Rightbloggers Defend Ultra-Unlikeable Ted Cruz, but Their Hearts Aren't in It
My prediction that the GOP will screw Donald Trump out of its presidential nomination is looking better all the time, with the party establishment now substituting Cruz delegates for ones Trump won in primaries.
The funny part is, Ted Cruz is probably the least likable presidential candidate since John C. Breckinridge — indeed, the least likable candidate in an election that features Hillary Clinton, which is really saying something. What's even funnier is, rightbloggers have to pretend they love him — and they’re doing a piss-poor job of it.
Cruz is so unlikable that his unfavorables are now giving Trump’s a run for their money. He’s so unlikeable the New York Post, as right-wing a major media outlet as ever existed, couldn’t bring itself to endorse Cruz, and instead endorsed the gargoyle Trump even as it denounced him as a lousy candidate. He’s so unlikable that when you look up "unlikable" in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Cruz. Come on, lady, I laughed when you came in.
A joke about Cruz being the Zodiac Killer has spread like wildfire — not because the joke is funny, but because the comparison makes intuitive sense. And when the National Enquirer claimed a few weeks back that Cruz had been guilty of extramarital affairs, the general consensus was "Eww."
But among rightbloggers, the only ones who can say out loud that they don’t like Cruz are the bottom-feeding types who are pledged to Trump, such as Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit — e.g., "DONALD TRUMP Lashes Out at Lyin’ Ted Cruz, GOP Bosses, and Rigged Delegate System." (Dumb as Trump’s "Lyin’ Ted Cruz" formulation is, I have to say it compares favorably with David Limbaugh’s recent attempt at a snappy comeback: "LET'S MAKE THAT 'LION TED CRUZ.' ")
The rest are obliged to offer such wincing, nose-holding endorsements as they can manage. For example, Jay Caruso of RedState — after listing Cruz’s impeccably ultra-right-wing credentials ("Is there any doubt a President Cruz wouldn’t nominate a replacement for Antonin Scalia who wouldn’t be in the mold of Scalia?") — could come up with no better than this:
I know there are people who would still prefer somebody else. It’s understandable but this is where we are and of all the candidates still in the race, there is no better choice for the country than Ted Cruz.
It’s time to put aside petty nonsense because your preferred choice is no longer in the race. Put your big boy (and girl) pants on, grow up, and and instead of sitting there with arms folded and a raised chin saying, "Hmph!" get involved and do something so we don’t turn this country over to Hillary Clinton for at least the next four years.
That ought to set the voters' hearts aflame.
The brethren do slightly better when Cruz is attacked by liberals; for them, fighting liberals is like slaying dragons, and it hardly matters if the damsel they’re trying to rescue is made out of rags, straw, and mop-yarn. But Cruz’s recent cases haven’t made it easy for them. Take, for example, the resurrection of Cruz’s 2007 argument, as Texas solicitor general, in favor of a ban on dildos, in which he said "there is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship," over which liberals had a fit of giggles.
"It’s an amusing story," sniffed Alex Griswold at Mediaite, "but one that offers exactly zero insight into what positions Cruz actually supports." Cruz was just doing his job as solicitor general, see; "in an alternate history where Barack Obama took Cruz’s job out of college and Cruz went into academia," added Griswold, "Obama would be the one on the record 'defending a dildo ban.' " And in that alternate history, Ted Cruz might have a chance in hell of being elected president.
Then Griswold went a step further, suggesting Cruz’s argument against dildos was actually pretty good: "You’re perfectly free to believe your 'pursuit of happiness' entitles you to all sorts of things," said Griswold, "but there’s no end to the list of generally enjoyable behaviors that [the] state has the right to proscribe." Perhaps Griswold sensed at this point a rising tide of reader laughter, because he immediately added, "There are real constitutional concerns about a ban on sex toys, but the 'pursuit of happiness' is only invoked by those who lack a sophisticated understanding of the law and liberal journalists (but I repeat myself)." Ha-ha! Who’s laughing now, libtards?
"I just had to tell somebody that the Tenth Amendment does in fact have some relevance as to whether the federal government may put a blanket ban on dildos, which was frankly not what I was expecting to be doing this evening," said Moe Lane. "I think that the political Internet needs a week off." Well, somebody does.
