Cruz vs. Feinstein, Texas vs. California, Liberty vs. …???

Posted by: Phineas on March 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm

**Posted by Phineas

The following fascinating exchange occurred between Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today on gun control, presumably including Feinstein’s pet legislation to outlaw scary weapons. First, Ted Cruz:

“The question that I would pose to the senior senator from California is,” said Cruz to Feinstein, “Would she deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second Amendment in the context of the First or Fourth Amendment, namely, would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights? Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?

Notice how Cruz approaches the question of the legislation before them: as a Senator of the United States, whose oath binds him to protect and defend the Constitution. His first concern, therefore, is where it should be — on how the legislation jibes with the Constitution, the rights it enshrines and the limits it imposes on government. Hence the questions about the First and Fourth amendments and the attempt to draw a logical parallel in order to test whether gun control legislation meets constitutional muster.

Call me naive, but isn’t this how the Senate is supposed to operate?

Apparently the whole thing was just too much for Senator Feinstein to bear:

“I’m not a sixth grader,” said Feinstein. “Senator, I’ve been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I’ve looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I’ve seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered. Look, there are other weapons. I’ve been up — I’m not a lawyer, but after 20 years I’ve been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it. This doesn’t mean that weapons of war and the Heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here. And so I — you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve passed on a number of bills. I’ve studied the Constitution myself. I am reasonably well educated, and I thank you for the lecture.”

In other words, “Don’t you dare presume to question me, boy!”

Note how Feinstein replies: outrage at supposed disrespect (“I’ve been here for 20 years! I’ve passed bills!”); an emotional appeal (“I’ve seen dead people! Think of the children!”); and confusing the issue through ignorance (cosmetic features do not a “weapon of war” make, no matter how scary looking). But only once does she touch upon the Constitution, referring to Heller, and she never answers Cruz’s questions.

Memo to Senator Feinstein: You may have been in Washington for a lot of years (too many, if you ask me), you may have sat at one of the constitutional seats of power, maybe even read the Constitution, but you clearly don’t “get it,” and I doubt you’ve ever really thought about it. Your smokescreen reply to your colleague from Texas betrayed the emptiness of your position, its lack of any constitutional legitimacy. It was the bluster of an oligarch unaccustomed to being truly challenged. Senator Cruz was doing exactly what he should be doing, and what you should have been doing for those 20 years you’re so proud of.

I may be, like you, a child of the Golden State, but, right now?

I side with the Lone Star.

via The Weekly Standard, which has video

UPDATE/FLASHBACK: Don’t bother Senator Feinstein with facts, either.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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10 Responses to “Cruz vs. Feinstein, Texas vs. California, Liberty vs. …???”


  1. Drew the Infidel says:

    This is the sort of thing you would expect from Feinstein, by nature a person of few wise words. Once legislators start picking and choosing individual rights they will choose which ones they will pick from your protections. Those who fought to defend freedom have an appreciation and outlook on freedom which will never be known by the protected.

  2. Cruz cornered Feinstein brilliantly — perfectly. She’s utterly uninterested in Constitutional requirements, or she would have faced the question squarely rather than going off an an I’m-so-offended tirade. Then again, she’s a Democrat, and they all have their sense of public duty surgically removed before assuming office.

    Cruz looks more and more to me like The Man We Need. At this point it’s between him and Rand Paul. We shall see.

  3. Sefton says:

    Pelosi had a similar response to someone who questioned her on the Constitutionality of the ACA; basically, “You’re kidding, right?” Ofcourse, later, she ended up showing her ignorance of the Constitution in a November press conference when she didn’t know the difference between the 11th and 14th Amendments; “Whatever it is, I’m with the Constitution.”

    The two of them are cut from the same cloth. As Phineas said “It was the bluster of an oligarch unaccustomed to being truly challenged.” To have a freshman Senator try to school her was the highest insult in her holier-than-thou mind.

    As a Texan who voted for Ted Cruz, I couldn’t be more proud of the man in his short time in Washington. I’ve already written him two notes of praise and will now write another.

  4. I was absolutely thrilled to see the Dishonorable Dianne Feinstein bitch-slapped that way. I severely doubt she’ll remember the incident with pleasure.

  5. Tex says:

    Well they don’t call him the “Cruz Missile” here in Texas for nothing. I’m glad I live in Texas where all this “people don’t kill people, guns kill people” insanity in the rest of the country is failing to take root here. Even most Texas Democrats have the common sense to try and stay out of this insanity sweeping the Democratic Party nationwide.

    Feinstein, like most Liberals, will never answer direct questions about controversial subjects, choosing instead to change subjects when cornered. Note how she failed to answer Cruz’s direct questions about the Constitution and Bill of Rights opting instead for playing the indirect victim of gun violence.

  6. David Lentz says:

    The problem with the democrates jihad for gun controi is that is being lead by idiots, to wit Dianne Feinstein. The senior senator believes in magical tooth fairies and imploding bullets Well at least the latter.

    DiFi seems to think that the public uses military styloe weapons, when military weapons, and those of DHS, are machine guns. Whereas the public is restricted to semi-automatics.

    DiFi stated “She was not a sixth grader.” Could have fooled me

  7. H Hazell says:

    Those criticizing Cruz (including Feinstein) seem to deliberately ignore his point: A published book (printed now or in the future) is like existing firearms (existing now or to be made in the future) in that we have the freedom to choose to use it or not based on our self-determined needs or wants. The limits on the First Amendment relate to it’s abuse (use of that right to generate panic, openly publish the visual results of one’s rape or abuse of a child, or to express oneself through the commission of an already illegal act, etc). In other words, neither protects someone committing an already criminal act. Let us not create more “crimes” by further constraining law-abiding citizens right to keep (own and maintain) and bear (be on their person regardless of where their persons may be, excepting where property owner’s rights prevail).

  8. Carlos says:

    Of course, if it ever reaches the media, she will simply state that she “misspoke,” but her statement, “I’ve seen the bullets that implode.” is a very interesting one.

    How does a bullet “implode?” I’m familiar with most ammunition, but I’ve never seen or read of a bullet that could “implode.” Shatter, yes, explode, yes, tear people/targets apart, yes, but “implode?” Never.

    Maybe she, as a 6th grade graduate, doesn’t know what that word means?

  9. Carlos says:

    A little (but not much) off topic.

    And speaking of stupid, I just got a rundown on the Patty Murray/(“Don’t get between me and a camera”) Chucky Cheezy Schumer “Tax Reform” bill they’ve proposed.

    Someone needs to explain to them that increasing tax rates and eliminating deductions is not “reform.” It’s a blatant attempt by them to get people as stupid as them to believe that by increasing the available tax money for them to frivolously waste they are “reforming” the tax code.

    I am rapidly coming to believe that, with the present makeup of Congress and the WH, gridlock is in the best interest of the nation. At least legally passed laws won’t screw “We, the People,” and (if the Repubs had the gonads to fight “executive fiat” in courts) the government will only be able to maintain its onerous and odorous burden on producers, not increase it exponentially.

    I wish my golf scores on each hole were as low as the combined IQs of Murray and Schumer.

  10. Chris in N.Va. says:

    Not-so-fine-stein —-

    Once again proving herself to be of small caliber and immense bore.