Ted Cruz using gay-bashing to win White House in 2016

The Republican party reminds me a lot of the Vatican.

Every time it claims to be trying to change, trying to let go of its inner-anger, the far right steps in, tut-tuts its finger, and things go back to the hateful, intolerant way they’ve always been.

Case in point: Ted “Government Shutdown” Cruz, who has majorly embraced gay-bashing as his ticket to the White House in 2016.

Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, is in the middle of the GOP primary pack for 2016. If you look at the Huffington Post’s summary of the polling among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, you’ll see Cruz weighing in with 8.5% support, versus pack leader Jeb Bush with 13.2%

by default 2014-10-17 at 11.33.08 AM

Still, Cruz worries me. The man singlehandedly led the Republican shutdown of the government a while back, and when it comes to the Republican primaries, Jeb Bush may have the name, but he might not have the crazy, to become the Republican nominee in a primary process controlled by the craziest of the GOP crazy.

Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz (bottom right) lead "veterans" in protesting the Republicans own shutdown of the government.

Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz (bottom right) lead “veterans” in protesting the Republicans own shutdown of the government.

Thus the reason Ted Cruz is embracing the nuttiest, most extreme policies he can, including shutting down the government, and now gay-bashing.

Luke Brinker over at Salon has a good list of Cruz’s anti-gay hysteria of late, you can head over there to check it out. But what worries me is that while gays have finally won the culture wars in America, the Republican party still hasn’t given up trying to cause as much damage to gay families as possible. And Ted Cruz is exhibit A.

And while it’s all well and good to say (correctly) that angry, intolerant Republicans like Ted Cruz are only going to alienate even more youth, women, and independent voters (and the GOP also has a pretty serious problem with all of its victims finally coming home to roost), at some point crazy’s gonna win.

Look at the Tea Party problem the Republicans have been having. On the left, we all thought it was hysterical that the GOP was being taken over by a bunch of radical racists. That was until they actually started winning elections, and ultimately ended up being instrumental in shutting down the government.

And the thing is, the Republicans might win congressional seats by pandering to anger and intolerance, but the demographics suggest that it’s a lousy way to win the White House. (So, granted, from the Democratic perspective, there is a benefit, in terms of holding the presidency, to having the haters running the GOP).

Still, I’ve been waiting a few decades now for Republicans to stand up the nutjobs in their own party. And sadly, I’m still waiting.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • kevinbenett

    Let’s hope Cruz wins the nom, good luck teddy, you have lost already;

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  • newshound

    Barney Frank said “I haven’t lived a good enough life to see Newt Gingrich become the presidential nominee of the Republican Party.” I feel the same about Cruz. He appeals only to the sizable crazy base of his own party. A Cruz candidacy would be a Christmas present for the Democrats.

  • AcquiredExpertise

    I don’t know about anyone else here, but personally, I’d be thrilled beyond reason if Ted Cruz were to win the 2016 GOP nomination for the presidency. Or the vice presidency, for that matter.

    I can’t think of anyone more capable of unifying opposition to the right-wing agenda than he.

    Excepting Ann Coulter, of course, but she’s not a candidate.

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  • evodevo

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the right wing to reform – “Blinded by the Right” was written a decade ago, and, if anything, RWNJs are even worse today. Not. Gonna. Happen.

  • 1nancy2

    a Ha ha. W. and his boss, Cheney were hideous and ruined, destroyed the world. I’m still waiting for a trial at the Hague for his entire Administration. Dem’s let them off the hook, big time. Repubs. will start impeachment the second they own the Congress. Count on it. Creeps.

  • RMNCB

    As a frequent visitor to Breitbart (I can’t help it; they fascinate me), I can tell you Cruz has the most fans in that part of the base, followed by Ben Carson. Rand Paul doesn’t hate immigrants or peace enough, so his support has caved.

  • angryspittle

    Aren’t you thinking of W?

  • angryspittle

    You give him too much credit. I wouldn’t trust him to manage a shoe store for paraplegics.

  • “In an election, Ted Cruz could mop the floor with any Democrat.”

    Yeah, but what happens after the Republican primaries?

