When Ted Cruz lies, he appears to be praying.
The piece that follows is nothing short of a character assassination of the Senator from Texas – a personal diatribe, sparse on facts but far-reaching in abusive and borderline racist ad hominem.
The first paragraph sets the tone for all that follows. It is devoted entirely to insulting Cruz’s physical appearance -- insults that would never be tolerated were they directed at a black man rather than a Latino one. Readers are informed that:
Cruz has large ears; a straight nose with a fleshy tip, which shines in camera lights when he talks to reporters; straight black hair slicked back from his forehead like flattened licorice; thin lips; a long jaw with another knob of flesh at the base, also shiny in the lights.
In case the reader misses the subtle insults, Denby clarifies:
If, as Orwell said, everyone has the face he deserves at fifty, Cruz, who is only forty-two, has got a serious head start.
That’s when Denby turns to the character attacks.
Cruz, says the column, is more than just an obstructionist, standing in the way of the noble agenda of the president, though he is certainly that. Cruz voted no on the bipartisan immigration bill, no on the farm bill, no on the continuing resolution; he voted against the confirmations of John Brennan, Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, and Jack Lew. Cruz is a modern Joseph McCarthy, whose “strategy is universal aggression, aimed at everyone,” making the ultimate power grab:
He seeks the Presidency, of course.
He promises to cure “a malaise that is particularly hurting 'single moms, Hispanics, African-Americans'” as a means of “expanding his support in a messianic crusade, a quest to purify and redeem the nation,” all while wearing “the mask of sincerity.”
What’s most interesting about the article, other than its inclusion in a publication that presents itself as high-minded, is that it all sounds strangely familiar.
In fact, almost all of it’s arguments are directly applicable to another former Senator who made the ultimate power grab - a lying, messianic figure who panders to women and minorities under the guise of false sincerity all in service of the ultimate power grab. Although any reference to the size of the president’s ears would undoubtedly be deemed racist.