Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Who is Ted Cruz?

The other day, I called Ted Cruz a "lying piece of crap." Was that really fair? Who is the real Ted Cruz?

Well, Mother Jones has an interesting article about the people who know him - Republicans, mostly, who've worked with him in support of their mutual interests. It's quite a read. Here are a few brief excerpts:
"Ted thought he was an expert on everything," says this campaign veteran, who asked not to be named. ... In fact, this Bush alum recalls, "the quickest way for a meeting to end would be for Ted to come in. People would want out of that meeting. People wouldn't go to a meeting if they knew he would be there. It was his inability to be part of the team. That's exactly what he was: a big asshole." ...

[Rep. Peter King] has called Cruz a "carnival barker," a "counterfeit" with "no qualifications" who appeals "to the lowest common denominator," and "just a guy with a big mouth and no results." ...

GQ reported that Cruz started a study group during his first year in Cambridge, but he announced that "he didn't want anybody from 'minor Ivies' like Penn or Brown." In an interview with the Boston Globe, another student recalled what happened when she agreed to carpool with Cruz: "We hadn't left Manhattan before he asked my IQ." ...

"I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States," screenwriter Craig Mazin told the Daily Beast in 2013. "Anyone. I would rather pick somebody from the phone book." On Twitter, Mazin—who has called Cruz "a nightmare of a human being"—recalled that when he was a freshman sharing a dorm room with Cruz, he would get invited to parties hosted by seniors because the upperclassmen pitied him. Cruz, he notes, "was that widely loathed. It's his superpower." ...

Per the Daily Beast, "Several fellow classmates who asked that their names not be used described the young Cruz with words like 'abrasive,' 'intense,' 'strident,' 'crank,' and 'arrogant.' Four independently offered the word 'creepy.'"

And the Republican Party seems to be down to choosing between this creepy asshole and... Donald Trump (who hardly needs a description from me, given his penchant for chintzy self-promotion). Incredible, isn't it?

Are any mainstream Republicans beginning to wonder if deliberately wooing white racists, in their notorious 'Southern strategy,' was such a good idea after all?


jeff725 said...

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are a mirror of what thhis country has become. Consider:

-our most powerful politicians are assholes
-our most successful businesspeople are assholes
-our most lauded sports figures are assholes
-our most famous movie stars are assholes

When did being an asshole become a virtue? And it's not just celebrities; I run into people like this every day. People are NOT NICE anymore.

WCG said...

Maybe you're spending too much time online, Jeff. It's easy to be an asshole online, since it's just a virtual meeting between anonymous strangers.

Indeed, I suspect that assholes get publicity because most people aren't assholes. (Maybe they admire asshole celebrities because they're not brave enough themselves to be assholes? Or maybe it's like how people gather at the sites of gruesome accidents?)

You know, I always thought it was funny that "Southern hospitality" was such a common phrase. But it's true. Southerners tend to be very gracious and kind people,... if they consider you one of them.

If not, watch out. It's a very different experience then, because they hide a lot of fear behind that pleasant facade. (Of course, I'm generalizing here.)

But face-to-face and one-on-one, most people aren't assholes. Put them together into a mob, though, and you'll likely see mob behavior.

Add the anonymity of the internet and you'll see the fear, the anger, the disdain that lies within all of us, somewhere.

Most of us can be assholes in certain situations. We are, after all, just one species of ape - as Christopher Hitchens used to say, just one-half chromosome away from being chimpanzees.