Yesterday, over on the Twitter machine, I made a simple suggestion to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Couching it in terms of his crushingly awful performance as Samuel Parris in The Crucible when he was a student at Harvard, I asked Cruz to think about John Proctor in Arthur Miller's play about a man standing firm on principles against forces that want him to abandon them and give in to their power. Proctor doesn't, and he is executed for refusing to lie about himself. I asked Cruz to think about who the Devil is in his life and what he should do about it.
And then, last night, lo and behold, Cruz walked up to the snack table at the Republican's party and took a giant dump in the punch bowl while everyone screamed at him to stop.
Yeah, after a pretty boilerplate right-wing Republican speech - blah, blah, Hillary sucks, blah, blah, blah, Constitution, yadda, enemies, whatever - Cruz ended by exhorting the idiot hordes to "vote your conscience," which the delegates took not only as a non-endorsement of nominee Donald Trump but outright heresy, with screams of "Traitor" and "Honor the pledge" and "Fuck you." Trump himself appeared to gaze, like an angry toad, on the chaos as his minions egged it on and his horrible family looked on. Cruz's wife, Heidi, derided as ugly in something Trump retweeted, had to be escorted out lest the idiot hordes rip her limb from limb. Cruz wiped his ass on the tablecloth, perhaps while looking the toad straight in his eyes, and strode away. And nobody really gave a dry mouse shit about Newt Gingrich telling us about his night terrors or Mike Pence's lumbering monologue about how Trump will Trump you with his Trumpiness or that Scott Walker even exists.
This morning, Cruz met with the Texas delegation, most still wearing their dumbass cowboy hats. At first, Cruz tried to walk a line. He coyly asked why anyone would boo for him saying, "Vote your conscience" (a line that the Hillary Clinton campaign took and ran with). He said he wouldn't speak negatively about Trump, but that Trump hadn't earned his vote yet, and, oh, no, he won't vote for Hillary. But then the questions started and the smarmy, faux-chummy facade cracked. "I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father," Cruz said, and in that moment his heart grew three sizes and his spine unbent to make him completely upright. He would not be "a servile puppy dog" to Trump, he said. And when he asked, " Can anyone imagine our nominee standing in front of voters answering questions like this?" he wasn't talking about answering questions period. He meant answering them with forthrightness, clarity, and honesty.
For an example, look at Trump's interview in the New York Times about foreign policy, where he said, among other terrifying shit, that he would shitcan agreements with NATO if the other countries didn't pay protection money to the United States, as if somehow a stable Europe isn't in America's best interest. Here, though, is the exact quote from the transcript: "If we cannot be properly reimbursed for the tremendous cost of our military protecting other countries, and in many cases the countries I’m talking about are extremely rich. Then if we cannot make a deal, which I believe we will be able to, and which I would prefer being able to, but if we cannot make a deal, I would like you to say, I would prefer being able to, some people, the one thing they took out of your last story, you know, some people, the fools and the haters, they said, 'Oh, Trump doesn’t want to protect you.' I would prefer that we be able to continue, but if we are not going to be reasonably reimbursed for the tremendous cost of protecting these massive nations with tremendous wealth — you have the tape going on?"
That's some Mafia shit right there. "I would prefer to offer you my good graces, but you must be willing to pay what I ask and kiss my ring. And then my ass." And it's expressed in almost Palin-esque gibberish. Dumb fuck. And you're a dumber fuck if you support him after that. No, fuck that. You're a terrible human being if you support Donald Trump, and you deserve every bad thing that would happen to you if he's elected.
Not Ted Cruz, though. He stood there and taunted the idiot hordes. And it was a thing of beauty.
Now you, dear, dear liberal, may feel conflicted about feeling even an inkling of positivity towards Ted Cruz. After all, he is an asshole, a son of a bitch, a dick, a fart in human form, and lots of other things rolled into one odious, annoying package. He believes appalling things, about abortion, about voting rights, about LGBT rights, about...well, pretty much everything. But let's not care about that for a moment. Let's not care that Cruz might be positioning himself for 2020. Fuck 2020. And let's not care about any of the spin from the Trump campaign, which is trying to make itself seem so magnanimous by allowing Cruz to speak. Let's just not give a shit about that.
In this moment, Cruz is Cersei Lannister taking out the High Septon. He is William Munny gunning down Little Bill. He is Walter White rescuing Jesse. An awful person can rise to the moment to do something good, to do away with those worse than them. You don't have to like them. You don't have to get all warm and fuzzy.
You can sit back with a drink and say, "I'd rather have a narcissistic motherfucker working for me than against me, even if it's just this once."