Stanford: Ted Cruz for el Presidente!
Now that he has renounced his Canadian citizenship, Sen. Ted Cruz must run for president, but not to save our country from falling deficits, 41 months straight of private-sector job growth, or forcing health insurance companies to spend your premiums on health care. No, our very junior senator absolutely must run for president so he can help me win an ongoing argument with my wife.
Don't get me wrong. Cruz has a long list of reasons why he should run for president, at the top of which is that he's got a great a chance to win the Republican nomination before getting walloped in a general election by a country that is no longer buying what Republicans are selling.
But my wife, who is otherwise right about everything, still believes in a place called common ground that exists in a future in which humanity is united by mutual agreement around shared values. In other words, she doesn't think there's anything funny about peace, love and understanding.
Crazier still, she thinks we can reason with Republicans. That's where Ted Cruz comes in. He's like a bionic candidate, engineered to unite all Republican factions: anti-fluoride cranks, tea partiers, flat Earthers who think Jesus had a pet dinosaur, and those other Republicans who are simply wrong. Cruz combines Ron Paul's outsider status, Rick Perry's states' rights fetish, Rick Santorum's Leviticus literalism, Marco Rubio's Hispanic-but-not-Mexican tokenism, Newt Gingrich's presumed intelligence, and Mitt Romney's smug self-satisfaction and feigned, raised-eyebrow humility.
Underneath this dream team of attributes, behind his articulate, composed visage, however, beats the heart of a man happy to call himself crazy. By running for president, Cruz can prove to my wife that Republicans have gone where reason fears to tread. If you still think Cruz is sane, then you haven't taken a dispassionate look at his record. Forget how comfortingly educated he sounds, how measured he sounds, how normal he appears. Cruz rocks the crazypants.
Here's what we knew before he got elected: He thinks George Soros is leading a United Nations plot to take away our golf courses, ranches and paved roads. He called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.” And even though he should have known—as a former University of Texas law professor—that Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land,” he said that Texas and other states could circumvent the president by nullifying Obamacare. If this sounds a little nuts, you're right.
And then you elected him to the U.S. Senate, where he really let it fly. He said marriage equality will end religious free speech, that the government might make radio host Glenn Beck a political prisoner, called Newtown families “props” while taking credit for blocking background checks, said funding birth control at Planned Parenthood clinics was an “assault on our liberties,” that extending jobless benefits creates unemployment, and that Harvard Law employed 12 Marxist professors who advocated overthrow of the government.
So dedicated is Sen. Cruz to protecting the government against overthrow that he wants to shut it down to block implementation of a law passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Cruz says shutting down the government isn't any big deal, really, because most government offices are closed on weekends.
You won't find a pony of logic by digging through the piles of statements from this foreign-born birther, this anti-immigration immigrant. All you end up with is the conclusion that Cruz is crazy, a badge he wears proudly.
“In the media, there is a tendency to describe conservatives as one of two things: stupid or evil. … I suppose I feel mildly complimented in that they have recently invented a third category, which is crazy. It's the alternative to stupid or evil,” Cruz told Time.
We cannot use reason to reach the unreasonable. The Republican Party has reached peak crazy, but until they nominate a pure vessel of their insanity, my wife will labor under the delusion that we can talk them out of their tree.
Cruz is the right kind of crazy. If I don't start winning political arguments with my wife, I'm going to have to demand to see her birth certificate.
Jason Stanford is a Democratic consultant who writes columns for the Austin American-Statesman and MSNBC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @JasStanford. His column is distributed exclusively by the Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.