Just when we were sure we'd seen it all, Ted Cruz hits the brakes and surprises us again. How so? He wrote a letter of appreciation to President Barack Obama.
Yep, that's it. The Texas senator who has made opposing everything the folks across the aisle come up with (as well as his own party) found it in him to say something nice. In an essay published in Politico, Cruz committed to paper more than 600 words of thanks to the president for signing Senate Bill 2195 into law last week.
Thanks to President Obama for joining a unanimous Congress and signing S 2195 into law. This bill gives the president the authority to deny visas to United Nations ambassadors who are known terrorists, such as Iran's recent nominee Hamid Aboutalebi, who was a participant in the 1979 hostage crisis. The government of the United States has thereby sent an unequivocal, bipartisan message that we will not tolerate the ongoing campaign of insult and antagonism from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The bill prevents anyone who has been involved in espionage or terrorism against the United States from being allowed into the United States through admission to the United Nations. Unsurprisingly, the bill was authored by none other than Cruz, but it got a lot of traction in Congress and passed at the beginning of April.
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Cruz has made himself famously unpopular with both the Democrats and the members of his own party. While it may seem surprising that the bill moved through both Congress and the White House quicker than a greased goose down a slide (if that's not a real saying, it should be), there was a pretty clear, unifying motivation that likely outweighed the political instinct to oppose anything that Cruz is pushing for. Namely, it's no coincidence that the whole thing moved through the works of federal government after Iran named Hamid Aboutalebi as ambassador to the United Nations.
Aboutalebi was the interpreter for the militant student group that stormed the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979 (for those who don't remember or hadn't been born yet, this is the event Argo was based on.) Iran ignored the United States government's protests when it named this guy as U.N. ambassador, but Obama argued that the Constitution gives him the right to choose not to receive the guy, according to The New York Times. In pushing the issue, Iran managed to come up with one thing that Cruz, Obama and Congress can agree on -- they don't want this guy in the country.
So even though the bill was written by Cruz -- the guy so disliked by members of his own party he has joked about needing a food taster -- it got passed and signed into law without a hitch. Cruz then sealed the deal with a very nice open "letter of appreciation" to the president.
He owned that Washington, D.C. is currently known for being the place where nothing gets done (without ever owning that he himself is one of the most enthusiastic nothing-doers working in D.C. today) but he then managed to give credit to the President and everybody else for agreeing to support the bill Cruz penned. (Cruz is showing a slightly softer side, but this is still the guy who read Dr. Seuss on the Senate floor about Obamacare last fall -- he's not going to change that much.)