Last week was a big one for Ted Cruz. We’ll all look back at the first week in December as the one when Ted blew up. It seemed like he owned the news, a hard thing to do when there was a mass shooting that turned out to be a terrorist attack, and the state of Texas challenged the federal government to a game of chicken over preventing three completely-vetted Syrian refugee families from reaching their new homes in Dallas and Houston. (Spoiler alert: Texas blinked.) But that’s the kind of politician Ted Cruz is: a man who puts his unparalleled skills as a competitive debater to work for, wait for it, himself.
For those of us at Burnt Orange Report, there was something incredible about witnessing the nation tune into what we’ve known for years: once you start watching Ted Cruz, you cannot stop. He’s mesmerizing. It’s almost like he’s been trained to say inflammatory things with no concern for their logic, their veracity or their consequences as long as they’re delivered with enough rhetorical force to make an impact.
It was a masterful performance from a master performer, one that I’m sure he’ll top on Tuesday at the Senate hearing he’s convening as Chair of the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness. Cruz is calling the hearing “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate” (I did not realize that Senate hearings have adopted boring sociology book titles these days.) Here’s his statement about the hearing:
As the son of two scientists, I have been taught since I was very young that scientific conclusions should be based on the evidence and the data. The inconvenient truth, for global warming alarmists in 2015, is that for the past 17 years the satellite temperature data have shown almost no warming of the Earth’s climate. This is especially inconvenient for them because the models all showed that the Earth should have continued rapidly warming during this time. In response, we have seen global warming alarmists resort to the language of theology, calling all those who question the alarmists’ conclusions, including many in the scientific community, ‘deniers.’ And they are being called that merely for saying, ‘hold on a minute. Before we make radical policy changes that will have a substantive impact on our economy, jobs and quality of life for millions of Americans, we should take a minute to ensure that these policies are based on real science and real data.’ Especially when the solution to the purported problem always seems to be more and more government.
I look forward to our hearing next week and talking with the witnesses about what is really happening in the field of climate science, and how we can ensure that U.S. policymaking is based on the evidence and the data, and not merely the wishes of liberal global warming alarmists.
If you think Ted is looking forward to it, you cannot imagine how excited I am. I live to watch Ted Cruz subject scientists to his unique combination of self-affirmed superior intelligence and Music Man-style folky patter to lie about the actual data on climate change. Plus, I think he’s changed the meaning of “a minute” to “forever.” I can’t wait to find out.
So what’s the problem, if I’m thrilled the country is starting to actually catch on about Ted Cruz? Frankly, it’s the amount of attention he demands and I don’t mean that in a King Baby/Donald Trump kind of way. Ted Cruz demands Burnt Orange Report’s attention because we’re Ted Cruz experts and we’re here to help. Our job is to provide background and context for people who are not familiar with his MO or past “achievements’ and analysis from our vantage point as Texans. Fortunately, we’re not the only people in Texas writing, tweeting and posting about Ted, so we can sleep at night.
The problem is the perennial one we face at BOR: with all the shit going on, how can we possibly live up to our mission to keep our eyes on Texas politics? When one politician takes an outsized role in national politics, we have to write about it. We want to write about it. And we write about it, sometimes thousands and thousands of words about it.
But those words often come at the expense of other words about other topics. And that’s the problem. In my three months as Publisher/Editor, I’ve come to think of it as the Shit Pie Problem. There’s three kinds of shit we’re constantly dealing with in Texas. The first I call scary shit, like the armed protestors at the mosque in Irving last month and the ongoing nightmare that is the implementation of HB2 . Second, there’s the serious shit. That’s where I put all the corruption and political process stories, things like the Health and Human Services Commission contracting scandal and Evenwal v. Abbott, the Texas case before the Supreme Court this Tuesday that will take up whether ‘one person, one vote’ should be replaced by ‘one eligible voter, one vote.’ (And kudos to all of you who thought, “Nice counter-programming, Senator,” when you saw this case is before the court on the same day as the Cruzapalooza climate hearing.)
That leaves the biggest slice for last which, of course, is bullshit. There is so much bullshit going on, it seems like it accounts for about four pies on its own. But bullshit is simply one slice of the giant Shit Pie. And while bullshit’s definitely the easiest to spot (or smell, as Jon Stewart directed us on his final show), there’s an infinite supply, so we’re always behind.
Here’s to another great week, Ted! And remember, America, you heard it here first: #YouCruzYouLose
Update, Monday December 7, 11:20am: It’s OFFICIAL! Ted’s week was so incredible, he’s jumped to first place in the latest polling from Iowa. The New York Times just reported the news on First Draft at 12:10pm EST. It’s happening people! The Cruzapalooza is upon us!