Open Thread: Ted Cruz, Revolutionary

life of ted cruz ohman
(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)

In the Atlantic, Yale professor Jack M. Balkin calls the Teahadists’ new darling a nasty name:

…[L]et’s suppose Cruz sees something (or is betting on something) that his opponents in the Republican Party don’t see. Then his actions make a lot more sense. He is not a terrorist or a bomb thrower. He is a Leninist. He wants to sow discord among his erstwhile allies so that he can seize control

… Cruz wants to take over the Republican Party. He could try to organize the Tea Party as a third party, but that is a risky proposition, and it could easily fail… So the prudent move is to take over the existing GOP’s operations and transform it in the image of the Tea Party, with the goal of becoming the dominant party once again. That is why Cruz is attacking his fellow Republicans for being weak-kneed and insufficiently devoted to the conservative cause, rather than doing what you would think a hard-right politician should be doing — attacking liberals and Democrats. He is deliberately fracturing the Republican Party so he can take hold of the largest piece of it….

This brand of no-holds-barred conservatism is losing a few voters at the margins, but so what? Once these squishes are gone, the Tea Party can exert even greater control over the more ideologically pure remnant, which will be known as — wait for it — the Republican Party. Cruz plans to be the political leader of that party. Then, when Obamacare runs aground — as Cruz and every other true believer knows it will — the people will come begging for a savior. The savior will be none other than Ted Cruz, the man who literally stood up to Obamacare and made opposition to it his signature issue….

Jon Chait at NYMag echoes the analogy:

The Republican Party right now most closely resembles a Weatherman gathering from about 1969, with various factions debating the feasibility of immediate communist revolution versus building a working-class movement as a prelude to smashing the state. As such, distinguishing the various gradients of ideological fanaticism has become an increasingly abstruse task.

The agenda has largely been driven by the “Defund Obamacare” faction, led by Ted Cruz, which proposes to shut down the federal government until such time as President Obama agrees to abolish his health-care plan, which would of course be never….

If this is a fair assessment — and even his admirers, or the syncophants currently claiming to admire him, admit that in Cruz World it’s all about Ted, all the time — driving his party into a ditch, and possibly destroying the country’s global standing in the process, might well seem a reasonable gamble. Especially since, given the Teahadist narrative, the very worst risk to Raphael ‘Ted’ Cruz would be a not-too-unpleasant sojourn out of the limelight, and a social rehabilitation culminating in grooming a younger messiah to pick up the fallen banner. Unfortunate for the lesser spirits who end up dead or disgraced, but then the rest of us are naught but spearcarriers in Cruz World…

129 replies
  1. 1
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Oh, my. Skipping right on past Alinskiite and straight on to Leninist. Many right wing heads will be popping on that one.

  2. 2
    James E. Powell says:

    Cruz is a hero to right-wingers. They don’t care about health care, or the deficit, or any particular policy. They only have one political thought – somebody needs to stand up to that [insert racist epithet] in their White House. All their existential rage is focused on their hatred of Barack Obama, the embodiment of everything they believe to be wrong and evil in their world. Cruz understands this and he has, without spending any real money, transformed himself into a national figure with a claim on the hearts and souls of the Republican base.

    The Republican big shots say they hate him, but I have my doubts. He’s keeping the base inflamed and he isn’t costing them a dollar. This next election isn’t a national election, so they don’t care how the nation feels about them. They only need to win a few senate seats to completely control the government.

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    As far as the Teahadists are concerned, they’d rather destroy this country than live in one where a serious attempt to bring about the condition of “all men created equal” succeeds.

    They have nothing at all to lose.

    Balkin is right about Cruz. He is a Leninist, and it’s been obvious for some time that the inverted Marxism of “movement conservatism” that has been there all along would culminate in this.

    Of course, the wingtards are too historically illiterate to understand what Balkin is saying. But then again, these are people who are stupid enough to take “National Socialism” at face value and not understand that the name itself is a political marketing ploy, a lie.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    To follow up, Palin COULD have been in this position, but she’s both not clever enough or hard working enough for it to have happened.

    Cruz, on the other hand, is both clever enough and willing to do what’s necessary to pull it off, which makes him far more dangerous.

  5. 5
    TenguPhule says:

    I no longer think Civil War can be avoided or even put off for much longer.

    The Right is simply too insane and hungry for the blood of the heretics left of Genghis Khan.

    Thing are going to get very messy. Very messy.

  6. 6
    raven says:

    Oh boogie boogie, the world is coming to an end! Run away, runaway.

  7. 7
    TriassicSands says:

    @James E. Powell:

    The GOP won’t completely control the government because there is virtually zero chance they will have a veto-proof Senate — so they can de-fund Obamacare in both houses and it still won’t happen unless Obama wants it to.

    I think you may be underestimating the egos of the Republican politicians Cruz has been pissing off. There is no way that senior Republican senators are going to appreciate a rookie senator trying to push them around and hog the limelight. The Senate is steeped in tradition and one of those traditions denies junior senators any say whatsoever unless the old timers approve. They may tolerate him, because they can’t unseat him and trying to get a less extreme senatorial candidate to upset him in the next primary — by which time Cruz plans to be president — probably won’t work in Texas, but if he offends them, they won’t help him. What that will mean is probably limited to any future he might have in the Senate or how hard they work against him in future races (by supporting opponents).

    My guess is that Cruz doesn’t care whether or even how much he annoys or angers other Senators, because the Senate simply isn’t big enough for both Ted Cruz and his ego.

  8. 8
    Cermet says:

    Couldn’t happen to a better bunch of worse assholes …get out the popcorn and enjoy. These fuckers are so outnumbered, and better still, enough of the 0.01% hate them that things will turn out rather well. Bring on the debt ceiling and create epic overreach leading to complete fail. Lose the House and they the death spiral can begin. Can I have real butter on that popcorn … .

