The Scary Specter of Ted Cruz

The Texas senator lurks ever larger in the 2016 presidential race, which grows scarier by the week.

Comments: 252

  1. A McCarthy redux at heart
    A cynic, real evil and smart,
    With SuperPac backing
    No cash is he lacking,
    As villain and threat stands apart.

  2. Larry I haven't seen your name in a while
    You always left my face with a smile.
    Please be well
    What the hell, its only castles burning,
    Just find someone whose turning,and you will come around.

  3. Ted Cruz isn’t scary. He’s merely a symptom of a diseased electorate, a spasm of a devastating autoimmune illness in which the body politic is attacking itself. What’s scary is the realization that we’ve devolved into a democracy that can’t trust its voters to recognize their self-interests.

    Even W. is scared of Cruz, and W. worked with Cheney to wreck the economy and incubate ISIS. When the day comes that a majority of the voting public doesn’t know why Ted Cruz is a bad idea, then we can run down the flag, and fold in into that somber triangle that attends a military funeral.

    We’re not there quite yet. Cruz is end-stage disease, and he’s poling in single digits. That’s worrisome, but it's Trump and Carson who are vying for the title of the first president to lead the lemmings over the cliff. Normally they would be swatted down by a candidate as strong as Hillary, but she’s in the process of being railroaded in a North Korean-style show-trial.

    Of the leading Republican contenders, Carson is the most frightening. He’s slightly insane, but people think he’s “nice” because he doesn’t yell. We must remember that he’s the one who helpfully redirected a convenience store gunman to the cashier by saying, “I’m not the one. You want the other guy.” That should be Carson’s campaign slogan.

    The G.O.P. is a scary bunch, Dementors all. Tell ghost stories in which they jump out from the shadows. Wear their masks for Halloween. But for God's sake don't vote for them.

  4. I think you are talking about a zombie type deal.

  5. "I'm not the one. You want the other guy" as Carson's campaign slogan just made my morning more bearable. Thank you.

  6. This ostensibly diseased electorate's most recent choice to be president is a biracial man who identifies as black; whose middle name is Hussein; who had to run first against a war hero and then against a wealthy businessman; who regularly uses words with more than two syllables, in sentences of appreciably more than a few words; who has the mental habits and speaking style of your favorite college professor; and who, refusing to be a cheerleader for his country, challenged the electorate, from the very beginning, to aspire to a "more perfect Union," and not merely to aspire, but to do the work necessary to achieve it.

    The GOP candidates for president are abysmal, yes, I agree, with a couple or three exceptions who are running well behind the clowns, idiots, and (in Cruz) power-mad. But steady on, folks. All things considered, we've done pretty well up until now, and the man currently in office has taught us the wisdom and benefits of keeping a cool head amid the sound and fury of the present moment.

  7. Cruz is a predictable and necessary part of the Modern Republican Party, which has been claiming for decades now that "government is the problem." If we want to destroy the United States, all we have to do is continue to elect the likes of Ted Cruz and his fellow Republicans.

  8. Government is the problem only when it's not.

    For example, where a woman's body is concerned, or when the immigrants have brown skin, or when voting fraud is the focus, or support payment purchasing options need to be limited, or where Hillary Clinton is involved, or, or, or...

  9. Ted Cruz is the best bi-partisan candidate in this race- he arouses feelings of "fear and loathing" on both sides of the aisle.

  10. The idea that the worthiness of a candidate is proportional to the dislike they inspire is not clever or even-handed, it is simple-minded and perverse.

  11. The statement by W. lacks any substantiation. It would be news worthy if W. had provided specific instances where Cruz has failed to lead or solve problems. "I don't like" is just a way to downgrade a speech to street brawl level and throwing shade, like a gossipy co-worker.

  12. That's about as substantive as The Shrub can or could muster on any subject.

  13. Putting the shoe on the other foot, perhaps you could provide any specific instances where Cruz has led anything but a revolt or solved any problems that he didn't himself create first.

  14. Frank Bruni should be head script writer for a political horror show TV miniseries. The cast of characters is all lined up. As are the sponsors of both the show and of the 2016 election.
    Is the voting public finding this campaign repugnant or are they adapting to it and getting getting more cynical and calloused?

  15. It is a pity that W. was not as perspicacious about others when he was in office.

  16. @Frank Bannister: Dubya was always perspicacious when it came to the only thing he really cared about: politics. He and the Bush team of advisors are masters at manipulating the public. That's what his calculated attack on Cruz was about. Cruz is the biggest political threat to Jeb until Jeb gets the nomination. Then all the Bushes will unleash their venom on Hillary Clinton, no holds barred. Even the old man. Watch.

  17. Right. But more significantly, even BEFORE he was in office (viz his vice-president selection!). Thanks.

  18. At times when at a distance from the noise of politics, I indulge in some unlikely scenarios of tragedies. The invasion of Iraq for one comes to mind with Dick Cheney informing George Bush that the American public is stunned and numb after 9/11, and wants an explanation and act of retaliation at all costs.

    Iraq has always been an historical thorn in our side, advises Cheney, so what better time to take care of this country since few of us know our geography. Strike while the iron is hot, while Bush pauses. 'It's now or never, George, and the public at large is too confused and lost over good Americans that have died for no reason to understand our Administration's foreign policy with the Middle East'.

    Bush tries to put a good face on it and it does help to wave the banner of 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' and May the Force with With Us. Where fools rush in and angels fear to tread, Pandora's box has been opened. The Pope brought this up at the United Nations, Nobody listens to the President and when these two humanitarians meet, one senses a quiet understanding between them of the lost of humanity among our people.

    Let's all follow this spiritual leader, Ted Cruz, and let this self-proclaimed truth teller do our thinking for us and show us the way to a Better America.

  19. >

    I've waited a very long time before I could agree with G. W. Bush about anything.

  20. Heck, I agree with a stopped clock twice a day....

  21. Mr. Bruni, a week ago, your colleague on these very pages, the estimable David Brooks (I'm trying very hard to be polite), came "out of the closet" with his great "mea culpa" about the Titanic that is now the GOP. He even dropped the line "President Ted Cruz" yesterday in another lamentation about America's turning away from the binding center. Now "it follows" (if you'll allow me) that it's quite rich that W. would caution anyone about running into an iceberg. Thanks to his stewardship of the Ship of Fools, millions of Americans are floundering in the frozen waters of wage stagnation. W., with Iago (Richard Cheney) at his elbow, blessed us with two wars and his rich class with tax cuts. Comes now his fellow-Texan, the foreign-born Cruz, and all W. has to say is "I don't like the guy?" Mr. Bruni, that tepid phrase is not enough. W. and the GOP "establishment" (like his dad), simply cannot bring themselves to declare this absolute moron (his Ivy League "credentials" notwithstanding) a menace in no uncertain terms. Cruz is not news. Where was W. when Texas sent Cruz to Washington? In hiding from his own disastrous legacy. He's exponentially worse than the current front-runners Trump and Carson. The sign on the beach warns "No swimming: Sharks"). And foolish America is giggling at the water's edge.

  22. As dim as George could be he knows a snake when he sees one. Cruz won't go away until he has his two presidential terms.

  23. I agree with W's appraisal in this one instance, but his mindboggling misread of Vladimir Putin's cold, dead eyes made me forever doubt his character judging skills.

  24. You can blame a lot on GW, but wage stagnation (for the middle class) started about 30 years ago.

  25. Every human's experiences some degree of irrational thinking. Our mental state can best be described as a pendulum swinging about a fixed center point. The breadth of that span and the duration of time spent at the ends of the arc, determine the extent of emotional disturbance or mental illness a person or a crowd experiences. The dead or those that are drugged into a stupor don't swing at all.

    Cruz and those that support him have arced beyond acceptable bounds. The madness of crowds is nothing new. Cruz, Trump, the bankruptcy queen, Fiorina, et al. are points on a greater circumference. Are they also symptoms of a terrible pathology?

  26. SQ22
    Thanks for reminding me of a very popular book published in 1841 Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay. From the book:

    "Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder's welcome."

    There are thousands of popular delusions in current culture, some so horrible I can't mention them. We must be able to discover the truth about politicians and pretenders like Cruz, Trump, Carson, or we will be destroyed.

  27. The only way to remove the stench of conservatism is to let it have a run for a while. Americans touch that hot stove of Fascism, and the GOP will be in the wilderness for at least 2 generations.

    Or, we can elect Bernie who will so energize and enthose America that the GOP will just slink out

  28. Or we turn into a Fourth Reich.

  29. @Pinin Farina: Conservatives "had a run" during the George W. Bush years. For a while, they controlled all three branches of government, and they seriously screwed everything up. As a result, they lost the White House to the Democrats for eight years, not for "at least 2 generations," as they deserve.

    The Republicans are relentless and skilled in their determination to rewrite history. Case in point: Jeb's insistence that his brother "kept America safe." Dubya received specific warnings that Bin Laden was determined to attack our country more than a month before 9/11. He did absolutely nothing with this information and nearly 3,000 Americans were killed. Fox News has just started a new propaganda campaign to shift the blame for this tragedy to Bill Clinton.

    A large percentage of the voters in this nation are willing to believe the Republican lies because of stupidity and partisanship. Regardless of whether Bernie or Hillary or someone else wins, the GOP won't be slinking away as you predict. Like herpes, they'll keep coming back.

  30. I'm a liberal, and I sadly note that even liberals can fall prey to Godwin's Law: that as any argument progresses, someone is bound to mention Hitler - and that means that the argument is a bottom-line failure.

    Surely there are other metaphors one could use?

  31. Right. Cruz is a true demagogue—today's McCarthy. Responsible politicians and journalists need to take him down before he inherits the base supporting Trump & Co. currently ahead of him.

