“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” — William Shakespeare
I usually take the weekends off from these things. Then, when you consider that I had a story arch already picked out at the end of last week it makes sense that some of these stories fall through the cracks. Of course, it could also be my natural aversion to Ted Cruz. Some people just make my skin crawl. In the pantheon of right-wing celebrity, Cruz inspires less contempt than pity.
See, every time he appears in the news it seems to be for an alarming lack of courage. He made the news again before the weekend when he appeared to be groveling to Tucker Carlson. My decision to push this story back makes me late to the party. A lot has been said both here and abroad about this exchange. I don’t know how much I can add to it.
If the Texas GOP political delegation were a cast of characters they would almost certainly come from the Wizard of Oz. Louie Gohmert would almost certainly be the scarecrow in search of a brain. Dan Patrick would play the role of the Tin Man searching for a heart. That would place Ted Cruz as the lion searching for courage.
Whether he’s bailing the state when the freeze comes, buckling under to Donald Trump even after Trump insulted his wife and father, or assuming the position with Tucker Carlson, Cruz has long established that he is far from being the king of the jungle.
One could analyze his statements about the insurrectionists and then his overwhelming desire to somehow take it back. Psychologists could analyze the whys and what fors until the cows come home. I think what we know and what we suspect are not all that far away from each other. Cruz was a part of a plan to delay the certification of the election. I’m sure they trusted him with the parliamentarian side of the plot. No one ever accused Cruz of being dumb.
The less you know in a conspiracy the better. I’m willing to guess he didn’t know about the violence before January 6th. Goodness knows what he would have done with that information had he known. Maybe he would have assumed the position. Maybe he would have blown the whistle. My guess is that the human part of him was horrified at what transpired.
That’s the part that came out and called the participants terrorists. It is one thing to steal an election through parlor tricks and slight of hand. It’s another to steal it on the tip of a sword. As per usual, his first words spoke the truth before he forgot who was in charge.
This brings us to the real scary part of this dilemma. The story is not that Cruz was groveling, but who he was groveling to. We would expect him to grovel to Trump. Having him grovel to a prime time talking head is a cross between bizarre and unsettling. How did Carlson get this much power and who exactly is Carlson accountable to?
A number of folks have thought Carlson could make a run for president. I suppose it makes sense. He has money. He has name recognition. He has a brain. He can match being an outsider with his knowledge of the key players on the inside. However, this would involve him getting in the game. He can snipe from the outside and wield much more power. Power and a lack of responsibility is a dangerous combination. No one on the left has this kind of power. It could be about Carlson, but it really isn’t. Democratic politicians don’t grovel to the talking heads. As long as the wizard denies Cruz and others their courage people like Carlson will be in total control.