Part of this job involves looking for things to write about two, three, four or thirteen times a day (if you’re Ed Kilgore), and sometimes you have to settle for something a little less than intellectually titillating. This is how I feel anytime I feel the need to write about Ted Cruz.
But, stories about Cruz, his wife and his father are what’s topping the political news aggregators this morning, and the biggest political story of the day is the Republican primary in Indiana.
To begin with, Gallup notes that “Republicans’ views of Cruz are now the worst in Gallup’s history of tracking the Texas senator. His image among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents is at 39% favorable and 45% unfavorable.”
He must be doing something wrong, and I’d suggest that the thing he’s doing wrong is to try to overturn the verdict of Republican primary voters that they have chosen Donald Trump to be their nominee. Last week, I mentioned that Cruz was getting pretty desperate and making people hate him by going after transgender people who sometimes need to use public restrooms. But he hasn’t limited his pandering to Indiana’s roster of Christian conservatives to picking on society’s most vulnerable minority. He’s sent his father out to tell people that God wants them to vote for his son. No, not that son.
In a brief video conversation with [Micah] Clark, [executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana] posted on the AFA Indiana Facebook page, Rafael Cruz made the case for Ted. “I implore, I exhort every member of the Body of Christ to vote according to the word of God, and vote for the candidate that stands on the word of God and on the Constitution of the United States of America,” Cruz said. “And I am convinced that man is my son, Ted Cruz. The alternative could be the destruction of America.”
Cruz’s advocate, Glenn Beck, is traveling around Indiana with the same message, which is that the choice between Cruz and Trump is a choice between good and evil. Even Louie Gohmert is in on the act.
But what’s more interesting than this sad display of politicized and perverted Christianity is the clown car aspects of this race, as Heidi Cruz feels compelled to assure us that her husband isn’t actually the Zodiac Killer and the Cruz campaign tries to fend off accusations that his father Rafael somehow assisted Lee Harvey Oswald in some way in his alleged assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Aside from a few laughs like these, the Republican nominating process long ago ceased to be good entertainment. Watching it just makes me feel dirty, the way I kick myself when I can’t help but rubberneck to see the results of a car accident or when I have to remind myself that a good person doesn’t root for injuries when the Cowboys play the Eagles.
The evidence suggests that, far from God wanting us to vote for Ted Cruz, he’s cast some kind of Oedipal curse on the Republicans.
Maybe it’s because they invaded the wrong country and broke the whole region featured so prominently in the Bible.