That newly minted Texas Senator Ted Cruz is something of a lunatic is not exactly news. This is, after all, a man who seriously believes that George Soros and the UN are plotting to take our golf courses away. But looking at his antics since he took office, it's pretty clear the man is also a demogogue of the highest order, willing to spew out any garbage as long as it gets the Tea Party and the other bottom feeders of the right riled up. Witness, after all, his calling John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, two highly decorated Vietnam combat verterans, "less than ardent fans of the U.S. millitary." This despite the fact....well, I'll let Steve Benen put it best:
Perhaps Ted Cruz would benefit from a reminder about the men he's attacking. John Kerry is a decorated war hero who was awarded combat medals including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Chuck Hagel is a decorated war hero who was awarded combat medals including the Vietnames Cross of Gallantry, two Purple Hearts, Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.Ouch. And here's Bill Maher with his own take:
Cruz, meanwhile, who apparently considers himself an "ardent fan of the U.S. millitary," has never worn a uniform, except maybe on Halloween.
People say America is a violent country, but Ted Cruz accused wounded Vietnam vets John Kerry and Chuck Hagel of having insufficient patriotic pep, as opposed to Ted Cruz, and so far no one has punched him in the face.And:
I think that says something pretty nice about Vietnam vets.
If I were Ted Cruz, and I was waiting for the elevator, and the doors opened, and Hagel or Kerry was the only other passenger, I'd probably take the stairs.
Sound advice. But Cruz clearly doesn't care about pissing Hagel off, as evidenced by his despicable out of context attacks on Hagel today. And even though he was clearly full of B.S., he doesn't care, because, as Joan Walsh points out, he's pleased the folks he really cares about.
The right, of course, ate it all up. "Ted Cruz Stuns Hagel with Al Jazeera 'Bully' Bite," Fox Nation screamed. "Ted Cruz shows that Hagel slandered both Israel and the U.S.," shrieked Powerline. "HAGEL IS AS BIG AN IMBECILE AS OBAMA," shrieked one Twitter look with an Andrew Brietbart avatar.For a demogogue like Cruz, that's mission accomplished. And Cruz has proven himself such a shameless demogogue in so short a time that Josh Marshall can't help but wonder:
It's surprising to me that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wasn't born in the same year Sen. Joe McCarthy died. Can reincarnation still work that way?You know, they do kind of look alike...
But even if Cruz isn't the reincarnation of the most unlovable drunk in Wisconsin (or maybe old Joe did a little Time Lord trick and got himself a new body, if we're going to speculate), one can be sure he's doing the old Commie-baiter proud. And he hasn't even been in the Senate a month yet. Who knows what he can come up with next?
Will someone pull a Joseph Welch and ask Cruz if he has no sense of decency? Only time will tell...