Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How to Stop Ted Cruz? Stop the Presses!

Ted Cruz, that notorious commie-hunting senator from Texas channeling a certain notorious mid-20th century commie-hunting senator from Wisconsin, is just one in a long line of rock star politicians who think they've latched onto the best way to get their cockamamie ideas across:  Get out there and make shocking accusations against either individuals or authority with such astounding stagecraft, the press, the media--indeed, a sizable section of the population--will become such slathering groupies they won't know what hit them.  They will lift you onto their shoulders and carry you along to Celebrityville without a thought to what you're actually saying or why you're saying it.

It helps if you can muster such vitriolic anti-government sentiment there's no chance your minions will consider that you might be fudging it when you insist the Obama administration is "bound and determined to violate every single one of our Bill of Rights", or there are still godless communists lurking around yearning to yank the capitalist bones out of all of us, or there are members of your own party who are working against you when all you're trying to do is save millions of hapless citizens from certain disaster.

It helps if you don't recognize that the disaster is you.  Much easier to pull it off if you can convince yourself you're really on a mission to help and not destroy.  (But if you must destroy, remember you're only destroying in order to, yes indeedy, build a better. . .ah, who cares?  You've got 'em right where you want 'em.)

That's Ted Cruz.
Anyone else think Ted Cruz isn't just channeling Joe McCarthy, he thinks he is Joe McCarthy?  I have to give it to him:  He has McCarthy down to a tee.  He looks like him, he talks like him, he acts like him.  Compare the two side by side and there's no getting around the resemblance.  The shifty eyes, the strategic pauses, the weird gesticulating, the signature haughty-talk--through his teeth, using his nose and not his diaphragm for the air intake, the over-the-top, anti-everything rhetoric.  It's all Senator Joseph R. McCarthy.

We've all noticed it, and there's a reason for that:  Ted Cruz wants us to notice it.  It's a major part of his grand strategy.  He's sure he knows us better than we know ourselves.  He wants us to believe there are evildoers around every corner.  Sometimes they're so well disguised we might not even recognize them.  But he does.  He knows who they are..

Never mind that more than three-quarters of the country--including a good number of his own Republican colleagues--wishes he would take his Joe McCarthy Tribute Show off the road and retire it forever.  There's only one thing that could make Ted Kruz happier right now, mere weeks after coming off of his triumphant Shut the Country! tour--if he only had a real-life Edward R. Murrow dogging his every step. 

Cruz, not to be outdone by his doppelganger, lives for attention.  Dana Milbank addressed it in a piece he wrote as the Cruz-instigated government shutdown ended and the Republicans were forced to do damage control:
Cruz left the reporters after a few minutes, but when he noticed the TV lights and microphones outside the Senate chamber, he stopped and reversed himself. After repeating his statement for the cameras, he took a question from CNN’s [Dana] Bash, who pointed out that there has been “a lot of bruising political warfare internally, and you’ve got nothing for it.”

“I disagree with the premise,” Cruz informed her. He said the House vote to defund Obamacare, rejected by the Senate, was “a remarkable victory.”

It was a revealing statement: For Cruz, the victory is not the achievement but the fight.
 Exactly.  Ted Cruz hasn't yet come to the end of Joe McCarthy's story.  It ended for McCarthy when the press finally tired of the phony drama, finally came to grips with the depth of destruction (and possibly their own roles in it),  and turned its back on him.  When Joseph Welch uttered the now famous words, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" it was as if the dawn broke and, in an instant, the darkness ended.  (Full text here) The crowds, the politicians, the press, cleared the room, leaving McCarthy behind.  He was heard saying to no one in particular, "What happened?  What did I do?"  Nobody answered.  He was done.

And someday soon, hard as it will be for him to believe it, Ted Cruz will be done.  It will happen when the press decides it's time and not a moment before.  They hold his celebrity and his power in their hands and if they've learned anything from the past,  I hope they've learned there is no honor in building up demagogues simply for their own peculiar enjoyment.

I look forward to the day when they're finally over that.

Cross-posted at dagblog and featured on Alan Colmes' Liberaland 

Picked up on Crooks and Liars MBRU.  Thanks, Tengrain!


  1. I don't think Ted is done by a longshot...McCarthy was then, this is now...we are seeing what the corporations are capable of doing in our political world...they have learned their lessons, as well as, Teddy boy...Do not underestimate this guy...He is the embodiment of what is wrong with our political system...and this is the danger our nation faces...the destruction from is happening now, as we watch the teevee, as we read the net, as we eat, breath, and recreate, we are slowly and deliberately being subjugated by the forces well beyond our control...Ted is making that happen, NSA is making that happen, wall street, etc...

  2. We are all that you say, but we're still a nation made up of people who waffle and weave and then usually manage to stop the stupidity and do the right thing.