  32. If you haven't seen his photo for awhile, check out Joseph McCarthy. The resemblance to Cruz is freakish.

  33. Relax, nobody wants this guy. You seem to be terrified of his pile of money, but money knows how to pick up and walk away.

  34. If you think Ted is crazy look into his buddies the Wilks. With that said the dems ain't no better.

  35. No worry the convention will be deadlocked and Romney will emerge and will take down Hillary. The fix is in.

  36. Funny.

  37. In your dreams.

  38. I posited 'Romney as compromise /saviour candidate' months ago.

  39. Nobody likes George W. except his mom. He is in fact wanted by the World Court in the Hague for war crimes. He is in fact scared to fly abroad in case he is arrested and handed over to the World Court. That means Jeb is abeting and harboring a known criminal and as such should not be allowed to run for the Presidency of these United States. Where is our Justice Department on this? Why is NY Times even letting this criminals name appear on its Front Page beats me!

  40. However, the ICC "has not issued warrants for any American citizen, let alone for Bush, Cheney, or anyone else," said Anthony Clark Arend, Georgetown University professor of government and foreign service.

    You are sounding like Ted Cruz, state facts don't rant.

  41. I am no George Bush fan and despise his adventurism in Iraq but to claim nobody likes him is way overboard. If the World Court is going to start trying people for war crimes I think George will be well down on their list. And Jeb is harboring him, how? By allowing him to live in the state of TX? Not sure Jeb can do much about that. As for the NYT's front page, there are a whole lot of people a lot worse than George on the front page. Lighten up on George, history will take care of his decision making.

  42. As Americans, we often have a short memory. W and Cheney are war criminals for sure, so too bad he dislikes Cruz. I mean is that the standard now? Pretty low bar.

  43. Ted Cruz is reviled by most of his Senate peers because his bombastic and mendacious rhetoric hides his true agenda...the promotion of a radical and authoritarian government with him as the centre of power. Using the easily swayed and rabid tea party base as a stepping stone, he has given free reins to his ambitions no matter the political consequences. Most of his peers are wise to him and to his fascist tendencies, and I commend Mr. Bruni and president Bush for reminding us of the reasons why Mr. Cruz, and his self serving agenda, represents a clear and present danger to our body politic.

  44. I'm just waiting for Ben Carson to make some sort of Nazi analogy that pertains to Cruz.

  45. Wowserrs!! Talk about your projection!! Buddy it is you on the left that are the threat to democracy. Your President Pen and Phone doesn't give two wits for the Constitution or limited gov't.

  46. If elected (a long shot IMHO), Senator Cruz would have no more ability to be a dictator and impose his political will, than would Senator Bernie Sanders.

    I think it is really troubling so many people do not apparently understand the division of power in our government. It is structured so that NO President -- no matter his party nor his popularity -- can "rule" as a King or tyrant or dictator.

    IF a President Cruz (or anyone) went off the rails, the Congress can impeach him. The House impeached Bill Clinton, after all (and for lying in an investigation, NOT for having an affair with Monica Lewinsky).

  47. And remember that when someone is as broadly and profoundly disliked as Cruz is, it’s usually not because he’s a principled truth teller.


  48. Doesn't Cruz resemble Joe McCarthy some, both physically and politically?

  49. In Bizarro World a/k/a Fox News, broad disdain is PROOF of principled truth-telling.

  50. REVINCENT Who says Cruz is broadly disliked? He is popular enough to have been elected a US Senator, and capable enough to have served as solicitor general.Not bad for a 44 year old man who was elected to the Senate on his first try.My hunch is that what you know about former Sen. Mccarthy, "tail gunner Jo," because of his heroics in WWII would not be enough to fill a paragraph. Mccarthy's contention that John Paton Davies, Owen Lattimore whom Mccarthy accused of having sold out China to the Communists has never been disproved.Both men, Cruz and the late Joseph Mccarthy served their country wisely and well,and TC continues to do so.

  51. The GOP field, in general, ranges from scary to scarier to scariest (with a few saner members like Bush & Kasich).

    What scares me the most is that a fair percentage of the Republican voters actually support some of these wing-nuts. When they tell me that 75% of the GOP says they could imagine voting for Carson for president, I am desperate for information about that poll. Surely they cannot have asked ALL of the GOP voters? Maybe they just asked the primary voters in certain states (please say it is so)? I know more than a few sane Republicans, so I know that they are out there. On planet Tea Party, the three top candidates are Trump, Carson, and Cruz. "Dream" tickets named are Trump/Carson; Carson/Trump (the latter would never be #2); Trump or Carson with Cruz. A few sprinkle in Ms. Palin as a possible VP. What happened to sanity?!

  52. It is because you on the left have drifted so far out of the America political norm that you see reality in this manner. You are completely blinded by lib ideology; so much so in fact that you cannot understand your fellow Americans.

  53. Better question: What's G about this OP of yours? Yes, I said yours. As Madge the Manicurist would say, you're soaking in it.

  54. Anne-Marie, you are so on the money with this comment. Who and Where are the nuts who actually believe and support these people. What type of an alternative universe do they live in?

    My thoughts are that the impact of Fox news and hard-core conservative Talk Radio (daily rants for for 3 hours or more) has a durable impact on the supporters - its a kind of perpetual brainwashing that eventually has them believing in pixie dust. You can begin to understand how the German population was lead down this path in the 30s

  55. Cruz supposedly looked down at his fellow Harvard law students if they were not a Harvard, Yale, or Princeton undergrad.

    Here's hoping Tailgunner Ted, the Joseph McCarthy lookalike and soundalike gets the nomination.

    I can't see Cruz winning the presidency.

  56. Try thinking about what would happen if he does.

  57. No thanks, N B.

    The world is a scary enough place as it is.

  58. There is a huge difference between McCarthy and Cruz. If you are going to criticize Cruz, and he well deserves some criticism, do it for the right reasons.

  59. The possibility of a Ted Cruz presidency or any other of the Republican candidates is truly frightening because it promises even greater destruction of the federal government, small d democracy and greater inequality.

    However, as the world order crumbles, the thought of any of these candidates representing American interests in a world inflamed by groups like ISIS, where the Middle East has imploded, where Putin wants to expand Russian influence by any means necessary and climate change and cyber security action that are not nearly keeping up with the threats they present becomes a truly terrifying one.

    When we look at Cruz or Trump or even worse, Ben Carson, handling the scope of the problems facing the next president, we are seeing a nightmare in the making.

  60. As commentor Kevin Rothstein just wrote, one of our best friends was a classmate of Cruz's at Harvard Law. He told us many years ago (and has recently reiterated the story) that Cruz created an "all ivy study group" as a first-year – ie, a study group that was limited to those students who had yes attended an Ivy League undergraduate institution prior to coming to Harvard Law school. Our friend said that he was snobbish and universally hated.

  61. I would not put John Kasich, for example, in the same category as a Ted Cruz!

  62. As opposed to whom? Obama? The current Adm is completely clueless on foreign policy and has been a dramatic failure. Anyone else elected, including Hillary, cannot help but improve as they actually like their nation and it's citizens unlike a certain resident in the White House.

  63. You're too kind, Frank.
    Cruz is worse than you have portrayed him here. He has no limits.
    There is no position too extreme for him. He would shut down the government in a heartbeat as a congressman, and he would do far worse if elected president. This is the man you don't want to have his finger on the button of our nuclear arsenal. This is the person you don't want to trust with your grandfather's healthcare. This is the person you don't want to trust with your granddaughter's health care. This is a man you cannot trust. Period.

  64. But....what? Not one person here has given a solid example of what terrible stuff a President Cruz would do. Would he drown kittens? Make black people second class citizens? Take away the right to vote? WHAT?

    Do you have evidence Mr. Cruz has taken bribes? Is in the pay of a foreign dictatorship?

    Is it perhaps that real fear is that Cruz is an educated Harvard grad, and a good debater, who might challenge Empress Hillary and Holy Bernie, and give them a run for their money?

    BTW: am I the only one here who remembers 1980? Reagan too was held up as the devil incarnate. Lefty liberals all over were swearing they would move to another nation if he was elected (usually Canada). Of course, no internet -- all the high talk had to be done in letters to the editor, or on talk shows. But I remember the talk VERY well: Reagan was a warmonger....Reagan would start WWIII....Reagan would use nuclear weapons....Reagan would end welfare....Reagan would undo Roe v. Wade.

    8 years of Reagan (and 4 of Bush 41) and not one of these things occurred. NOT ONE.

    The President who ended welfare, as we used to know it? Liberal Democrat Bill Clinton.

  65. The damage done by Reagan was of a different nature. As soon as he stated "government is not the solution, it is the problem", he set the stage for the current generation of Republicans.

  66. CC: Let's not forget that Reagan ended federal funding for state hospitals for the mentally ill, which created the crisis of homelessness, since states could not carry on without federal help and closed the facilities. He also ended the HUD mortgage assistance to heads of household who had lost their jobs and were looking for employment. That put a lot of families in the streets.

  67. I just read a profile in the New Yorker about Donald Trump which scared me to death, almost. Carson is even scarier. And Ted Cruz is scarier than them all. What is most disturbing is that Cruz is smart, a very good debater, and with very good education credentials.

    With a Republican in the White House we are weighing our options, maybe Denmark? I love France too, which we visit often.

  68. It seems that this party attracts the crazies. Mr. Davies: I moved from France to the US. France is great, good food and above all excellent bread!

  69. I'm reminded of what a Texas congressman once said of Phil Gramm -- another charmless Texas senator. "First", he said, "you've got to got to remember that he's mean as a snake. And second, that he's smarter than you are."

  70. You can join Alec Baldwin and Barbra Stresisand in Australia, oh wait they just threatened to leave the country....................but didn't when Bush occupied the WH.

