What GQ Hates About Ted Cruz

From mansplaining to Ivy League snobbery.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is trying to defund the Affordable Care Act in legislation to prevent a government shutdown.
National Journal
Lucia Graves
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Lucia Graves
Sept. 23, 2013, 9:55 a.m.

GQ is out with a pro­file of Texas Re­pub­lic­an Ted Cruz. The story, by the ex­cel­lent Jason Zengerle, looks at the ju­ni­or sen­at­or’s un­likely rise to power and D.C.’s love-hate re­la­tion­ship with him. We learn many form­at­ive facts about him, like that his nemes­is on the speech and de­bate cir­cuit was former Obama eco­nom­ic ad­viser Aus­tan Gools­bee. And he has at least sev­er­al en­emies. Zengerle notes, “He’s been likened to Joe Mc­Carthy, ac­cused of be­hav­ing like a school­yard bully, and smeared by seni­or mem­bers of his own party. Is this any way to get ahead in Wash­ing­ton?” Is there any oth­er way? Some high­lights:

He’s an Ivy snob:

“As a law stu­dent at Har­vard, he re­fused to study with any­one who hadn’t been an un­der­grad at Har­vard, Prin­ceton, or Yale. Says Da­mon Wat­son, one of Cruz’s law-school room­mates: ‘He said he didn’t want any­body from “minor Ivies” like Penn or Brown.’ “

He likes to name-drop:

“…every­one from Re­agan to Rawls (as in John, the late Har­vard philo­soph­er)…”

He’s style-heavy, sub­stance-light:

“So far Cruz has pro­posed no ma­jor le­gis­la­tion and has shown little in­terest in chan­ging that. He seems con­tent ac­com­plish­ing noth­ing be­cause, in Cruz’s view of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, noth­ing is the ac­com­plish­ment.”

He hoards sen­ti­ment­al tchotch­kes:

“Even Cruz’s fa­vor­ite foot­wear, a pair of black os­trich-skin cow­boy boots, serves as an ad­vert­ise­ment for his cre­den­tials and con­nec­tions. ‘These are my ar­gu­ment boots,’ he told me one morn­ing this sum­mer as we rode the sub­way car be­neath the Cap­it­ol to a vote on the Sen­ate floor. ‘When I was Texas so­li­cit­or gen­er­al, I did every ar­gu­ment in these boots….’ “

He was ac­tu­ally born in Canada, but leg­al ex­perts say it wouldn’t im­pede a run for pres­id­ent in 2016:

“…by dint of his moth­er’s Amer­ic­an cit­izen­ship, he qual­i­fies as a nat­ur­al-born Amer­ic­an cit­izen…”

He’s a ter­rible mans­plain­er:

“…there was the mo­ment, just a month later, when the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee was de­bat­ing the as­sault-weapons ban: Cruz was try­ing to get it through Demo­crat­ic sen­at­or Di­anne Fein­stein’s thick skull that there was this thing called the Second Amend­ment and that it de­served the same re­spect as the rest of the Bill of Rights. He made his point by rat­tling off oth­er amend­ments and the rights they pro­tec­ted un­til Fein­stein bristled, ‘I’m not a sixth grader. I’ve been on this com­mit­tee for twenty years…. I’ve stud­ied the Con­sti­tu­tion my­self. I am reas­on­ably well edu­cated, and I thank you for the lec­ture.’ “

And yes, we did pull the video:

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