When Brianna Keilar gave one of the first – and one of the best — characterizations of Senator Ted Cruz’s recent interview with Fox commentator Tucker Carlson, she vividly called it Ted Cruz’s and Tucker Carlson’s night swim in “Tucker’s cesspool of BS” and said Carlson “picked his teeth with Ted Cruz’s spine.”
Other observers have also done a respectable job of commenting on Cruz’s extraordinary verbal gymnastics.
Take Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri’s “lighter take on the story.”
In “ The ongoing mortification of Ted Cruz,” Petri compares Cruz’s groveling before his demi-god, Tucker Carlson, to a deflated windsock crumpled on the pavement; to a demoralized puddle of soft cheese left near a hot stove; to a withering, crumpling dying houseplant that has lost all its dignity.
Petri gets a little more graphic when she describes Cruz’s and other Republicans’ “lobotomies” and “metamorphoses” when it comes to remembering or facing the truth about January 6: “New blandly smiling faces, new gelatinous substance barely holding their bodies upright, new minds wiped perfectly clean…the replacement of the vestigial spinal column, the painful extraction of the memories…”
While a few Republicans with a shard of spine left have once or twice called the January 6 insurrectionists “terrorists” and their despicable actions “terrorist attacks,” Mr. Cruz has been “sloppy” with his words at least 17 times, starting with his January 7, 2021, official statement in which he said:
The attack at the Capitol was a despicable act of terrorism and a shocking assault on our democratic system. The Department of Justice should vigorously prosecute everyone who was involved in these brazen acts of violence.
CNN documents 16 additional instances where Cruz “described the Capitol riot as a terrorist attack or referred broadly to rioters as terrorists.”
And then we have the most recent moment of clarity. On Wednesday, a day before the first anniversary of the terrorist attack, Sen. Ted Cruz, at a Senate committee meeting, told the truth about what happened at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, calling it “a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol, where we saw the men and women of law enforcement demonstrate incredible courage.”
Once brought before Tucker Carlson, however, Cruz wasted no time in “setting the record straight.”
While trying to stay afloat in “Tucker’s cesspool” — in-between gasps for fresh air — Cruz characterized the 17+ times he had told the truth as “sloppy phrasing,” “frankly dumb,” “a mistake.” He was “misunderstood,” Cruz whimpered.
As Petri so well puts it, “[Cruz] knows which way the wind is blowing, and he will do his best to become a windbag that blows in that direction, whatever humiliating deflation is required first.”
Mary Trump, the former president’s niece struck whatever Republican spine is left right on the head when she told Joy Reid that Trump “has been able to find people even weaker than he is whom he is able to bend to his will” – with a little help from friends like Carlson.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.