  71. How can it be that I'm agreeing with W? How is it that Cruz is viable as a presidential candidate? The creepiest Halloween costume I could think of would be a Ted Cruz outfit.

  72. Remember that Barbara Bush stated "We've had enough Bushes" and it is frightening to have to agree with "Dubbya" the wastrel and ne'er do well.

  73. Canadian refugee Rafael E. Cruz is a piece of work.
    An anti-immigrant immigrant.
    He is squatting on land stolen from Mexico at the point of a gun yet he vilifies Mexicans as alien invaders.
    His companeros, the Cubans, enjoy red carpet, concierge service at immigration and are gifted, immediately, with $19K per year in SSI, Section 8 Housing, SNAP and Medicaid. Without having worked a day or paid one penny in US taxes. But Rafael is against other immigrants. He supports a Great Wall of Mexico.
    Give him this, he has a ton of chutzpah.

  74. Ted Cruz is not an immigrant. He is a U.S. citizen by birthright because his mother was a U.S. citizen. No one stole Texas from Mexico. Texas was one of several Mexican states, including San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Yucatán, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas, that revolted in 1836 when Santa Anna usurped the Constitution of 1824 and made himself a dictator. Only Texas won its independence. It was an independent republic when it joined the United States in 1845. The issue that sparked the Mexican War was a dispute not over Texas sovereignty but over the boundary between Mexico and the United States. The United States and Texas claimed the Rio Grande as the boundary while Mexico claimed the Nueces River, which runs south of San Antonio, as the boundary. The disputed area was called the Nueces Strip. The war started when the Mexican army crossed the Rio Grande and attacked U.S. troops that had marched into the Nueces Strip. Texas was not part of the Mexican Cession at the end of the Mexican War, which gave New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California to the United States. Texas isn't even mention in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war.

  75. Who knew? Yet why no mention of this? I thought reporters were supposed to ask the tough questions.

  76. Er, actually Texas revolted when Mexico outlawed the slave trade.

  77. I'm not the first to remark it, but he's Joseph McCarthy reincarnate.

  78. Why not: The Scary Specter of the People Who Voted for Ted Cruz? Mr. Bruni, as he tries to knock these GOP candidates down one by one, keeps missing the real target--our fellow countrymen. Climate scientists predict that Texas will be the canary in the coal mine in this country because it's the state that will likely be first and worst hit by climate change but also the one most in denial. But it's also the state where a voter registration drive is most likely to turn it from red to blue. So why not: The Scary Complacency of the Democratic Party?

  79. Is there any GOP candidate that isn't frightening?

    Have you been watching these GOP debates?

  80. All the GOP candidates are cynical, scary specters, so it really doesn't matter much which one the Dem nominee defeats. Trump has the edge of being more revealing of GOP bigotry & rapacious deceit.

    Go Bernie – you can beat whichever greedy clown the GOP thrusts upon US.

  81. The Republicans have been generating quite a variety of monsters with Presidential ambitions. I was wondering if one of their own would call out the monster who was most likely to actually get somewhere in their primaries and caucuses.

    I have no sympathy for any of those folks. They'd eat their young if it would help them politically. Just look ant Cheney and how he treated his daughter Mary when it was expedient to do so to help his other daughter Liz.

  82. Let's face it. Is Cruz actually much scarier than the rest of the Republican field? Carson? Trump? Fiorina? The whole Republican field is awash in xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, opportunism, religiosity, pandering, cynicism...Don't you worry, even sometimes, that if these are candidates for the president of the most powerful country in the world, you're in bigger trouble than you suppose?

  83. right again frightening

  84. Bush "described Cruz as cynically opportunistic and self-serving."

    Well, I gotta tell ya, Bruni chooses his authorities carefully, because that's a perfect description of George himself ---and of his father and of his brother.

    When you get down to talking about cynical opportunism, no body has exploited race, religion and sexual wedge issues in Presidential elections more of better than Bush Rove.

    I can see why Bruni values Bush's opinion. He's the authority on political opportunism in this country.

  85. The man has skills; ignore them at your peril.

    Sinclair Lewis said that if Fascism came to America it would be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.

    I wonder whether he had Ted Cruz in mind when he made this prediction.

    This is a man who managed to beat the incumbent Lieutenant Governor of Texas, David Dewhurst, in a contested Senate primary. He turned Dewhurst into a tool of the establishment and won. He managed to channel the craziness of the far right in Texas into a victory.

    This column is a good heads-up on someone who is trying to slither through the primaries until it is too late.

  86. Did you have the same reaction to Obamas campaign for senate? Just wondering

  87. So true - but he joins a pretty scary group of Republican candidates , supported
    by some pretty scary people in this country. There is something specially ugly
    about Cruz , who I don't think needs a mask for Halloween. Ugly mind, ugly face,
    just yuck! I can't blame President Bush for his comment - after all, he knew
    the creep in the past and saw the character of the man. He appears to loom
    behind Trump and anyone else who is deemed a front runner by our idiot press
    mavens, ready to strike like a scorpion where he sees an openings. Please make
    these people go away - They , he and their like are beyond the pale!

  88. As scary as Ted Cruz is to liberals Barack Obama is scary to loyal, hard-working, tax paying, law-abiding Americans. Unlike Barack, a Community Organizer, who finessed his way into Columbia and Harvard through playing the race card, Ted Cruz is actually smart. Unlike Barack who likes to think he is the smartest person in the room Ted Cruz will often be that person, especially when meeting fellow lawmakers.
    So Mr. Bruni, much as you may dislike the guy for his politics the one thing you have to give him credit for is that he's smart.

  89. I am SO TIRED of Republicans claiming they are the only moral, religious, responsible people on earth, the only ones deserving of US citizenship and representation in government.

    News flash, John Smith: I am a loyal, hard-working, tax paying, law-abiding American. A majority of us sent Obama to the White House twice, check the demographics. It was your neighbor the small business owner, the church leader, and millions of other upstanding, tax paying citizens who put him there.

    Your stereotype of "the other tribe" is WRONG.

  90. If he is smart, why does he support stupid policies. e.g. the balanced budget amendment.

    The federal government has balanced the budget, eliminated deficits for more than three years in just six periods since 1776, bringing in enough revenue to cover all of its spending during 1817-21, 1823-36, 1852-57, 1867-73, 1880-93, and 1920-30. The debt was paid down 29%. 100%, 59%, 27%, 57%, and 36% respectively. A depression began in 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893 and 1929.

    Do you actually like depressions?

  91. Um, no. I don't think so.

    I, to, am a hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying citizen of these United States; fascists like Ted Cruz and his ilk don't have a market on those characteristics, Mr. Smith. Guess you'll have to get over THAT particular stereotype.

    So, you think that Barack Obama played the "race card" to get into Columbia? Apparently, to you, being a minority is mutually exclusive to getting into an Ivy League school on your own merits. By your paradigm, then, Cruz played the race card, too. You know that his father is Cuban, right? Ted Cruz is a MINORITY. On top of that, Cruz is an IMMIGRANT. He was born in CANADA.

    Since Ted Cruz's fellow debaters have openly stated that they didn't like him, versus Barack Obama being nominated by his peers to be the Editor of the Law Review at Harvard Law, I'd say that Obama is pretty smart.

    Ted Cruz, the smartest person in the room? Puh-leez. If that were true, you'd think he would have known that "Green Eggs and Ham" was a book about trying something you THINK you don't like and finding out that you like it. Not the best book to use in a demonstration against the ACA.

    Try again.

  92. Using G. W. Bush as an example of a man with a good judge of character damages your point, Mr. Bruni. Bush said Brownie was doing a "heck of a job" with Katrina, said Karzai and Maliki the kleptocrats were people he could work with, worst of all chose Dick Cheney as his VP.

    Rather than simply trying to scaring us with Cruz, follow the money for us. Expose the billionaires supporting Cruz and the obscure non-profits paying his way. Facts are the sunlight we need to battle the darkness.

  93. Yes Cruz is frightening. His speaking style is accusatory, insinuating, insulting, much too close to violating the Roberts' Rule against personal remarks in Senate debate. His bodily appearance is pugnacious, threatening, bullying and sinister. For one old enough to remember vividly the televised Army McCarthy hearings back in the 1950's, Cruz's face has a scary resemblance to Senator McCarthy's face, and the self-important prosecutorial words that both senators emit chill one's soul.

  94. Mr. Cruz' efforts to depict himself as the populist everyman is disingenuous at best (given his Ivy League bona fides), but more importantly demonstrates his well-known capacity to distort the truth in the service of his unchecked personal ambitions. The latter quality is arguably what makes his behavior so particularly distasteful -- he'll do anything to win. Can we really trust a man with his character to be an ethical and principled leader? I'm not convinced.

  95. You've answered you own question, of course we can't trust him.

  96. As a Texas voter Cruz is [sigh] one of my senators. So I signed up and get regular updates from his office and campaign.

    Cruz is a master at passive aggressive whining and pointless grandstanding. He tries to make every issue into a political Alamo (yes, they all died, but they are all remembered as heroes in Texas!), where he is Bowie, Crockett and Travis all wrapped up into one.

    Cruz's "Political Alamo Groundhog Day" mode of operation on every issue is infuriating to his detractors, but fits well with the arch conservatives who love to play the victim while actually being the ones in power, particularly evangelical Christians.

    As Bruni correctly surmises, Cruz and his followers "confuse attention with accomplishment". One of the dangers of Cruz presidency would be, "What happens when the dog catches the car?" When he has all the attention, and the power, what would he try to accomplish? Here we have a self proclaimed Reagan acolyte who goes much further than Reagan; a man who not only says government is the problem and not the solution but spends much of his time actively trying to weaken the government. What would that man do when he becomes president? "Frightening" is a very good description.

