A Baker’s Dozen of Terrible Things I Have Called Ted Cruz

In celebration of his exit from the 2016 presidential race, and by request, here is a more-or-less complete collection of all the horrible ways I’ve described Ted Cruz during the campaign (plus a couple bonus bits from 2013, when Whatever readers awarded him the title of Asshole of the Year, besting other luminaries such as Rob Ford, Justin Bieber, and, yes, Barack Obama).

Ted Cruz is:

  • a malignant teratoma with a law degree
  • a shambling assemblage of skin tabs and ego
  • a gross and despicable avulsion that yet managed to sprout opposable thumbs
  • a jowly gobbet of tubercular phlegm
  • the Platonic ideal of an asshole
  • a necrotic self-regarding blight on the face of American politics
  • an odious fistula that walks the earth in a human skin
  • Newt Gingrich minus the charm or political savvy
  • the final obnoxious form of a college dorm “Devil’s Advocate”
  • a bipedal mound of pig offal that yet manages to form words
  • an overripe pustule of hateful need who deserves to be dropkicked into historical oblivion
  • a political dead man walking

Goddamn, I will miss him. But not enough to want him back. Ever.

Update: It’s been noted I forgot I also called Cruz an “ambulatory cloacal splotch.” Duly noted!

76 Comments on “A Baker’s Dozen of Terrible Things I Have Called Ted Cruz”

  1. It’s pretty hard to make a case for tolerance, probity and moderation when one is unwilling to extend it to others…..

  2. Dann

    I have no difficulty in asserting that one should tell the truth; the fact that you dislike that truth doesn’t stop it being the truth….

  3. I wish I could miss him, but he’s an elected Senator from my state.

  4. I always wondered just how he thought he would work with the Senate as president when he couldn’t work with them as a colleague.

  5. are these copy-written or may we use them as we see fit for other lessor gobbets of tubercular phlegm?

  6. I’ve a friend who had the misfortune to be in the Texas AG’s office when Cruz arrived. She said that he’d swoop in and steal credit for cases that other people had been working on for up to 4 years to develop (prosecution is not quick, after all). Within a year of his arrival, almost no-one was left from before her arrival; they’d all gone elsewhere and it was because of him.

    FWIW, as loathesome and boorish as Trump is–and that’s saying a lot–I think Cruz is worse. Trump is a narcissist, a fascist, a bully, a bigot, and a misogynist. He’s demonstrated the emotional maturity of an 8yo. He’s a loser’s idea of a winner. But for all that, he’s not made claims that we should turn this country into a theocracy, nor run the country on “Biblical” (aka “Sharia”) principles. Cruz has. As have almost all of the other failed GOP candidates, actually.

  7. As a Texan, I have no idea what he’ll do now. Back to the senate to stand athwart History, gibbering incomprehensible nonsense? Maybe he’ll run for governor? It’s not like he can retire to K-Street, since everyone hates him.

  8. John, I am SO looking forward to a similar collection about Trump. While he doesn’t inspire *quite* the same level of visceral repulsion Cruz has managed to evoke, I predict that between now and November, there will be many more revelations. Stay creative, my friend!

  9. Thank you for collecting them! There are a metric shit ton of things I don’t like about Ted Cruz, but the the salient characteristic that ruffles my jimmies is that he sounds just like a Baptist preacher every. time. he. talks. I was terrorized by Independent Baptist preachers at my very fundamentalist Christian elementary and hearing Cruz’s voice almost sends me into fits of PTSD. Not saying all Baptist preachers are bad. I grew up in the Southern Baptist church (of which I’m no longer a part), and living where I do I encounter Baptist preachers frequently. Most are genuinely good people. But many of the Independent Baptist preachers I encountered were batshit crazy, and Ted Cruz sounds like them.

    Google “Independent Baptist” or “Pensacola Christian” or “Peter Ruckman” or “KJV Only” to get an idea of the environment I grew up in.

  10. You must’ve felt vindicated when Boehner, of all peeps, chimed in with ‘Lucifer in the flesh’ and ‘miserable son of a bitch’ in his own estimation of Mr. Cruz. I’m still trying to come to terms with his latino roots.

  11. @Stevie

    I have no difficulty in asserting that one should tell the truth; the fact that you dislike that truth doesn’t stop it being the truth….

    Find some truth in the above and we can talk.

    Calling names that lack any connection to reality is not truth by any rational definition. It is hateful behavior that undermines civility and perpetuates a continuing cycle of harm to our nation.


  12. I think there’s a fair amount of truth in those comments (“Newt Gingrich minus the charm or political savvy”?) and the rest is clearly metaphor.

