WTF Friday: Freedom Selfies

Twitter // @DanPatrickTX

This was a topsy-turvy week, fellas. We’re only halfway through the legislative session, but we’re already at a Sine Die level of nuttiness. Normally sage and cautious political figures seem to be becoming unglued from reality. Dan Patrick is Patricking to the point where it may be getting dangerous for those in physical proximity. And people are pretending that Ted Cruz has a chance to be president. What’s happening?

Cruz has the look of a man receiving fawning adulation permanently attached to his face—it's what people in the Heartland™ love the most.
Cruz has the look of a man receiving fawning adulation permanently attached to his face—it’s what people in the Heartland™ love the most.

1) Of all the presidential campaigns ever launched, never let it be said that Ted Cruz did not launch one of those campaigns. Was it a good launch? Well, the filthy libs who run the media wouldn’t tell you if it was, would they? They’ve been out to get Ted from the start. They know the power he’ll wield when he reaches his final form and becomes Mechacruz, a giant robot—powered by the finest Ontario steel, Albertan oil, Cuban tobacco and Nunavut whale blubber—that will not rest until it lays waste to the District of Columbia, shunts the RINOS onto a melting iceberg in the middle of the vast Canadian arctic, and returns power to the States, as was envisioned by James Madison in Federalist No. 56.

This week treated us to a glimpse of the raw power and political acumen the Cruzmaster will be harnessing on his way to the White House. Some said his choice of Liberty University, an evangelical school founded by a guy who thought gay teletubbies caused 9/11, was odd—essentially, a declaration that he wouldn’t be trying to broaden his narrow appeal to American voters. But speaking at a university event—yes, attendance was mandatory—allowed him to benefit from a free media boost, as our dumb media became completely transfixed by what Liberty students were saying on a hot new app. Our dumb media loves apps:

The rest of the week went even better. Cruz needs to humanize himself—not many people know about him, and a lot of people, perhaps after reading accounts of his deeply ingrained snobbery, the oil painting of himself he keeps in his office, and his salad days roaming the halls of Princeton’s dorms in a paisley bathrobe, find him wooden.

So on a CBS morning show, Cruz told a Very Relatable Story: On that clear blue morning sky on that September Tuesday so many years ago, everything changed. Everything.

“My music taste changed on 9/11,” [Cruz] said, followed by a pause.

Co-host Gayle King nodded.

“I actually intellectually find this very curious, but on 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded,” the senator went on. “And country music, collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me.”

This is either a weird way of admitting that you don’t actually care that much about music, which is fine, or fascinating evidence that the A.I. unit that governs Cruz is capable of adjusting to its surroundings, which is something that we haven’t seen during his tenure in the Senate.

One imagines Cruz in his bedroom, staring at the cover of his copy of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, silently imploring Angus Young to shed a tear for the fallen. Or was he a Green Day fan who took the advice to sleep through September the wrong way? Does Ted Cruz, like many right-thinking Americans, believe that Supertramp did 9/11?

The week’s not over. How will he sell his beliefs to the good folks of Not-Texas?

The similarities between Texas Senator Ted Cruz and 16th-century astronomer Galileo Galilei are remarkable, according to Cruz. […]

“Today the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers,” Cruz said. “You know it used to be it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.”

OK, yes, that’s weird. But, all told, it wasn’t a bad week. Conservative opinion-makers really took a shine to the Texan—here’s Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review:

Striking a pose that lands somewhere between the oleaginousness of a Joel Osteen and the self-assuredness of a midwestern vacuum-cleaner salesman, Cruz delivers his speeches as might a mass-market motivational speaker in an Atlantic City Convention Center.

Texans used to know how to run campaigns. What the hell happened? I blame the schools. What will it say about our state if Rick Perry ends up running the most competent campaign of our hometown heroes?

2) The three or so hours that Louie Gohmert was considering running for president was proof of what I’d always hoped to be true: This is, after all, the best of all possible worlds.

Then it came crashing down. If you’re in the market for a metric ton of uninflated party balloons and a chassis for a parade float, please contact Observer HQ.

(Bonus Gohmert.)

3) While Cruz is abroad, here at home the Legislature did critically important work this week in delivering another hit to the state’s greatest enemy—public schools. For years, the Lege has helped to slowly undermine the beast, starving it of the resources it needs to function well and mocking its inability to adjust—but the time has come for stronger measures. Enter state Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels).

“Today we have a monstrosity, a monopoly,” Campbell said. “It’s called public school.”

Vouchers—helping kids go to private schools with state money—has led to many fine things in other states. In Louisiana, state money has been used to do some educatin’ of young pups in Christian schools where the existence of the Loch Ness Monster is used to disprove evolution and the fine fellers of the Ku Klux Klan are described as a “a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross.”

However, no less a source than Reagan-era economist and Ponzi scheme participator Arthur Laffer has done a study that scientifically proves that vouchers, if done here in Texas, would be statistically, verifiably Good. Also, as former senator Phil Gramm said in a lengthy back and forth with Campbell: “What do I like about vouchers? Freedom! What is questionable about freedom? Nothing.” Q.E.D.

But the best part might have come when state Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) asked Campbell a challenging hypothetical question: What if a Muslim school opened that taught its students to hate America and hate Christians? Should they be able to take state money?

Miraculously, Campbell came out in favor of the teaching of radical Islam. “I wouldn’t send my child to a school that was contra to my beliefs,” said Campbell. “I am willing to allow the dollars to follow the child to the school of the parent’s choice.”

So here is where the Legislature is at at the end of March: Anti-Shariah law, but pro state-funded madrasas.

Actually, here’s where the Legislature is at. Patrick, in an extremely weird move, came to testify on the bill himself. Here’s how he celebrated:

When Patrick becomes governor, selfies will be mandatory for all Texans.
When Patrick becomes governor, selfies will be mandatory for all Texans.

BONUS #2016 NEWS: Don’t count Stickland out.

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Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin, where he grew up. His work has appeared in Politico Magazine, Slate, and Texas Monthly, among others. He graduated from The New School in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in history.

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Published at 3:53 pm CST