Enemy of the Week

Cruzing Speed

It takes more than pairs to compete with the conservatives' ace. 

By 9.27.13

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Is unflappability a sign of insanity? That’s what we’re inferring from the many headlines and other pointed reactions we’ve picked up on in the wake of Sen. Ted Cruz’s 21-hour plus schmoozathon. Here’s an engaging sampling:

“Ted Cruz’s insane faux-filibuster,” “This is insanity,” “decrying the insanity,” “GOP’s Shutdown Insanity,” “Full-blown insanity,” “They are insane,” “This insane nonstrategy,” “They have sold their souls to the TP in their insanity to destroy the president,” “their insane priorities,” “insane plan,” “bat-bleep insane,” “Ted Cruz is a lunatic” -- oops, how’d that last one sneak in? Connecting Cruz to lunacy is so February 2013, according to our research.

We thought connecting him to Joe McCarthy was also passé. But what do we know? Comparisons to the Tailgunner remain all the rage, perhaps because sophisticates continue to take direction from the New York Times, where on Wednesday the lovely literata Anne Bernays reminded younger readers that Ted and Joe have much in common: “same appearance (brooding, ominous), same curl of the lip” -- at which point we stopped reading. Racist appeals are so unbecoming of writers based in Cambridge, Mass. We’ve asked its police department to pay her a visit.

Many a class act descended on New York City this week. Our favorite moment was when Al Gore and Bill Clinton reunited on Charlie Rose to discuss global warming, an absolute impossibility if dispassion and objectivity were to stand a chance -- for have two legendary Democrats ever generated greater heat? Our current president hoped to get in on the act, but only came across as needy when he tête-à-têted with Mr. Clinton at the latter’s latest meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Club for Billionaire Saps. The idea was that Papa Clinton would save the prodigal Barack from the consequences of Obamacare. It didn’t happen. The kid president was better off trying to win favor with the Iranians, with maybe a handshake squeezed in. All in the space of a single day in the little Big Apple. Such an exciting place. Imagine what awaits it in the personage of Comandante de Blasio. It will be Havana 1959 all over again. Will Rikers be rechristened Guantanamo?

Art continues to impact our lives. Last Saturday, Washington’s National Public Radio affiliate broadcast a moving production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. By Monday, it was confirmed that Lois Lerner, the IRS madam, had also plunged a knife through her achy heart. She is departing from public service, evidently accepting full responsibility for the illegitimacy of her ways. Never again will we hear her plead the Fifth -- never an easy note to reach -- so mendaciously, sonorously, epically. In a belated effort to save La Lerner’s honor, Rep. Sander Levin, the Captain Pinkerton of this operation, denied she or anyone else at the IRS maintained an “enemies list.” So that must leave only us engaged in such a racket. Would that life were that simple.

But that’s how some people like it. If we might point to a final pairing worthy of note, starring two modest, older gentlemen who’ve managed to excite the excitables, let us duly recognize the pope named Francis and the president called Rouhani, a duo who for the purposes of our progressives were separated at birth. Reasonable, open to sex (a code word for love not war), breaths of fresh air, harbingers of hope. Or as the New York Times’ happy muddler Gail Collins also put it yesterday, the opposite of anything loony, crazed, and politically insane. In a word, they’re not Ted Cruz.

We like our heroes old as well, which alas forces us yet again to fall back on an old reliable nonpareil if for once unpaired with Lindsey Graham. Dick Durbin gave our man a run for his money, by thinking he, Durbin, could challenge Cruz in debate. Now that’s insanity, if you must know, if also characteristic of a Dem to dare pounce only if his opponent has been seriously deprived of sleep while he, the bully, has slept like a baby and is freshly diapered. Of course Cruz could have been in a coma and he still would have wiped the Senate floor with the pitiful likes of Durbin. Cruel and unusual punishment we don’t inflict, so let us leave Dick Durbin to lick his gaping wounds alone. Can’t imagine they taste very good.

To repeat, we have someone else in mind, someone who decided to pummel Cruz once Cruz was safely gone. Actually, it happened after our bad guy paired up after all, in this case with the old prairie dog, Harry Reid, personifier of the term “big waste of time.” Mean as our guy was about Cruz in doing Harry’s bidding, we also know Cruz could be dead asleep alongside Rip Van Winkle and he’d still infuriate the old goat. Alas, for all of John McCain’s pretensions, he never knows when to stop or what it means to be senatorial. Just the other day he had cut loose with this from the safety of his tweetery: 

All because the Los Angeles Dodgers had Tailhooked in the Arizona Diamondbacks' ballpark after clinching the National League West title. We love to watch the senator lose his screws so publicly. Another EOW prize should keep John in playing shape for seasons to come. 

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