Rubio y Cruz: Como dos guisantes podridos en una vaina.*


*Rubio and Cruz: Like two rotten peas in a pod.

*I translated the headline because, despite his Cuban family heritage, the junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, does not speak Spanish, “very well.”

I’m writing about these two “esteemed” senators today because they’ve both recently been in the news – Cruz for his very publicized sojourn to the Southern border; Rubio for his not so well-known concerns about UFOs.

The two news stories got me thinking – despite their stylistic differences, the two are in fact, very similar and both, very rotten. And since both are being promoted as potential GOP presidential candidates in 2024, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss them both so readers could get to know los hombres detrás de las caras (the men behind the faces).

Let’s start with Cruz. The oft-described “most hated man in the Senate” is a supercilious, obnoxious, self-promotion machine whose disagreeable, unpleasant and downright, nasty demeanor has no limits.

While Rubio does not compare to Cruz on the “nasty” scale, they do share some commonalities:

  • Both are of Cuban heritage;
  • Both are senators representing two of the largest states in the Union – Cruz, Texas, the second largest; Rubio, Florida, the third largest;
  • Both were candidates for the Republican nomination for president in 2016;
  • Both are ambitious to a fault;
  • Both were savagely attacked and demeaned by their then opponent for the GOP nomination in 2016, Donald Trump:
    • Cruz
      • Trump dubbed Cruz “Lyin Ted;”
      • Trump falsely accused Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, of being a close associate of John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald;
      • Trump insulted the looks of Cruz’s wife, Heidi;
      • Trump also attempted to go “birther” on Cruz by pointing out he was born in Canada.
    • Rubio
      • Trump dubbed Rubio, “Liddle Marco;”
      • Trump accused Rubio of wearing make-up at one of the debates, suggesting it was applied “with a trowel;”
      • Trump ridiculed Rubio’s need for drinking water and, at one rally sprayed a crowd with a bottle of water saying, “It’s Rubio!”
      • Trump poked fun at Mr Rubio’s sweating habits, calling him a “nervous basket case” who “perspires more than anyone he had ever seen.” 

But most significantly, despite the personal insults heaped on them, despite the animus both had to have had to Trump, they both became over-the-top Trump sycophantic toadies once Trump acceded to the presidency.

Given their astonishing obsequiousness, I guess it’s time to reprise the immortal words Joseph Welch said to another rotten senator, Joseph McCarthy, at the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954:

“Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

With these guys, and with all due respect, I’d paraphrase Mr. Welch a bit and say, “Have you no sense of honor, at long last? Have you left no sense of pride?”

But, with all those similarities, I submit there are some not so subtle differences between these two power-hungry, on-the-make, public servants, whose “service” only goes so far as to serve their own interests.

Ted Cruz

Documenting Cruz’s deceitfulness, his heinous theatrically, his cynicism, is probably more than one can take in one sitting. So I thought, as an example of how different he is from Rubio, I’d provide one example.

Cruz, the senior senator from Texas, escaped the recent flooding, electrical blackouts, and lack of heat in his home state to vacation in Mexico while his constituents were freezing, in the dark without water.. Why did he flee to Mexico? Clearly because he’s obsessed with Mexico. How do I know this? Easy. All you need to do is watch this video in which he claimed smugglers were shouting across the Rio Grande at members of Congress touring the US-Mexico border.

“That’s Mexico and you can see there are three smugglers right there standing on the Mexican side looking at us. They have been shining their flashlights at us, they are yelling at us,” Cruz said.

Even the New York Post, usually an ally of politicians of Cruz’s persuasion, sort of reported that this was, well, kind of a Cruz stunt.

“The nighttime shot was poorly lit and it wasn’t possible to clearly see the alleged smugglers,” observed the Post

But even more incredible was Cruz’s channeling of the late Steve Irwin’s as he ventured to the border:

Yes, Ted Cruz is a one-of-kind creep. But what about “Liddle Marco.” Despite the similarities, what sets him apart from “Lyin Ted?”

First, unlike the hyperactive, unlikeable Cruz, Marco Rubio, according to Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino, represents Florida in a close-to comatose state:

“Marco Rubio is talking about UFO’s. This is a big development and potential evidence of life — for Rubio — (since) Florida’s senior U.S. senator has been in a virtual coma for more than four years now. So, the fact that he’s verbal about anything, even if it’s just talking to TMZ about potential space alien fly-bys, is big news.”

“’Stuff is flying over our facilities and we don’t know what they are,’ Rubio said. ‘Maybe it’s got a logical explanation to it, but people want to know. I want to know what it is,’ Rubio said.”

Cerabino continued, “Good for you, Marco. We’re so happy that you want to know something about anything. You’ve been willfully wanting to know nothing about everything these past four years. So we’re thrilled, delighted even, that you have an ember of curiosity about something. Even if it’s as frivolous as little green men coming here to probe us.”

But the idea that Rubio is coasting on his job, avoiding any form of thinking, doesn’t tell the whole story. Yes, he’s not as outrageously flamboyant as his wicked colleague from Texas, but, demonstrated by his positions, he’s equally evil.

As one of Florida’s Senators, he’s cast some pretty disturbing votes. Most recently, he voted AGAINST the latest COVID-19 relief bill. He also voted:

  • AGAINST humanitarian aid at the US/Mexico border;
  • AGAINST reversing a Department of Education regulation on student loans;
  • FOR the rushed nominations of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett;
  • AGAINST the conviction of the impeached Donald Trump; and more…

Speaking of positions, there’s one thing that you can be assured of: when it comes to taking a stand, opportunism is more critical than conviction for Señor Rubio. Not only is his post-disparagement support of Trump evidence of this, his opportunism during the 2016 campaign was legendary. In fact, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek “News with a Twist” story back in 2016 called, “Rubio becoming multi-religionist – Changes religions as often as he changes shoes,” which pretty much sums him up (and is kind of a reminder of a time when one could actually make fun of, and laugh about, the inanity of politics).

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

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