What’s really propping up Ted Cruz birtherism? Falsehoods, ideas about race, and Trump

There’s a tendency to shy away from describing any aspect of American democracy as flat-out broken, unhinged or disfigured. Instead, violent political rally-goers are often described as “passionate.” Bigotry is reframed as anxiety, and the questions about the eligibility of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to serve in the White House? Well, that’s just an intriguing legal curio. The Fix has expressed its own version of the latter.

But to reach such a conclusion, observers really have to rather selectively pick at the facts and events surrounding the question of Cruz’s eligibility and the language used. Then, one must ignore the demographics of politicians who come under an odd kind of public citizenship scrutiny — and who doesn’t?

Of course, at least some people involved in the question-Cruz’s-eligibility parade may be genuinely intrigued by what they consider a lingering legal question about the meaning of a “natural-born citizen.” Some have long-standing political beefs with Cruz. For them, this is just a new round in the fight. And some of these folks have serious concerns about Cruz’s now well-documented indifference toward the important art of Senate compromise.