  97. I guess voting present 100 times would be a better way to get elected

  98. Is it going to far to say that the republican party is not in the election to run the country at all but to hand it over, lock stock and barrell to the 158 or so who believe they can buy the country out from underneath everyone?

  99. Sounds like a reasonable assessment of Cruz, since Cruz is a story-telling misrepresenter of the facts, but is it really a reasonable way of assessing Cruz, by highlighting George WWIII Bush's judgment of him as a cynical opportunist when Bush invaded Iraq on false pretenses? Are we trying to build up the latter's creds by consulting his wisdom and impartiality?

    Here's how Bruni permits himself to be duped or uses Bush to help him to make his own, correct, point. Bush presents Bush as just offering his unvarnished gut opinion. But that is not the case. Bush is of course trying to defang the right wing of the party so that his brother will stop being snake bitten from the right.

    People have to realize, Bush has made a life for himself by deeply ensconcing himself in the right and he knows better than anybody else how to occupy that position. Brother Bush is pretty good at it too, but then they got outflanked by super nut case right wingers like Cruz and their squealing like stuck pigs about it, having sold themselves out in earnest for the sake of the right wing.

    But does Bruni have any knowledge of this? Apparently not as he build up the creds of the Bush people.

    Bushes are as much to fear in this country as the absolute nut case right wingers. He brought us WWIII in response to one terrorist attack, which if he hadn't been concentrating ideologically on the Russian threat, he'd have been better able to anticipate. And if he weren't kowtowing to wall street

  100. And Obama hasn't kowtowed to Wall Street as well as Eric Holder? Please spare us your diatribe. And Clinton will be no better should she be elected, with her it'll be business as usual just like her predecessor.

  101. The other republican candidates are either weak, crazy or both. Except Cruz who is just dangerous.

  102. The question to ask is - why do so much of the Republican electorate believe that the "mainstream" GOP politicians don't represent their interests? If you take support for Trump, Carson, Cruz to be a cry for help from those voters to a largely uncaring world that dismisses them as fundamentally nasty, ill-informed or as a diseased electorate, maybe there is something useful to be done.

  103. Think of it this way - the Republican tribe has kept going to its usual witch doctors, and their situation has only kept deteriorating. So they're seeking new witch doctors, but in the same tribe. Meanwhile, they have been taught that the other tribe is not be trusted, so much so that even empirical proof that the other tribe does better in solving their problems is ignored. Is there a member of this other tribe that can break the barriers?

  104. I was in a medical office recently, accompanying a friend, and overheard this conversation...

    "Who are you going with for president?"

    "Oh, I don't know.... not paying too much attention... I watch Fox News every once in a while."

    "It cannot be Jeb Bush. It cannot be Jeb Bush, but Ted Cruz is a good man"

    I look up. His eyes were intense. The other guy says...

    "Well, I don't know..."

    The conversation lags, so the first guy says.. "I like Trump, but he has a little problem with communication." Meaning, he will get beat like a drum.

    No reply to this... he ventures...

    "Hillary is going to go to prison." I looked up. All right, then.

    "No, she ain't."

    They both look at me, kind of shocked. Mr. Militant gives me a cool look over and I say.... "She's too damn rich to go to prison." I like Hillary, will vote for and support her, but facts are facts. The non-committal guy starts laughing and his militant friend gets a little peeved. He looks at me good now. I resolve to be careful with my next answer. I wait...

    "What do you think of Trump?

    "I think it's easy to look successful when your daddy gives you your share of fifteen thousand rental spaces in New York City. He would have done as well, maybe better, if he had put his money in a broad-based fund."

    A nurse appears, thankfully. "We're ready, sir."

  105. She won't go to jail because she's too rich? Now that's a solid reason to support her.

  106. Nice try on the parallel to It Follows. It is a decent monster movie. This one, the Ted Cruz version, is just cringeworthy. No plot, no scheme, no theme, just lots of crappy gory footage left on the floor of Horror Movie Inc. and a very, very, very bad ending.

  107. You do a disservice to the American electorate by speculating that Cruz could become president. The odds of him actually winning the presidency are indistinguishable from zero. We - the American people - are not that far gone.

    Cruz is an interesting symptom, however, of a political system that has been corrupted beyond (perhaps) salvation. I don't know where the republican party is heading, but the current glide path is antithetical to the common good.

  108. Excellent analysis re: Cruz, but is he a threat to America by winning the presidency, or to Republicans for being a nominee who has no chance of recapturing the White House? I, hopefully, and I hope objectively, think the latter. I can't envision him winning the general if he's the R's nominee.

  109. Truth be told, I find everyone running for the Republican nomination scary.

  110. Nice of Mr. Bruni to notice, at long last, that Cruz is a demagogue
    despised by his colleagues. The man says things that are not
    true and it's clear he does not care.
    However Cruz is today's GOP base. All anger, resentment
    and no interest in governance.
    IF Trump wanted to improve America he should build a wall
    around Ted Cruz.

  111. "All anger, resentment, and no interest in governance." You got that right. Just take a look at the WSJ commenters and you will see today's GOP base in full swing. They are repulsive. Almost all articles, even the ones that aren't necessarily political, are an opportunity and platform for them to spew their misguided hatred of all things that speak of compassion for fellow human beings.

  112. Ted Cruz reminds me of Greg Stillson in the 1983 classic, "The Dead Zone". Stillson hauntingly said, "Mr. Vice President, Mr. Secretary, the missiles are flying. Hallelujah". I can just imagine Ted Cruz saying, "Mr. Vice President, Mr. Secretary, the US has defaulted on its debt. Hallelujah".

  113. OMG, I have been saying that since this man came to the forefront of politics. He is scary as hell. There's something about Cruz's eyes that scare the hell out of me.

  114. What is truly scary about Cruz is his religious fanaticism. With the way the forces are aligning in the Middle East, I fear these ultra right wingers are ready to take their "end times" scenario to its logical conclusion.

  115. Has the media been issued a gag order? Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada and only renounced his Canadian citizenship last year.
    Please allow us to watch Birther's heads explode through contradictory explanations.

  116. He's an American citizen, as his mother was (is?). And you assume the birthers are governed by logic. Cruz's middle name isn't "Hussein" and he's not half black, so they're not gonna worry about it.

  117. Cruz would get crushed in the general election. Bring him on.

  118. Frank, why are you frightened by Cruz, when you should be cowering under your bed at the thought of another Bush in the White House? One's "niceness" does not make one less frightening, when you look at their advocacy and performance. George W. Bush absolutely devastated us, as a country. If he knew which fork to use, and you are saying Ted Cruz does not, it does not make the Bush Brothers any less frightening...

    Really, if you are afraid too of Donald Trump and Ben Carson, you should not travel your country. You fear too many of us out here, it seems, because Trump and Carson have been listening, and were not quite as content as you to see another Bush, possibly, in the White House.

    Too bad the Democrats overpromised, renegned on their delivery, and still have drones killing on our behalf around the world. The consequences of policies like that should frighten you dearly, Frank. Would you like being followed, and judged from above? Where in our Constitution is warfare like that permitted, much less against US citizens? (Cruz, like Obama, has a fancy law degree too, apparently not worth the paper it is printed on....)

  119. Cruz is no scarier than other GOP "candidates," since they all agree with each other: Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare must be ended, along with all taxes on the wealthy.

  120. GWB may not have found any WMD in Iraq but has certainly correctly identified this WMD - Worst Man's Doom - in Ted Cruz.
    I never thought I'd agree with GWB on anything, but on this one he is spot on.

  121. But GWB helped to bring him to prominence with his role in Florida recount.

  122. If Ted Cruz is elected president, this country will deserve the fate of Nazi Germany and Tojo's Japan: utter destruction and occupation by foreign powers.

  123. The gerrymander and the influence of legislators representing a minute percentage of the total population of the country give the few far too much power. Then there are the districts in which voters are discouraged from voting which further dilute the democracy of our nation. Add to that the corporations which back politicians who have little regard for the welfare of the people. Do the rest of us really deserve destruction and occupation for the ignorance and stupidity of a minority of the voters?

  124. The trouble is that the rabble want a rouser. They'll take an entertaining one, and if not that, an unqualified (but Christian!) one, and if not that, Ted Cruz is waiting.

    What Cruz really wants is to promote Cruz. There is a lot of ego on the campaign trail, but Cruz is the most ambitious. A Casca to to anyone who plays the role of Caesar, Cruz is in there ready to strike the first blow, as long as the rabble is roused.

    It looks like a long year ahead of us.

  125. 'Bush reportedly summed up his sentiments about Cruz ... with this blunt declaration: “I just don’t like the guy.”' What an insightful and thoughtful analysis by a vacuous former president! No wonder he's kept his mouth shut since leaving office. W is living proof of the validity of the quote commonly attributed to Abraham Lincoln, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.' Unfortunately, the world is still paying the price for eight years of W's disastrous administration; a Cruz administration would merely be a resumption of the catastrophe that was George W. Bush.

  126. The Republican establishment is discovering that when you mount the tiger of religious and political extremism, dismounting is nearly impossible

  127. Since the heyday of American Demagoguery in the 1930's there have been only two Demagogues who have been able to have a substantial national impact Joe McCarthy and George Wallace.Ted Cruz is the third.All three men have used the tactic of demonization to capitalize on a prevalent national mood.McCarthy used the emergence of Russia as a world power to help create an anti-communist hysteria which fueled his campaign of guilt by innuendo and character assassination.Even though John Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower despised McCarthy and his methods, his political clout made them reluctant to confront him.George Wallace captured white Southern anger over 1960's Civil Rights legislation. He used race baiting and racial code words to to carry 5 Southern states and rack up 46 Electoral votes.

