In the wake of his public feud that played out on social media with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) last week, novelist and outspoken progressive Stephen King ended up on the same page as Cruz's Democratic challenger in Texas on Tuesday after both called for President Donald Trump to be impeached over his "bizarre" and "shameful" performance in Helsinki, Finland a day earlier.
Monday evening—after Trump was lambasted for the "embarrassing spectacle" that was his joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin—King had issued a single-word tweet that simply read: "Impeach."
Impeach.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 17, 2018
Though not a wholly unique sentiment, King's declaration was later echoed by Beto O'Rourke, the Democrat in Texas now waging a fight to unseat Senator Cruz in the upcoming mid-terms.
"Standing on stage in another country with the leader of another country who wants to and has sought to undermine this country, and to side with him over the United States — if I were asked to vote on this I would vote to impeach the president," O'Rourke said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday.
"Impeachment, much like an indictment, shows that there is enough there for the case to proceed," O'Rourke added, "and at this point there is certainly enough there for the case to proceed."
Unimpressed, Cruz accused O'Rourke of acting like a "partisan extremist" for making such a statement though he was also forced to recognize the irony of making such a charge on the very same day that his rival was awarded Allegheny College's 2018 Prize for Civility in Public Life, alongside Republican Rep. Will Hurd, also from Texas, for their exemplary public service and willingness to interact productively despite ideological differences.
The issue of Trump's impeachment comes at a potentially pivotal point in the Texas senate race. According to Business Insider on Tuesday, the Democratic insurgent is now gaining ground on the right-wing encumbent:
O'Rourke has out-raised and out-spent Cruz throughout the entire campaign, raking in a stunning $10.4 million in the last fiscal quarter alone. O'Rourke has also pledged not to take any corporate or PAC money.
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"We MUST close the gap. We're being outraised by almost 3-to-1 and the polls are getting closer. We need to step up," said a Cruz campaign fundraising email from Friday.
Meanwhile, calling for Trump's ouster is not a new demand from King. Less than two months ago he tweeted:
Trump is totally incompetent. Incapable. Lost. He needs to be impeached before he can damage the republic more than he already has.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 26, 2018
While both now supportive of Trump's impeachment, that's not all the King and O'Rourke share. Last week, King took to his Twitter account and told Texans—and anyone else listening—that O'Rourke was a much better choice than Cruz to lead the state in the U.S. Senate.
"Hey, Texas! I suppose you're going to re-elect Ted Cruz, but I hope you don't," King declared. "Beto O'Rourke is mega-cool. Smart, too. Also, jeez, do we have to look at Ted for another six years? The mind reels."
While Cruz hit back with a couple predictable references to some of King's most famous works and derided the famed storyteller as a "limousine liberal," the writer shot back: "Ted Cruz called me a limousine liberal! Oooo! He's never ridden in one himself, I suppose. Come on up to Maine, Ted, I'll give you a ride on my Harley." And then he took a solid shot at Trump as well:
Ted Cruz called me a limousine liberal!— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 11, 2018
He's never ridden in one himself, I suppose.
Come on up to Maine, Ted, I'll give you a ride on my Harley. It was made in America before your boy Trump fucked up the company.