A Mid-term Report Card for Sen. Cruz

Dear Mr. and Ms. Texas,This is the mid-term evaluation of your student, Rafael "Ted" Cruz. A final grade will be issued in November.AttitudeRafael continues to exhibit a great deal of enthusiasm for his ambition, but he has difficulty in the classroom because of daydreams about the presidency. He also struggles with truthfulness, particularly when he hasn't done his homework.CostInclusive of salary, office, personnel and miscellaneous expenses, Rafael's cost to the taxpayer so far has been nearly $25 million.Legislative Accomplishments Number of bills co-sponsored: 242Number of bills co-sponsored that became law: 16Number of bills introduced: 229Number of bills introduced that became law: 2One of Rafael's bills denied entry to the United States to one Iranian official. The other non-binding law said that NASA should continue to be a multi-mission agency.Parts of four other bills by Cruz were merged into other legislation, including the naming of the courthouse in Sherman, Texas. For comparative purposes:Record number of bills from a Republican senator that became law: 742Median number of bills from a Republican senator that became law: 78AbsenteeismAbsentee ranking, 114th Congress: No. 1Number of roll call votes missed: 218Number of roll call votes taken: 1,533Average Senate absenteeism: 1 percentRafael's absenteeism: 14.2 percentRafael's absenteeism this year: 10.2 percentSubject AreasRafael does very well with conservative ideology but not so well on the more substantive and rigorous subjects of civil liberties, the environment or economics:Freedomworks (Political Philosophy): 100 or A+Americans for Prosperity (Koch Brothers Reading Circle): 98 or AU.S. Chamber of Commerce (Economics 101): 72 or CNational Rifle Association (NRA Drill Team): 100 or A+ACLU (Constitutional Law and You): 5 or FLeague of Conservation Voters (Man and The Environment): 3 or FHuman Rights Campaign (Respecting Others): 0 or F Arts and LanguagesForeign Language: CanadianMusic: Pop Country, after 9-11ProjectsAs a sophomore, Rafael has had several ambitious projects which he has promised to various members of the faculty:Balancing the budget: FAILRepealing Obamacare: FAILTax Cuts: PASSAbolish the IRS: FAILSupport the Second Amendment: PASSSupport the First Amendment: INCOMPLETEBuild Border Wall: FAILGet Mexico to Pay for Wall: FAILDeport 11 million undocumented immigrants: FAILExtracurricular ActivitiesRafael spends a good deal of time away from class because of a heavy schedule of extracurricular, non-school related activities, such as part-time jobs for mostly wealthy retirees. Rafael is also not contributing financially to his education:Large individual contributions: $5 millionSmall, individual contributions: $4.5 millionPACs: $ 647,000Candidate self-financing: $0Academic HonestyWe acknowledge that honesty is not high on the list of many of Rafael's classmates. The current class president, after all, has issued nearly 2,500 falsehoods in just over a year. However, Rafael struggles with truthfulness, particularly when evading the homework or a direct question:Rafael has said he never said anything bad about Donald Trump; he did in 2016. He claimed he never supported government shutdowns; he did in 2013. Most recently, he has added yet another claim: that a border patrol agent was killed in an attack by undocumented immigrants near El Paso; he wasn't. (The agent died, reportedly, in a car accident.) Working and Playing With OthersUnfortunately, Rafael has not improved dramatically in this area. Some comments from his peers include:"Wacko-bird""I just don't like the guy.""I like Ted Cruz probably more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted Cruz.""He's a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody anywhere likes him once they get to know him."We put the least emphasis on peer reviews but consider them a part of evaluating your student, Rafael, and his performance. (Particularly given his latest outburst on the radio ridiculing his opponent's name.) And that last one peer review quote? It came from his former friend, enemy and friend again, who did become class president: Donald Trump.Richard Parker is a writer in Austin and the author of Lone Star Nation: How Texas Will Transform America. He is a frequent contributor to The Dallas Morning News. Twitter: @richardparkertxWhat's your view?Got an opinion about this issue? Send a letter to the editor, and you just might get published.  Continue reading...

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