The Republican party's hysteria over critical race theory, COVID-19 safety protocols, and transgender students has heated rhetoric across the country, bringing school board and county meetings to a halt with threats of violence.
One woman in Kansas said at a county commissioners meeting that members would be "tried for crimes against humanity" for mandating masks in schools, absurdly claiming there was "zero evidence that COVID-19 exists in the world." In Pennsylvania, a GOP gubernatorial candidate vowed to storm school boards with "20 strong men" in order to forcibly "remove" them from their posts. In Virginia, a school board meeting was declared an unlawful assembly after attendees grew increasingly belligerent. Attendees of a school board meeting in Tennessee surrounded a medical expert's car, threatening, "We'll find you!" after he testified in favor of masking kids in school.
In response to these increased threats of violence, the National School Board Association (NSBA) released a letter to the Department of Justice, imploring Attorney General Merrick Garland to assess the increased level of threats against school board members in the face of right wing talking points.
The letter said of the rampant intimidation:
"As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes."
In response, Garland wrote:
"Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation's core values. Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety."
And thus was born a new instance of GOP outrage.
When the NSBA likened death threats to school board members to domestic terrorism and the Justice Department vowed to investigate these heightened threats, Republican lawmakers and media outlets began falsely claiming that the Biden Administration labeled all parents with objections to their child's curriculum as domestic terrorists. The NSBA eventually apologized for some of the language used in the letter.
Far-right Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who found himself defending Nazi salutes to perpetuate the NSBA hysteria line of reasoning, received a rare Fox News fact check on Wednesday after peddling the "domestic terrorist" nonsense.
Watch below, at around the 1:30 mark.
Cruz, gloating about Republicans' victory in the Virginia gubernatorial election, said:
"The arrogance of the Democrats saying 'parents have no control over [their child's education],' and even worse, the attorney general ― Joe Biden's attorney general ― calling those parents domestic terrorists. I think that directly led to the result last night."
Again, the NSBA wrote a letter to Biden's Attorney General saying that certain threats against school boards could potentially be defined as domestic terrorism. At no point did Merrick Garland label any parent as a domestic terrorist, and at no point did the NSBA letter equate all parents with curriculum complaints to domestic terrorists.
Fox News anchor John Roberts felt compelled to fact check Cruz, saying:
"Although in fairness, [Garland] said that they weren't domestic terrorists. It was the National School Boards Association that said that."
People were fed up with Cruz and his Fox News appearance.
Later, Cruz shared a clip of the Fox segment, but failed to include the part when Roberts fact-checked his bogus domestic terrorist claim.
People soon called him out for that as well.
As a career politician, Cruz already enjoyed notoriety for failing multiple times to secure the Republican nomination for President. Earlier this year, he stepped further into the national spotlight for vacationing to sunny Cancún, Mexico, riding out the devastating winter storm in Texas that killed more than 200 of his constituents.