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  • Demosthenes

    While it is impossible to accurately rate a president prior to the end of his service, I do know you will be disappointed with the contrary view of future historians. I don’t like all that he did by any stretch of the imagination (particularly on privacy issues), but he is not one of our worst presidents.

    I know a little about history (as do you) and you are guilty here of substituting your political disagreement with him and his policies for how is presidency will be judged after the fact.

    To take two issues: (1) passing the ACA and (2) ending the worst recession since the Great Depression, even if one hates universal health care or decries the recovery as too slow and uneven, future historians will almost assuredly call these major accomplishments.

  • That’s being cruel to lice. I’d rather have a case of crabs the size of turtles than see a President Cruz.

  • nicho

    The right-wing media can create any reality it wants in about three weeks. Our projecting out two years is just a waste of time.

  • nicho

    And the Dem’s list isn’t any better.

    One name does not constitute a “list.”

  • Jim Olson

    Or, for the rest of us.

  • Yeah, after all, he didn’t pass any health care reform. Didn’t pass a massive stimulus bill. Didn’t sign Dodd-Frank attempt at Wall Street reform. Didn’t order the killing of Osama bin Laden. Wasn’t around when DADT was repealed. Didn’t get the banks out of skimming a profit off student loans. Didn’t pass fuel efficiency standards that will double by 2025. Didn’t pass billions of dollars in increased veterans funding. Didn’t pass credit card reform. Didn’t get two nominees very close to his own ideology appointed to the Supreme Court. Didn’t sign a new nuclear treaty. Didn’t improve school nutrition. Etc, etc, etc.

    I don’t agree with most of Obama’s rather half-assed right-wing policies, but claiming he has failed at everything is completely ridiculous, and is more projection than reality.

  • You’re funny. Cruz is no more a viable national candidate than Rand and Ron Paul, or Pat Buchanan. I wouldn’t trust him to manage a McDonald’s much less the country. According to the latest polling a majority of Republicans agree, as well as a majority of the country. He’s made few friends in Congress, as anyone even barely paying attention can tell he’s many fries short of a Happy Meal, and proud of it.

  • Th_Ph

    Obama failed at everything he tried. He has cemented his place at the absolute bottom.

  • Demosthenes

    We disagree. Sen. Cruz would get absolutely crushed as a candidate. He is reviled by non Conservatives and would fare poorly campaigning outside of safely GOP areas. As far as rating Pres. Obama as the most incompetent president ever, history will likely paint him positively — at least compared to truly incompetent presidents like Buchanan, Carter, Bush II, Fillmore, and Harding, to name a few.

  • UncleBucky

    I think that McCain was on the sane side of sane THEN, but now, Grampa is seriously beyond help…

  • UncleBucky

    Cruz? A louse. IMHO.

  • Th_Ph

    It is only untrue in the fantasy world where Obama is a capable president.

  • FLL

    In an election, Ted Cruz could mop the floor with any Democrat.

    I’m not sure whose fantasy world that scenario is from. Anne Coulter’s?

  • FLL

    As the picture above your post shows, Ted Cruz came in like a wrecking ball. Unfortunately for him, it’s the Republican Party that he’s helping to wreck. Steve Kardynal, who created the viral “Chatroulette” version of the song “Wrecking Ball,” even bears a resemblance to Ted Cruz, that is, if you shaved off his beard and moustache:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6DmHGYy_xk

  • Th_Ph

    McCain sane? Truly you jest.

    In an election, Ted Cruz could mop the floor with any Democrat. But politics is about more than elections. Obama campaigned well but has since secured his place in history as the most incompetent man ever to occupy the White House. (And, in a decent world, anyone who voted for Obama would recuse themselves from the next two elections.)

    Administrative competence matters. Cruz has no experience on that score.

  • Demosthenes

    Mr. Aravosis: I am of two minds about Sen. Cruz. On the one hand, having him as a nominee would almost guarantee a Democratic landslide in 2016. On the other hand, and I suspect this may implicitly be you point, there is always a small chance that some sort of national emergency or catastrophe that is blamed on the Democrats could result in Mr. Cruz’s election.

