Who’s bat-crap crazy now? Or how Ted Cruz learned to stop worrying and love The Donald

screen-shot-2016-02-07-at-8-59-04-pm

 

Good morning Austin:

In case you missed it, Sen. Ted Cruz appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Here is a transcript of a particularly ripe passage:

LEVIN:  Let me — impeachment. Impeachment is a constitutional function. Yes, the left keeps talking about impeachment. I mean, they were talking about impeachment before the inauguration.

(LAUGHTER)

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-31-47-pm

CRUZ: And, you know, I think impeaching Obama in January probably would have been a mistake.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

LEVIN: So would retroactive impeachment be unconstitutional?

(LAUGHTER)

CRUZ: I don’t know, but it would be fun.

(LAUGHTER)

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-33-29-pm

LEVIN: Let me ask you this question. Do the Democrats understand they need to control the House of Representatives to impeach somebody?

(LAUGHTER)

CRUZ: You know…

(LAUGHTER) … the Democrats right now are living in an alternative universe.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-34-35-pm

 

CRUZ: The week after the election, I was back at the Capitol. I was in an elevator at the Capitol with a well-known liberal Democrat, who was simply staring ahead in this complete stupor.

(LAUGHTER)

And that hasn’t changed.

(LAUGHTER)

LEVIN: They all look like that.

CRUZ: They are in denial. And they’re angry.

I mean, you and I were talking backstage before this. The anger on the left — I’ve never seen anything like it. I mean, they’re right now opposing everything. Democrats in the Senate are filibustering absolutely everything. This is the longest we’ve been. The Cabinet is still not confirmed. This is the longest we’ve been since George Washington without confirming a Cabinet.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-37-15-pm

They’re filibustering everything. We voted a couple of weeks ago on approving the journal. Now, Mark, I’m going to confess, I haven no idea what the hell that is.

(LAUGHTER)

I’ve never — I voted yes. I hope yes was the right vote.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-39-17-pm

(LAUGHTER)

Approving the journal is the most mundane procedural step. It is always done by unanimous consent. I didn’t know we did that until they objected to it and said, no, you’ve got to have a full Senate vote; everyone come down to approve the journal.

What that means if this continues, and from the left, their base — there’s a technical term for their base —

LEVIN: Moscow.

(LAUGHTER)

CRUZ: I was going a different direction, which was bat-crap crazy.

(LAUGHTER)

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-40-54-pm

Right now, Democratic senators are more scared of their base than they are of the voters. Democrat — a liberal Democrat told me a couple of weeks ago, said listen, we’re afraid of being primaried. The Democrats took as a lesson of this election that Hillary was too moderate.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-10-55-pm

 

A couple of things here.

Let’s review.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-10-55-pm

They’re filibustering everything. We voted a couple of weeks ago on approving the journal. Now, Mark, I’m going to confess, I have no idea what the hell that is.

Really? I don’t think so. This is a guy who as a teenager memorized the Constitution.

From the Library of Congress.

Senate Journal

From its inaugural session, the United States Senate has kept a journal of its proceedings in accordance with Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution, which provides that:

Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Back to the Cruz conversation with Levin:

Approving the journal is the most mundane procedural step. It is always done by unanimous consent. I didn’t know we did that until they objected to it and said, no, you’ve got to have a full Senate vote; everyone come down to approve the journal.

In other words, Senate Democrats have become unduly, unreasonably obstructionist.

Says Ted Cruz, who made his career being the singular thumb in the eye of the other 99 members of the Senate – especially his fellow Republicans.

From Amber Phillips at the Washington Post in January 2016: Ted Cruz: Obstructor in chief.

In Washington and outside it, Cruz is best known for going to war with the GOP on everything from Obamacare and immigration to Planned Parenthood and the Export-Import Bank. Even though Cruz has never succeeded in actually blocking any of this, he has delayed them — and more importantly, raised his national profile considerably in the process.

In December, I detailed this incident a year earlier, when Republican leaders in the Senate headed home for the weekend thinking a spending bill would be put to bed on Monday.

It was a Friday night, and the spending bill vote was scheduled for Monday. Senate leaders had already gone home; some were on trains and planes back to their districts for the weekend when Cruz took to the Senate floor and demanded lawmakers go on-record for or against Obama’s executive actions to defer deportation of some 5 million undocumented immigrants.

His colleagues were not impressed.

Everyone had to turn back around. Cruz forced the Senate into a Saturday session. Senators on both sides argued Cruz ended up giving then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) more time to push through the president’s judicial and executive nominees. The spending bill passed anyway.

“I don’t see an end goal other than just irritating a lot of people,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah).

Hatch may have missed the point. Throwing a wrench in the Senate was exactly what Cruz wanted to do. Using the Senate’s procedural tool box to try to block or halt something he doesn’t like has been Cruz’s MO since day one, said Molly Reynolds, a congressional analyst with the Brookings Institution.

“He’s really displayed an aptitude for using the Senate’s procedural tools,” Reynolds said.

