back to article Ted Cruz channels Senator McCarthy in wrongheaded internet power grab crusade

With echoes of the notorious hearings run by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, Wednesday saw Senator Ted Cruz cajole, misrepresent and then outright threaten witnesses to a hearing he called over the important change to the internet's functioning. The hearing titled Protecting Internet Freedom: Implications of Ending U.S. …

  1. jamesb2147

    Appropriate response

    Oh, Kieren.

    The appropriate response would be to strip Cruz of his position of authority within the Senate. The rider should pass or fail on its own merits.

    Cruz, lacking any merit, seems fit to be removed. I'm actually curious how a freshman Senator got to his position anyway. Is it just because Texas holds so much sway..?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Appropriate response

      I'm actually curious how a freshman Senator got to his position anyway. Is it just because Texas holds so much sway..

      Nope.. not Texas. He's got a bigger mouth then the others and knows how to manipulate the media to get his soundbites out.. Kinda' reminds me of someone else in politics.

    2. Preston Munchensonton

      Re: Appropriate response

      I'm actually curious how a freshman Senator got to his position anyway. Is it just because Texas holds so much sway..?

      He billed himself as anti-establishment, which is how he was elected. His stature in the committee stems from the fact that his party leaders felt that he could do the least damage there.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Appropriate response

      The appropriate response would be to ... send for the men in white coats to come and take him away?

  2. Efros


    Sounds about standard for this prick. Only good thing he's done lately has been to refuse to endorse Trump.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cruz

      He only did it because he calculated that Trump was likely to lose, and that his position when running for the republican nomination again in 2020 would be enhanced by refusing to endorse him. If he believed supporting him would sure the nomination in 2020, he would endorse Trump and happily campaign for him. He has no scruples, he just wants power. But then that's true of the large majority of those who run for president, of course.

  3. hplasm

    I don't know much about Cruz.

    But I do know now that he's an idiot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't know much about Cruz.

      If you want to know just how big of an idiot, consider that he's widely regarded as the least popular senator - even by members of his own party. His fellow republicans hate him more than even the big liberal icons like Reid and Pelosi! One long time republican said earlier this year "if you kill Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial is in the Senate, no one will convict you".

      If only one of them would put that theory to the test...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't know much about Cruz.

        Cruz opposed the Power structure that owns congress, and legions of idiots buy into the strange concept that because that power structure doesn't like him, neither should they.

        Screw that. You guys may buy it, but I don't take kindly to such obvious minds control by the powers that be. It's just sad that so many of you have no clue and parrot the party line blindly.

        I'm not saying Cruz doesn't have flaws, but being disliked by a lot of corrupt power grabbers isn't one of them.

        1. Dan Wilkie

          Re: I don't know much about Cruz.

          I know nothing about American politics, what he stands for, and frankly nor do I care.

          What I do now, is that he's a weapons-grade bellend.

        2. netminder

          Re: I don't know much about Cruz.

          Not even close. Cruz is a demagogue who manipulates morons by pretending to be anti-establishment. He sells the idea that America is under attack from within by anyone who is not white, male and Christian. He rides the same wave of hate that floats Trump. He offers simple, stupid, solutions that would not work and sells them with pure BS just like demonstrated in this hearing. He is a dangerous authoritarian who will leave the nation worse off if he gets his way

        3. Terrance Brennan

          Re: I don't know much about Cruz.

          Cruz is a not only a dangerous demagogue he is a lying, phony, corrupt sack of shite. While convincing legions of idiots he is ant-establishment and against the Power structure he took millions of dollars in "loans" from the financial industry and then "forgot" to declare them in his financial disclosure forms when running for the Senate in that strong hold of idiots, Texas.

          1. Naselus

            Re: I don't know much about Cruz.

            Cruz is basically pond scum which has learned to use the term 'conservative values' wherever possible to garner votes from Southern gun nuts and religious crazies. Big John is fairly typical of the Cruz demographic - he hates everyone in government and so assumes Cruz is OK because he says the same stuff.

            This kind of moronic grandstanding is absolutely standard Cruz; he forced a government shutdown against the wishes of everyone - including his own party - mostly to big himself up and he is completely shameless in his quest for self-aggrandizement. He is a very visible symptom of the deep dysfunction in US politics.

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: I don't know much about Cruz.

      >But I do know now that he's an idiot.

      You forgot the word "dangerous".

