Wingnut Week In Review: Cruzin’ For Bruising

Terrance Heath

Let’s be clear. Sen. Ted Cruz is not going to be president. Nor is he going to be the Republican nominee. But his wingnut tendencies will make 2016 a headache for Republicans, and more entertaining for the rest of us.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R, Texas) announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race this week, with a speech at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia. The choice of Liberty University, the private fundamentalist university founded in 1971 by Moral Majority founder Rev. Jerry Falwell, was no coincidence. Cruz’s tea party credentials have long been solid. A campaign launch at Liberty University guaranteed Cruz a chance to launch himself as both the tea party candidate and the social conservative candidate.

Liberty University also guaranteed Cruz a packed house for his speech, because it was mandatory. Liberty University students had to attend Cruz’s speech, or be fined $10.00. As Jerry Falwell, Jr. later explained, convocation is held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at Liberty University, and “attendance is required, just like class is required for students.” And, as one commenter on LU’s Facebook page pointed out, Cruz has spoken at enough convocations to know that policy, and know that it would guarantee a packed house.

So, yes, Sen. Ted Cruz delivered a speech championing liberty, at Liberty University, before a captive audience. Many of them weren’t happy about it, and spent the time commiserating with one another via YikYak.

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Other students expressed themselves by wearing t-shirts advertising their support for another likely 2016 candidate.

Honestly, $10.00 seems a small price to pay in order to have escaped Cruz’s speech. Candidate Cruz crashed on social media as well. It all started with an innocent little tweet announcing his candidacy.  

Twitter exploded with mockery, and #TedCruzCampaignSlogans.

Twitter users also did a little sleuthing, and found out that Cruz had purchased the tedcruz.org domain, which directs users to his campaign website. However, Cruz had neglected to buy tedcruz.com, which now takes users to a site that looks like this.

Home

This, folks, is something you learn in Political Campaigns 101, usually on day one: buy your domains before somebody else does. TedCruz.Com should have been nailed down during his 2012 Senate race. Period.

Liberty University students weren’t the only ones less than impressed with Cruz’s candidacy. It turns out, many Republicans plain don’t like the guy. Cruz’s presence in the GOP primary campaign is going to make things very interesting, if the comments from conservative media and his fellow Republicans are any indication.

Unfortunately, for conservatives, Cruz isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The GOP establishment hasn’t forgiven him for the debacle that was the 2013 shutdown over Obamacare, or his shortsighted maneuvering in the Senate that allowed Democrats to push through judicial nominations the GOP would have otherwise blocked. But Cruz’s ability to gather supporters and raise money —$500,000 in one day after announcing, despite being near the bottom tier of polls — suggest Cruz may be a strong presence in the GOP primaries, and a thorn in the side of Republican leadership, much to our considerable amusement.

Looney-Tunes Legislators

Here’s the best of the rest of the worst in wingnuttery this week:

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