  9. 9
    TriassicSands says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I think you’re right about Cruz. Recently, I saw a clip from Bill Maher in which he discussed “stupid smart people.” This has always been a problem in this country, and it shows that intelligence is not one simple to measure thing (IQ). How can a renowned surgeon believe the religious nonsense he believes? The answer is he’s a stupid smart person. Cruz is a very stupid, very smart person, but he creates an even greater threat, because into this mix he stirs insanity. Now we have the very stupid, very smart, totally insane person. It’s hard to imagine anyone more dangerous.

    Perhaps our best hope is that Cruz is even more complex than that — he’s the very stupid, very smart, totally insane egomaniac, and hubris could be his Achilles heel. He wouldn’t be the first smart, clever person brought down by his own ego.

  10. 10

    Sheesh. Don’t overglorify the man. This is Cruz’s five minutes of fame. The Tea Partiers have jumped from messiah to messiah whenever anyone looks like they can defeat the Dark Lord. When Cruz proves to not have the super powers necessary to humiliate Obama and cast him from the White House in shame, they’ll drop him like they did Palin, Romney, Cain, Ryan, Paul… the list goes on and on. Add ‘most pundits are Tea Partiers who can speak in complete sentences’ and all the mysteries of his sudden rise (and soon to be sudden fall) are explained.

  11. 11
    Cermet says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: So, have they ‘Jumped the Shark’ or should we say, ‘Nuked the Refrigerator’?

  12. 12
    Alexandra says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    they’ll drop him like they did Palin, Romney, Cain, Ryan, Paul… the list goes on and on

    Let’s not forget when Rick Perry was their great white hope. Good times.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    Mike Luchovich goes there ..link
    Has the 24/7 news criticized the administration for using the terrorist analogy? There are advantages to not having cable. You can watch so I don’t have to.

  14. 14

    Addendum: I did not understand until now that to them, Obamacare IS Obama. On January 1st, they lose to the negro. They lose, and everything they believe in loses. Obama himself becomes law. Is it because Obama will touch all their lives directly? I don’t know. Looking back, it seems like even the election was just part of this struggle.

    EDIT = Hopefully FYWP doesn’t post this repeatedly. Some hiccups on this end.

  15. 15

    All of Cruz’s efforts take money, and that’s controlled by the big corporate donors who like stable, even boring, candidates. Cruz is a loose cannon — the 21-hour talk showed the guy has some kind of ADD– and he’ll attack anyone to get his way. Even the Koch brothers may think twice before bankrolling him to a national campaign because they can’t trust him to be their kind of toady.

    Once that happens, he’s going to be depending on the teabaggers raiding their penny jars for a million $5 and $10 contributions in rolls of quarters.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @Mustang Bobby: The Koch brothers want deregulation and no taxation on corporations. Cruz will be their leader. It doesn’t matter that he is an egomaniac, they see a way to increase their fortune.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    @raven: How’s the pup doing? You ready for the big game?

  18. 18
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Obamacare is Obama:

    That’s probably true for the rabid haters of what is just a health care delivery system.

    And the fact that lots of people will really like a program they’ve identified with a black man only makes the situation worse.

  19. 19
    Kaneis says:

    I try not to judge people on aesthetic grounds because that’s really shallow. But… Is is just me that thinks that Cruz is a remarkably ugly man with one of the most annoying, grating voices I’ve ever heard?

  20. 20
    Thlayli says:

    @JPL:

    Speaking of “big games” … remember everyone, today is Homecoming at Bethany, which means the Omaha Steaks raffle drawing.

  21. 21
    Louis says:

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man, right? There’s always been a McCarthy shaped hole in the modern right wing, and if Ted Cruz didn’t exist they’d have to invent him.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    A lie told often enough becomes the truth.–Vladimir Lenin.

  23. 23
    Suffern ACE says:

    Lennin? I think not. Mishima is more like it.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Why do I feel the need for some Yeat’s just now?

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    I know, I know, too much, but damned if his ego wouldn’t think it apropos.

  25. 25
    danielx says:

    Cruz is a hero to right-wingers. They don’t care about health care, or the deficit, or any particular policy.

    And neither does Ted who wants to be president and doesn’t give a shit about anything else, including the Republican Party as it exists today. Ted is a smarter version of Snowbilly Snooki and, as noted, it’s all about Ted all the time. His antics of the past few days may make him look like a buffoon to those of us who don’t live in Faux News World, but – again – Cruz don’t care. He could care less about the august traditions and “collegial atmosphere” of the Senate; what he cares about is that he could walk into CPAC next year and they’d raise the roof. Republican primary voters are his target, and never mind that anyone who can gain the approval of those excuses for human beings is unelectable in a national election – clap louder! Besides, there are three years yet to the next presidential election in which to work on cutting down voters’ rights and who knows what might happen…thinks Ted.

    Of course, he does crave the approval (and money) of the Kochs, Sheldon Adelson, et al. But off the top of my head I can’t think of anything those swine would add to the ransom note – er, wish list – House Republicans came up with this week, aside from repealing the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Amendments. Oh, and eliminating all restrictions on campaign contributions and the like.

    Nope, my man Ted has a goal, and if that requires him to bite the head off a live bat or strangle a live Arab with his own hands on stage during a Republican primary debate to gain the approval and votes of people he wouldn’t have in his house on a bet, well, you have to have a damned strong stomach to be a viable Republican candidate these days.

    It does afford me a certain amount of bitter amusement to consider the irritation level that must be felt by the likes of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich at the moment. Something like this – “all I really had to do was be an even bigger asshole, plus be in a position to push the economic collapse of the country to achieve my own goals, and I’d have been in like Flynn! Who does this fucking Canadian upstart think he is?!??”