      It always amuses me to hear someone railing on about 'authoritarian governments' while pursuing policies that appear to be nothing short of authoritarian.

    3. Anonymous Coward
  4. SirWired 1

    There's some real questions, and they didn't get asked

    There were some real questions that could have been asked of ICANN and the DoC about the transition, specifically persistent issues in ICANNs accountability.

    Instead, it appears Cruz decided to hijack the hearing so he could well, do whatever it is he does.

    Since not even his GOP brethren like him (dickish individual grandstanding is par for the course for him), and since nobody even asked the important questions on accountability, we can guess that there will be no rider preventing the contract handover, and it'll happen at the end of the month on schedule.

  5. Chris King

    Ted's playing the Long Game...

    Google "Ted Cruz coloring book".

    Catch 'em young, and all that...

    1. MacroRodent

      Re: Ted's playing the Long Game...

      > Google "Ted Cruz coloring book".

      Now that left me speechless!

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Ted's playing the Long Game...

        Now that left me speechless!

        I'll see your speechless, and raise you aghast, appalled and wondering what planet I woke up on this morning.

        Great Cthulhu, come and eat us now.

  6. Lars Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    ElReg, you could keep that horror out of here, internet related or not.

  7. after3

    Ted Cruz is great. Fighting for our freedom.

    1. Sebastian A

      Oh honey...

    2. oldenoughtoknowbetter


      You need to use the Joke Icon when you post stuff like this.

      Unless you were serious, if which did you get distracted from your crayons?

      1. Dan Wilkie

        He ate them all?

  8. Crazy Operations Guy

    He clearly doesn't understand the First Amendment

    The First Amendment only prevent the government from unreasonably preventing someone to practice their religion or make statements in public. The only place on the internet were that would be applicable would be on government-run websites. The First Amendment would still apply after IANA is pulled out from under the DoC

    Besides, its not like First Amendment rights are actually being enforced on the internet anyway, given that no one has done anything about ICANN refusing to approve the creation of .gay but just rubber-stamps applications by big corporations (and also that douche in Bellevue, Washington, USA who has registered 189+ gTLDs that have only been used by companies to protect their trademarks. One example of pointlessness:

    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Teddy a republican, and isn't their mission to get rid of as much government regulation as possible?

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: He clearly doesn't understand the First Amendment

      >but isn't Teddy a republican, and isn't their mission to get rid of as much government regulation as possible

      That's normal -- overall Republicans have no problem restricting others' freedoms, they just don't want the law applying to themselves. (A Republican who honestly believes in personal freedom is a Libertarian.)(There's a catch; 'personal freedom' also applies to corporations because they're people.)

    2. Sebastian A

      Re: He clearly doesn't understand the First Amendment

      Republicans only pay lip service to their supposed "small govt" goals. They'll legislate the shit out of anything if it stops (1) abortions, (2) black people voting, and (3) guns being regulated in any way.

      Much like the most outspoken homophobes in their party are the ones busted at 3am in public toilets soliciting for gay sex... I mean "doing research on the dirty hommo secksuals."

  9. Winkypop Silver badge


    Seriously elevated above his capability.

  10. channel extended

    Turd Cruz...

    Has clearly reach his level of incompetence.

    C. Northcoate Parkinson

  11. Darth.0

    Boehner got it right

    He is "Lucifer in the flesh". You know, if you believe in such things.

  12. Gis Bun

    Considering how Cruz started to campaign for the GOP leadership during the GOP convention a few months back [i.e. doesn't expect Trump to win], how can he say "...we will conduct a thorough review..."? A new government will be in place but don't expect it to be a GOP government led by Crooked Drumpf. If Drumpf isn't the President, Cruz may not lead any committee.

  13. axelad

    Kudos to Larry Strickling and the NTIA and Shame on Cruz

    Thank you Kieren for excellent piece! And thanks for the reminder of the parallels with Sen. Joseph McCarthy's hearings.

    Threatening DOC and NTIA staff with Jail?! Did Sen. Cruz really sink that low?

    The IANA transition that has been a multi-stakeholder process, it has the support of the internet/tech community, and is the logical next step in the evolution of the Internet. But Sen. Cruz, a failed but still dangerous demagogue, has chosen this issue as his political football to get back into the media limelight. What a travesty of the political system to allow jokers like Sen. Cruz to exploit taxpayer money, and the time and patience of good and hardworking public servants for his own nefarious aims. His conclusions should be swiftly and decisively rejected by his colleagues.

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