Go Ted Go!

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on the State Department's 2021 budget on July 30, 2020. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

I didn’t get to this until last night, after the Roe coverage was completed. But it’s worth a few minutes of your time to watch Ted Cruz flailing.

Let me set the stage.

Dale Ho is a civil rights lawyer nominated by President Biden to the federal bench in New York. Until his nomination, Ho was the ACLU’s lead lawyer on voting rights. He’s been a central figure in many of our voting rights stories over the past few years. Here Ho is taking on Kris Kobach over his controversial proof-of-citizenship voter registration law, in a case where Kobach was sanctioned and ordered to take legal education classes. Here is Ho taking Trump’s citizenship question on the census all the way to the Supreme Court, and winning. You get the idea. Ho is smart, effective, and a prime target for Republican senators considering his nomination.

Enter Ted Cruz.

Ho’s confirmation hearing was Wednesday. And Cruz took his best shot. By his own comms guy’s telling, Cruz mopped the floor with Ho.

But give the exchange a look. I found the whole thing amusing. Cruz is throwing punches like windmill, but Ho calmly keeps him at arm’s length and the punches don’t land. Cruz at first seems perplexed, then starts to seem intimidated, like he’s bitten off more than he intended. The most Cruz can muster is harrumphs. Ho remains unperturbed. That’s my sense of it. You can decide for yourself:

Other GOP senators took their shots, too. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) called Ho an “angry man.” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) tussled over past public statements by Ho, who apologized in the hearing for “overheated” tweets.

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