So Hitler, Timothy McVeigh and Ted Cruz walked into a bar. Yeah, I know, not funny. But at least I know it’s not funny. Apparently Ted Cruz doesn’t. Cruz tried to make “comedy” out of wearing a mask, AOC and the pandemic in his opening “monologue” at CPAC. I guess you had to be there.
I did the next worst thing. I actually watched the video so you don’t have to. It was 16 minutes that I’ll never get back. It was cringe-worthy, strutting, self-aggrandizing, embarrassing crap. Few people have less charisma than Ted Cruz, and the audience laughed in all the wrong places lest they should suspect themselves of not having a good time. Even they knew they were witnessing something less than comedy gold.
After his opening salvo about how “Orlando is awesome … it’s not as nice a Cancun,” Cruz tried the situational joke: “How many of y’all have eaten at a restaurant in the last six months?” He then went on to point out the “hilarious” inconsistencies of mask wearing, inherent to a culture pitifully still trying to get it right, where half a million people have tragically died from a deadly virus. Even so, it’s side-splittingly funny how they still don’t know how to use masks. Like when people walk into restaurants while wearing masks and then take them off when they sit down. Yeah, hilarious. I guess that “proves” that wearing a mask is stupid. Only a Republican could see the humor in that.
Of course, Ted Cruz is part of the reason so many people have died from coronavirus. Like so many Republicans he has contributed to the confusing climate of rebellion against the wearing of masks, so it’s little wonder that people are confused about how to do it properly. To turn around and mock them for their “stupidity” is the pinnacle of craven callousness.
Cruz then had the gall to make fun of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the woman who raised nearly $5 million dollars in relief money for the state of Texas while he was traipsing off to Cancun. Remember, folks, AOC’s state is New York, not Texas. It wasn’t even her job to raise money to help Texas. But somebody had to do it because it’s sure not going to be the jet-setting junior Senator and rising star in the field of, er, comedy.
Cruz ended the night by quoting William Wallace when he screamed into the microphone, “Freedom!” (Cruz apparently attended the Lucille Ball / Jackie Gleason school of comedy, where anything funny is made that much funnier when screamed.) The “lesson” from that message wasn’t forgotten by the audience. When managers nervously came out later to remind attendees that they were in a private building and had to adhere to their rules about mask-wearing, the audience shouted “Freedom!” right back at them. Is there anything more stirring than a bunch of white, privileged assholes rising up against “oppression”?
Naturally Cruz had to mention the whole point of this years’ CPAC conference, Donald Trump. In the grand tradition of fashioning golden calves, the organizers of CPAC made a gold statue of Trump for prominent display in the lobby. Cruz thought he was being clever when he said, “Let me tell you right now, Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere.” Cruz was, in fact, being accidentally ironic. He identified the same inevitable destination for Donald Trump that Cruz himself is headed for: oblivion. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.