Back in 2015, almost everyone I knew had Ted Cruz on the top of their list for the Republican nominee to be the next President of the United States. I wasn’t one of them. And I can’t explain why except to say that there’s something behind Cruz’s face I don’t like. I’m not saying he’s ugly or unattractive. On the contrary, he’s a decent-looking man with nice whiskers. (I much prefer bearded Cruz to clean-shaven Cruz). It actually has nothing to do with attractiveness, but with a feeling I get watching him. It’s an inward recoiling. It’s the same feeling that I recognize as my inner warning that just appears out of nowhere to prick my attention. It’s that feeling, or intuition, or animal sense that says “beware.”
I tried to explain this to people years ago about Cruz. I think PJ Media editor Paula Bolyard and I went several rounds in the Slack chat about it during the primaries. And I’m sure I lost because my reason for not liking him had no basis in anything real. It was just a feeling I had. But I listen to those feelings because I don’t know why they pop up and I assume it’s just like growing my hair or beating my heart. I know I’m doing it but I don’t know how and yet, it all serves a very important purpose. I trust myself, even my unconscious self, more than anyone else.
And this week it has become clear to me what it is I saw in Ted Cruz. He’s not what he appears. He’s incredibly intelligent and slick. He’s very funny and has a good Twitter game that I enjoy. But after you get past all that, he’s also someone who spends his life talking, and talking, and talking. And almost everything he says sounds great and it makes you want to get up and cheer, and so you do (and write articles about how great he is at talking, which I have done over and over again).
But after Cruz went and called the rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6 “terrorists” (not once, but twice) and then tried to weasel out of it on Tucker Carlson’s show very badly, I saw the real guy behind the mask. That guy cares more about how he looks to the in-crowd than he does about you getting called a terrorist. That’s the truth.
Ted Cruz has been getting hammered all day by MAGAs outraged by his speech today that J6 was a “terrorist attack on the Capitol.” It started this morning with Steve Bannon, and tonight here is Tucker attacking Ted. pic.twitter.com/jeqRV5MCcu
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) January 6, 2022
First: the label “terrorists” to describe the people who were arrested for assaulting police officers is a fail. No one arrested for crimes on Jan. 6 was charged with “terrorism.” Terrorism has a legal definition and Cruz is a legal scholar. He knows this. He wrote a prepared speech where he chose to lie and smear people purposefully. His claim that he calls all people who assault police officers “terrorists” may be true — but it’s stupid. They aren’t terrorists. By legal definition, they would be categorized as felons. Assaulting a police officer is a crime but it is not terrorism.
Second: every person sitting in jail right now for those crimes he described has still not had a trial. That means they are innocent under the law. If any of them is acquitted, a sitting senator just called innocent people “terrorists” on the House floor. Gross. It’s unforgivable. It’s every bit as unforgivable as the politicians who called Kyle Rittenhouse a “terrorist” before his trial, which exonerated him. What kind of lawyer makes this kind of giant mistake?
Third: he should have said, “I’m sorry. That was stupid and wrong, and I deserve this public flogging. Please forgive me,” and ended it. But he didn’t. He did that thing that bad people do that makes the aggrieved even angrier. “Yesterday, I used a dumb choice of words, and unfortunately a lot of people are misunderstanding what I meant,” he wrote on Twitter. Ugh.
You didn’t hear it right. You’re the dumb one. You don’t get what big smart Ted is trying to say. Could he be any more condescending? Yes, Ted, we got it. We heard you. We know what terrorist means. It’s a slur, and you used it against your own people. You didn’t wait until the trials and the evidence came out. You smeared a bunch of people who are fighting for their lives right now in horrific conditions with no due process, who might not be guilty. Bravo. It’s so stunning and brave of you to agree with Democrats who hate us.
Yesterday, I used a dumb choice of words and unfortunately a lot of people are misunderstanding what I meant. pic.twitter.com/vWCjFnA4t3
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 7, 2022
Cruz is also the guy who hypnotized a bunch of us into thinking he was going to do something about Big Tech censorship. He called a bunch of hearings and dragged all the offending billionaires in to answer his scathing questioning (which was very good and entertaining) and then … what? What happened?
A BIG, FAT NOTHINGBURGER.
Nothing has changed. Cruz and his fellow Republicans haven’t done anything about the greatest threat to the First Amendment that has ever existed. They watched our president get kicked off every major social media platform and they … did nothing. They had the majority. They failed to act.
Cruz has had many years to prove to us that he is capable of leading and enacting legislation that would uphold free speech and take the boot of censorship off our necks. He has failed to do it, but he sure talks about it a lot!
Do you know what else he failed to do? He’s aware of the J6 prisoners who are unjustly in solitary confinement, against the Geneva Conventions, and have been so for almost a year without trial dates. What has he done? He talked about it on the Tucker Carlson show. Why hasn’t he called a senate investigation into the D.C. jail? A surprise inspection found that the living conditions were so disgusting that 400 prisoners had to be transferred out. (But not the J6 prisoners. They got to stay with the backed-up toilets and the rats.) He knows this. What has he done to fix it? Want to guess?
Forgive me, but Cruz’s idea of “leadership” is not my idea of leadership. It takes more than fine words to earn my vote. And for those in the comments who will complain that this “RINO hunting” must end, I wouldn’t call Cruz a RINO. He’s a conservative. He’s probably one of the most ideologically consistent conservatives we have. Unfortunately, he suffers from some kind of paralysis that allows only his tongue to work on problems.
Looking through his legislative history, Cruz is on a bunch of bills that haven’t gone anywhere. The most recent bills that passed the senate are the United States Army Rangers Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act and the Ghost Army Congressional Medal Act. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem to be all that important to me considering we are facing the most insane takeover of personal freedoms in our lifetimes. (And also, what’s a Ghost Army? Is this an episode of Scooby-Doo? What are they doing in D.C.?) The most recent bill that became a law with his name on it “establishes measures to monitor, report on, and address corruption and human rights abuses in Nicaragua.”
Are you kidding me? Does he know about the abuses of human rights and corruption in American courts?
And don’t forget the bill to “designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 909 West Holiday Drive in Fate, Texas, as the ‘Ralph Hall Post Office’.” Thank God for Ted Cruz, the defender of … the right to name a Post Office after a politician.
What a joke. This guy is not serious. Feel free to browse his legislative history and see if you can find anything in there that you actually needed or wanted. I tried. I didn’t find anything important or courageous that confronts the tyranny we are facing.
If Cruz is going to win back any trust after lending a hand to Democrats who want to hunt us with feds and put us on terror watch-lists, he’s going to have to do a lot less talking and take a lot more action. (And quickly, because we’re exhausted and on a precipice from which there is no return if we are pushed off.)
Can he do it? It’s a long shot, and the damage he did by calling alleged rioters “terrorists” isn’t going to be forgotten any time soon.