  26. 26
    Suffern ACE says:

    Probably the most important thing we actually can do right now is take away Virginia from them in a few weeks. What’s gonna happen in Congress is gonna be devastating to watch, but I think it’s more important to start taking back state houses.

  27. 27
    WereBear says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:I did not understand until now that to them, Obamacare IS Obama. On January 1st, they lose to the negro. They lose, and everything they believe in loses. Obama himself becomes law.

    I didn’t until you said it; I’m always missing that Irrational Multiplier that mysteriously makes their action understandable.

    Look how upset they get over commercials that show happy people being not white, not straight, not THEM.

    Stupid smart indeed. Most of their brains are not working, just spinning frantically, never touching other gears because that would make them move, and think, and realize things.

    On some level they know they could not be successful without oppressing a whole lot of the population; just keeping women down covers them 50%.

  28. 28
    Donut says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Meh.

    I agree that Cruz has more raw intelligence than Palin (but then again, so does a jar of pickles), but they are both true-blue believers in right wing Christianist ideology. Ultimately I think this is a weakness that will prevent Cruz, as it did Palin, from gaining anything beyond momentary traction and some money to fill the campaign coffers. Ideological purity can only get you so far. Ask Barry Goldwater.

    Is Cruz dangerous? Well, sure. Can he do some awful damage to the country. Uh huh…but how is he more dangerous or damaging than any other Republican in the Senate? Right now there are two types of true wingnutz in the place: 1) the Rand Paul/Mike Lee types who hail from small states that are mostly white people, and 2) the likes of Cruz, who comes from a state whose opposition party is barely finding its feet after years in the proverbial wilderness.

    Cruz knows his window is short to stay in the senate, thanks largely to simple demographics, which is, IMO, a big reason why he’s all in on this shit now.

  29. 29
    Donut says:

    @Donut:

    Also, one thing some are not considering is that, in all seriousness, two things, other than $$$$$$, that you really need in the modern US to become president or lead a party are likability and leadership. Look at the last few presidents, back to Reagan, and one thing they all share in common is that they spent years and years investing in relationships and working with people who could one day help them achieve the White House. Her lack of likability and leadership is one reason, maybe the biggest, why Palin flamed out so quickly. Ask Steve Schmidt how far she could have gone were she not such an asshole to everyone around her. Cruz has this same problem.

  30. 30
    raven says:

    @JPL: Hey, I lit out at 5:45 to see what was up on campus. They didn’t let people in the Game Day space until 7 and I drove through at 6:45 and it was wild, hundreds of people lined up abreast with nutty signs like the OK landrush!

    Bohdi is ok, not much yelping and hating the box!

  31. 31
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Donut: As Alfred Bester said, “Don’t make enemies by accident”. Happily, Cruz is too dumb to follow this advice.

  32. 32
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Donut: he must be like able enough for 20 or so Congressmen to allow him to call the shots in how they’ll vote on any of Boehner’s CR bills. He’s kind of quickly become their cult leader.

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    Boehner needs the courage to allow an up or down vote on the Senate bill. Unfortunately, he’d rather go down in flames. The history books will not be kind.

  34. 34
    Mike in NC says:

    Ted Cruz is purifying the party the way that Jim DeMint dreamed of. But then he found a bigger grift at Heritage.

  35. 35
    Donut says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    Yup. He can step up at this particular moment in history, and again, I don’t dispute that he could be very damaging to the country right now, but having a hard time seeing him parlay this attention he is getting into anything long term that leaves him as much more than another Jim DeMint. I have a feeling that sooner than later, Cruz will get him some wingnut welfare and stand on the sidelines throwing bombs.

  36. 36
    WereBear says:

    I liked that “Ted Cruz, Leninist” article, shared it. Especially the way it ended:

    Cruz and his friends could be like the New Left, attacking old-style liberals and setting fire to the Democratic Party in the hopes of fashioning a more radically left Democratic Party out of its ashes.

    That strategy didn’t turn out very well. In fact, that may be the best way to understand Ted Cruz. After a long period of conservative dominance, he wants even more. He’s a bit like the political radicals in the 1960s and 1970s who made life miserable for centrist liberals like Hubert Humphrey and, later, Jimmy Carter, because they were quite certain that they could fashion a more ideologically pure Democratic Party that would lead America into a brighter future. They didn’t know that a tsunami was about to hit them from the right, sending them into the political wilderness for many years.

    History repeating itself, only from the other side. Overreach and an appetite for destruction ruined the American Left for generations.

    I have hopefully foreseen this same pattern with the Right; and I agree.

  37. 37
    MattF says:

    Cruz’s creepiness is what stands out for me. Like those smears at the Hagel hearings– Hagel is possibly an al-Qaeda sympathizer? Yikes, folks. What we have here is someone who is dishonest and amoral. Looks more like ‘cult leader’ than ‘Leninist’, IMO.

  38. 38
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @JPL: I do not understand Boehner. He could toss the Hastert rule and get enough D votes to start passing legislation and, in so doing, get himself up on the Broderist Mt Rushmore with Tip ONeil. Instead he…prefers to get nothing done and look like a complete chump, fiddling while the nation burns.

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    He’s kind of quickly become their cult leader.

    I’m not sure how many people actually liked Jim Jones, but they followed him anyway.

  40. 40
    Donut says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    True, but what I don’t really see is a path for him to convert his little cabal into a movement that attracts much more than 27-percenters.

    Just game this outa little more – let’s say it’s 2016 and Cruz somehow manages to defeat another field of GOP crazies (which in and of itself is a biiiiiig long shot for him, given, again, his personality type and lack of a real support network in the party) and is facing Hillary Clinton. How the hell does he overcome her and win a general election? Mitt Romney, on paper, looked to be in a great position to defeat Obama, given a shoddy economic recovery, among other things, but then he had actually win some votes with his rhetoric. Once women and mom-Cuban Latinos really take a look at Cruz, he’ll be done for.

