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Ted Cruz Is a Big Phony and A Giant Narcissist

The senator pretends to be a Tea Party populist, but he's actually a revolting elitist.
 
 
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Photo Credit: A.M. Stan

 

Ted Cruz, the Tea Party darling, fake-filibustered his way into headlines recently with a 21-hour anti-Obamacare verbal rampage that simultaneously made his party look stupid and accomplished nothing. It did, however, spread images of his smarmy mug across televisions and newspapers around the country, which is the outcome Cruz most ardently hoped for.

Cruz wants to come across as a populist who is fighting for regular Americans. But there’s only one thing this guy is interested in: Ted Cruz.

In a new article by Jason Zengerle in GQ, Ted Cruz: Distinguished Wacko Bird From Texas,” the senator comes across as what he really is: a self-worshipping, name-dropping, insufferable phony who is far more interested in personal power than anything so mundane as helping the little guy.

Get this: Cruz’s Harvard Law School roommate revealed to Zengerle that Cruz actually refused to study with anyone unless that person had been an undergraduate at Harvard, Princeton or Yale.  It would be hard to think of a more revolting example of elitism, and yet Cruz’s recent blather-fest contained all kinds of references to his supposed regular-guy credentials, like his love of White Castle and cowboy boots and "redneck" wisdom. Cruz never tires of telling the story of his father, an immigrant from Cuba, coming to America with $100 sewn into his underwear, a narrative he has been repeating since his college days. Myth-making is one of Cruz's core competencies.

Cruz is an establishment guy, but he knows where the money and the power is, so when the Tea Party train came along, Cruz jumped onboard and posed as an outsider challenging the system. He knew the only way he was going to become a senator was to tack violently to the right, so he mastered the Tea Party lingo and rode the train all the way to D.C., where his fakery has reached epic proporations.

There is no shortage of power-mad narcissists floating around Washington, the kind of people who line their office walls with photos of themselves shaking hands with Very Important People. But Cruz gives them all a lesson in self-aggrandizement by decorating his Senate office with a giant oil painting of himself. In fact, it's not just an oil painting of himself. It's an oil painting of other people making paintings of him as he argues a case before the Supreme Court.

Right now, Cruz is focused on shutting down the government. He also has an eye on the White House for a possible future run for the presidency. But can the Republican Party survive this dude's rocket ride to power?

Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet senior editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of "Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture." She received her Ph.D. in English and cultural theory from NYU. She is the director of AlterNet's New Economic Dialogue Project. Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.