    Usually GOP primary voters flirt with people like Mr. Cruz, but usually they nominate someone that, while one may disagree with his positions, is at least sane. (I refer to Messers McCain & Romney).

  • caphillprof

    We can wring our hands and tut tut all we like about the lower classes being susceptible to scapegoating, but the fact still remains that the scapegoating is enabled by a bad economy, in this case not just the failure of capitalism in 2008 but 30 or more years of stagnation of Middle Class wages. Every step of the way this economic debacle has been aided and abetted by Democrats, folk who know better but eager to sell out their birthright for a pittance–they consistently chose their personal welfare over the welfare of the country. [The Clintons come immediately to mind. The destruction of Glass-Steagall; NAFTA]. And it didn’t help when Obama chose to bail out Wall Street and let main street flounder and masses of people lose their homes. This is a perfect breeding ground for scapegoating.

    Also it didn’t help that desegregation was borne mostly by the poor and especially by the near poor. It was they who bore the brunt of affirmative action. There is resentment there that is not fully unjustified. Indeed, an argument can be made that the gay rights struggle has been mostly about racial animosity. All this special rights talk came not from the demands of gay folk who were merely seeking equal rights but from the lived experience of affirmative action. The love that dare not speak its name was actually a stand in for the unspeakable N word.

  • mark_in_toronto

    What a list! And Jeb on top? I give up. And the Dem’s list isn’t any better.
    I guess thinking outside the box is out of the question when the only motivators seem to be greed, fear and separation. Good luck with that.

  • JeffAtMinetfiber

    As long as Republicans are Republicans first and Americans second, there’s no hope for them.

  • arcadesproject

    How about, Ted Cruz relegates self to fringe of the fringe by jabbering about gay marriage when practically everybody else thinks gay marriage is just fine.

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  • BestandBrightest

    Another thing, Ted Cruz still has a lot of upside in the primaries. If Huckabee doesn’t run, most of those voters will flow to Cruz, making him the clear frontrunner..

  • BestandBrightest

    Each side is full of hate for the other side. So when a Republican or Democrat says the other side is “full of hate”, they are in fact always correct. This type of nonsense is what drives cynicism in politics

  • The other strategy the Republicans have gone to, in an effort to gin up their intolerant, xenophobic base, is to tell the intolerant — the racists, the misogynists, and the homophobes — that they are the actual victims whenever there’s social progress for oppressed minorities.

    In many ways, the memes now being repeated in right-wing media and by their Tea Party / far-right radical Republican leaders are very much like those in the 1950s, when the racists claimed they were the victims, that they were were losing their rights to discriminate. Back then, they called it losing their ‘culture’ or their ‘heritage’ or the right to express their ‘deeply-held sincere religious beliefs.’ (Sound familiar?) And of course the perverse notion that opposing intolerance which is based on bigotry and prejudice is itself intolerant.

    Hence the rise of dangerous openly pro-racist demagogues in the past like George Wallace, or openly anti-gay / anti-minority demagogues like Ted Cruz (and about a dozen other names I could easily list, as they vie for the mantle of GOP leadership). But we should also remember that gays are just one of their list of groups eligible for regular doses of Two Minutes Hate. They’re also going after:
    – African Americans (who they accuse of being racist and violent)
    – Muslims (who they accuse of being universally violent or complicit in violence)
    – Latinos and Hispanics (who they accuse of invading America, to the point now of saying they’re bringing Ebola across the border)
    – Women, specifically feminists (who they say are emasculating men, and apparently committing the unpardonable crime of withholding attention, sex, and subservience)
    – And of course all Democrats, progressives and liberals (who they regularly accuse of wanting to destroy America, completely ignoring the irony of the far-right’s increasingly frequent calls for secession and violent rebellion).

    Cruz worries me for the same reasons, but also because we’ve seen the history, what happens when a major political power begins casting about for scapegoats, to rouse the rabble and distract them from who is really victimizing them. At the risk of going Godwin, once it was the Jews who were accused of being the source of everybody’s suffering, and it actually wasn’t just the one European nation and its people who bought into it. (It also wasn’t just the Jews, but also the gays and ethnic minorities.) Step one is always to paint the minorities as the real villains.

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