    Ted Cruz, whose nasal intonation stunningly resembles that of Joe McCarthy, has seized on the current anti-Washington zeitgeist to build a political following by assaulting the "Washington Cartel". His demonization of the Washington political establishment,and failure to play by the rules,has earned him the enmity of both parties. It has also earned him the support of alienated Americans. The cynical Cruz, a brilliant lawyer, who has a winning record at the Supreme Court,has a simple strategy. He believes that Donald Trump will eventually crash and burn.Cruz is positioning himself to be uniquely positioned to pick up the pieces and ride the anti-Washington sentiment to the nomination.

  128. Only three demagogues since 1930? How about Barry Goldwater? Here's a quote from his obit in the Washington Post:

    "During his 1964 presidential campaign, Mr. Goldwater was attacked by Democrats and opponents within his own party as a demagogue and a leader of right-wing extremists and racists who was likely to lead the United States into nuclear war, eliminate civil rights progress and destroy such social welfare programs as Social Security."

    Sound familiar? A lot of Goldwater's positions sound just like the far right of today. I'm not a student of history, but it does amaze me sometimes how all of us, including the pundits who could be expected to do some digging, focus on the present, as if it were totally new and unique, without bothering to put it in an historical context and thereby realize that much of what's happening is the "same old stuff". Of course, we all worry that, this time some of it may stick...

  129. John, Barry Goldwater was an extremely Conservative Republican,but no Demagogue.He was a successful Jewish businessman, 5 time senator,and openly opposed the Republican Right on the issues of abortion, gay rights, and religion in the public sphere. His positions on those issues were the exact opposite of the Republican Right today. "Do some digging"John.

  130. Cruz may be frightening but his fright is only in degree. There is not one person seeking the Presidency on the Republican side who doesn't bring some fright to surface, not because they share the same mind it seems Mr. Cruz carries between his shoulders, but for their lack of same, scheming or otherwise.

    It is not difficult to observe and note what brings about these words, for there is little choice when the stone is lifted off the Republican field and those running for our highest office are exposed to the light.

    No financial backer should be proud of this offering and in fact were it not for undisguised greed there is little any of these men and the one woman being touted as worthy have to bring to their donors and less to the electorate.

    While this assessment is harsh and to some degree even unfair by normal standards, there is a higher bar I expect those who desire the office of the President to hurdle and none of those on this potential slate have indicated they can reach that level

    We are left with the Democrats whose leading candidate has accumulated a lot of baggage.

    It would be refreshing to consider our elected officials to be among the most skilled, open and forthright among us who simply want to assist in making our society a smoother running process rather than an upheaval every four years with competitors who bring their own vision of life in America.

    The change we need is not in who has control, rather in the society we are asking them to guide.

  131. There is a malevolence to the man rarely seen even in the halls of our current disfunctional government. Mr. Cruz evokes a near nausea with a smarminess that evokes yelling at the TV every time he is shown. Clicker in hand, channels are quickly changed when he appears. It reminds me of the serial movies of the past with the mustachioed villain stimulating visceral fear and anger in the young crowd watching the show.

    Alas, the "villain" is alive and well, spewing sufficient disdain on all who dare to question his self-aggrandizing palaver. But, the man, the hero, is soon to appear on his white charger to save the day - there's the rub. There is no hero in sight just a gaggle of wannabes looking to replace Cruz with their own version of how this serial should end. And here comes the train, heroine tied to the tracks, and those wishing to save her are attacking each other, raising money, and nowhere to be seen.

  132. The conservatives will reject Ted because he is squishy on immigration.

  133. Lord, Frank, I can't believe how brilliant this sentence is:

    All of them, with Cruz as their spiritual leader, have turned petulance into a theory of governing, or rather anti-governing, as they breezily disregard the contradiction of their ravenous lunge to become monarchs of a kingdom that they supposedly want to topple, to gain power over a system that they ostensibly intend to enfeeble."

    Kudos--you got everything obnoxious about the "Freedom Caucus" (ex-Tea Party) in one sentence. I've never liked Cruz, myself. Chris Matthews calls him a rebirth of Joe McCarthy, even down to the dark hair and almost forced posture.

    Cruz looks straight into the camera and gets this dazed, eerie look on his face when he goes into one of his rants. I honestly don't know if this guy is playing a part, or being "genuine," if you can use this term for these far right wingers.

    But his comments border on sedition, because underneath those dulcet tones is a call to arms. I truly believe Cruz, if he could get away with it, could lead a revolution. You're right to call him out for crazy. He reminds me of something out of Dr. Strangelove, but remade for our times.

    This paper has done great reporting on his background and the formation of some of his wilder views. He's apparently highly influenced by dad Rapheal who holds his own rallies that seem like pre-war gatherings.

    Sitting in comfort, rich to the max thanks to wife's salary, this man wants to burn down DC. Don't let him.

  134. Ted Cruz is ambitious and smart. Smart enough to know that he can't win a general election.
    The only statewide elections that matter Today and for the foreseeable future in Texas are Republican primaries. By running for president, and positioning himself to the right of most candidates, Mr Cruz just secured his senate seat for minimum 3 or 4 terms.

  135. I live in Texas, a place I hardly recognize as the one in which I was born and raised before leaving to live elsewhere, New Orleans and later Los Angeles. Some of my childhood friends have never left the state, many of those never have lived anywhere other than the town in which we grew up.

    To say that their view of the world differs from mine is almost laughable it's such a gross understatement. We talk politics at our peril. Thankfully, none has ever even mentioned the name Ted Cruz in my presence. If they should, I will ask them this: What has Ted Cruz ever done for you?
    I've no doubt whatsoever, the silence will be deafening.

  136. When are the Ivies (& other top schools) going to quit foisting idiots and scoundrels on the American political process? W. Went to Yale; Cruz to Harvard & Princeton, Michelle Bachman to W & M. Geniuses all. Or maybe just cynical opportunists.

  137. Cruz wears his Napoleonic complex well, minus the hand tucked into his jacket. By saying and doing outlandish things, he gets attention. Who knows...he may try and invade Russia during the winter were he elected president.

    Other than his idiotic antics on the floor of Congress or in front of microphones, he has nothing to offer the American people - and we all know it, and even he knows it. Let's allow him to finish up his 15 minutes, and then shoo him off the stage.

  138. The fact that the establishment ruling elites in both parties and NYTs leftists despise Cruz means that he is doing something right.

    He is one of the few who tells the truth: He called McConnell a liar on the senate floor. He calls D.C. the "Washington cartel".

    He tells the truth. Whether you agree with him politically or not, he tells the truth. This is why he resonates.

  139. Cruz is a flat-out liar about many things. He will say anything that he knows will bring him adoration and praise from his followers. To him, truth does not matter.

  140. This is like shooting fish in a barrel. Let's see. Cruz supports a balanced budget amendment. Let's see what has ALWAYS happened when we balanced the budget for a while:

    The federal government has balanced the budget, eliminated deficits for more than three years in just six periods since 1776, bringing in enough revenue to cover all of its spending during 1817-21, 1823-36, 1852-57, 1867-73, 1880-93, and 1920-30. The debt was paid down 29%. 100%, 59%, 27%, 57%, and 36% respectively. A depression began in 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893 and 1929.

    He also talks about our children paying off the federal debt. This has happened only once, in 1935, and was followed in 1837 by the start of our longest depression.

    When does he think we "paid off" the larger (as a percentage of GDP) debt from WWII? In fact from 1946 -1973 we increased it (in dollars) 75% and enjoyed Great Prosperity. As the economy grew because we were increasing the debt, it just became insignificant.

    The man is either incredibly stupid or a serial liar.

  141. No - he tells your truth. He doesn't tell mine. It's almost amusing to see how "conservatives" express themselves in confrontational authoritarian language.
    It indicates inflexible thinking, an egotistical inability to admit or understand the legitimacy of any viewpoint unlike their own, often accompanied by some form of aggressive sneering language ("ruling elites . . . NYTs leftists"), some form of imperative, non-negotiable statement ("Whether you agree with him politically or not . . ."), and all of it wreathed in a whiff of 'Oh Yeah?'-drunk-in-a-bar threatening attitude. If given the power, Cruz and people who champion him would relish the role of political commissar.

  142. Cruz, like the other extremists in the Republican party is a creature of the GOP's making. The created this monster; now they have to deal with him. It seems, though, the Texas seems to spawn these lunatics--more so than any other state. And the ones that aren't outright nuts, are simply crooked and incompetent. So we are plagued with the likes of George W. Bush, Tom Delay, Louis Gohmert, Rick Perry, Greg Abbott, and Phil Gramm.

    What happened to all that talk about secession?

  143. The next generation of politicians from the Loony Star State will be even nuttier. After all, the school boards have banned the course of 'critical thinking' in their public school curricula, the argument being that such a course will harm families because their kiddies will consequently revolt against the authority of their daddies and mommies dearest.

  144. Of course he doesn't like Cruz: Cruz made him president and we all know how that turned out.

  145. This may sound a bit crazy but Ted Cruz reminds me of Fidel Castro. Their modus operandi seems familiar. A rabble rouser with avarice in his heart. Willing, and unfortunately able, to spread his poison with little resistance and no shortage of help from our own media. Name fame is his game. This guy should be tarred and feathered and sent on his way.

  146. The Republicans fall all over themselves trying to make sure the one-percenters get to keep more and more of their lucre. At the same time, members of the Freedom Caucus and other extreme rightwingers castigate Paul Ryan for his 2008 vote in favor of the Wall Street bailout. And then there's Cruz, who wears cowboy boots and reminds me of Bela Lugosi. I have faith that the American electorate, such as it is, will not vote this guy into the White House.

  147. Lugosi was hired to do a job and he did it extremely well. Cruz, not so much. Besides, he's much more than merely a vampire, he's also a robot alien zombie.

  148. " I have faith that the American electorate, such as it is, will not vote this guy into the White House."

