In Which Two Presidential Candidates Absolutely Bathe In Glory

Here is a real thing that is happening right now: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are taking turns threatening each other on Twitter. Wives are their weapon of choice. American politics is a tire fire on a garbage barge that has been baking in the sun for several weeks.

This started earlier this week, when Cruz supporters – but, because the Supreme Court is staffed with mendacious schemers who insist that they themselves cannot imagine a scenario in which political coordination could possibly occur, people that are not technically Cruz’s – decided it would be an overwhelmingly good idea to drag Trump’s wife Melania into this Tuesday’s primaries, especially in prudish Utah. The thinking is that repressed Mormons would be so horrified at the idea of Trump’s wife having once been naked somewhere that they would flee his candidacy and sprint headlong into Cruz’s waiting arms. This then was the chosen attack:

3276238A00000578-3504746-image-a-48_1458668136575Anyway, in case you were worried that there had been some sort of coordination between Cruz and whomever it was that authorized this advertisement, rest assure that there was absolutely none, which we know because it is printed in tiny letters there at the bottom of the poster. It reads, “Paid for by Make America Awesome. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.” So banish that any thought of coordination from your mind forthwith.*

But to Trump – and, really, anybody capable of breathing – this was at best an attack upon him using his wife as a weapon, and because Donald Trump is absolutely incapable of anything less than going straight to eleven, he responded this evening with this:

Donald Trump

The mind boggles at many aspects of this, including Cruz (or, ahem, Cruz’s supporters who absolutely are not coordinating with Cruz because they said so on their poster) voluntarily sprinting into a trap that should have been familiar to him. After all, several months ago at a debate, Cruz tried to idiotically score points by insisting that Trump represented New York values, which was all the opening Trump needed to defend New York values as the ones that endured the horrors of 9/11. Here, we have Cruz (or, ahem, Cruz’s supporters) going after Trump’s wife, as if Trump would simply take the attack lying down, and as if Trump’s supporters would be more horrified by Trump’s response if he chose to give one. Because if Trump’s supporters have been anything, it is that they have been constantly undone by their fearless leader’s bombastic trolling.

Incidentally, one theory about Trump’s “beans” is that they have something to do with a manic-depressive episode that Cruz’s wife Heidi had in the mid-2000’s. Or, maybe it’s something else. Maybe Heidi kills hobos for sport. Who knows. But rather than do the obvious thing – decry the posters as out of bounds per the alleged rules of political warfare, rules which he himself insisted upon when his own family was allegedly criticized via a political cartoon – Cruz decided that another approach made more sense:

Ted Cruz

Recognize that there are so many things that Cruz could have done here. He could have written, “I was outraged about the poster, I denounce it, and I look forward to defeating you without us bringing our wives into it” for example. He could have written, “I have long argued that families should be out of bounds, except for Michelle Obama, because I hate her, so let’s keep it clean!” Instead, he decided simply to imply that there exists some sort of distance between himself and the poster without denouncing it, that similar attacks upon his own wife were simply beyond the pale, and then called Trump a coward while simultaneously refusing to criticize an attack on Trump’s wife because he was not (allegedly) directly responsible for it. Because that is going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back: calling the other man a coward for doing the exact same thing that he is doing. He might as well have said, “I am a great big hypocrite in every imaginable way.”

These are truly profiles in courage.

Earlier, I wrote that American politics was a tire fire on a garbage barge that has spent several weeks baking in the sun. This was a tragic mistake. I left out the part about the tires being filled with rotting meat, and that beneath the tires, there is a pile of wet gym socks, and that beneath those socks is a pair of even wetter gym socks.

*For the record, Make America Awesome was a general anti-Trump PAC before it got into the specific business of backing Ted Cruz, so perhaps there exists the scantest bit of plausible deniability between the PAC and Cruz’s campaign. Except that I don’t believe for a minute that these political organizations aren’t routinely talking to one another. So, maybe, but no.


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33 thoughts on “In Which Two Presidential Candidates Absolutely Bathe In Glory

  1. And I thought this was going to be about their respective reactions to Belgium…

    How often is it that prominent public figures in any realm, much less politics, delve into two different ridiculous cesspits on the same day?


