Charlatan Cruz!

Cruz TedSenator Ted Cruz

 The Wicked Wails of a Megalomanical Clown

Although there has been no absence of charlatans, churls and damned fools in the history of the US Congress Ted Cruz, a Republican Senator from Texas – is setting new standards for buffoonery.  And his antics may well doom the GOP – Grand Obstructionist Party – in national politics.  His fake filibuster, which one wise wag aptly called “a sillybuster,” in the Senate debate over the budget, insisting that the Senate vote to defund the Affordable Healthcare Act, could set the stage for a shutdown of the government despite the fact that after talking smack for 21 hours he voted for the continuing resolution that is designed to prevent this impending tragedy.

This is the behavior of a classic charlatan and demagogue.  He stirred up the primitive passions of the untutored mob in a marathon speech designed to put the spotlight on his tawdry act, but like all professional bunko and sleight of hand artists he stops just short of taking actions that would overplay his hand and could result in his professional destruction.  All successful con men know when to quit the game and live to play another day.  That’s why the Senator has stopped short of taking actions that could result in the destruction of his chances of one day becoming President.

Despite Cruz’s reckless rhetoric he harbors the hope of becoming the first Hispanic president of the United States, beating out his fellow Hispanic Republican Senator Marco Rubio.  At present he has a leg up on Rubio – who has been wary of running for the presidency because his election to the Senate was spurred by blatant lies about his family’s suffering under the Communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro in Cuba and sought refuge in the US.

The smooth talking elegantly dressed Rubio got a lot of mileage out of this touching tale of oppressed immigrants who found a new and better life in America.  Until an enterprising investigative reporter at the Miami Herald exposed it as a lie by publishing documents showing that Rubio’s parents immigrated to the US under Fulgensia Batista, the right wing dictator who was the bosom buddy of the US government who was overthrown by Castro in a popular revolution. Rubio played the report off, claiming that he was mistaken and honestly believed his parents had come here fleeing Castro.  Which is as believable as the proverbial  piano player in the parlor of a whore house who protests to the cops that he didn’t know what was going on upstairs.

Although Rubio got away with it because the mucho loco white Cubans in southern Florida didn’t give a fig about the facts, they just wanted a fire breathing right-wing anti-Castro Cuban American in the US Senate, but he is scared to death that the larger American electorate might take a different view of his masquerade.  Hence while Marco fiddles Teddy is more than ready to step in front of the once promising star of the white Cuban community.  The charade on the senate floor is best understood as a part of that plan.

For the far right zealots in the Tea Party wing of the Grand Obstructionist Party, Cruz appears to be a God send.  A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, who also clerked for a Supreme Court Justice, a seasoned Republican operative and a champion debater at Princeton, plus a Hispanic, America’s fastest growing minority. Hence the see him as their Hispanic Barack Obama.  That’s why many far right Republicans view him as the savior of their cause…the horse they will ride to power.  However to the Republican establishment he is a loose cannon that may well sink their ship.

Blind from the wine of ambition and drunk on hubris, Cruz has adopted a risky strategy and is appealing directly to the racist, reactionary, ignorant sector of the electorate.  That’s what the farce on the Senate floor was really all about.   He has such contempt for the untutored mob at the base of the GOP that he read them a fairy tale by Dr. Seuss that got the moral of the story all wrong.  Since he was actually reading from the text he must have known that he was misrepresenting the author’s intention.

The way Cruz presented the popular story “Green Eggs and Ham,” it is a tale about a person having a meal forced upon him that he detested, thus denying him freedom of choice.   However that is an embarrassing misreading of the tale, because when the character actually tries a meal of green eggs and ham he loves it!

Hence the true moral of this story is that one should try new things before they reject them out of hand.   This, alas, is just the opposite of Cruz’s position on the Affordable Healthcare Act, which has yet to take full effect.  It was such an egregious act a scholar on Dr. Seuss said the author would have been offended by the spectacle because he couldn’t stand charlatans!  He pointed out that Cruz resembles a Dr. Seuss characters due to his cartoonish behavior.  And he pointed out that Dr. Seuss said if he were invited to a dinner with the characters he created “i wouldn’t show up.”

However Teddy looks a lot like the late Democratic Senator Joseph McCarthy to me; a charlatan who threw the nation into crisis with his reckless rhetoric and wild accusations about leading governmental figures being secret members of the Communist Party – he even accused President Dwight Eisenhower of being a secret communist agent.   This is the kind of dangerous nonsense we recently heard from Cruz’s fellow Republican Alan West, a former Congressman from Florida, who claimed that 85 members of the Democratic caucus in the US Congress were secret members of the communist party.

It is a measure of the low regard in which Senator Cruz holds his constituents that he has learned nothing from the fate of former Congressman West, and recently accused the Harvard Law faculty of being dominated by Communist.  It is an absurd charge and no one knows it better than Cruz.

All of this begs the question as to what Teddy Bear is really up to.  Whenever politicians engage in suspicious or inexplicable behavior we should follow the money.  The largest contributors to the Senator’s campaign are the ultra-conservative Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, and the fact that 30% of his contributions came from out of state speaks to his appeal to right-wingers beyond the boundaries of Texas – which speaks to his residential ambitions in 2016. Furthermore, all of the people who tweet or e-mail Senator Cruz egging him on are placed on a list from which they will be solicited for money and volunteers in future campaigns.  It’s all about the “Benjamins,” as the rappers say.

This explains why Cruz has taken up repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act as his defining issue rather than issues regarding the state of Texas that he was elected to represent.  Both the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, promote a radical free market agenda that opposes government spending in the public interests and business regulations.

Yet he camouflaged his intentions by posing as the voice of the people speaking truth to power, characterizing the criticism coming from the Republican establishment – including venerable right-wing intellectuals in the punditariat such as Charles Krauthammer and George Will – as “the Empire” striking back, another silly reference to pop culture that insults the intelligence of his constituents along with myriad outrageous lies.

For Yellow Dog Democrats, such as yours truly, there is cause for rejoicing in the follies of Cruz and company.  As I write a big fight is brewing that could inflict deep wounds on the Republicans that they will not be able to recover from enough to win a presidential election in 2016.  For instance Senator Tom Corbin of Oklahoma, who is the highest rated conservative in the Senate, is complaining on MSNBC as I write about his office being swamped with calls from constituents labeling him a RINO – “Republican In Name Only.”

This is the ultimate insult for a right-wing Republican like Corbin, whose agonized complaint prompted Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida who now hosts “Morning Joe” – to declare that it was the likes of Sarah Palin, Rand Paul and Teddy Cruz who were the real RHINOS!  He even suggested that they were in the wrong party.

All of this portends a protracted struggle for the soul of the Republican Party, a soul that they sold in a Faustian bargain with the Tea Party zealots in order to take back the House of Representatives and win several state offices.  Now they have come to claim the party’s soul!  I love it.  Viva Senor Cruz, keep up the good work.  It is a fitting punishment that the big wigs in the Grand Obstructionists Party should be laid low by the wicked wails of a self-serving clown.

Palin and Cruz: Tea Party Darlings
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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
September 26, 2013

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