    From your keyboard to God's ear. All I know is that I assured my children that this country would NEVER re-elect George W. Bush. "It's not who we are. The voters are way smarter than that," I assured them time and again. Look how that turned out.

  149. Some folks wonder how Cruz can be so breathtakingly ignorant with a Princeton/Harvard pedigree. I don't.

    The Cruz phenomenon, aside from its iconic status as evidence of a national psychiatric disorder, demonstrates the pitiful state of higher education. Any relatively clever kid can "game" the system, assemble a pristine record of straight A's, prep for standardized tests and never encounter an ethical challenge or moment of genuine reflection. The system, as current operated for prestige and competitive advantage, allows clever sociopaths like Cruz to smugly navigate undergraduate and graduate school without detection.

    Many colleges and universities are rescinding Bill Cosby's honorary degrees in response to the mounting evidence that he is a sexual predator. Perhaps Princeton and Harvard can rescind Cruz's credentials on the basis of his absolute disregard for truth, honor and dignity.

  150. Was he born in the US? We haven't seen his birth certificate!

  151. Cruz is a facist, plain and simple.

  152. I suppose defunding Princeton and Harvard is not really viable.

  153. @sherm

    Don't forget Yale. Defunding aside (because they receive more than ample funding from private endowments), just look at some of these schools' more 'prominent' and [disproportionately] influential alumni: John Bolton, G. W. Bush (and other Bushes), Ted Cruz, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, etc. Someone needs to sue these institutions over defective products!

  154. It takes Bush 43 in a speech defending Jeb! for you to realize that your party has been taken over by crazy radicals from the Tea Party to the Freedom Caucus to Cruz with his impersonation of Joe McCarthy?

    This isn't the party of Ike with the 90% top tax rate or even that of Reagan who exploded the deficit or even Nixon who liked the idea of universal health care and protection of the environment. These are extremists who want to destroy our government.

  155. Destroy our government? No, destroy our country in the name of some ideological purity. Bah.

  156. All the while saying they love their country.
    Curiouser and curiouser!

  157. Hey hey Frank Bruni, the person you really need to be scared about is not Ted Cruz, it is her royal highness with attitude, Evita Peron, a.k.a. Miss Pants Suit - Hillary Rodham (we know she hates to use her maiden (oxymoron?) name.

    Hillary, she who fires White House staff indescriminately, hides the Rose Law Firm records for two years, lands in the Balkans and lies that there were shots when there were zero, lies about her illegal payoff of $100,000 disguised as a cattle futures trade, sets up a private email server illegally, of course, to hide favors for payoffs to the Clinton "Foundation" (wink, wink) from which Chelsea, Billy Boy, and HRC suck out funds to live like the 1 Percent she loves to trash(wink, wink).

    As Hillary know, like Stalin said, "useful idiots".

  158. Trump went to Fordham and Wharton (Penn); Dick Cheney got in, but flunked out, of Yale, then went on to U. of Wisconsin (Madison); W. (Yale), Cruz (Harvard and Princeton), Michelle Bachman (William & Mary). Maybe US News & World Reports should start publishing the names of the political hacks & Wall St. miscreants our top schools produce & foist upon the electorate.

  159. Interesting tidbit is that Cruz and John Roberts were on the legal team that helped W get elected or rather appointed in 2000. Anybody who states that his childish tantrum for 24 hours on the Senate floor was equal to "the Bataan Death March" had no respect for US history and is so self absorbed that he cannot fathom the absurdity and crudeness of what he said.
    Best comment about Cruz was by John Boehner when he publicly referred to him as a jacka-s who was continuously harassing Boehner.

  160. Ted Cruz is a blow up waiting to happen. If he ever becomes the president of the USA he will be a immensely disliked polarising figure. His legacy will be a dysfunctional country split into two distinct camps with not bridge in between.

    The article is already highlighting his main traits: power hungry, bigoted and self serving manipulative truth teller.

    I am unsure that this future is what we want for the citizens of the country.

  161. Harvard has a problem with Teds.

  162. There is something inane about George Bush leveling a criticism against anyone. What gives him the right? Just the same, Cruz is deserving.

    Cruz is simply an anti-government thug. When combined with Trump, Carson, and Fiorina, he completes a collection of the most intelligence insulting candidates in recent history. They don't reflect leadership but rather destruction-ship. That any of them are even being considered as leaders of our country is frightening and also very sad.

  163. In recent years, Americans have shown a growing curiosity in horror genre--fascination with vampires, animorphism, walking zombies...and yes, Republicans.

    I'm not sure which Republican candidate is most scary, but I am certain they are all scary. We have found ourselves in a state of shock and awe as Republican candidates creep forward from a dim laboratory of anti-governance on the island of Dr. Moreau. These Republican candidates, however, are not the complete cast in this perennial Halloween season of Republicanism. More scary that the cast of candidates is the angry cast of low-information voters that have produced this horror show and continue to believe pounding a steak into the heart of our government is a good thing.

  164. Cruz is McCarthy reincarnate without the drugs and the booze, or whatever drove that insane cynic. He is power-mad and very determined, if McCarthy was Beelzebub, Cruz is Mephisto.

    But I don't think he has a chance to win the nomination or the election. While there are swaths of seriously ill-informed voters in parts of the country, and many whose wardrobe includes tin foil headgear, most Republican voters tend towards moderate. Carson and Trump will vanish, they are both unstable. That will leave Rubio and Jeb (!) as the only real candidates. And Hillary Clinton will beat them easily, IF she uses a stick instead of a mealy mouth.

    The stick is:

    "The GOP has ben predicting gloom and doom with Obama from day One, and none of it happened. They have wasted government time and money, have been massive obstructionists during one of the nation's greatest crises. They need to clean up their party of extreme right-wing elements and crazies before they have a crack at the WH. Democrats are stable., they have for the second time in 25 years created millions of jobs and kept the country safe."

    I hope I am right.

  165. Ted Cruz is not Joe McCarthy but I bet Cruz knows more about McCarthy and McCarthy's legacy than anyone except for a few political historians. McCarthy is alive and well and living in American politics in both political parties. McCarthyism helped put Kennedy in the White House in 1960 (which I believe was a good thing), but it also gave us Neocons, two Bush Presidencies and Fascism parading as conservatism.

  166. Only the emotionally deformed attack dog of the Supreme Court, Samuel Alito, brings greater shame to a Princeton education than Ted Cruz. From an alumnus' point of view there is the glaring, appalling waste of the liberal education, the tragic grooming from the unyielding Right wing of Concerned Alumni for Princeton, to reinforce the stunted world view these hapless students pursue, against fact itself.

  167. No! Ted Cruz isn't a "Scary Specter" at all, even though Hallowe'en is on the horizon. Face it, we've been having Hallowe'en since the Republican's first Debate with all the hobgoblins, wan folk and Jabberwocks - the neurosurgeon and The Donald up there - struttin' their stuff through the tulgey wood. Don't fret, Frank, Ted Cruz doesn't have a ghost of a chance at the Presidency. He is a Dr. Fell to the utmost, and born in O, Canada, to boot. We are heartened by Justin Trudeau's victory yesterday - Pierre Elliott Trudeau's son walking in his great Liberal father's Prime Minister moccasins, and hope his victory will be a harbinger of our election. We are still looking at our election through the distance end of our binoculars. The wee figures will change and evolve as our elections approach in the twelvemonth to come. Campaigns for POTUS should be limited to three months as they are in the UK and Canada. As for GW Bush not inserting himself into the events of the day - please! He inserted himself far too much by starting two unending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and hasn't yet been brought to justice, he and his cronies who stole his first election from Al Gore in 2000, via his brother JEB!, Gov of FL, who threw him the frisbee of the Presidency way back then. Ted Cruz rubs him the wrong way? GWBush sure rubbed us the wrong way for 8 years. Never fear, Ted Cruz is only a scarecrow in a field of many scarecrows. I'm hoping for a one-term Presidency of Joe Biden.

  168. This was indeed an extraordinary thing to wake up to. So, George Dubya called Ted Cruz, "cynically opportunistic and self serving, huh?


    I'm going back to bed.


    Tom Degan

  169. "It follows."
    A scary movie about an unkillable entity that follows you until it catches you then kills you. Sort of like the GOP/TP/KOCH AFFILIATE with the one big difference that the Republicans seem to be killing themselves with Mr. Cruz, apparently, the latest of the "boogeymen/woman" hopping out of the clown car that carries the lot of them.
    They all seem to have their "turn at bat" as the media, living and dying by each tiny change in the poll numbers or who generated more donations this week (As if BOTH were a real election), anoints first Trump, then Fiorina, then Carson, now Cruz, then Jeb! guys never seem to get it right!
    Who will it be next week, Mr. Jindal?
    November 2016 can't get here soon enough!

  170. Although I agree with your conclusions about Cruz, I am not happy with the personal attack! I am confident there is a better way to convey Cruz' Senatorial failures, lack of ability to govern, and lacking ability to create consensus among his peers.

    Can we please try to elevate the conversation, or your signaling to others, that Mr. Cruz is not a dangerous candidate with no substance. Merely quoting 43 is not enough. How about communicating to the masses (us) his voting history, his platform, his PAC contributors. . . . . . . Then the masses (us) will be able to make our own substantive decisions of his candidacy.

    We may not already like him, or all the others, as we devour our NYT at this hour (650 AM), but we want to be educated and know substantively why; not just because 43 says he doesn't like this guy.

  171. If the tea party member in my family is an example, the NYTimes could spell out every single little fact about Ted Cruz and his followers and voters would say, as my family member did, half of that is lies just trying to take Cruz down, and the other half doesn't matter to him. What matters is that Cruz is the kind of conservative this voter likes, and he is not alone.

