Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted a video Wednesday of a mob toppling a statue of Christopher Columbus outside the Minnesota State Capitol, accompanied by the caption “American Taliban.”
In an attempt to take a shot at Cruz, far-left Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California responded with a tweet that completely missed the mark.
*The Taliban defend their wives.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) June 11, 2020
“The Taliban defend their wives,” he wrote.
Swalwell’s tweet likely referred to a dust-up between Cruz and then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 GOP primaries, when Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2016
At the time, Cruz, engaged in a bitter battle with Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, defended his wife and called his opponent’s comments a “new low,” according to The Washington Post. The bad blood continued in the coming months, as Cruz refused to endorse Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
However, that changed closer to Election Day, when Cruz decided to endorse his former rival, noting that “Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable” and that Trump was “the only thing standing in Clinton’s way,” The Guardian reported at the time.
Throughout the Trump presidency, Cruz has remained quite supportive of the president in spite of what happened in 2016, likely leading to Swalwell’s attempt to make Cruz look like a bad husband.
However, Swalwell’s assertion that “The Taliban defend their wives” is completely tone-deaf.
When interviewing Swalwell in January amid the Trump impeachment hysteria, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked him: “What world do you guys live in?” That questions seems even more appropriate to ask now than ever before.
Perhaps the California congressman and former Democratic presidential candidate actually does not know how awful and misogynistic the Taliban truly are. If that’s the case, he can check out a 2017 Reuters article whose headline said it all: “Invisible Taliban child brides, widows trapped as sex slaves.”
Laying waste to Swalwell’s utterly ridiculous claim that “The Taliban defend their wives,” the article profiled a woman named Fatima whose “Taliban husband was so controlling that he refused to allow her to bathe and threatened to burn her face if she dared wear make up, suspicious that his 12-year-old Afghan wife was trying to make herself attractive to other men.”
As if that was not horrifying enough, Fatima, who had reached the age of 18 by the time of the article’s publication, told Reuters that her adult husband “began to rape me and beat me every single day for not consenting (to sex).”
Unlike in America, where women have the same basic rights as men, the Taliban treats women as second-class citizens. This made life very difficult and unpleasant for women during the Taliban’s reign of terror in Afghanistan, which ended in 2001 when they were overthrown by U.S. forces.
The Taliban “barred women from education and most work and ordered them to wear burqas outside the home,” according to Reuters. In America, on the other hand, women now comprise nearly half of the college-educated workforce, according to the Pew Research Center.
Even years after the Taliban were overthrown, “Child and forced marriage are outlawed but remain common in Afghanistan, particularly among poor families eager for dowries,” Reuters reported in 2017. “Half of all girls are married by the age of 15.”
Sadly, Swalwell’s delusions about the Taliban should not come as that much of a surprise. After all, the congressman still maintained that Trump was a Russian asset even after the Mueller investigation wrapped up.
Based on his apparent level of ignorance about the horrors perpetuated by the Taliban, Americans should breathe a sigh of relief that Swalwell’s presidential campaign fizzled out. (Swalwell became the first high-profile Democratic presidential candidate to drop out of the 2020 race in July 2019.)
However, the massive Democratic lean of Swalwell’s district gives him a huge cushion to make a fool out of himself. As Nancy Pelosi might say, a “glass of water would win with a ‘D’ next to its name” in his district.
Swalwell’s attempt to score political points by jabbing at Cruz backfired tremendously. Instead, the one-time presidential hopeful proved that he knows just as much about the Taliban as he does about gun statistics, which is not very much.
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