In a column for the conservative Bulwark, political analyst Jonathan Last ridiculed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for going soft on the idea of presidential impeachments when it comes to Donald Trump after floating the possibility of going after former President Barack Obama when he was in office.
Noting that Cruz -- as well as fellow GOP Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) -- have previously set a low bar for starting impeachment inquiries when it comes to Democratic presidents, Last sarcastically points out that Cruz has now "evolved" with Trump in the Oval Office.
"Impeachment does strange things to people," he wrote. "With the revelation that President Donald Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden as a personal favor—and the subsequent creation of an impeachment inquiry in the House—lots of Republicans are . . . evolving."
Noting Republicans who worry the country might be torn apart by "divisive" impeachment hearings, as well as complaints that things are moving too fast, Last explains that Cruz is using all the excuses available to him to avoid agreeing that the president should face scrutiny over his Ukraine phone call scandal.
"Others have stroked their beards and worried about how terrible it is that Democrats are wasting the country’s time with impeachment. Or how unfair it is that they’re rushing ahead without the facts. Or how awful it is that Democrats irrationally hate Trump and view him as illegitimate," he wrote. "Ted Cruz trotted out all three of these non-defenses over the last few days. Which is fine. Ted Cruz is gonna Ted Cruz."
According to Last, it was not so long ago that Cruz saw impeaching the president in a far different light.
"Back in 2013 Ted Cruz was giving a speech in Conroe, Texas, when an audience member asked, 'Why don’t we impeach him [Obama]?'
Cruz’s response: 'It’s a good question," Last recalled. "The only reason not to impeach Obama, he said, was purely tactical: Not enough votes in the Senate. A few months later, Cruz sat down for an interview with Newsmax and was asked about impeaching Obama again. He ducked and swerved. He said that Obama’s 'lawless' behavior was 'deeply dangerous.' But he wouldn’t say, No. This is stupid. You don’t impeach presidents just because you dislike them."
"Rafael Edward Cruz, America’s grand constitutional conservative, didn’t want to influence members of the House of Representatives by saying outright that President Obama should be impeached. But he didn’t want to say that Obama shouldn’t be impeached, either," the columnist explained. " So instead he gifted unto the nation his Solomonic refusal to say what he thought about impeachment at all, even though—nudge-nudge, wink-wink—what are you supposed to do with "deeply dangerous,' 'lawless' presidents?"
"When the issue is impeaching Obama, Cruz didn’t want to prejudge anything. He wanted to focus on letting the House do its job of deliberating on article of impeachment, after which he would exercise his best judgment—but only after taking in the full array of facts'" Last continued. "Now that the issue is impeaching Trump, Cruz has looked at two weeks worth of facts and knows enough to declare that this entire House 'circus' is nothing more than 'an attempt find any reason under the sun to impeach the president and undo the results of the last election.'"
After also taking shots at a rogue's gallery of Republicans, still in office and out, who hounded Obama and wanted him forced from office, Last said their defense of Trump -- or outright silence on the Ukraine scandal -- means they shouldn't be taken seriously.
"Reasonable people can disagree about whether or not the already-proven facts concerning Trump and Ukraine are sufficient to warrant impeachment. But reasonable people can not have argued that Obama committed impeachable offenses and that we already know, for sure, that Trump has not," he wrote, before adding, "Anyone from this Venn diagram who now wants to con-splain to you why akshually, Trump did nothing wrong and this is just a coup attempt by politically-motivated Democrats who are rushing to conclusions is a bad-actor or a hack. There is no reason you—or anyone else—should put stock in anything they say."
You can read the whole piece here.