Back to Cruz and Levin.

CRUZ: there’s a technical term for their base —

LEVIN: Moscow.

OK. This one’s just too much to bear. All I can presume is that Levin was grasping for a quick witticism and fell back on a bit of reflexive the Democrats are Commies red-baiting from the golden age of 20th Century American politics.

Only Moscow now refers not to the USSR and the Commies but to Russia and its president Vladimir Putin, an ex-KGBer whose  ties to Trump and to trying to elect Trump president will probably be the subject of investigations for the next several years.

Levin’s quip was all the more odd because he has been quite tough on Trump’s odd kinship with Putin.  I simply don’t get that one.

But then there was Cruz’s follow-on retort.

I was going a different direction, which was bat-crap crazy.

Bat-crap crazy. About Donald Trump. Bat-crap crazy.

Hmmm. OK.

But, way back when, on May 3, 2016,  just about ten months ago, here is what Ted Cruz had to say about Donald Trump on the day of the Indiana primary which ended Cruz’s campaign.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This morning, Donald Trump went on national television and attacked my father.

Donald Trump alleges that my dad was involved in assassinating JFK. Now, let’s be clear. This is nuts. This is not a reasonable position. This is just kooky. And while I’m at it, I guess I should go ahead and admit, yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard.

You know, Donald’s source for this is “The National Enquirer.” “The National Enquirer” is tabloid trash. But it’s run by his good friend David Pecker, the CEO, who has endorsed Donald Trump. And so “The National Enquirer” has become his hit piece that he uses to smear anybody and everybody.

And this is not the first time Donald Trump has used David Pecker’s “National Enquirer” to go after my family. It was also “The National Enquirer” that went after my wife, Heidi, that just spread lies, blatant lies.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-20-09-pm

But I guess Donald was dismayed, because it was a couple of weeks ago “The Enquirer” wrote this idiotic story about JFK. And Donald was dismayed that the folks in the media weren’t repeating this latest idiocy, so he figured he would have to do it himself. He would have to go on national television and accuse my dad of that.

Listen, my father is has been my hero my whole life. My dad was imprisoned and tortured in Cuba. And when he came to America, he had nothing. He had $100 in his underwear. He washed dishes making 50 cents an hour. You know, he is exactly the kind of person Donald Trump looks down on.

I’m going to do something I haven’t done for the entire campaign. For those of you all who have traveled with me all across the country, I’m going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump.

This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.

He accuses everybody on that debate stage of lying. And it’s simply a mindless yell. Whatever he does, he accuses everyone else of doing. The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist, a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen.

Donald Trump is such a narcissist that Barack Obama looks at him and goes, dude, what’s your problem? Everything in Donald’s world is about Donald. And he combines being a pathological liar — and I say pathological because I actually think Donald, if you hooked him up to a lie detector test, he could say one thing in the morning, one thing at noon, and one thing in the evening, all contradictory, and he would pass the lie detector test each time.

Whatever lie he’s telling, at that minute, he believes it. But the man is utterly amoral.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-19-59-pm

Let me finish this, please.

The man is utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him. It’s why he went after Heidi directly and smeared my wife, attacked her. Apparently, she’s not pretty enough for Donald Trump. I may be biased, but I think, if he’s making that allegation, he is also legally blind.

But Donald is a bully. You know, we just visited with fifth-graders. Every one of us knew bullies in elementary school. Bullies don’t come from strength. Bullies come from weakness. Bullies come from a deep, yawning cavern of insecurity. There’s a reason Donald builds giant buildings and puts his name on them everywhere he goes.

And I will say there are millions of people in this country who are angry. They’re angry at Washington. They’re angry at politicians who have lied to them. I understand that anger. I share that anger. And Donald is cynically exploiting that anger. And he is lying to his supporters.

Donald will betray his supporters on every issue. If you care about immigration, Donald is laughing at you. And he’s telling the moneyed elites he doesn’t believe what he’s saying, he’s not going to build a wall. That’s what he told “The New York Times.”

He will betray you on every issue across the board. And his strategy of being a bully in particular is directed as women. Donald has a real problem with women. People who are insecure, people who are insecure about who they are — Donald is terrified by strong women.

He lashes out at them. Remember, this is the same Donald Trump who last week here in Indiana proudly touted the endorsement from Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist who served three years in prison here in Indiana for raping a 17-year-old girl. And in Donald’s world, he said Mike Tyson was a tough guy.

I don’t think rapists are tough guys. I spent a lot of years in law enforcement dealing with rapists. Rapists are weak. They’re cowards and they’re bullies. And anyone that thinks they’re a tough guy, that reveals everything about Donald Trump’s character.

Donald Trump said Bill Clinton was targeted by unattractive women. You know what? I have been blessed to be surrounded by strong women my entire life.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-11-25-15-pm

Today’s voting day here in Indiana. The president of the United States has a bully pulpit unlike anybody else. The president of the United States affects our culture. I ask the people of Indiana, think about the next five years if this man were to become president.