  41. 41
    Donut says:

    Non-Cuban.

    FYautocorrect.

  42. 42
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    I do not understand Boehner.

    Being Speaker means more to him than actually accomplishing anything.

  43. 43
    debbie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Cruz, on the other hand, is both clever enough and willing to do what’s necessary to pull it off, which makes him far more dangerous.

    But if he were any smarter than Palin, he’d have picked a children’s story that didn’t contradict his message. He’s all surface, nothing more. The only reason that anyone thinks Cruz is smart is because Cruz says so.

    This Leninist thing needs to be pushed to all of the Beltway media. I’d love to hear George Will or Peggy Noonan or even Professor Gingrich expound on that.

  44. 44
    WereBear says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m not sure how many people actually liked Jim Jones, but they followed him anyway.

    Based on what I consider the best book ever on the subject, Raven; (Jones’ childhood nickname,) he was mesmerizingly likeable.

    The people who died in Jonestown were overwhelmingly people who had followed him for years, sometimes, decades. He started out preaching equality and humanitarian goals and communal living and love. That is what pulled people in.

    He literally went mad with power. But it happened gradually, and no one saw the end game until it was too late.

    In conclusion, I agree; the one thing that has ruined Tea Party Darlings in the greater world is their utter lack of likeability. The Tea Party love of bullies does not translate into wider appeal.

  45. 45
    MomSense says:

    This whole Republican implosion would be delicious if it weren’t for the looming disasters of government shutdown and then default. Default really is worse than disastrous and I can’t believe we are even flirting with that.

    As bad as the Republicans are, I just don’t see any of this happening unless they had been enabled by our media. That they have been able to lie about ObamaCare to the extent that people actually believe death panels and all sort of other crazy things is because our media didn’t do their job.

  46. 46
    magurakurin says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    prefers to get nothing donesit at the bar and look like a complete chump, fiddling getting hammered while the nation burns.

  47. 47
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    I suspect Cruz’s inevitable fall will be epic, sort of on the level with Julius Caesar being stabbed to death by his fellow patricians (but without all the charisma, sex and competence of Caesar)

  48. 48
    TAPX486 says:

    Over on Kos is a link to a Rolling stone article about the ‘public pension funding crisis’.
    A quote from the article ‘The bottom line is that the “unfunded liability” crisis is, if not exactly fictional, certainly exaggerated to an outrageous degree. Yes, we live in a new economy and, yes, it may be time to have a discussion about whether certain kinds of public employees should be receiving sizable benefit checks until death. But the idea that these benefit packages are causing the fiscal crises in our states is almost entirely a fabrication crafted by the very people who actually caused the problem. It’s like Voltaire’s maxim about noses having evolved to fit spectacles, so therefore we wear spectacles. In this case, we have an unfunded-pension-liability problem because we’ve been ripping retirees off for decades – but the solution being offered is to rip them off even more.’

    Depressing way to start the weekend. Maybe the explosion of a debt breach will destroy these fraudsters as well. (sigh)

  49. 49
    MattF says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Maybe, but I think it’s more likely that he’ll ‘fail upwards’.

  50. 50
    MikeJ says:

    @MomSense: The Society for the Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice has never been very well liked but they get things done.

  51. 51
    Elizabelle says:

    The photo illustrating Balkin’s Atlantic piece is perfect.

    Ted Cruz, seen as icon, haloed and photographed from below, reporters’ recorders at the ready to catch the great man’s words. Kudos to Reuters photographer Jason Reed for his composition skills. Well done.

    And then Chait’s illustration is Cruz and Boehner in what appears to be a scene from Pulp Fiction.

    Bring out the gimp!

  52. 52
    Jeremy says:

    I think this is good for Cruz in the 2016 race., but it’s not good for the republicans chances in 2014 and 2016. People keep on talking about the “base” but you can’t win elections with just a base of supporters. Right now the GOP is pissing off a lot of voters and if they shut down the government it will get worse.

  53. 53
    Jeremy says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: The GOP can’t take down Cruz. Cruz knows that being a “true conservative” who goes against the establishment is what a majority of republicans want. Cruz is playing for 2016 and right now it’s working.

  54. 54
    WereBear says:

    @Elizabelle: I’ve been reading that book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, and loving it! Well-researched, well-written, and he had interviewed so many people about their memories back in 1990, before they passed away.

    A real treat!

  55. 55
    magurakurin says:

    @Elizabelle:

    So, that makes Obama Marcellus Wallace…so who is Butch? Harry Reid…he was a boxer. I can live with that ending. Probably not real far from how it’s gonna shake out…

    …you hear me talkin Hillbilly Boy, I aint through with you by a damn sight..Ima get medieval on your ass…

  56. 56
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @TAPX486:

    In this case, we have an unfunded-pension-liability problem because we’ve been ripping retirees off for decades – but the solution being offered is to rip them off even more.’

    This. Exactly. Somebody wrote a book on it but before I could buy it my computer turned blue and I lost the link. I don’t suppose any one out there knows the book?

  57. 57
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Jeremy: I’m really not 100% confident is that the point of Cruz isn’t to insure that there won’t be elections. I wouldn’t be surprised if the point of Cruz isn’t to make rule by a good wise General look palatable.

  58. 58
    MomSense says:

    @MikeJ:

    The Society for the Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice

    Are the Republicans modeling themselves off the current Saudi Committee or the 19th century English version?

    Eric Cantor tweeted something disparaging about the president talking to theocratic Iranian leaders and I was thinking that his dislike of theocrats was really bizarre given that he is the majority leader for the Republican House.

  59. 59
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Jeremy:

    I think this is good for Cruz in the 2016 race.

    Maybe the primary. 2016 will be an epic fail for Cruz.

