It’s no big secret that I — like most Americans with a pulse and an IQ that breaks the 80 mark — am not a big fan of Senator Ted Cruz. He’s been in office less than a year and he’s proven to be nothing more than a rhetoric-spewing machine. It seems like his sole political motivation is to be seen. He doesn’t care how or why he’s being seen. He just wants the eyeballs in the room and around the country focused on him. He guarantees eyes will be on him by spitting out nothing but the finest in political red meat to his base. If it’s rooted in far-right fundamentalist ideology, Ted Cruz will say it, and he’ll say with that shit-eating grin of his that just makes your teeth itch.
In other words — Senator Cruz embodies everything that is wrong about politicians in America, and I think it’s time we filled the Senate with 99 more Ted Cruz-alikes.
Let me explain. At first, when I heard the news that ol’ Teddy told those attending a Heritage Foundation event that the Senate needs another a hundred people like the late Senator Jesse Helms, I had the reaction you’d assume most liberals would have. It was a combination eye-roll and gag-reflex. I don’t have the time to give you a full roster of all the atrociously racist, homophobic and misogynistic things Senator Helms said and did in his 30 year senatorial career, but here are just a few highlights.
- Staged a 16-day filibuster over turning Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday into a national holiday
- Once proposed a 40% cut in food stamps
- Was stridently opposed to AIDS research funding because, “not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy.”
- Loud, vocal opponent of integration or any “intervention” on behalf of minorities by the Federal government
That is the legacy of the man that Senator Ted Cruz would love to clone and put a hundred of into our Senate. If you think the GOP’s assault on female reproductive rights or marriage equality is bad now, turn back the clock twenty or thirty years when people like Helms could speak much more openly about their homophobia and racism, and couch in terms like “God’s will,” or the “natural order of things.”
It’s of course appalling and shocking that Cruz, himself a person of non-white origin would suggest that such a blatant racist as Helms would be welcome in today’s society. That’s how you can tell Cruz is so utterly full of shit. Jesse Helms wouldn’t give Ted Cruz the time of day if were alive today, at least not unless some aide or another was able to convince him that the “kids these days” don’t like all that overt racism; they want a much more subtle brand of institutionalized bigotry. To think that Cruz, a man born in 1970 would put up with the racist bleating of a man like Helms whose social policy views were every bit as much anchored in the decade he was born in is laughable, but Cruz has to say what he has to say to get the votes from the hard-right fringe, doesn’t he?
I can’t really say I’m surprised that Cruz got elected, despite the fact that he clearly has nothing new to offer Washington. You’ll notice that he’s not going around talking about any kinds of reforms that make sense. All he does is pay lip service to things like “restoring our values” or “taking our country back.” He’ll rail on and on about the damaging Obama agenda, or the wider “liberal agenda’ that conservatives use as one of their favorite phantom menaces. From a substantive standpoint, Cruz offers nothing and will accomplish even less during his career. People like Cruz don’t enter public service to serve the public; they enter it to serve themselves and their egos, and I think it’s time to load up the Senate with ’em.
Sure, things will go to Hell in a hand basket. I would expect with all those right-wing ideologues in the Senate the level of racially-charged, misogynistic, anti-anyone but Christians rhetoric will soar to heretofore unknown heights. Now, I have no intention of giving the GOP the White House in this little pipe dream of mine, so I have no worries about the kinds of Draconian laws an All-Cruz Senate would pass getting signed onto the books, but I think if the country is ever going to get over its affinity for bullshit artists, we’ll have to see what happens when we give those bullshit artists control for a while.
The truth of course is that outside of the most racist stances that Helms took, he and Cruz share the same views. In fact, the crisis that the Republican Party faces today is directly related to Jesse Helms. The problem they face is that they want to win elections but they don’t want to stop talking like Jesse Helms did. They just simply do not want to grow up and evolve. They see change, all change, as bad, and if that change involves things they find “icky” or “new” they are triply as resistant to change. It would seem to me that all you’d have to do is look at how very little the 11th and 112th Congresses did, and look at how very little our 113th Congress is on track to do and you could see that we’re already looking at a Senate full of Ted Cruz-alikes.
Maybe the only way we’ll stop putting people like Cruz in office is to finally overdose on people like him. Perhaps the only way to get enough moderates and progressives to come out to vote in mid-terms and special elections is to show them just how bad things get when you let people like Cruz take over. I understand what a dangerous proposition it is to clone Teddy Cruz ninety-nine times over and stack our governmental offices with them. Of course I’d rather we just not elect assholes like Cruz and Helms altogether, but it seems like that’s every bit as much a pipe dream as anything else.