Why do people immediately hate Ted Cruz? Because it saves time.
Two characteristics have followed Ted Cruz throughout his life. It was taken as a given that Cruz had one of the most powerful legal minds in anyone’s memory, astounding even his professors at Harvard. Second, he was the most hated person in every organization, group, panel, or class, also noted among those same professors at Harvard.
Recently, Cruz has given the public reason to seriously question whether that “brilliance” is strictly limited to his legal analytical ability and that real Ted is as dumb as a bunny fight (In the same way that Ben Carson was one of the world’s best pediatric neurosurgeons, whom you would let operate on your child’s brain for ten hours, but would not let Carson babysit your child for one hour, this type of genius isn’t rare.)
Now we are hearing that there might be a third Ted Cruz characteristic that must be monitored more closely than the other two, one that has previously flown under the radar. He might be dangerous, according to his former speechwriter Amanda Carpenter, writing in The Bulwark.
We all had a good chuckle watching Tucker Carlson wring Ted through the dough maker earlier last week. But Carpenter warns that it is symbolic of something that isn’t funny.
At issue is Cruz’s use of the phrase “violent terrorist attack” when talking about Jan. 6th protesters who assaulted police. For this, last Thursday Carlson accused Cruz of “repeating the talking points Merrick Garland has prepared.” Burn. Lord knows, the worst thing a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender could do is be on message with the Biden administration about Jan. 6th.
The fact that it actually was a violent terrorist attack means nothing about nothing in today’s MAGA movement.
It’s worth remembering that when Cruz was coming up in Republican politics, being tough on crime was a good message. He likely clings to the notion that the typical GOP voter wants to “back the blue” and that a successful politician should be consistent in denouncing criminals on the left and the right.
Well, now – again, we have proof that Ted’s intellectual firepower is quite limited because if he thought “backing the blue” on January 6th was a winning message with MAGAs on January 6th, 2022, then he’s been asleep for a year or is just stupid. The Right is still denounced criminals, but they must be the right criminals, those people. The terrorists that attacked the Capitol were patriots, not criminals and especially not terrorists. Every self-respecting MAGA knows that.
But that is Carpenter’s point. Ted was right. Ted knows the truth. Ted went with the truth, And perhaps the old Ted would’ve stuck with the truth. No more.
Ted went on Tucker to make everything right:
I’ve drawn a distinction. I wasn’t saying that the thousands of peaceful protesters supporting Donald Trump are somehow terrorists. I wasn’t saying the millions of patriots across the country supporting President Trump are terrorists, and that’s what a lot of people have misunderstood.
Carlson introduced Ted to the new language and new way to think like a MAGA. Carlson:
“If somebody assaults a cop, he should be charged and go to jail. I couldn’t agree more. We have said that for years. But that person is still not a terrorist.”
(Unless he is a person of color, Carlson did not say, but did not need to.) And, by the way, STFU, Tucker. That person is a terrorist if the action is done for a political purpose, as opposed to robbing a bank.)
Carpenter points out that the brilliant Cruz could have given Carlson the exact definition of terrorist, which happens to fit the Capitol rioters like a glove, but instead chose to go further into the rabbit hole, so far down it started to get fairly warm:
Let me also make a quick point, Tucker, remember, while thousands of people were standing up to defend this country on January 6th, at that exact moment, I was standing on the Senate floor objecting to the election results, demanding that we empanel an election commission to consider evidence of voter fraud and I brought together eleven senators to join me in supporting getting to the bottom of that.
So of course, it would be ridiculous for me to be saying that the people standing up and protesting to follow the law were somehow terrorists. I was talking about people who commit violence against cops, and you and I both agree, if you commit violence against cops, you should go to jail.
This is a man who had thousands of better answers available, ones that would have made Carlson recoil in shame and yet went straight MAGA, meaning that Cruz is now battling with DeSantis and Hawley to be the guy sitting at the Right Hand of the Father.
The good news is, and perhaps Carpenter hasn’t noticed, but Cruz has screwed up a lot more than he’s gotten right recently. If he’s dangerous, it’s because he will make a mistake that makes everything collapse, not do it purposefully, as the others intend.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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