Friday, September 27, 2013

You Already Know The Future Of Ted Cruz

We've seen how this ends. We know what happens to Ted Cruz, because it's happened before. Many, many times. I'm certain, and so are you, and so is everyone else - probably everybody but Cruz himself. Reporters and pundits, paid to have memories like goldfish, won't say it. But I don't make any money at this, so I don't mind. Here it is:

Ted Cruz runs for president. Jackasses in Iowa talk about his honesty and his directness. They portray him as an outsider, a renegade, a fresh new face. What they mean is something else, something darker. Anyway, soon after that - because of dropping polls, stories of infighting, and some hideous thing he says into a hot mike or on hidden camera - his campaign turns into a space shuttle made of balsa.

Does it stop there? Christ, no. Because then Ted Cruz finds what he was meant to do all along. He's going to get a TV show, a radio gig, or an income stream from giving speeches to the kind of folks who think the UN is a totalitarian plot and gay people are poisoning our water supply. Maybe Fox picks him up at first. Eventually, though, he gets a niche market, a place in our culture where he can really cash in on those qualities he showed among the mouth-breathers in the Hawkeye State. Because those qualities are narcissism, paranoia, and shamelessness.

There's a kind of conservative who has these traits. The kind of person who wants nothing more than to peddle conspiracy theories, throw sand in the machinery, and call everyone around him or her a Nazi. These people can't run a disciplined team and get to 270. They alienate their own party. They lose staff and collect enemies. But they illustrate that what internet sales hacks call "the long tail" applies to the marketplace of ideas as well as that of porn and videogames.

The second act of this sort of conservative is where the audience thins out, and her or she plays to a remnant of lunatics, cranks, and neo-Confederates. Some kind of site like Rightwingwatch showcases each clip of the latest awful display, and Republicans pretend they never liked him anyway. But that's actually a bonus, because for the cult that still follows Cruz, part of the attraction will be membership in a group of true believers, fighting a war against an alien and hostile world. John of Patmos got their number the first time around. Not much has changed.

Ted Cruz's second act awaits. We can't get there soon enough. But of course while Cruz spends his last few inconsequential but lucrative decades riffing on FEMA-theories, Politico or the equivalent will be hyping the next wave of who the fuck cares. There is no relief in sight.

I'm going to start not taking him seriously right now, and beat the crowd.

9 comments:

  1. Hey! I live in Iowa and am a liberal, way liberal. Yes, Iowa has lunatic fringe right-wingers. What state doesn't? Its just that in Iowa all the far-right go to the caucuses.
    And if you were still referring to Iowans in the third paragraph - be advised that "Corn Huskers" is the name of the Nebraska football team and not a term for Iowans - just saying.
    Unfortunately we have uber crazy representatives like Steve King and Charles Grassley (who lost his marbles in the last 12 years but otherwise was a a fair Senator till then) but King has always been soaked in ether, and they don't help our image. Still, Iowa was one of the first States to legalize Gay Marriage, so give the rest of us a break.
    Otherwise your comments are spot-on!

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    1. Thank you! Already changed the nickname. And yes, I am referring specifically to jackasses who drive GOP politics, not Iowans generally.

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  2. In other words, Sarah Palin.....the sequel. God help us.

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  3. Well said. Of course Cruz has good hair and mascara and could run as governor of Texas too?

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  4. Amen brother, right behind you in the line.

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  5. Sadly, between now and the time the public press recognizes that the man is ready for a canvas sportjacket with wraparound sleeves he and his flying monkey minions are capable of doing a ton of damage to innocent bystanders.

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    1. I'm hoping to do everything I can to take the piss out of him, but yeah. You're right.

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  6. Hey, next NASA space mission? Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin to Uranus!

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  7. In a way, it saddens me to say, this article is a masterful work! Thanks, much, for sharing.
    A frequent reader of FranklyCurious

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