The 10 best things about Ted Cruz running for president

March 24, 2015 Originally published on SFGate
  1. Cruz announced his candidacy at Liberty University, ranked by Forbes as the 636th best university in the nation (out of 650), and by U.S. News as No. 80 among “Regional Universities (South)”. It apparently has the 141st best online bachelor’s program in the country. Liberty was founded by the late, greatly repellant charlatan, homophobe and vicious ogre of religion, Jerry Falwell, about whom the late, great Chris Hitchens one quipped, via savage obituary, “there is no vileness that cannot be freely uttered by a man whose name is prefaced with the word Reverend.” Hitch’s scathing post-mortem on the “disgusting” Falwell bears a delightful re-read, if for no other reason than to acknowledge what sort of racist, anti-Semitic, misogynist horse of abject villainy Cruz is willing to hitch his dumbwagon to.
  2. The only reason Cruz, a notoriously pretentious Harvard law jerk, was willing to hang out with such non-Ivy dimwits? Because Liberty made attendance to Cruz’ speech mandatory for all students, so it would appear to TV viewers that Cruz can actually draw a crowd (he can’t). Quoteth the National Journal: “‘They make you come. If you don’t come, you get punished,’ said Ana Delgado, a [Liberty] sophomore, who said students face a $10 fine for not showing up at convocation. Delgado… is undecided about who she’ll support in 2016, but she didn’t like being forced to be part of Cruz’s announcement.” Let us all enjoy the savage irony of a presidential candidate talking up the virtues of freedom and liberty to an audience that enjoyed neither.
  3. Cruz’ vehement refusal to accept the science of climate change – which was enough to make Jerry Brown call him “absolutely unfit” for the presidency – will bring out the worst in his own party’s already fractured, combative extremism; his opponents will either have to sigh heavily and agree with Cruz’ radicalism, or play the moderate card and risk alienating the wrath of the dumbed-down base to which Cruz, like Sarah Palin before him, is shamelessly appealing. Either way, the debates should be a clown car of lowest common-denominator, anti-intellectual delight.
    What, me? Hilariously unelectable?

    What, me? Hilariously unelectable?

  4. He makes for pitch perfect jokes: “Ted Cruz wanting to be president is like Chuck E. Cheese wanting to win a James Beard Award.” “Ted Cruz wanting to be president is like Ebola wanting to be an Ebola vaccine.” “Ted Cruz wanting to be president is like a marshmallow peep wanting to win Best in Show.” Just off the top of my head! See how easy? Can you think of some too?
  5. Gawker pointed out, quite sagely, that Cruz’ campaign logo is an upside-down burning American flag. Which, when you think ted-logoabout it, is entirely appropriate. Also, Al Jazeera called, wants its design back.
  6. Some claim that Cruz, despite his rabid denial of science, bizarre stance on immigration and savage willingness to shut down the government and infuriate members of his own party, is in possession of a “brilliant” and “divisive” mind. This is entirely possible. But do not forget: In the case of someone like Cruz, this is like saying a severe genital rash is in possession of lots of burning and itching. Many “brilliant minds” do not give a damn for peace, civil rights or basic human progress.
  7. Click here: And then here: (“A+ for trolling” as one tweet put it). Bonus:
  8. Cruz’ speech was full of extremist, bottom-of-the-intellectual-barrel promises: Repeal the tremendous success that is Obamacare (and thus take away health care for 12 million people), abolish the IRS, defend the “sanctity” of marriage and human life. Translation: “Everything I say is just silly, extremist bait to lure the fundamentalists, Limbaugh’s Dittoheads and Koch-sucking libertarian drones, because these are the only groups that will possibly vote for me.” It’s not just comedy, it’s Sarah Palin-grade comedy.
  9. Cruz once compared fighting the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act in congress to fighting the Nazis. He voted against federal disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. He read “Green Eggs and Ham” in its entirely on the senate floor as a display of classic, pointless right-wing assholery. Whatever smarts he has are all focused on viewpoints and attitudes that make animals sick and flowers scream. Many of his own colleagues detest him.
  10. Upside! The awesome political theater that will be Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum (oh please oh please) and whoever else dares to throw down with this spectacle will be nothing if not a stunningly, bizarrely enjoyable display of what remains of the conservative, pseudo-religious male patriarchy kicking and screaming its way to blessed irrelevance. What more could you ask for?

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Mark Morford

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