Mansplaining at its finest. Amy Davidson, at the New Yorker:
“I am not a sixth grader,” Senator Dianne Feinstein told Ted Cruz in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday. “I am reasonably well-educated, and I thank you for the lecture.” She looked, really, like she might throw some water in his face. So did Senators Leahy and Schumer, who were on either side of her. They were there to vote on an assault-weapons ban; it got out of committee by a vote of ten Democrats for, eight Republicans against. Before it did, Cruz found time for a bit of sophistry. He noted that the bill listed “particular firearms that, if this bill were passed, Congress would deem prohibited. It seems to me that all of us should begin as our foundational document with the Constitution.” He explained to Feinstein that the Second Amendment gave people the right to bear arms, in a tone that suggested that she might not have heard about it. Would she, he asked, alter the First or Fourth Amendments “only to the following books…Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures properly apply only to the following specified individuals.” Feinstein:
Let me just make a couple of points in response—one, I’m not a sixth grader, Senator, I’ve been on this committee for twenty 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… Look, there are other weapons. I’m not a lawyer, but after twenty 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 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.
She noted that there were a lot of guns that people could still carry (“Do they need a bazooka?”). She added, “So I come from a different place than you do.”
Cruz, with no betrayal of embarrassment, said that he didn’t doubt “her sincerity or her passion. At the same time, I note that she has not answered my question.” As he and Feinstein started interrupting each other about books, Leahy, the Committee Chairman, jumped in:
LEAHY: I appreciate that discussion of books. I know that you have that in your state of Texas, where your educational boards tell people what books they should and shouldn’t read in schools, something that we would not do in Vermont.
CRUZ: Mr. Chairman, I, I appreciate your, your acknowledging that the state of Texas allows books.
A Texas-Vermont showdown—can it be that Cruz is not entirely endearing himself to his colleagues? Charles Schumer, at this point, was practically bouncing up to say “Child pornography books!”—as an example of limits. Feinstein reiterated the point she had made by citing Heller in the first place: “It’s obvious that there are different tests for different amendments.” (And Cruz, for all his pedantry, gave a truncated and ahistorical version of the Second Amendment.)…
Yes, I am aware that this ban is almost certainly not going to become law — although I think it’s a valid bargaining chip in the fight to ban extended clips/magazines, which would be more effective than a model-by-model ban list anyway. But can you imagine this little putz Cruz talking like this to another Congressman? The thought would never cross his furrowed brow, not because he was afraid that his opponent would sneak up in the cloakroom and give him an atomic swirly, but because Ted honestly doesn’t think women deserve the same basic courtesy he’d show to a male work colleague (he’s snotty to Leahy, too, but he doesn’t attempt to lecture him.)