  60. 60
    Suffern ACE says:

    @MomSense: lol. I don’t think he’s even spoken to the theocratic leaders.

  61. 61
    Mark S. says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    What I love is the reverence for a rule made by Denny Fucking Hastert, a non-entity when he was Speaker and completely forgotten by 90% of the country now.

  62. 62
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Suffern ACE: no appeasement. The point of having embassies and diplomats is to start wars.

  63. 63
    MomSense says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I know! I wanted to tweet to Cantor that he was full of crap because the President said he refused to negotiate with them about the shutdown and default.

  64. 64
    geg6 says:

    Had a sort of bittersweet evening at my sister’s last night. We went there for dinner because her dog, Cookie, has just been diagnosed with inoperable cancer on her kidneys and has been given only days to a few weeks. She’s not in pain, so the vet said to keep her comfy and that the chances are that she’ll go peacefully at home, in comfort and surrounded by love. So we went there to, in effect, say goodbye to her. She’s 15, so she’s had a long and good life.

    Cookie was a puppy when Patty got her. Her then-live-in boyfriend was a commercial diver and he was working a job in Lake Michigan when he saw a little puppy swimming, frantically, to the shore. He knew she wouldn’t make it, so he plucked her out of the water and took her home. Patty was the dining room manager at a fine dining restaurant, so she worked most evenings. The BF was always traveling. So Aunt geg6 spent much time dog sitting and we became very close. She’s definitely largely spitz, but must have something else in her because she’s much, much smaller than other spitzes I’ve known. We used to laugh about how she used her ears like radar and that they moved independently of each other. Sometimes she drooped them down and looked just like Yoda. She doesn’t like anyone to scratch her head…except Aunt geg6. She knows it’s me every time I ever pulled into Patty’s driveway. I’ve chased her in my car because she was notorious for running wild when Patty lived out in the country. I took care of her when she was spayed and when she was bitten by the pit bull and she took care of me when I was going through the end of my relationship with my ex. We have a very special relationship.

    Patty says she’s been very lethargic the last few weeks, probably just being old and sick and on meds. But she really perked up for a little while last night when my John and I got there. We had a nice visit, we did the old head scritches and she nuzzled me. I smiled a lot with tears in my eyes. I’m going to lose it when she goes, but I’m so glad that little white ball of fire got fished out of the lake and went on to touch me, my sister and so many others. She is one of the best dogs ever. I’ll never forget her.

  65. 65
    Jennifer says:

    So the shorter of this piece is that the government shutdown will be Ted Cruz’ Reichstag fire.

    I guess the author didn’t want to be accused of a Godwin.

  66. 66
    Jeremy says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): Yeah I agree. He would be a disaster for them in a general election. The base of the party is going to try to nominate a far right candidate and 2012 was a perfect example. Though Romney won the nomination he had to spend a ton of money and fight to the very end against a week field with santorum and Gingrich. If he faced a stronger opponent he would have lost, and that is why I don’t see Christie getting the nomination.

  67. 67
    MomSense says:

    @geg6:

    Sending hugs to you.

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @geg6: Nothing really to be said, is there? Still….

  69. 69
    geg6 says:

    @MomSense:

    Thanks. I’ll pass them on to my sister, who has been crying for a week. Last night, she said it was the first night she could eat and, hopefully, sleep since Cookie got diagnosed. She’s going to be a complete puddle when Cookie’s time finally comes.

  70. 70
    geg6 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yes, exactly. Sweet, sweet Cookie.

  71. 71
    RepubAnon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’d also note that Ted Cruz probably noticed the gains that the Golden Dawn Party made in Greece due to the austerity-induced economic disaster there. If Ted Cruz manages to crash the economy, the political field will favor people willing to blame these problems on a scapegoat. Nobody does scapegoats better than the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party.

    In short, Ted Cruz isn’t just planning on destroying the Republican Party in order to seize power – he’s also planning on destroying the US economy, blaming it on the Democrats and RINOs, and using that as a path to the presidency. After all, it’s worked before for right-wing demagogues originally viewed by their opponents as a joke.

  72. 72
    WereBear says:

    @geg6: I’m going to lose it when she goes, but I’m so glad that little white ball of fire got fished out of the lake and went on to touch me, my sister and so many others. She is one of the best dogs ever. I’ll never forget her.

    I’m sorry to hear. But she certainly accomplished her mission!

  73. 73
    WereBear says:

    @RepubAnon: In short, Ted Cruz isn’t just planning on destroying the Republican Party in order to seize power – he’s also planning on destroying the US economy, blaming it on the Democrats and RINOs, and using that as a path to the presidency.

    The more the general public rejects their policies, the more an apocalyptic scenario becomes their only route to power. So they are actually more dangerous the more they lose power.

  74. 74
    shelly says:

    they’ll drop him like they did Palin, Romney, Cain, Ryan, Paul… the list goes on and on

    Let’s not forget when Rick Perry was their great white hope

    **********
    I still smile when in the 2008 primaries, for a couple of weeks Fred Thompson was the next great hope. Now he’s doing reverse-mortgage commercials on the teevee.

  75. 75
    Elizabelle says:

    @WereBear:

    Good to hear. TCM has a final Hitchcock Sunday tomorrow. And then Psycho will pop up all over the place in October.

    (The film. Not just Ted Cruz.)

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    @geg6:

    Best wishes to you and your sister and Cookie. The pup had a good life. She swam into yours. Smart dog.

  77. 77
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @RepubAnon:

    I’d also note that Ted Cruz probably noticed the gains that the Golden Dawn Party made in Greece due to the austerity-induced economic disaster there.

    I’d like to note that as of this AM, the leaders of Golden Dawn are all behind bars.

  78. 78
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    The problem is, even though Cruz and his like are really only representative of the 27-percenters, Republicans in America vote like robots for the Republican Candidate. Seriously, thanks to the bizarre wiring in their brains they are the most knee-jerk loyalists on the planet and most will simply eat their own feces before they’d vote Democratic.

