So, Ted Cruz (R-Cancun) deleted his OUTRAGED tweet about power-drunk Democrats in Washington State actually banning dancing on New Year’s Eve. He was SO angry that he ended his tweet with a crude insult.
Now, for Ted Cruz to delete his “outrage!!” which he knew was sure to make pandering political points, there must be a really good reason, you’d think. And you’d be right. That’s because it turns out the story was not about Democrats in Washington State at all – or about Democrats anywhere, but rather it was about…Australia!
(And wasn't even about NO dancing at all on New Year's, but only about at indoor public events. In part of Australia.)
You see, Cruz had read a Facebook post on the subject that was from “WA Government,” and he took it to mean the postal code for Washington State. In fact, that was an abbreviation for “Western Australia.”
Now, of course, it shouldn’t take anyone, but especially a United States Senator, long to look at that story and think something is odd – and make at least the smallest of effort to find out if the story is true or what in the world is going on.
It took me about eight seconds to find the truth.
I typed “no dancing WA new year's” into the Search box for Google, and all the first results that came up were about Australia. So…y’know, it wasn’t really tough.
As much fun as it is to ridicule Ted Cruz about this – or to ridicule him about anything, which at this point is getting to be almost everything – this is actually a terrible story.
What's so awful about this story is a) how HORRIFICALLY BAD his research was for a United States Senator whose words and pronouncements actually, truly matter, and b) that he merely deleted his terrible mistake but gave no correction, so his followers most likely all still believe it. Indeed, his Twitter feed was full of people equally “outraged” at power-drunk Democrats and liberals, because this confirmed worst fears about them trying to destroy freedom and America. Never mind that it’s the other way around…
Never mind, too, that when Ted Cruz puts himself and his loyal minions on the side of, in his word, the "rational," he's using a big word he doesn't seem to ever grasp.
The thing is, this is not only just SO Ted Cruz, but SO today’s Republican Party. Hey, who cares about the truth?! Throw it out there, get everyone outraged, who cares whether it’s true or not, don’t correct the mistake, don’t apologize, double-down, make sure your base is riled up, and they’ll keep pointing to this false story as proof about The Libs.
It’s so fascist, as we’ve come to expect from today’s GOP. Make everyone uncertain about what the truth is and offer yourself as the only source they can trust. Who cares if it’s all a lie? You’re a fascist, what does the truth matter? Over half the Republican Party thinks Trump was legitimately elected president, despite absolutely zero evidence that could be allowed in court. What does the truth matter to the Republican Party? Hey, science no longer seems to qualify as something that actually offers truth to the Republican Party – with the result that a deadly pandemic has been allowed to spread almost out of control.
This has never been about Trump, we’ve always known who he is. This is about the Republican Party which enabled him and carries it on all by themselves.
One shouldn’t have to say that Washington State allows dancing on New Year’s Eve. One shouldn’t have to say that Washington State is not Western Australia. One shouldn’t have to tell U.S. Senator Ted Cruz that if you make such a damaging mistake after going full-on ballistic, you should correct it.
In the end though, all we have left are the words of Ted Cruz – Piss off.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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