As the old saying goes, you are known by the friends you keep, or in the case of presidential politics, the people who are supporting your run for the oval office.
Today the Associated Press ran a list of the right wing yokels who think Ted Cruz would be a marvelous fit for the job. It is a frightening litany of crude and extremist cranks who anyone with a sense of morality would run away from as fast as possible. But then we're dealing with Brother Cruz, who is utterly devoid of morality, not to mention any sort of decency.
After all, he is the same guy who sent out a mass mailing to Iowa voters telling them if they didn't show up at last week's caucuses they'd be committing a, "voter violation," linked to some mythical point program. That was right before he instructed his workers to tell all the Ben Carson supporters the doctor would be dropping out of the race before New Hampshire, so a vote for him would be a total waste of time.
Now we come to New Hampshire. The Cruz campaign ran a print ad listing local legislators who fully support him. Included on the list was state representative J.R. Hoell. He told the Cruz people that while he liked their candidate's stance on gun control--or the lack thereof--that he, "...could not support him." In fact Mr. Hoell told the New York Times he would be voting for Rand Paul, because of foreign policy issues, even though the Kentucky senator has dropped out of the race. He also told the Times he had been assured an updated list of Cruz supporters, without his name on it, would be issued. Predictably, by late last night, no such update had been released by the Cruz campaign.
But, all political chicanery aside, let's get back to the rogue's gallery of supporters the evil little Canadian has embraced.
First is his national co-chairman, Iowa congressman, Steve King. In the past he has called illegal immigrants things like, drug mules, and stray livestock. Former NH GOP chair, Fergus Cullen was quoted as saying, "His rhetoric on immigration has been appalling."
Then there is the infamous rube, Phil Robertson. In a fit of unconditional love Cruz described the unabashed game poacher as, "What an extraordinary human being." He added that Robertson was a, "...a joyful, unapologetic voice of truth." Part of Robertson's truth is that African Americans were far happier when the segregationist Jim Crow laws existed than they are now. He is also known for his gay bashing and solid belief that men should marry underage girls in order to train them how to be good wives who can skillfully pluck the feathers from dead birds.
Tony Perkins is on the list. He is the head of the Family Research Center, an outfit so virulently opposed to gays that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled it as a hate group. Mr. Perkins is also the former employer of Josh Duggar. He is the Arkansas yahoo and reality TV personality who spent much of his teens molesting underage girls, including a couple of his sisters. That's not to mention running amok with any number of hookers while he was on the road for the organization.
The founder of The International House of Prayer, Mike Bickle is all in for Teddy C. Bickle believes the apocalypse is right around the corner not only because of gay marriage, but Oprah Winfrey. He claims her tolerance of gays and her popularity is a sure sign of the end of times. He also thinks Adolf Hitler is simply misunderstood and was nothing more than a righteous hunter of Jews.
That whole Jew hunter thing is a view shared by Reverend James Hagee, another Cruz supporter. On a different subject he once exhorted his congregation to get out there and drive their cars as much as possible because the trees of the world needed carbon monoxide in order to grow and flourish. He didn't miss a beat that day, even as his audience grew a tad uncomfortable, because most of them knew trees don't need, or want carbon monoxide, but instead, carbon dioxide.
Whether any of this makes a difference tomorrow in New Hampshire is up in the air. That's because, Cruz--while willing to accept the support of the Chock Full o Nuts wing--is battling an uphill battle against a man even more demented than guys like, King and Robertson. His name would be, Donald Trump. And right now he leads in all the polls.
Let's face it, New Hampshire republicans are sometimes capable of going completely off their nut. So much so, that in 1996 the notorious anti-Semite and Nazi apologist, Pat Buchanan won the primary with 27.26% of the vote. Indeed, there are moments when the Granite State isn't a place for moderation, or sanity.
In truth we saw this madness coming four years ago. The well financed, establishment candidate, Mitt Romney couldn't shake challenge after challenge from the far right wing of his party. It led to a protracted and expensive primary campaign, which cost Romney not only boat loads of cash, but any sort of momentum going into the national election.
Now, thanks to an anemic and sometimes corrupt slate of establishment hopefuls, the lunatics are running the asylum. The far right, pot bellied, white part of America--those creatures of guns and xenophobia--are, at the moment, determining the candidate who will represent what was once the party of Lincoln.
It's a reality that would make Ol' Abe shudder. As it should all of us.
sic vita est