    We have a classic example here in our NM 2nd–Steve Pearce. He wins every election because the yay-hoos in the eastern part of the state (who are really right-winger oil and cattle Texans, but I digress) vote compulsively for R’s and the ones in our part of this Gerry-mandered district who hold practically ZERO of his values also vote, compulsively, for whatever Republican is on the ballot. Dem’s rarely get more than 35% in that race. And he’s totally safe with the Ted Cruz’s of the Tea Party because he always votes the way they tell him to.

    So, thanks to our “perfect” two party system, in most districts where the Tea Party is winning all the primaries by 50 + 1%, the Crazies will be on the ballot in 2014. If those districts, in turn, go majority Republican, we’re fucking doomed.

    These bastards have managed to ruin the nation’s economy by holding it back while they really are, nationally, a minority. What the hell happens when they manage to knock down a couple of Senate seats in addition to holding the House?

    We are so doomed. So fucking doomed. They can and will continue to put a hold on any economic progress in this country until they decide they’re calling ALL the shots.

  79. 79
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos arrested

    Greek police have mounted an unprecedented crackdown on the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party, arresting its leader, three MPs, and more than a dozen other key members.

  80. 80
    Amir Khalid says:

    @geg6:
    Virtual hugs for your family’s very real loss.

  81. 81
    JPL says:

    @geg6: Hugs to you and your sister and a tissue for me.

  82. 82
    TAPX486 says:

    @Mark S.: Wasn’t that one of Cruz’s bed time stories – Hastert Is a Who?

  83. 83
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    What the hell happens when they manage to knock down a couple of Senate seats in addition to holding the House?

    I heard the same in 2012. What happened? They pulled an Akin. McCaskill knew exactly what she was doing when she ran ads in the GOP primary. NO WAY was she supposed to win. Turned out she couldn’t lose.

    Lesson #1: Know thy enemy.

  84. 84
    Jeremy says:

    I really do believe that the republicans are going to nominate a totally unelectable person in 2016. I think one reason why Barbara Bush doesn’t want Jeb running is because she knows that the party is going off the rails and the radicals are calling the shots. The old establishment of the GOP doesn’t really exist and what has taken it’s place is Heritage action, Club for Growth, and tea party groups.

  85. 85
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @TAPX486:

    Hastert Hears a Who?

    Thanx. I needed that.

  86. 86
    agrippa says:

    I do not know what sort of mischief Cruz is up to. He does seem to be very much in it for himself. I suspect that he will have his moment of glory and fade away.

    The House GOP does look like it is fixing to pitch a conniption fit. If they do, it will be fun and horrifying to watch.

  87. 87
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The problem is, even though Cruz and his like are really only representative of the 27-percenters, Republicans in America vote like robots for the Republican Candidate.

    Democratic centralism.

    All power to the soviets of preachers and hedge-fund managers!

  88. 88
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Lesson #1: Know thy enemy.

    Problem is, I do. But so do they. I really hope the stars realign to knock these bastards down, but I’m not betting good money on it yet.

  89. 89

    […] attention, ’cause that explains pretty much everything we’ve seen since. Jack Balkin (via) explains that Ted Cruz is a […]

  90. 90

    This brand of no-holds-barred conservatism is losing a few voters at the margins, but so what? Once these squishes are gone, the Tea Party can exert even greater control over the more ideologically pure remnant, which will be known as — wait for it — the Republican Party.

    How is this different from the Republican Party of today?

  91. 91
    Doug Milhous J says:

    Of course he’s a Leninist. Conservatives are counter-revolutionaries, obsessed with the tactics of the last century of revolutionaries. No one did it better than Lenin, so of course they copy him.

    It’s why they let a bunch of former commie nitwits take over the foreign policy arm of the movement.

  92. 92
    Botsplainer says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    The problem is, even though Cruz and his like are really only representative of the 27-percenters, Republicans in America vote like robots for the Republican Candidate. Seriously, thanks to the bizarre wiring in their brains they are the most knee-jerk loyalists on the planet and most will simply eat their own feces before they’d vote Democratic.

    That is what propaganda does to reactions. I hate to go all Godwin, but that’s why the Allied Powers had to show Germans films of Nazi atrocities in order to break the feedback cycle of closed loop information. Unfortunately, with the a la carte nature of cable, hate radio and the Internet, the American right has created its own closed information loop.

    If every bit of news or information you take in daily merely reaffirms your existing biases, you are simply never going to perceive any other possible reality. Add in the fact that Americans who swallow this shit live mostly in atomic little suburbs and exurbs (cars everywhere, little interaction with neighbors, self-selected social clubs, little interaction with “others”), and you have a potent and exploitable proto-fascist demographic.

  93. 93
    eemom says:

    @magurakurin:

    you hear me talkin Hillbilly Boy, I aint through with you by a damn sight..Ima get medieval on your ass…

    I went with “What does Marcellus Wallace LOOK LIKE?” yesterday during an argument with eedad, and he was all like “What’s that from?”

    It is possible that I spend too much time on this blog.

  94. 94
    Suffern ACE says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: you know which other fascist spent time behind bars?

  95. 95
    Elizabelle says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yeah, and I am hoping the Tea Party gets schooled in the Virginia governor’s race this fall.

    Lots could happen: a split between the Teahadists and the business Republicans, that is so obvious even mainstream media and oblivious Republican voters can’t miss it.

    Obamacare making life easier for people in the Teahadists’ personal orbit. Might not get them to support Obama or Democrats, but might get them wondering about other things they’ve been lied to about …

  96. 96
    Belafon says:

    When I read those excerpts, what popped into my mind was “…and the other is about orcs.” It’s not that Cruz believes in libertarianism. The lesson he took from Atlas Shrugged was that have will have to destroy the country in order to save it for him. He could see himself standing on the edge of the mountain, a woman wrapped in his arm, drawing a big C in the air.

