fresh voices from the front lines of change







Meet Ted Cruz, the Republican winner of the Iowa caucuses. He’s a liar, a jerk, and nobody who knows him remotely well — including his fellow Republicans and, quite possibly, his own family — appears to like him much.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) barely had time to bask in his come-from-behind in Iowa caucuses before that victory was called into question.

Cruz apologized for the email and voicemail messages implying that Carson was on his way out of the race, but not for the mailers. Cruz might have been excused for thinking that was the case. After all, Carson’s own campaign announced that would be heading home to Florida to get some fresh clothes, while his rivals rushed back and forth between Iowa and New Hampshire. (Because there’s nowhere to do laundry or buy new clothes in Iowa?) On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that Carson’s campaign would cut more than 50 staff positions — about half the campaign’s staff — and make other cuts due to lack of funds. (Meanwhile, a handful of Carson’s top advisors raked in millions.)

Both moves are apparently classic Ted Cruz, and in keeping with some of his most dominant character traits.

Ted Cruz The Liar

It’s a given that politicians lie. Lying convincingly and lying well are practically prerequisites for going into politics. The most talented politicians have a preternatural sense of when not to lie, but not because they’re suddenly enamored of the truth. They’re enamored of their own hides, and committed to saving them above all else.

Ted Cruz doesn’t seem to know when to stop lying. Lying about “voter violations” and another candidate dropping out of the race join a long list of the Cruz’s lies.

Perhaps Cruz can’t help it, because the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. His father, Rafael Cruz came under fire last year for fabricating his story of fighting for Fidel Castro only to become disillusioned with the Communist dictator. The elder Cruz’s former comrades said he marched in the streets a few times, and sprayed some graffiti, but was never a rebel leader engaged in gun running and blowing up buildings as he claimed in a memoir that appeared to be more fact than fiction.

Politifact found that 57% of the of Cruz’s statements tracked by the site were either “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire.” It leaves the impression that when Cruz tells the truth, it’s probably because he just forgot to lie.

Ted Cruz the Jerk

In 1979, Steve Martin delighted movie audiences with his portrayal of a lovable jerk. Ted Cruz is not that kind of jerk.

What kind of jerk is Ted Cruz?

He’s the kind of jerk who responds to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan by giving away water, but only to anti-abortion groups.

He’s the kind of jerk whose coworkers from the 2000 Bush campaign describe his as a guy who “thought he was an expert on everything,” and was “completely taken with himself.

He’s the kind of jerk whose college roommate still can’t stop talking (and tweeting) about how godawful he is, and says things like, “I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States. Anyone. I would rather pick somebody from the phone book.”

He’s the kind of jerk almost one from his college days remembers fondly.

He’s the kind of jerk whose attempts at human interaction creep out his own family. His mother shrinks from his embrace. His father can barely stand to hear him talk.


He’s the kind of jerk who wife tries desperately to avoid receiving a kiss from him.


He’s the kind of jerk who can’t even get a good night kiss from his seven-year-old daughter.


He’s the kind of Republican who wins the Iowa Caucuses.

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


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