Being from Texas, I can tell you that nothing embarrasses me more about the state than the way that, at least in statewide elections, the voters will elect anyone with the (R) by their name on the ballot, no matter how much of an imbecile that person is. That is being demonstrated in spades by the election of Ted Cruz to the Senate, a man who cannot open his mouth without causing the most ardent “Texas Forver” folks like myself to wonder if we should start excising “y’all” from our vocabulary. The latest revelation:
Two and a half years ago, Cruz gave a stem-winder of a speech at a Fourth of July weekend political rally in Austin, Texas, in which he accused the Harvard Law School of harboring a dozen Communists on its faculty when he studied there. Cruz attended Harvard Law School from 1992 until 1995. His spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request to discuss the speech.
Cruz made the accusation while speaking to a rapt ballroom audience during a luncheon at a conference called “Defending the American Dream,” sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a non-profit political organization founded and funded in part by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. Cruz greeted the audience jovially, but soon launched an impassioned attack on President Obama, whom he described as “the most radical” President “ever to occupy the Oval Office.” (I was covering the conference and kept the notes.)
He then went on to assert that Obama, who attended Harvard Law School four years ahead of him, “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School.” The reason, said Cruz, was that, “There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”
So, great. Texas elected the new Joe McCarthy, except—and this is a critical point—even more of an idiot than McCarthy. After all, when McCarthy was around, we actually were in conflict with the Soviet Union. McCarthy was battling phantoms, but Cruz is battling phantoms from the past. And he’s from Texas.
I recommend next that the Texas Republicans, as an experiment, run a mummified dog turd in a tie next for statewide office, to see if it would win. Except that it’s not much of an experiment, because it totally would.