  97. 97
    Cacti says:

    Ted is running for President of the confederate states.

  98. 98
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    How is this different from the Republican Party of today?

    That dream is not all that different than parts of the progressive blog-o-sphere, come to that.

    An allergy to coalitions is bi-partisan.

  99. 99
    Botsplainer says:

    @eemom:

    I went with “What does Marcellus Wallace LOOK LIKE?” yesterday during an argument with eedad, and he was all like “What’s that from?”

    Please allow me to retort.

  100. 100

    So his real name is Raphael? Why does he call himself Ted?

  101. 101
    Elizabelle says:

    @Belafon:

    He could see himself standing on the edge of the mountain, a woman wrapped in his arm, drawing a big C in the air.

    Problem is, Cruz doesn’t realize it’s a big C for Crazy or Crackpot.

    (Is the C in the cultural reference for “Capitalism”? Happily, not up on my Ayn Rand.)

  102. 102
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cacti:

    Or a big C for Confederacy.

    *sigh*

  103. 103
    Elizabelle says:

    @eemom:

    You and eehusband must watch Pulp Fiction.

    It’s marvelous, and not as bloody as some other Tarantino flicks. It’s very clever.

  104. 104
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Kaneis: Don’t believe the hype he is one ugly mofo who’s going nowhere fast. The FP here are always hyping the latest right wing bullshit while completely ignoring great news about PBO(Iranian diplomacy, Syrian chemical weapons deal).

  105. 105
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Sheesh. Don’t overglorify the man. This is Cruz’s five minutes of fame. The Tea Partiers have jumped from messiah to messiah whenever anyone looks like they can defeat the Dark Lord.

    This.

    Last spring, Rand Paul was their hero standing up against DROOOOOOOONEZ. Now he’s an appeaser and a traitor. Before that, it was Mitt Romney, albeit with some reluctance. Before that, the entire procession of Not-Romney-Of-The-Month front runners. Before that, Sarah Palin.

    They’ve been desperately searching for a new messiah ever since George W. Bush left office in disgrace. Cruz is just the latest one in line. They’ll throw him away within a few months, too.

  106. 106
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Sounds less “ethnic”. Those less concerned about that should feel free to call him by something more apt for his full first name, like “Rafa”.

  107. 107
    Botsplainer says:

    @Cacti:

    Ted is running for President of the confederate states.

    A lesson to all the smug Southerners – the Confederacy IS the center of gravity for all this stupid shit. Yes, there are some problems with Wisconsin and Michigan right now, and Pat Toomey is a Senator, but if you break the back of Confederate Conservatism in the South, policy becomes a helluva lot better all the way around. At that point, you get to have sane discussions on cost-benefit analyses on issues of regulation and tax policy.

  108. 108
    Cacti says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Sounds less “ethnic”. Those less concerned about that should feel free to call him by something more apt for his full first name, like “Rafa”.

    Being a Cuban-Canadian in the cracker party, I’m surprised he didn’t go for Billy Bob. Ted could make people think of Ted Kennedy.

  109. 109
    CaseyL says:

    @geg6: Cookie sounds like a lovely pup. Your sister’s old boyfriend did a Good Thing when he fished her out of the lake. That sounds like quite a story: did he go diving in after her?

    I knew a Spitz for many years (Kemo, my best friend’s doggie); he was a darling. Very loving, very adventurous. He used to go adventuring outside, then Sherri would have to give him a bath because he’d come back filthy and covered in fleas. He’d sit quietly in the tub while she scrubbed him and picked the fleas off. She’d laugh and say his bright white fur made the fleas easy to spot. He also reached a good age, 15, and left a big hole when he died.

    My thoughts are with you, your sister, and Cookie.

  110. 110
    Sir Nose'D says:

    @WereBear: Agreed, exactly.

    So we have Marx giving his 1850 Address to the Central Committee to the Communist League. Marx lays out his idea of ‘permanent revolution’–a working class maintaining a militant, non-compromising approach to politics both before, during and after the ‘struggle.’

    So today we have a wealthy cabal, also bent on ‘permanent revolution’–this time a billionaire class maintaining a militant, non-compromising approach to politics both before, during and after the ‘struggle.’

    In a fun twit on Engles, “…in all probability, the revolution will transform existing society gradually and will be able to abolish government.”

    Despite my own leftie free market ideology, I do hope Marx is right about one thing: “the bourgeoisie produces … its own grave-diggers.”

  111. 111
    Donut says:

    @Botsplainer:

    This.

    Kind of the same point I was making above. In the Senate we have the odd Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson, etc, but for for the most part the Gopers in that body mainly come from white bread land and/or the South.

    It’s painful and maybe will still get worse before better, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as respects straight white male hegemony in our politics.

  112. 112
    WereBear says:

    @Botsplainer: If every bit of news or information you take in daily merely reaffirms your existing biases, you are simply never going to perceive any other possible reality. Add in the fact that Americans who swallow this shit live mostly in atomic little suburbs and exurbs (cars everywhere, little interaction with neighbors, self-selected social clubs, little interaction with “others”), and you have a potent and exploitable proto-fascist demographic.

    That’s exactly where I spent my teen years; upscale Florida suburbs.

    *”Neighbors” aren’t even the people who live near you. They are people you hang with at the country club.

    *Most of the time, it’s hot, so you don’t even go outside, you hide indoors in the air conditioning. Children don’t play outside together; it’s too hot. You drive them places where they play in air-conditioned gyms, with hand-selected teammates.

    *A LOT of them go to Christian schools. The truly wealthy send their children to prep school, mostly out of state. But the second-tier wealthy look down on the local schools and send their progeny to these segregated Christian Academies.

