Ted Cruz is beginning to alter his personality.
This is not easy for a man whose single accomplishment in three years of Senatorial seniority is trying to close down the government. Oh, that and defund Obamacare. Ooops! We forgot: he wants to defund Planned Parenthood, too.
Those are the three efforts of which he says he’s proudest. Notice, please, how many of them are positive, or even minimally helpful to his constituents in Texas – forget about the nation at large.
This is a man whose college friends remember him best for his arrogance and ambition.
This is a man who celebrated his electoral victory in 2012 with a speech cribbed from something a Fuhrer might have made.
Ted Cruz is not a nice man. Ask his non-supportive “colleagues” in the Senate.
But now, stunned by good fortune and off-the-wall competitors, he finds himself actually able to imagine being president rather than just dreaming about it.
So, since he’s among the best panderers in the business, he’s beginning to alter his personality. Now on late night television this week he’s beginning to adopt the humor and manners of a president people might imagine popping a beer.
How bad could he be? He’s got two children and a successful wife. Someone loves him. He wants us all, now, to love him, too.
Chances are he’s smarter than Donald Trump. But he’s cut from the same cloth. They both shoot first and ask questions later.
His “budget plan” has been deemed the most expensive of the current three on offer by government budget committees. His tax plan is regressive and does nothing healthy for the poor or middleclass.
He still wants to “carpet bomb” ISIS, regardless of every military expert’s horror and disapproval.
He wants to put uniforms on men in the street (Brown Shirts or Black?) to patrol neighborhoods that have a certain percentage of Muslim inhabitants. (Suffice it to say he wants to restrict immigration, as well as “vetting” Muslim applicants as though he were the FBI…which of course he would be. That’s part of his appeal. He’s going to be everything in the government we need: he personally.)
But he’s a nice guy, someone to drink with, a good old-fashioned down-home Canadian-Cuban-American. (Which is why he and Marco Rubio got on so well. Who says America is classless? Not this alum of Princeton and Harvard.)
He wears cowboy boots. He’s often tieless. He’s adopting the camouflage of normalcy. He even unbuttons his suit jacket.
Donald wants a wall. So does Ted.
Donald is going to whip ISIS with unspecified plans. Collateral damage is something he does not mention.
Ted still wants to carpet bomb them, who cares about women and children?
Donald wants universal health care, which is to say, he wants to repeal Obamacare.
Ted agrees, more or less. How much more or less he’s not saying.
Ted wants to abolish the IRS. Collecting taxes with which to reinvigorate our armed services means nothing to him.
Donald doesn’t often mention his tax plan – for good reason: it helps no one but the rich. But he says rebuilding the navy and Marines and Air Force is number one on his list of priorities. With what?
Donald has trouble seeing women as human beings. Ted let him struggle for months, never disagreeing.
In fact, for several months Ted didn’t mention Donald critically in any way at all. Makes sense to us: they agree.
Both give lip service to helping veterans. Neither does anything about it.
Donald makes things up. Few mutter.
Ted makes thing up. Donald mutters.
Neither has experience at governing, or leading positively to solve real problems.
Donald may very well be as good as his word. Ted isn’t. And his colleagues, silent until now, know it.
Donald is Donald and scares the daylights out of the Republican National Committee. Ted plays nice, understanding the RNC is in fact powerless.
Donald leans unconsciously towards fascism. Ted leans purposely towards fascism but hopes no one notices. If this is understood by the public, Ted hopes that that bolt from the blue will come after the election, not before.
Despite smiling and laughing on television with Jimmy Kimmel, Ted knows he’s playing a role.
Donald doesn’t get it.
Neither is worth the paper they’re names are printed on, and neither should be within a thousand miles of executive power, forget the now insider annoyance of being called POTUS.
In reality, we think both Donald and Ted are small town boys who haven’t grown up. Donald likes to tease and bully. Ted really wants to bully and hurt people.
This entire autumn is going to be a nightmare, for us and our friends around the world. And here’s something else Ted and Donald have in common. Neither one has given a moment’s thought to our Allies and friends. They can both identify enemies. Neither one knows how to deal with them. Or, for that matter, how to deal with us, the people they are asking to believe in them.