  2. …but, because the Supreme Court is staffed with mendacious schemers who insist that they themselves cannot imagine a scenario in which political coordination could possibly occur, people that are not technically Cruz’s…

    Is that a direct quote from the Citizen’s United majority opinion or is it just the executive summary?

    Underlying this post is the idea that politics would be better if Citizen’s United hadn’t restricted the FEC’s ability to more tightly police the expenditures and communications. That’s a stretch. We know he Richard Nixon was, right? It’s more accurate to say that, with more regulation, politics might appear to be better. And I guess that has value. But does anyone think that Trump or Cruz in a pre-Citizens United world would have been any less of the scumbags that they are today.

    Personally, I like knowing who they really are. I don’t want the government protecting me from the reality of who our elected representatives really are.


    • I was thinking the same thing. Trump opponents may have badly misjudged the likely effect of such a picture on the average voter. Are we sure that Trump SUPPORTERS didn’t make the ad? We’re through the looking glass here, people.


    • Make America Awesome LLC seems to have ignored that Utahns consume more porn per capita than residents of any other state (including pits of decadence like New York and California).

      OTOH, it obviously worked, because hey, Cruz won Utah, didn’t he? I’m sure a bearskin nude picture of Trump’s wife on Twitter had a lot to do with that.


    • @glyph

      You are thinking like the secular decadents that you are ;)

      The bet seems to be going for the fact that Utahans are generally much more into outward social conservatism and likely to look down upon a man who picks a centerfold for a wife.

      To be somewhat fair, I have seen a lot of my liberal friends post similar things on facebook but the tendency there is to mock right-wing hypocrisy for being hard on Michelle Obama and going all in for Trump. The problem with the liberal mocking is that Trump supporters are generally not evangelicals as far as I can tell.


  3. The head of Make America Awesome doubled down as well. I’d like my cozy cabin where I can surround myself with books now please.


  4. Google Ted’s wife and Don’s wife.

    Which would you prefer? Trump hands down. God I love this presidential campaign! Maybe next debate we can just make it a fist fight, MMA style.


  5. So I looked up the Republican primary results this morning, and found

    Trump 47.1%
    Cruz 24.8%
    Other 18.1%
    Kasich 10%

    Which surprised me a lot. “Someone who’s already dropped out” / “Let’s just sit this election out” / “Screw it I’ll just write in Liberace” / whatever the heck else is covered by “Other” comes in third place, almost twice as popular as the fourth-place candidate, three quarters as popular as second place, and two fifths as popular as the winner. What?

    And this post kind of sums it up pretty well. I too would be tempted to vote “you’re all disgusting” rather than endorse either of those slimers.


  6. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a society where wives and children were off limits for political reasons. Granted, all the campaigns where candidates trot out their family for political purposes have blurred the lines and ushered this in. I remember Palin bringing out her wonderful family as a reason to elect her. Cruz’s disgusting commercials with his daughters leads me to believe he should be turned over to DCF, or whatever his state agency is, for exploiting his children. I know this goes back to at least Jackson, but there was a time when it was minimized. It doesn’t help when an adulterous Gingrich, on his 3rd or 4th wife, is taken seriously as a family values candidate. I’ll vote for an adulterer, but they’re still scumbags and shouldn’t be taken seriously when they advocate as conservative. Any decent father would not expose his family to this.


    • Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a society where wives and children were off limits for political reasons.

      Why right that sentence and then write six more sentences contradicting it?

      And this raises another question. If using the anti-Trump PAC using Trump’s wife as a political prop is wrong and Trump threatening to bring Cruz’ wife into it is also wrong, why is this post right?


  7. There is no contradiction. I was comparing what is with what should be. I also did not mean to be partisan, for in this case it is truly BSDI. All of it is wrong. But it is more wrong when the candidates themselves bring their family into it. I would never dream of running for office, but if I did my family would be kept away from all of it to the best of my ability. Also “write” not “right”. Neither one, or any party individual, should involve their families in the debate, but that ship has sailed.


    • You were just making a comparison? OK, I’ll buy that.

      But for a moment it looked like you were trying to pretend to take the moral high ground and then immediately pivot to criticizing conservative politicians for behavior related to their families and personal lives. I guess that I misread though.


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