Meet Senator Ted Cruz!

image of Republican Senator Ted Cruz making a silly face
"LADIES?" ^ This guy totes wants to be your president. FYI.

In case you aren't familiar with Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, there's a delightful profile of him in today's Politico, as Cruz starts sending up 99 luft trial balloons about a potential presidential campaign:
Cruz is a deeply religious Baptist who opposes abortion rights and same-sex marriage. He is more supportive of the right to bear arms than Rambo on stilts and steroids. He also believes the constitution permits the radical diminution of the federal government, and he thus lives at the crossroads of the U.S. conservative ideological synthesis. Cruz further insists that libertarianism will be good for the 47 percent and stands ready to champion the libertarian populism that some Republican pundits envision. Unlike, for example, his Senate friend and rival, Rand Paul — who is likely to face fierce opposition from neoconservatives, veterans, party pundits, and media elites regarding his Kucinich-esque national security policies — Cruz also enthusiastically carries forward the party's typical militarist affect, and underscores it with a demagogically retro Cold War rhetoric reminiscent of the famous senator he uncannily resembles: Joseph McCarthy. Cruz has several times referred to the many "communists" on the faculty of Harvard Law School and, not very subtly, connected that to Obama's own legal training.

Unlike the other tough Texan, Rick Perry, and the other Sun Belt Cuban-American, Marco Rubio, Cruz is carefully obstructionist about comprehensive immigration reform, supporting a "path to legalization," as opposed to citizenship — an inadequate, sure-to-be-rejected "skim milk" analogue to what civil unions are compared to same-sex marriage. For tea party types, immigration ties together fear of the ethnic other and anxiety about crime and economic parasitism. Cruz intuitively understands this. By contrast, Perry's presidential chances faltered when, during the 2012 debates, he supported a DREAM Act lite for children of illegal immigrants in Texas. Rubio apparently bought the argument of party elites that comprehensive immigration reform was an essential political concession to demographic destiny. But now, looking for the lost white vote is the grand goal for Republican thinkers that Latino outreach was six months ago, and Rubio can't feel so good about his position.

So it's best to think of Cruz as the perfect expression of what Perry and Rubio were mere beta versions: the exemplification, brilliantly articulated, of the fringe pathologies trapped in the body of a major party that is today's GOP. Cruz is the real deal. He is deeply grounded in his worldview, and skilled in his presentation of it.
He sounds neat!

Can I just tell you how excited I am about the next presidential election? I AM SO EXCITED. (I am not excited.)

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