[Editor's Note: Cranky Bear is an angry, impolitic friend of mine who is constantly sending me missives for this blog. I don't publish them all, but I think Cranky was so upset this time around that I felt like throwing him a bone.]
Cranky Bear here, with some bourbon on the rocks and a bone to pick with one Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz. Y'see last night I's watching the dumpster fire otherwise known as the Republican presidential debate, and witnessed Teddy boy say something that was completely obnoxious even by his standards. Ol' Ted was questioned about his "New York values" comment, implying that Trump embodied those values, and thus was not representative of the people of Iowa. Given the opportunity to apologize, he did what every asshole does when they get caught: he doubled down. He hit the "New York values" thing even harder, possibly because his head was swollen from just having made Trump look ridiculous with the issue of Cruz's eligibility. Trump then turned it around hard on Cruz, invoking 9/11 and winning the crowd over. Cruz was given another opportunity to walk it back today, and instead he wrote the smarmiest, most dickish nonpology I've ever seen, starting off with "I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians in that state." He goes on to attack Andrew Cuomo for not supporting fracking, saying he's sorry for New Yorkers for losing out on jobs. The man seems to relish adding injury to insult.
And you know what? It will probably work out for him. The hard right wing base of knuckle-dragging troglodytes just loves it when someone refuses to back down after being "politically incorrect" aka hateful/racist/super-dickish. When Trump started insulting John McCain's military record, for instance, it garnered him MORE support. Cruz has been paying attention. Like all good sociopaths he knows the fastest way to tell people what they want to hear so that he can use them, even if he is doing it in the most two-faced way possible. For example, he attacked Lawrence Tribe, who has questioned Cruz's eligibility, for being a liberal Harvard law professor, when Cruz himself was a graduate of Harvard law! He rails against "New York values," including "concern with media and money" when he himself got a giant loan from a Wall Street bank and also goes to New York on the regular to ask for dough from fat cats. Not to mention the fact that he's just as big a whore for the media as the rest of gang vying to be president.
Cruz has three real talents. The first is that he sells his bullshit so convincingly that people think he actually believes it, and the second is that he has learned how to sound like what a stupid person thinks a smart person sounds like. The third, as I've mentioned, is that he knows how to push the right buttons with the drooling goobers who make up the fanatical base of the conservative movement. He started the night last night by preempting a question about jobs so he could rail about Americans temporarily taken prisoner by Iran, and to basically promise that such behavior would result in a war if he were president. Thus his announcement of such a blood-thirsty and potentially disastrous stance was met by wild cheering from the audience.
Cruz's attacks on New York are part of an old and successful strategy by conservative politicians to appeal to tribalism, whether it be Nixon's "Silent Majority" or Sarah Palin's "real America." While they are promoting policies that will destroy any chances of upward mobility for their supporters, they turn around and assure them that they stand for people "like them" and are against "those other people."
Okay, okay, at this point I am sounding more like my friend Werner than myself. Now time for a little of that old time Cranky religion: Ted Cruz, please go fuck yourself. You are a two-faced lying asshole dripping with smarm and mendacity. You want to know what New York values are, you slimy sack of shit? This morning on the subway I was surrounded by a multi-ethnic melting pot of hard-working people up before the break of dawn. I said hi, as I usually do, to the immigrant proprietor of the sweets stall by the Penn Station turnstiles. When I go get a cup of coffee at the place near where I work, the manager always asks about my kids. I have seen a man RUN to help a complete stranger who had slipped on the ice on 81st street. I have seen heavily armed National Guard troops in Penn Station help direct lost tourists through its confusing tunnels. I've lived all around this country, including Texas, and no one place has any kind of advantage when it comes to morality or decency. To tell the people of this nation that people in New York are somehow deficient in this regard is a fucking lie that you are telling to exploit the resentment of the hate-filled trash that buy into your bullshit.
And one last thing, Teddy boy. Dried cumstains like yourself never miss an opportunity to exploit the memory of 9/11 to justify your boners for war, Islamophobia, and the surveillance state. Well guess what, you don't get to do that anymore. 9/11 is not theoretical or symbolic in the New York City area. People actually DIED here by the thousands. The scars are still there on the face of lower Manhattan. If New Yorkers exist so you can insult them in your sick political game 364 days of the year, you don't for one fucking second get to claim their memory when September 11th rolls around. And you know what, Ted? Don't worry about apologizing. After this election ends and you've lost, just please just go away and never come back.
Cranky bear out.