My favorite Ted Cruz anecdote is this—from someone who worked on the 2000 George W. Bush campaign:
“Why do people take such an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? It just saves time.”
Yes, I’ve quoted that before, but it perfectly encapsulates how practically everyone who knows Mr. Cruz feels about him—a mixture of disdain and, well, more disdain. Ask John Boehner about Ted Cruz and he’s likely to give you a one-word answer: he’s already on record as having given a one-finger answer.
But now Mr. Cruz has jumped…no, pole-vaulted over the shark and endorsed Donald Trump.
I said practically everyone detests Ted Cruz, but he does have a following on the religious right and among the country’s half-dozen or so remaining Tea Party members. Remember that bunch? We’re still cleaning up their mess. Some of us. Not Ted Cruz, but that’s another story, for apparently it’s his religious convictions that allow him to support Donald Trump—that ability to turn the other cheek, to forgive and forget.
In case your memory has grown foggy, here’s a list to remind you of what Cruz has chosen to forget—and you’d probably hoped to forget:
- Trump once tweeted an unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz juxtaposed with one of Melania Trump and said that “the images are worth a thousand words.”
- On Twitter Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz. Six months later we still don’t know what that meant.
- Trump, who gets most of his hard news from Internet chat rooms, accused Cruz’s father of being involved in the JFK assassination plot.
- Trump attacked Cruz on religious grounds, claiming he lies too much to be a Christian. (Besides, how could an Evangelical be Cuban?)
- Speaking of which, Trump applied his birther paranoia to Cruz who was born in Canada to an American citizen. Trump’s pretended misgivings were asinine—Cruz is an American citizen, though the fact isn’t anything of which I’m terribly proud.
- Trump vowed (Trump vowed? those two words look funny together) never to accept Cruz’s endorsement anyway.
- Not to be outdone, Mr. Cruz called Trump a pathological liar, a serial philanderer, and a man without morals.
Until yesterday when Cruz made this announcement:
“After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.”
Yes it’s politics—strange bedfellows and all that—but it’s one thing to disagree on policy and approach and accuse one’s opponent of being wrong-headed on issues; it’s another to impugn his integrity, morality, and heritage, let alone make veiled threats against his wife or family.
This, in case you’re still wondering, is how you get to be deplorable.