruz took the case to the Supreme Court to keep Haley in prison for the full 16 years.

Cruz is terrible, right? Rather than let Haley go, he vindictively pursued the case all the way to the Supreme Court to keep a relatively harmless calculator thief in prison, right? Not so fast. It turns out the facts are more complicated. Haley was a two-time felon, previously convicted of delivering amphetamine and of robbery. The calculator theft was his third felony, and under fairly typical state statutes mandating far more draconian penalties for three-time felons, he was sentenced to a lengthy prison term.


Source: David French, http://www.nationalreview.com