    Knowing the facts about Cruz might be helpful to those who seem to think knowing what he stands for will make a difference in how they view him as a potential POTUS, but I'm inclined to believe that most wouldn't vote for him even before knowing the facts.

  172. Just use google to see that Cruz is actually as bad if not worse than Bruni says.

  173. You can learn alot about Cruz if you read more newspapers and other online sources than just the NYT. Try it, it might open your mind. You could even try FOX News. I try it every once in a while to see what is happening to "the other side".

  174. Cruz will succeed in today's GOP because he has figured out what "the base" wants. Demagoguery seems to be the only thing that sells within the party and so it deserves Trump, Carson, and Cruz as standard bearers.

  175. Relax. This is a much bigger mess for the Republican Party than it is for the rest of us. The GOP is proving itself masterful on a daily basis at turning order into chaos, and now those proverbial chickens have come home to roost in the offices of the RNC and the halls of Congress.

    And they are asking us to vote for them to "govern" 320 million people in the most powerful country in the world?

  176. On the contrary, the GOP has proven that it is open to change, which can get messy. Contrast that with the Democratic Party with its coronation of Hillary first and now its backup, Biden, in case she gets indicted.

    I'll take the mess with more options over being forced to vote for someone the GOP dictates any day.

  177. Open to unarticulated/unformed change, however. Bomb-throwing is a better term

  178. Cruz is one scary dude. Ugh! Belongs on a Halloween poster - not in a Presidential race.

  179. Ted Cruz is our modern day Joe Mccarthy. Who will be our modern day Joseph Welch. "Have you no sense of decency?" And if there were ever a better comparison to McCarthy 's committee to find a commie under every bed than Gowdy's committee to blame Hillary for Benghazi and anything else he can think of, I don't know what it might be.

  180. I watched every day how Joe McCarthy and his group destroyed lives, friendships, marriages and jobs with they relentless demanding of witnesses to admit to being a communist whether they were, had never been, or knew someone who had been a member and were being required to tell the committee or face consequences. It was awful, and Welch finally managed to turn the tide against McCarthy and his horror show.

    What bothers me most about what Cruz is doing is that NO ONE will stand up and say that this man is a dangerous man, a man who seems to see no reason to listen to reason, logic or have any interest in anyone's viewpoint but his own. There has to be another Welch in the GOP surely, as the Democrats have been trying for ages to get them to see how Cruz and those like him are literally destroying the way congress should conduct business for the American people.

  181. He rather resembles a young Joseph McCarthy, too. Yikes!

  182. D.
    Cruz is not Joe McCarthy! The dumbing down of American society has left people like Ted Cruz free to operate in the dark using the scripts written long ago and far away, There is only one man that I can think of who exemplifies the political and social persona of Ted Cruz and that is Edmund Burke.

  183. The only GOP candidates running for president who don't literally scare the pants off me are Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, which isn't saying much. The others are a catastrophe, and the think the most catastrophic are in the lead is truly frightening. What is is about these right wing voters and being drawn to the crazies. What do they see in those candidates that's the least bit appealing? I just don't get it..

  184. It's the power of propaganda. These people do nothing but listen to right-wing media all day and swallow every word of it whole. They end up deluded and very angry and have no insight at all into their plight.

  185. Look up the words to Bruce Springsteens song "Glory Days." To me, that's a good answer to your question. Those days, in their minds, were simpler, and no one challenged their dominance in everything.

  186. I think Rachel Maddow summed up the Shrub comment best by saying that this kerfuffle resembled a junior high school locker room spat.

    Shrub is no Churchill. Let’s not make his comment into more than what it was. Big brother Shrub is the same “nothing” he always was. And Ted Cruz is unworthy of ANY comment in the NY Times.

    This was Politico for gawd’s sake!

  187. You can't make Cruz go away simply by not writing about him. It is of the utmost importance to write about those who would willfully destroy our country and are zeroing in on the White House. Those of you who keep calling the Republican contenders clowns are giving innocent clowns a bad name. For the most part these men and one woman are evil and "evil lurks in the hearts of men" that support them with money and votes. I know, you know, the Shadow knows, but do the Republican voters know?

  188. easy to name call.....what have YOU done for your country? at least W and Cruz are out there putting themselves on the line

  189. Remember what "W" said about Putin, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.” Could say the same thing about Ted Cruze

  190. Seriously?

  191. Yes I suppose one could say that about Cruz. But then one would be wrong. Ted Cruz is committed to Ted Cruz....period.

  192. True, Cruz and the element in American society that he represents are frightening. Thanks to Citizen's United, we may never know who is truly behind Cruz and to whom Cruz is beholden. (Hint: It won't be the easily manipulated Christian right, if Cruz is ever elected outside of Texas.)

    However, W's attack on Cruz may simply be paying back Jeb! for defending W's policy while W was in office.

  193. Smarter than Dubbya Bush, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Cruzman!

    Disguised as a mild mannered Tea Party candidate, this amazing stranger from the country Cuba or Canada or Texas, or whatever. The man is a jugernaut of steel, a Superman rivaling Sputnik. Possessing remarkable
    debate strength, Ted Cruz fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice. This threatening hero to legions of Tea Partiers across the red states hates gays, women, illegals, Putin, science, the poor & government regulation & loves the death penalty, guns, fossil fuels, military & his puppet masters, Koch Industries. He will bring the word of God to the Presidency & is determined to end the evil practice of dividing church & state. He is intent upon stopping the IRS from asking 'tell me the content of your prayers' & will invoke the will of God to drive it from the holy gates of the White House. Cruz vows the be the all powerful controlling nucleus of the nation's central nervous system as he will restore order to our Godless country through the sheer power of his thought waves. Be scared young comic book fans. Be very scared of the Republican party.

  194. Thank you for the brilliant writing and insight!

  195. In a strange way he reminds of the Texas motorist that swerved into the motorcycle caught on go pro, belligerent and itching for a fight.

  196. Cruz can't legally run, the courts have said so. Look it up google citizenship court rulings concerning presidential elections.

  197. You are incorrect. The rulings you cite refer to people born in the continental US, whose parents were not citizens. A person born outside of the US, who had at least one parent who was a US citizen, is also eligible. Take for example, George Romney (candidate in '68 - born in Mexico) and John McCain (candidate in '08 - born in Panama). They were citizens by virtue of parental citizenship.

  198. Wrong and Wrong doesn't make a right. Try again.

  199. Bruni doesn't begin to plumb the depths of the extremism of and danger posed by Cruz. Consider--his father is a charter member of the far-right lunatic fringe, a dominionist who thinks that Obama is a traitor. Normally, one wouldn't want to tar a candidate with the sins of his relatives, but Ted Cruz draws his father close and makes him a part of the campaign. When are journalists going to question this? Consider also--Cruz's recent statements on the campaign trail, calling Obama a socialist and claiming that the Democratic agenda will "destroy the country". In a nation awash with guns as well as very angry people, this is the height of irresponsibility. These are merely examples of the guy's deeply divisive, extremist actions and statements.

  200. I can tell you one thing for sure: with people like Cruz and Carson parading around the political arena, it's going to be one very scary Halloween. No amount of candy will reduce, let alone eliminate, the fear they rational adults.

  201. Texans elected Mr. Cruz to be their junior Senator [one has to wonder if they would do so again knowing what they know now], and a former President and fellow Texan, whose name is rarely mentioned in 'red' circles, pillories the man having apparent inside knowledge. The former is scary and the latter is telling. The $64 question, will this silver-tongued bomb thrower continue to garner media attention?

  202. As a former Texan, the sad thought is that, yes, they probably would reelect Cruz. They like bomb throwers.

  203. Texans elected Greg Abbott governor even after he sat on a campaign stage with Ted Nugent while Nugent villified the President as a mongrel and sub-human and never voiced a word of concern. Why is there any reason Texans wouldn't elect Cruz again?

  204. In answer to your question, Retired Gardener, yes, I think the voters in my state would reelect Cruz. After all, while some of the details of his character have become clear only in the last year or two, Texans have long known what sort of person Cruz is. He accurately reflects the contempt many voters feel for the federal government, and his notoriety and strutting probably make them proud.

    I am not saying this attitude represents the majority of Texans, but the electorate is dominated by conservatives who think the Union needs Texas more than the reverse. Such delusions help account for the prominence of politicians like Cruz, Perry and Abbott (current governor).

  205. Cruz is evil, plain and simple. He's a self-serving hypocrite whose over-the-top rhetoric is destructive to the common discourse and a bane to our democracy. If Texas really wants to show us it belongs in the Union, it could do nothing better than throw this devil's helper out of office, something which I understand could well happen. This reprehensible man is a complete phony and deserves the modern equivalent of being tarred and feathered. It's worth pointing out that he has never had a position not in government. The ultimate egotist. I guess that's saying something, but his star will soon burn out.

  206. I could not say it any better. Ted Cruz is certifiable if one accepts what he himself says over and over. In most religious cultures, the devil represents destruction and death. Those are the positions of Ted Cruz.

  207. I don't agree that his "star" will burn our soon. Evil people have a way of lasting far longer than good people expect. I sure hope you are right, though.

  208. Way over the top. You comments reveal more about your own deficiencies that Cruz's

  209. When he was in office W got everything wrong. Since he left office he's gotten everything right.

  210. This is the first time I've agreed with W about anything.

  211. People are uncomfortable with him because he reminds them of Grandpa from The Munsters.

  212. Except that Al Lewis, who played Grandpa, was a progressive.

  213. THAT'S who he reminds me of!

  214. Poor Frank would probably be scared by Grandpa Munster! Frank, maybe you should be scared not by Cruz but by a society containing a lot of people willing to support / vote for him or Carson or Trump.