    *They don’t seem to socialize in each other’s houses, even though these houses are large. To have a lot of cars parked in front of one’s house is too “white trashy” so they all meet in restaurants.

    Mind you, it’s been a while since I was a teen. :) These things might have changed.

  113. 113
    geg6 says:

    @CaseyL:

    He was actually in the midst of a dive when he spotted her first, just a small white dot. The. He came up and was tending the line for his dive buddy to depressurize and that’s when he realized what the dot was. They fished her straight out of the water. No others boats in sight, like she came out of nowhere.

  114. 114
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Sir Nose’D:

    the bourgeoisie produces … its own grave-diggers.”

    The invisible rich, the really rich, the rich-on-the-global scale, the 0.001%, won’t even notice

    The revolution will be fractal.

  115. 115
    Jeremy says:

    @Chris: I slightly disagree. There is a difference between Cruz and people like Cain, Santorum, Gingrich, and Perry. Those candidates all had major baggage and even though Romney won he struggled to get the nomination. Cruz would be a much stronger candidate in the primary than the 2012 candidates that challenged Romney. If Romney faced a challenger who was slightly stronger and more competent he would have lost.

    I think many are underestimating how far right the party is heading.Since the election they have moved further to the right and I don’t see things getting better in 2016. I really do see a 1964 Goldwater type situation in 2016.

  116. 116
    Belafon says:

    @Elizabelle: At the end of Atlas Shrugged, John Galt is standing on the edge of a cliff with Tagney, and he draws a dollar sign in the air over the US as people below ride by in horse drawn carriages, signifying the rebirth of the country in his image of a libertarian, free market society.

    In this case, thought, it’s all about Cruz.

  117. 117
    Ruckus says:

    @TriassicSands:
    I call it idiotic smart.

    Has actual ability to add, subtract and tie his shoes, possibly multiply and divide, but can’t remember which is which. So goes off on absolutely idiotic directions in search of answers to questions that have no logical answers. IOW an idiot. A lot of smarts but no idea what to do with it or how to use it. Two hundred years ago he’d be the mayor of a small town because he had no other skills, like ranching/farming, shop keeper, blacksmith. He’d never go any farther because as soon as he starts to talk the only people who understand him are the other idiots. Or in a big city, NY for example, he’d be the guy on the street corner with a sandwich sign proclaiming the second coming. Almost everyone would walk around him without looking at him or cross the street.
    But now there are enough idiots floating around who he makes sense to and enough of them have a little money, so he can get elected to office. He’s still an idiot, just one with a bull horn now.

  118. 118
    debbie says:

    @geg6:

    I’ve been aunt to several dogs, and very little is sadder in life than what you’re facing. They’re yours too.

    ETA

    “They fished her straight out of the water. No others boats in sight, like she came out of nowhere.”

    Like Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

  119. 119
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Elizabelle: in the original, Galt blesses the distant, dying multitude with the Sign of the Dollar.

  120. 120
    Tokyokie says:

    @Suffern ACE: Except Mishima had the artistic talent to create several great novels (and even performed well as an actor in a couple of pretty good movies) and the courage of his demented convictions to remove himself permanently from the political scene in spectacularly dramatic fashion when things didn’t go his way. I won’t speculate on the closeted gay part.

  121. 121
    jake the snake says:

    Chait’s analogy is close, but the Republican Party is like the SDS in 1969, and the TeaHadists are the Weatherman faction,
    willing to blow up anything and anyone to get their revolution. Or, more properly, devolution.

  122. 122
    Chris says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Well, thank the fucking Lord for that.

    Amid revelations thatGolden Dawn had set up hit squads with the help of commandos in the special forces and openly colluded with the police, authorities launched a far-reaching inquiry into the group’s activities.

    Fascists really are the same everywhere. And apparently, so are cops.

    I’m just thrilled that the government actually found the balls to crack down on them instead of continuing to look the other way.

  123. 123
    GregB says:

    I get a kick out of my wingnut buddies who are aflutter over Ted Cruz because of his compelling personal story.

    A very similar personal story that was considered ‘accomplished nothing in life” when it was about a guy named Barack Obama.

  124. 124
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Napoleon once said of his army that “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” Ambitious teahadists carry an Inaugural Address in theirs.

    Cruz doesn’t just want to be president, he wants to head the Republican party as kingmaker for ever and ever and ever. He may well be thwarted in his ambition because there are any number of other grifters trying to figure out how to out-Cruz him just for the cash. One or more of them will succeed. Cruz will go on to a life of wingnut welfare and scolding from the sidelines on FOX News and every last Sunday talking head show.

  125. 125
    MomSense says:

    @geg6:

    Even I shed a tear reading the story of your sweet niece puppy. I have lots and lots of hugs for all of you. We are in the make our dog’s decline as comfortable and happy as possible phase at home so I really do feel for you.

    Last week I found an old picture of our dog as a puppy and this may seem strange but I still see that bit of puppy in our dog now and in that picture I realize I can see a bit of what he has become. On the weekends the boys have all been sticking around the house. They have his dog bed set up in the living room and have been bringing in all their toys (electronic!) and such so it is a bit chaotic but someone is always petting or in contact with our dog–and he is loving being in the middle of the action.

  126. 126
    WereBear says:

    @MomSense: What a beautiful response to your dog’s illness.

  127. 127
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Cacti:

    Ted could make people think of Ted Kennedy.

    It could. But in Cruz’ case, Bundy is the other Ted who leaps to mind.

  128. 128
    Citizen_X says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Lennin? I think not. Mishima is more like it.

    Ooh, ooh! Can I be his second?

  129. 129
    ruemara says:

    @geg6: Big hugs to Patty, Cookie and Auntie Geg6. I know this is hard, but our beloved companions are the sole possible proof of god, somedays.

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