    We've been under the thumb of ruthless capitalistic thugs before, where money trumped conscience, and it does appear that we'll never get over the kind of influence the Koch brothers and others now exert. But all it really takes to battle them is a massive voter push. They can't exert influence over politicians who refuse to be influenced. I don't know why the people who have been hurt the most don't get out and vote the buggers out, but they're the ones we need to work on.

    Someone like Ted Cruz should never have been made a senator of the United States, and he surely should never have been allowed to hold this much power so early in his political career. He's a freshman senator, in office for less than a year, and he somehow managed to shut our entire government down single-handedly. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are furious over it. That's a good sign. To my mind, he's as close to being done as done is going to get in those slow-moving halls of Congress.

    Get Out The Vote. We won't get anywhere without getting the voters on our side. It's too late once the bastards get in.

  3. Yes, I agree with you 100% and then some...I guess I have lost some of my faith in people who vote for these politicians...Do these politico's really mirror their voter base???? Who are these people who keep voting in the crazies???? I am focusing on our local and state elections as this is where the Kochs have done the most damage...Colorado is going to be a blue state...

  4. Voting only matters when the people choose the candidates.

    It falls into irrelevancy when the candidates choose the voters as is the currently engineered practice.

  5. As long as the(tea party) voters in Texas love him he will continue to be elected.
    But if he is deluded enough to think that he is a viable candidate for president, then thankfully he could-or maybe he could if enough democrats sat on their hands(like they did in FL 2000 which gave us gw bush)-never become president, even tho he is a champion debater.(the question is, are we as a nation really stupid enough to elect him as our president? if the answer to that is yes then the experiment that is the US is over and the downfall of the American empire has begun)

  6. its been too late for several years. And we have yet to "get out the vote" especially in an off year election-which is how the gop won in 2010 and exactly why so many states now have rethug leaders and lege. Because the gop automatons always get out the vote, while the independents and democrats sit on their hands and complain

  7. Do the teahadists really mirror their voter base?? YES.
    Who are the people who keep voting in vthe crazies?? That would be the gop automatons who always vote straight gop and who always vote in every election.
    Which brings us to voter apathy.(example; in our last local election-in May- we had a massive turnout of 7% in a county with close to 1 million registered voters. We have 15 school districts in the county, there was a school board election in one district. when time came to count the votes, there was no winner in that election, because NO ONE VOTED for either candidate, not even the candidates could be bothered to vote for themselves.) As along as so few people vote in elections we will continue to get extremists like Cruz and many teahadists in the House. I remember my father putting on a suit like it was Sunday to go and vote. Or always getting an absentee ballot when he had to work on election day-his schedule was 14 days on, 7 days off.-
    I remember the 1960 election because he had me fill out the absentee ballot while he taught me who was running and what their difference was. I was 10, but that started my lifelong interest in voting in every election and always knowing who was running and always attempting to vote for the best person, regardless of party and paying attention to exactly who was running our country.

  8. gerrymandering. Which happened in the 2010 election, because the gop got out the vote, while the democrats and the independents stayed home.(currently the Dem is running 11 points ahead of the thug in the VA gov race) whoever wins all depends on which party gets out the vote-and in VA right now a whole bunch of govt workers really dislike the gop

  9. Exactly. We lose because we haven't figured out how to get people roused enough to participate in the voting process. We're not ready to resort to lies and fear-mongering in order to get the people who would actually benefit from a more liberal government out there..

    We can't bring ourselves to pretend our leaders have God and righteousness on their side. That's how the other side operates. We tell the truth but it's not nearly as exciting or as scary as the lies coming from the Big Bucks folks whose stake in all this is immeasurable. If we win they lose. They're not going to let that happen. They're ruthless because their economic lives depend on it. Our lives depend on winning, too, but we don't have that ruthless part down pat yet.

  10. Cruz et al should bear in mind McCarthy's sticky end - not just his political end but the degrading end of his life: physically and socially. The pathetic end of his vile off-sider, Roy Cohn is equally instructive to those judgemental humbugs.

  11. Right. Good points. But we know from past experience that the Cruz's of the country never look behind. He may be a McCarthy wannabee but I'll bet anything he's only studying McCarthy's methods of demagoguery for their modern-day effectiveness. McCarthy's ignominious end means nothing to him. Irrelevant.

  12. That failure to discern the log term consequences of ones actions is a common characteristic amongst criminals.

  13. Cutting food stamps this week puts those Republican jerks much closer to that criminal category. There's something wrong with our system when they can get away with that and no one can do anything about it. Doesn't sound like checks and balances to me.

  14. From my distant position across the other side of the Pacific I get the distinct impression that the U.S. system has been perverted to the point where it provides checks with no balances.


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