Imagine This Is All A Dream: Ted Cruz, Meet the Internet - Also Obamacare?!?
In case you haven't heard, the GOP presidential clown car has left the station in the sanctimonious, scary-fringey person of Tea Partier Ted Cruz, who kicked off his alleged campaign with a packed come-to-Jesus event at Jerry Falwell's uber-conservative Liberty University. His first day out in the big time, Cruz got trolled even by Liberty's super-straight kids, who it turned out had to attend or fork over ten bucks; by wiseacres who commandeered what turned out to be his insecure domain name - which went to links for Immigration Reform Now and Nigerian Princes - and most everyone else. And that was before he signed on for Obamacare. WTF? Cruz' campaign slogan is "A Time For Truth." Truth is, this is in equal parts dispiriting and surreal.
Cruz' entry into the race has been met with an intriguing mix of horror and scorn from disparate quarters. Right-wing Rep. Peter King called Cruz "a carnival barker" and said he, King, would jump off a bridge if Cruz was nominated. Former fellow Princeton students said Cruz was always a creepy douchebag and still is. Critics rip Cruz as an opportunist, poseur and panderer extraordinaire, whether for declaring that 9/11 turned him into a fan of the crude jingoism of country music - "It made me think, these are my people" - or telling New Hampshire voters what he knew they wanted to hear, at least until he bizarrely scared the beejezus out of a terrified four-year-old by telling her, "Your world's on fire!" Overall, despite the appearance of a new Ted Cruz Saves America Coloring Book - "a fair and objective (look at) a real-life super hero...Ted Cruz is history in the making" - most vaguely sane people view him as far too weird and wing-nutty to get far, "an extremist fanatic (and) the hidden golden child of a fundamentalist American redemption"(who) represents (a) vision of government that was out of date in 1860."
For those frightened by the specter of perhaps the most extremist GOP candidate ever running for anything except a bus, the cascade of indignity and incompetence that was Cruz' first day on the campaign trail might offer some solace. There were the captive snarky kids at Liberty, many of whom, even though God-fearing and right-leaning, were unamused at being involuntarily recruited as political props and took with vengeance to Yik Yak, the popular, anonymous, often savage social media that's been called Twitter's "unfiltered evil twin." There was his sketchy tedcruz.org website with a vulnerable domain name that savvy wise guys quickly directed to links for immigration reform at tedcruz.com, health care at and fraudulent Nigerian , princes, though the princes were shut down. The site also sports a campaign graphic many thought looked either like a sideways burning American flag or the Al Jazeera logo - both not good. And there was the questionable offer for people to ask Cruz questions on Twitter before his appearance on Hannity, which did not go well. Samples: "Ted Cruz, what are you doing to make sure that the union between a man and his anime wife is finally held sacred under law?" "If Ted Cruz can't secure his own domain name, how will he secure the border against immigrants & ebola?" and "When you call for 'Taking America Back,' who, specifically, do you want to take it back from, and for whom?"
Plus there's already a pretty hilarious parody of his super-patriotic video - flags flying! wheat waving! a few black people! - titled "A Time for Truth." Sample new truth: "The Canary Islands are named for a dog." All this came before Cruz' astoundingly hypocritical announcement late Tuesday that he would soon be signing up for Obamacare - you know, the thing he's long vowed to "repeal every word" of, that he blatantly regularly calls "a trainwreck," that he tried to shut down the government to save us from. You've gotta be kidding. Can he and we go any lower? Is this really the best our ostensible participatory democracy, leaning ever righter and slimier, can do? Do we now have to rely on trolls to save us from clowns? There's nothing new under our preposterous political sun.