Oh, the libertarians at Reason got on this too and, well, you can probably guess: "This is all fun stuff and will no doubt lead to some very clever jokes on The Daily Show. But there were also some very serious legal questions at stake." Stop laughing at Ted Cruz's totally constitutional dildo ban, moochers!
Rightbloggers also got a chance last week to defend Cruz on climate change. Cruz likes to answer concerns about the buildup of carbon dioxide in the earth’s climate by saying carbon dioxide is not a pollutant — a line that seems to have originated in some right-wing meth lab, as it also circulates among rightblogs such as the American Spectator ("carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but is in fact essential to life on Earth") and places like the Cato Institute ("contrary to misguided assertions, political correctness, and government edicts, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant") and of course among their suggestible, sub-literate commenters ("Hey, if you can't trust and believe Big Al [Gore], who can you trust and believe? Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant").
This is rather like saying you swallowed apple seeds once and lived, so therefore cyanide is harmless. Last week, the Democratic Party mocked Cruz about it with a humorous tweet featuring Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Cruz, with his usual grasp of the popular mood, rejoined in a tweet of his own that "CO2 is what every human breathes out; every plant, in turn, consumes CO2."
Doug Powers of the Michelle Malkin website took an anti-Big-Government approach to defending Cruz: "Could there be a power grab broader in scope than an attempt to regulate something essential to life as we know it?" he gasped. It’s like that goddamn Clean Air Act — regulating the very air we breathe! It's a miracle we don't all suffocate! "By the Dems' 'reasoning,' " added Powers, "we could also declare water to be a pollutant because if you hold your head under it long enough it’ll kill you." (Actually, water was declared a poison by rightbloggers in 2013, when Michelle Obama promoted its ingestion.)
Brett Taylor of Twitchy.com made fun of Nye for "hanging out with fellow inventor Ahmed 'Clock Kid' Mohamed" — the Muslim-American kid who, you may remember, was arrested last year by assholes on suspicion of terrorism for making a clock for school, which Taylor apparently thought made Nye look bad. Then Taylor quoted a bunch of people who have been taught to move their traditional rightblog comments to Twitter (e.g., "Democrats calling humans 'pollutants' lines up perfectly with their support of slavery, racism, and eugenics").
Then there was Cruz’s college roommate, screenwriter Craig Mazin (The Hangover, Scary Movie), who has been cheerfully mocking Cruz on Twitter for years ("In case I hadn’t made it clear, he’s also a huge asshole"). The sad duty of answering Mazin’s attacks was taken up last week by National Review’s Ian Tuttle. Tuttle’s opening was standard-issue passive-aggressiveness: "cruel fate conspired with Princeton’s undergraduate-housing authority to make Mazin [Cruz’s] roommate.… Mazin apparently has never recovered.… Mazin has a seemingly abnormal fascination with his freshman roommate," etc. How pathetic this rich and successful Hollywood writer is!
The highlight of the column, though, concerned a Mazin tweet suggesting Cruz masturbated in college — which, like, who didn’t. Tuttle apparently thought the best way to deal with this was not to brush it off, but to go on about it thus: "Precisely what Ted Cruz’s masturbatory habits — if such ever existed [! -ed.] — have to do with the question of substantive due-process rights (the legal question at issue in Reliable Consultants Inc. v. Earle), or with the professional responsibilities of a state solicitor general, Mazin has not addressed.… And, more to the point, even if Ted Cruz was The Worst Roommate Ever™, that was a quarter-century ago.…" I am put in mind of Zero Mostel pulling at Gene Wilder’s arm during the trial scene in The Producers and hissing, "Don’t help me!"
At the end of April, we find Cruz — who still trails Trump 529 delegates to 742 — expected, despite all the fixing, to lose big to Trump this week in New York and next week in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The establishment has the juice to get Cruz the nod, it seems, but not the juice to make it look legit. But Cruz doesn’t care — and why should he? Come the general, he’ll have a whole army of rightbloggers lying their asses off for him — and it won’t matter that they can’t really love or even like him, because he’ll be running against Hillary Clinton, for whom the brethren have stored up 25 years of quivering, incoherent rage. Keep hate alive!
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