Today, The Krait (Gail Collins of the NY Fishwrap's Op-Ed page; Collins' distaff colleague on the Op-Ed page — Maureen Dowd — was nicknamed "The Cobra" by The Dubster aka POTUS 43.) tries out her Texas chops on Senator C.(rackpot) Cruz, the junior U.S. Senator from the Lone Star State. Along the way, The Krait bites a random sample of today's Texas crazies and she's not exaggerating about their mental capacities. In one fell swoop, you can view a prime Pseudo-Conservative Menagerie that is the biggest collection of wingnuts in the land. If this is a (fair & balanced) visit to the Texas funny farm, so be it.
[x NY Fishwrap]
A Ted Cruz On Every Corner
By Gail Collins
Tag Cloud of the following piece of writing
Have you noticed how many lawmakers from Texas were doing crazy things during the government shutdown debacle?
We need to discuss this as a matter of simple justice. These days, when you say “Texas” in the context of heavy-breathing Republican extremism, everybody immediately thinks of Senator Ted Cruz [R-Houston]. Which is really unfair when there are so many other members of the state delegation trying to do their part.
I am thinking, for instance, of Representative Randy Neugebauer [R-Lubbock], who harangued an innocent park ranger about a shutdown-shuttered war memorial, insisting that the ranger and her colleagues should be “ashamed of themselves.”
Or Representative Louie Gohmert [R-Tyler], who created a mild diversion when he charged that John McCain, an opponent of the shutdown, “supported Al Qaeda” in Syria. (McCain said that he did not take offense because “if someone has no intelligence, I don’t view it as being a malicious statement.”)
Or Representative Steve Stockman [R-Pasadena], who accused the president and House Democrats of “curb-stomping veterans.”
Or Representative John Culberson [R-Houston], who cried “Let’s roll!” in an apparent belief that shutting down the government was equivalent to resisting 9/11 terrorists.
Or Representative Pete Sessions [R-Dallas], who summed things up rather neatly with: “We’re not French. We don’t surrender.”
See? Share the credit.
The nation keeps searching for signs of a resurgent political center, but there aren’t many hopeful peeps coming out of Texas. The pragmatic Texas Republican establishment is pretty much on its back, hyperventilating.
The old center-right standard-bearer, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst [R-Houston], is desperately trying to wipe out his reputation as a mainstream politician while he runs for re-election.
“I don’t know about you, but Barack Obama ought to be impeached,” he told a Tea Party gathering recently, with more fervor for the cause than for grammatical construction.
Texas Democrats, who haven’t won a statewide race in a generation, spent the last decade whimpering and waiting around for all the Hispanic children to grow up and start voting. However, this year, they have an exciting candidate for governor: Wendy Davis [D-Ft. Worth], the state senator who starred in that famous 11-hour filibuster against anti-abortion legislation this past summer.
Some people think Davis, who is canny, energetic and attractive, might actually have a chance to win. But anybody who could just raise money and get 45 percent of the vote would be the party’s biggest star since Ann Richards.
Davis’s opponent will probably be the state’s attorney general, Greg Abbott [R-Austin], who has already amassed enough cash to buy Nebraska. Abbott once provided supporters with his vision of the attorney general’s duties: “I go into the office, I sue the federal government, and then I go home.”
So there’s that.
Even the bottom of the ticket is going to have little sparks of strange. Next year, the race for Texas land commissioner will feature a new-generation Bush, Jeb’s son George P [R-Ft. Worth]. The singer Kinky Friedman [D-Austin] says he’s running for the Democratic nomination for agriculture commissioner on a legalize-marijuana platform. The rest of us will just sit here and mull the fact that Texans feel the need to make these jobs elective.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Governor Rick Perry [R-Austin] appears to be planning to run for president again. And since Ted Cruz is pretty clearly planning a run, too, there could be two Texans in the Republican primary debates. Maybe an all-Texas ticket!
While Cruz has been trying to win the hearts of American voters by spreading fear, terror and economic chaos, Perry has been wandering around the country, criticizing other states for their high taxes and bragging about job growth in Texas.
Economic development has, indeed, been impressive, thanks mainly to the state’s plentiful land and cheap housing. On the downside, a large part of Texas seems to be running out of water. Once the presidential debates kick off, perhaps Perry’s opponents could lift their water glasses and make sloshing sounds every time he talks about growth. Ross Ramsey, a columnist for The Texas Tribune, suggested the governor’s critics might carry bags of gravel to remind the world that Texas’ undermaintained roads have deteriorated to such an extent that the highway department has let some of them revert from pavement to pebbles.
This week, Perry’s in Israel, burnishing his foreign affairs credentials and promoting the Texas economy. Do not expect a critique of the Israeli tax code.
In Texas, there’s so much craziness, it’s hard for a normal crazy to get attention. Imagine an election year with both Perry and Cruz on television every night. To get any airtime, the Texas guys in the House of Representatives would have to call for impeachment while bungee jumping. While waving “Secede!” signs. While carrying unconcealed weapons.
Remember the Alamo. Ω
[Gail Collins joined the New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board and later as an op-ed columnist. In 2001 she became the first woman ever appointed editor of the Times editorial page. At the beginning of 2007, she took a leave in order to complete America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines. Collins returned to the Times as a columnist in July 2007. Collins has a BA (journalism) from Marquette University and an MA (government) from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Gail Collins’s newest book is As Texas Goes...: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda (2012).]
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