  215. A Republican pundit on one of the Sunday "news" shows described his party in it's current state as " a dumpster fire." Cruz has poured a lot of grease into the mix, but witness the R's debate, and you clearly understand that the entire field of candidates has been shoveling in flammable garbage for months.

    Commonly dumpster fires are easily extinguished by the local fire department. This group however wants to make sure that no governmental agencies are left functioning except the bloated military and the moral vigilantes.

    If this dumpster fire continues to burn, it could incinerate the skeletal remains of the functioning democracy that we began in 1776.

    I believe that enough Americans see through the smoke to make these guys unelectable. But every time I see the clown caboose of Republican candidates on TV, I hear P.T. Barnum reminding me about no one growing broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

  216. Believe that was H.L. Mencken, not P.T. Barnum.

  217. Doctor No is absolutely right, except that it was H.L. Mencken who said that no one ever went broke overestimating the stupidity of the American public. It's a sad state of affairs when a demagogue like Cruz is actually in the Senate. I'm living for a few weeks in Austin, Texas and I want to ask my neighbors how they could have elected a guy like that. But of course Austin is not like the rest of Texas, or so I'm told.

  218. But they keep on getting elected as representatives/senators. As long as that keeps on happening, because of gerrymandering or whatever else, the dumpster fire will keep on raging.

  219. Is "scary" liberal code for something? It's a silly word to use. Buck up if these things frighten you.

  220. I'm guessing you'd prefer "ignorance is bliss".

  221. "Scary" is liberal code for "frightening". If you're not frightened by what would happen to our country elected a man running for president that wants to shut down the government; a man who missed the point of "Green Eggs and Ham"; then you're "silly" (as in "weak-minded or lacking good sense; stupid or foolish" from

  222. You are right: Fascist is the correct term, and that indeed is scary!

  223. Cruz models his speech cadences on Joseph McCarthy, sounding eerily like him. He does it deliberately to maximize the annoyance of liberals.

  224. He is annoying a lot more than just liberals.

  225. It should be noted that cicadas emerge on 13 or 17 year prime number intervals. In Chinese culture they represent rebirth. McCarthy died in 1957. Cruz was born in 1970 - 13 years later. Just sayin.......

  226. I think most of us have had moments wondering how a good friend could fall for a guy or a gal who was so obviously bad news.

    Whatever brand of Republican Cruz is or claims to be, I attribute some of the attraction he has for people to the authoritarian strain within the Party -- people get groomed into believing they need a strongman, a philosopher king, even if paradoxically the particular would-be philosopher king says he is the anti-philosopher king and will tear down the power structure. For me, Cruz is in part the fruit of seed sown by some conservatives who sounded more reasonable to more people with their ideas about what society needs. What has cascaded from that speaks to me of the dangers of an authoritarian point of view and of too much reliance on superficial indicia of competence in the cursus honorum.

    People like Jack Kemp gave people like Paul Ryan a chance. I resent that more moderate and reasonable conservatives have provided the wherewithal for conservatives who are far more extreme and harsh to have access to power. I am curious to know what they were thinking.

  227. FB appears to be frightened by any politician who incarnates traditional values.No reason to feel that way. As one witty commenter put it, all TC would have to do to gain FB's confidence would be to don an OBAMA t=shirt.Moreover, TC and FB have a great deal in common: They r both in their mid forties, and both were graduated from elite, snobbish schools. FB came out of the University of North Carolina and TC has degrees from Princeton and Harvard. So what's all the fighting about?Moreover, anyone who calls that troglydite, obstructionist, Mitch Mcconell, a "liar," can't be all bad, can he? II recall FB's mocking interview with BERLUSCONI, some months ago in a chic restaurant in Rome. Instead of spending his time ridiculing SB, FB would have done his many readers a greater service by commenting on the challenge to Italian culture posed by increasing numbers of immigrants, by the shantytowns that have arisen as a result, of the growing numbers of Muslim women wearing niquabs and hijabs, as if assimilation were not on their list of priorities.Although an excellent writer, FB is so "parti pris" in favor of the shibboleths of the left that it injures his credibility.

  228. Ted Cruz is not about "traditional values". He's about "Ted Cruz", and is good at hoodwinking angry low-information voters into voting for him.

  229. reaW: And those who supported O without demanding he be vetted or without asking that his college and professional records be scrutinized and the results be made public, r those not low information voters? Take a class in critical thinking, which might lead you to more skeptical of all politicians, Obama included. Get real!

  230. There is a segment of the Republican Party who want to burn the house down because they don't like the furniture. Cruz appeals to them because he is crazy enough to start the fire. Once the fire is started, it will be very difficult to put out. I believe most of the country is sane enough to not let that happen. The media can help by revealing who his supporters are and ensuring they get publicity for their support.

  231. Except that most of the media benefits from money coming from that support, thanks to Citizens United. So don't expect too much coverage. Also, for the longer term, the state of Texas needs to come up with a viable Republican candidate to unseat him in the next election (I think a Democratic senator from TX is out of the question for now).

  232. Cruz would be flirting with charges of sedition if he started on his agenda. He's smart enough to know that but probably isn't bright enough to stop. I have to put faith in the common sense of 51% of American voters that he won't get anywhere near occupying the White House.

  233. He'll light the fire and run, then stand around pointing fingers and letting someone else take the blame for the destruction.

  234. Yes, Cruz is polling in fourth position but that's with less than 10 percent of Republicans or likely Republican voters. Which means that it's more like 3-4% of the general electorate. A guy so widely reviled that most of his own party can't stand him will not be POTUS but he might help continue to destroy a GOP that's gone off the rails. So I worry less about his electoral prospects than I wonder where the sane Republicans are and wonder why they aren't taking their party back from the crazies.

  235. The Republicans need to purge their party of the crazies and retake it so that your great country can once again govern for all Americans. The bomb throwing anarchistic Freedom Caucus needs to be quarantined before it infects the entire government.

  236. Name just one sane republican in government, just one.

  237. Ted Cruz is Goebbels with a Texas twang. Railing at the establishment despite his Princeton and Harvard pedigree is right out of the Big Lie playbook.

  238. In his first presidential campaign G. W. Bush was able to pass off "compassionate conservatism".

    That would never work today.

  239. No such thing as "compassionate" conservatism these days. Fanatical, yes. Even vindictive. But "compassionate"? Hardly.

  240. Alas! If only George W. had only felt the same way about Dick Cheney!

  241. On the eve of Halloween, you are scaring us. Amidst witch-hunts in the House's revolutionary coven, Cruz is the rabble-rouser-in-chief. He has infiltrated the other side of the Capitol while shaking up his own Senate side shaking McCain and Hatch to Feinstein and Durbin. He is very smart in taking advantage of an atmosphere fraught with anger in the country.

    His clever slipstreaming of Trump is further evidence of his diabolical potential.

  242. Ted Cruz is exactly what America desperately needs - someone who will go after liberalism like a pit bull on steroids. Liberals hate Cruz with a burning intensity - which proves how much he should be elected President.

  243. Rick, we dislike hate, we dislike those who threaten our civil rights, we dislike stupidity, we dislike any threat to this country, and you, Cruz, and those who believe as you do are that threat.

  244. You're mistaken if you think Cruz will do anything other than talk. Cruz will get the suckers & stooges to do the dirty work & take the fall for him.

    Then he will denounce them as well. Follow Cruz at your own peril. He has no real passion nor actual beliefs, everything he says is calculated and rehearsed but he won't know he's gone too far until he's done it and then he'll blame someone else. Don't think so? Then what did he say after he helped shutdown the government?

  245. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation in September 2013, Ted Cruz lavishly praised the late North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, an extreme Southern conservative and master obstructionist who relished his nickname "Senator No" and who had a particular fondness for Caucasians.

    “The willingness to say all those crazy things is a rare, rare characteristic in this town, and you know what? It’s every bit as true now as it was then. We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate,” Cruz said.

    Cruz said his first political donation was a $10 donation to Helms when he was a kid.

    Jesse Helms was known for his outspoken positions against gay rights, abortion rights, and race relations.

    Helms voted against both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Helms filibustered the legislation creating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday for 16 days and called the Civil Rights Act “the single most dangerous piece of legislation ever introduced in the Congress.”

    Jesse Helms was a campaign strategist for the blatantly racist and successful US Senate campaign of Willis Smith in 1950 and helped design a political ad that said "White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? "

    During the same campaign, Jesse Helms described UNC as "the University of Negroes and Communists."

    Jesse Helms was an inspiration to Ted Cruz.

    Scary...disgraceful...abominable Ted Cruz.

  246. What a banal piece. The hobgoblins of the left -- Trump, Carson, Cruz, the Freedom Caucus, etc., etc. The GOP candidates are really scary. If you don't really have anything to say -- and this article says very little --, the Times would be better off leaving the space blank.

  247. I live in Texas and voted for Ted Cruz. I'm a proud TP and NRA member. I believe the current laws need to be enforced before any big changes. I see where most of the politicians on both sides (including the Chamber of Commerce) wants open borders and I'm not sure how that will help the lower and middle class when 90m adults aren't working.

  248. Hey Iron,
    I am with you life is far too complex. What ever happened to us and them, white hats and black hats and good guys and bad guys?

  249. For most of my career I've lived and worked in both Europe and the US, and my European colleagues have long joked about the US being the most powerful banana republic in the world. Republican politics since President Obama's election would seem to have transformed this half-joke into reality, with the current roster of Republican candidates this could easily compete with a Latin American presidential election. The parallels are eerily close possessing all the elements of bringing together sleazily populist politics and a plutocracy.

    What's frustrating is there seems to be little that we can do to stop this devolution. It began with Gingrich, careens tragically through Bush and Cheney, becomes cynically comical with McCain and Palin, and ends up with this grab-bag roster of such clowns that not even the plutocrats can decide who would best serve their nefarious purposes.