You’d have to be insane to long for the days when the specter of a Ted Cruz presidency briefly loomed over the United States. But these are, most realize by now, insane times, and for the past few weeks I admit to quietly imagining an alternate reality in which doughy, reptilian theocrat Cruz — a man literally nobody likes — had somehow ended the Trump threat before it went thermonuclear. Sure, Cruz was a flaming bag of dogshit left on America’s collective doorstep, but Trump is the privileged teenage asshole who left it there and then laughed when we ran out and stomped on it. Cruz probably never really had a chance, but back during the days of what will forever be known as the GOP Clown Car Primary of 2016: America Held Hostage, he sometimes felt like the only one awful enough to beat Trump at his own game.
Alas, Trump twisted his arm behind his back and, in keeping with Trumpian tradition, forced Cruz to shout “mercy” in front of the class as a form of humiliation. But a funny thing happened when it came time for Cruz to submit. He didn’t. In one of the most enjoyably surprising and subversive moments in recent political history, Cruz took the stage at the Republican National Convention and Seventh Seal Unfurling in Cleveland and stood his ground. It was quite a feat for a single-celled organism for Cruz to spontaneously grow a spine and then, basically, rip that spine out and jam it into Trump’s eyeball on national television. Trump fully expected Cruz to publicly endorse him, but Cruz apparently remembered that Trump had spent months calling Cruz worthless, insulting his wife’s looks, and tying his father to the Kennedy assassination — and so Cruz stiffed Trump, refusing to support him.
I have to admit, it left me, just for a moment, kind of in awe of Ted Cruz and filled with whatever passes for admiration for the man. Sure, the whole thing was probably a cynical ploy to set himself up as the perfect GOP candidate for 2020 in a post-Trump Flameout world. But still, he fucked Trump hard, and for that he deserved at least a specimen cupful of appreciation from those not fleeing America by any means possible.
Fast forward to now, though, and, maybe mercifully, the balance has been restored to the Force — because Cruz fucking caved today and endorsed Trump. “After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump,” Cruz sniveled via Facebook. “A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.” And just like that, Ted Cruz returns to his original chemical state as a gelatinous blob of indiscernible material, one apparently incapable of withstanding a few squirts of spray tanner without involuntarily retreating into its own Vantablack soul.
Now as with before, there’s a good chance Cruz’s alleged change of heart is nothing but opportunism. Trump’s gaining in the polls, and if he wins he’ll be needing someone to graffiti Pepe the Frog on the Washington Monument in the days before the globe destabilizes to the point where the United States is invaded by a coalition of the willing aiming for regime change here. Cruz just figures it’s now safe to ride Trump’s coattails into oblivion because, if Trump succeeds, well, he’ll be a made man, and if — or really when, if he wins — Trump fails, he might be in a better position as a man who’s both stood against Trump but showed party loyalty to pick up the pieces for the Republicans. That’s of course if there’s a Republican party to speak of after the Lovecraftian nightmare of a Trump administration.
Cruz obviously doesn’t give a damn about losing anyone’s respect by caving to Trump because Cruz isn’t the kind of guy who’s ever valued or gotten respect. He’s a slippery little shit who couldn’t stand being an afterthought while Trumpism became the prevailing ideology consuming his party whole. Will Cruz’s endorsement mean anything for Trump? Will it be a bridge between the establishment hold-outs who’ve rejected Trump and his surging campaign? Probably not given that, again, nobody in D.C. likes Cruz. Not people from his own party and definitely not anybody from any other. However, just for a minute there he gave America a reason to like him — and to stand with him. Like everything else with Cruz, though, impotence and rank cynicism won out. And so things go back to normal.
Welcome back, Ted. We missed loathing you.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.