We all know that some politicians tend to fib. Well, okay, maybe all politicians. We tolerate this, grudgingly, to a certain degree. But Ted Cruz has taken deception to such a grandiose level that it has flown off the charts.
Ted Cruz's true colors were on full display during the fiasco of the Republican government shutdown of 2013. The entire strategy behind this shutdown was based upon deceiving the American people. The grand Republican strategy was to shut down the government, inflict all sorts of pain and suffering across the land and then falsely blame it all on President Obama.
The evil genius behind this grand deception was none other than Ted Cruz. He waged a campaign to convince the Republicans to shut down the government. He rallied the flock by telling them that the Republicans could win this fight, but in order to win, Republicans must stay strong, stay united together, maintain their opposition against President Obama, not give in and shut down the government by refusing to renew the federal budget. Then, the shutdown would lead to so much aggravation that people would take out their frustrations against President Obama, and the Republicans would thereby reap a sweet political victory.
This is how Mr. Cruz was spending his time and energy as a representative of the people. Not exactly very productive.
Putting all else aside for a moment, this behavior in itself is despicable. It reflects a stunning disregard for the plight of ordinary people all across this nation. It demonstrates very clearly that Mr. Cruz was perfectly willing to cause multitudes of innocent people to suffer as a result of the government shutdown solely to score political gains for himself. He didn't even bat an eye. This is appalling.
But returning to the theme here, the level of deception involved in this grand strategy was extraordinary. And Ted Cruz was the mastermind behind it.
Sure enough, Mr. Cruz was able to convince enough of the Republican flock to go along with his scheme, and these Republicans proceeded to actually shut down the government. Pretty amazing.
During the shutdown, Mr. Cruz engaged in elaborate trickery to carry out his strategy. He concocted a trap to try to paint President Obama into a corner by authorizing funding for only individual and very popular line-items, like the national parks. The snare was that when President Obama would refuse to play this silly game of funding only individual items instead of the full government budget, Mr. Cruz could then publicly lambast Mr. Obama as being against the national parks. And this is exactly the game he played.
In one example, Mr. Cruz advocated for a line-item funding for veterans, and since Mr. Obama had declined to fund any individual line-items as a general matter, Mr. Cruz then publicly accused Mr. Obama of being against veterans. This, of course, was utterly absurd, but Mr. Cruz grandstanded it shamelessly.
Mr. Cruz went outside to the National Mall where a group of veterans had gathered because, due to the government shutdown, these veterans were unable to gain access to the war memorials. Speaking to the veterans with heated passion, Mr. Cruz blasted Mr. Obama for denying these veterans access to the memorials. Of course, this alone was a stunning act of deceitfulness because, in fact, it was Mr. Cruz who had caused the government shutdown.
A number of videos of the event are available on YouTube, although, curiously, it seems that videos of Mr. Cruz's entire speech have been taken down. (It also seems that videos have been taken down of Mr. Cruz presenting his grand shutdown strategy to Republican meetings.) But a video in which he essentially summarized his speech to Greta Van Susteren of Fox News is still available. It is amazing to watch Mr. Cruz addressing this group of veterans and, with such great fervor, telling them flat-out lies.
Mr. Cruz then stooped even lower. He said that Mr. Obama should be despised because veterans are too important to be used as a political football.
It was Mr. Cruz who was using the veterans as the political football! Indeed, it was Mr. Cruz who specifically selected the veterans to use as the centerpiece of this little political stunt. Mr. Obama had nothing to do with it.
And then Mr. Cruz descended lower still. He expressed outrage against Mr. Obama for playing political games.
It was Mr. Cruz, not Mr. Obama, who was out on the National Mall playing games by grandstanding with the veterans!
Stunning! This guy knows no bounds. The level of deception he is capable of is truly shocking.
As the government shutdown wore on, Mr. Cruz insisted over and over again to the American people that he was opposed to the government shutdown. What?! But it was Mr. Cruz who masterminded it! Simply incredible.
After a while, public discontent with the shutdown began to mount against the Republicans. Ordinary citizens were not falling for Mr. Cruz's grand deception, and instead they could see through to the truth that the Republicans were in fact behind the shutdown. The Republican leadership stepped in, put an end to Mr. Cruz's cabal, surrendered completely and passed a budget to reopen the government.
Mr. Cruz's little strategy is now widely regarded as a huge blunder, including by Republicans themselves. One Republican even remarked that Mr. Cruz "led the Republican Party over the cliff."
So what did this debacle mean for the political future of Mr. Cruz? Well, now he is running for president. Yes, that's right. Hard to believe.
But it gets better. Ted Cruz is basing his presidential campaign on, get ready for this... truth.
Yes, that's right. His central campaign theme is truth. He says that he is the candidate who stands for truth. His campaign book is even entitled, "A Time for Truth."
Talk about a grand deception!
And on the campaign trail, Ted Cruz rails with outrage against Washington, D.C. politicians who he says are deceitful. But he is the worst offender of them all. He is exactly the type of politician whom he proclaims to be against.
Ted Cruz displays a level of hypocrisy that is absolutely stunning. This guy knows no shame and will clearly do and say anything in order to seize power for himself. He does not belong in any public office, much less the oval office.
Well, in fact, maybe it is "a time for truth." Maybe it is a time for voters to reject candidates who denigrate the truth.