Ted Cruz is a fantastic and fanatical liar, the kind who believes that whatever he is saying is not just true, but divinely inspired, and that if you point out he is lying, then you are an unpatriotic leftwinger who wants to destroy America, and probably shoot God in the face. It isn’t just the lying, though: it’s his ability to say complete nonsense with utter self-righteous conviction that makes him so loathsome. His statements on President Obama’s visit to Cuba, written for Politico, are a perfect example.
Before we get into the heart of his “argument”, it is important to look at how he opens. This is why Ted Cruz is the preeminent culture warrior of our time. Luxuriate in the connections here, in his ability to conjure up every fear that an aging white reactionary might have. No one is a better name-dropper than Cruz. Trump is an amatuer compared to him. Angela Davis!
Communist Havana has always been a magnet for the radical chic of the left, drawn like moths to the flame of this western outpost of totalitarian Communism. Back in the 1960s, the visitors included Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael, while Che Guevara himself received Jean-Paul Sartre.
Now this scene will include a president of the United States. On Sunday, President Barack Obama, a retinue of celebrities in tow, is expected to arrive in the Cuban capital to hang out with Raul Castro and his henchmen, all of which will be breathlessly documented by the media mavens along for the ride
Stokley! Che and Sartre! Ted Cruz imagines himself the perfect melding of Buckley and Spiro Agnew (see, it’s easy!), and he quivers with the privileged anger of every sort-of-smart Young Republican.
But really, he mostly talks about how political prisoners and dissidents are being ignored, and how that is a slap in the face to them.
Now. You could point out that his tears for political prisoners, while justified, are a bit hyopcritical given his support for dictators like Hosni Mubarak and al-Sisi, his friendship with the Saudis, and his unerring love of everything that Israel, a nation with a few human rights issues, does. You could point out that someone who seems to care so much about people suffering from unjust regimes might be a little more open to helping refugees fleeing Asad and ISIS. You could also point out that Obama is meeting with dissidents and is talking to Castro and all Cubans on human rights and that this is how things get done. But that’s all just standard political nonsense: whatever Obama wants is wrong, regardless of principles.
The more important part is the meat of his argument, which is what we’ve been hearing since the new Cuba policy started. Here, in Ted’s words.
“The effect will not be liberalization but rather the institutionalization of the Communist dictatorship…”
It almost isn’t needed to point out how absurd this is. The Communist dictatorship has been in power since 1959. It’s pretty damn well instiutionalized. Every voice yelling wildly about the Cuba policy ignores that everything we’ve done has been a misrable failure, not just in Cuba, but all over Latin America.
More to the point, there are two countries here, meeting after nearly 60 years. One is a world-stomping behemoth with interests everywhere. The other has a withering regime whose entire reason for being was opposition to the US and western interests. That’s what gave Castro his impetus. Being the “not United States” was its driving force. Remind me, exactly, who bent their principles, here?
This is a generational policy shift. This has been a conflict that, within the lifetime of millions of people, nearly brought the world to an end. Now that’s over. That’s amazing. It should be hailed from every corner. But we have such a dishonest politics, that an even-handed reckoning is impossible. Ted Cruz is literally unable to say anything positive about the capitulation of the Castro regime, simply because it came from Obama. Instead, he weeps crocodile tears for dissidents, ignoring that a US president traveling to Cuba and meeting with said dissidents is a huge deal, and brings up the specter of scary blacks and Frenchmen. That’s literally the only argument they have. In a reasonable society, they’d be laughed at.