Think about the next five years, the boasting, the pathological lying, the picking up “The National Enquirer” and accusing people of killing JFK, the bullying. Think about your kids coming back and emulating this.

For people in Indiana who long for a day when we were nice to each other, when we treated people with respect, when we didn’t engage in sleaze and lies — and I would note one of the lies he engages in, listen, Donald Trump is a serial philanderer, and he boasts about it. This is not a secret. He’s proud of being a serial philanderer.

I want everyone to think about your teenage kids. The president of the United States talks about how great it is to commit adultery, and how proud he is, describes his battles with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam. That’s a quote, by the way, on the Howard Stern show.

Do you want to spend the next five years with your kids bragging about infidelity? Now, what does he do? He does the same projection. Just like a pathological liar, he accuses everyone of lying. Even though he boasts about his infidelity, he plants in David Pecker’s “National Enquirer” a lie about me and my family, attacking my family. He accuses others of doing what he is doing. I will tell you, as the father of two young girls, the idea of our daughters coming home and repeating any word that man says horrifies me.

That is not who America is. And I would say to the Hoosier State, the entire country’s depending on you. The entire country is looking to you right now. It is only Indiana that can pull us back. It is only the good sense and good judgment of Indiana that can pull us back. We are staring at the abyss. And I have incredible faith in Hoosiers.

xxxxxx

I love this nation with all my heart. I love the people of this country. This is not who we are. These are not our values. If anyone has seen the movie “Back to the Future II,” the screenwriter says that he based the character Biff Tanon on Donald Trump. A caricature of a braggadocios, arrogant buffoon who builds giant casinos with giant pictures of him everywhere he looks. We are looking potentially at the Biff Tanon presidency. I don’t think the people of America want that. I don’t think we deserve that. I don’t think Hoosiers want that.

More from Trump back in May 2016.

Ted Cruz is a desperate candidate trying to save his failing campaign. It is no surprise he has resorted to his usual tactics of over-the-top rhetoric that nobody believes. Over the last week, I have watched lyin’ Ted become more and more unhinged as he’s unable to react under the pressure and stress of losing in all cases by landslides the last six primary elections, in fact, coming in last place in all but one of them.

Today’s ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be the president of the United States.

I  attended five town hall meetings last week in Dripping Springs, Austin, Cedar Park and Pflugerville put on by the local Trump resistance groups, and the Trump that these folks are alarmed by is precisely the Trump described by Cruz last May, only no one at any of these meetings detailed their concerns about Trump with anything like Cruz’s specificity or first-hand experience.

Sure, the people at these town halls are opposed to the administration’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and build on border wall, and ban refugees and immigrants from certain nations, just as they would have opposed most of Cruz’s agenda had he been elected president. But, what has them panicked is that, unlike Cruz, or Rubio or Bush or the others, Trump is outside the usual bounds of behavior and norms of personality that Americans have grown accustomed to in their presidents.

He scares them, because he is, to them, very much the man Cruz described last May.

And, for better or worse, ten months later, Trump remains very much the same Trump. There is no reason for Cruz to think the Trump of today is fundamentally different from the Trump who he sought to take down, piece by piece, last May.

The big difference, the important difference, the huge difference, is that Trump is now president of the United States.

Which explains why Ted Cruz now finds virtue in a man in whom he once saw vice (and before that virtue).

Fine. Realpolitik and all that.

But, given his history with Trump, one might think that Cruz would not be so dismissive or derisive of others who shared exactly the same concerns about Trump that Cruz expressed with every fiber of his being just ten months ago, and did not simply jettison those concerns simply because Trump won.

So, in the spirit of healing, I have an idea.

Ted Cruz could do himself, the nation, President Trump and the Trump resistance a great service.

He should hold a Town Hall meeting  – a great big one – at which he explains why it is that he was wrong about Donald Trump last May, and why the Trump resistance is wrong about him now.

It could begin like this:

Hello. My name is Ted Cruz. I understand that many of you are bat-crap crazy about Donald Trump being president.

I completely understand where you are coming from. There was a time, not really all that long ago, only about ten moths ago, when I was bat-crap crazy about the prospect of Donald Trump becoming president.

Or, as Donald, I mean President Trump, but he was Donald at the time, tweeted, I “went wacko.”

Well, I’m here to tell you that I was wrong about President Trump then, and you’re wrong about him now.

He’s not a pathological liar who doesn’t even know when he’s lying.

He’s not amoral.

I’m sure I must have done something to provoke him to slur my wife.

And how do I know if my father was involved with Lee Harvey Oswald? I wasn’t even born until 1970 – in Canada. Who am I to argue with The National Enquirer?

Donald Trump is not a narcissist. Donald Trump is not a bully.

He’s our president.

That’s is, except maybe, Cruz, whose audience would now be putty in his hand, could close with a stage whisper:

And, if it turns out that this Trump thing doesn’t really work out, well you and me, we can always say, “We told you so.”
 

Reader Comments 0

0 comments