  13. The entirety of the collection of comments to this post is the absolute display of a gaggle of ignorant electorates that don’t even have enough sense to realize that the only candidate that was ever interested in their personal sovereignty was Ted Cruz. Sure, he had the demeanor of a used car salesman, and was the opposite of “Smooth” on the campaign trail. But I would rather hate someones looks and have them tell me the truth, rather than like someones stage presence and have them lie to my face. Cruz wasn’t even interested in buying your Liberty back. He was going to force those that stole it from you to return it.Now this gaggle is stuck with two liars from the same political party, and one of them is going to end up the next president. So laugh away at the failings of the Ted Cruz campaign. When your done with your happy dance, open your eyes and look around at what was left behind. Fools!

  14. He’ll be back. He came close enough that he’s sure to convince himself that without Trump on the mix, he would have gotten the nomination. And he’s sure to be part of the large chorus that will claim, if/when Trump loses, that the GOPs problem is that they don’t nominate someone who is conservative enough and ideologically pure. So you can be sure he’ll be back. He’s got 2 more years in the Senate. I suspect he will not run for re-election and concentrate on his presidential campaign, and claim that he’s the true “outsider” now that he’s not in office.

  15. A good friend from Texas reminded me they’re still stuck with him as a senator. Slimy piece of snail scum.

  16. No one who supports either Donald Trump OR Ted Cruz can call anyone else out on “name-calling” without me laughing in their face.

  17. Here’s something to send a chill down your spine – I found two places in today’s Austin American Statesman where someone suggested that President Donald Trump would nominate Ted Cruz to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat.

  18. Would it be grossly unfair to Dominionists to suggest that Trump would be a fool to let Cruz anywhere near the line of succession? I know there’s the old joke about picking a VP no one can stand to discourage assassinations, but with Cruz there’d be a religious motive to promote Cruz on top of animosity towards Trump himself.

  19. Even though I liked the sound of it, ‘avulsion’ is a metaphor too far: The word is used in medicine/surgery and in property law, to denote an act of ripping away, e.g., the sort of severe injury caused by losing a limb through it being gorily ripped off rather than cleanly severed, or a violent change in real property attachment such as caused by a river changing its course and bifurcating someone’s land — but it’s more than a little unclear what a violently detached human being is, even via fanciful metaphor, let alone the notion of that metaphorical ripped-off body part subsequently sprouting thumbs.

    (Mr. Cruz’s problem isn’t detachment from us so much as his failing to go away — and I say this with particular feeling, as a mortified alumnus of his college. But Craig Mazin had it worse.)

    I’m not sure the implied subgenre of horror literature is my cuppa (but then, neither is the Republican Party, so it sort of works despite itself).

  20. I think you misspelled Richard Nixon in the 8th entry on your list…

  21. I enjoyed the Borowitz Report headline, “Senate Officially Mourns Return of Ted Cruz”

  22. Maybe it’s just being a non-American, but I have seen a lot more hate on the guy than hatefulness deserved by him. Someday it’d be nice to see a list of things that actually make him deserving of the vitriol heaped upon him.

  23. I always thought “a baker’s dozen” was actually thirteen. You know, one to taste. No? Well, ‘eff it. I’m still making the extra muffin…

  24. >> Someday it’d be nice to see a list of things that actually make him deserving of the vitriol heaped upon him.>>

    If you’re interested, there’s always Google.

  25. ” that was ever interested in their personal sovereignty was Ted Cruz”

    Yeah, so long as you were white and male. And not pregnant.

    He’ll be back in 2020, you’ll see.

    I can’t see Trump being dumb enough to have him as VP – he’d be dead before the inauguration.

    I know it’s Texas, but how the hell did he get elected, even there?

  26. >> Yeah, so long as you were white and male. And not pregnant.>>

    And not gay or trans or agnostic or anything unnatural like that.

  27. @mgb:
    Ok, I can do that (along with actual Ted quotes):
    – Theocratic (“I’m a Christian first, American second”)
    – Advocate of mass murder (“We will carpet bomb them into oblivion.”)
    – Fear monger (“Christians are being systematically exterminated.”)
    – Scientific Illiterate (“Climate change is not science, it’s religion.”)
    – Homophobic (“I stand with Kim Davis.”)
    – Liar – you decide which way (“I like Donald Trump.”/”[Trump] Is Utterly Amoral, Narcissist, Philandering, Pathological Liar”)
    – Fan of Jessie Freaking Helms (“We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate”)
    – Hypocrite (“Far too many candidates wear their faith on their sleeve.”)
    – Imperialist (“The strength of our economy allows us to maintain the mightiest military in the world, effectively enforcing a Pax Americana.”)

    And I suppose I could go on, but that list is enough for me and, I suspect, a great many folks.

  28. @mgb

    Someday it’d be nice to see a list of things that actually make him deserving of the vitriol heaped upon him.

    The ever questionable Wikipedia has a list of his political positions. For folks that brook not a single iota of deviation from their preferred orthodoxy, he is…..unacceptable. Given the lack of a moderate Democrat candidate, I’d have been open to considering voting for Mr. Cruz as a GOP candidate. John Kasich was my first choice as soon as he was in the race.

    As things appear to be unfolding, I’m probably going to be looking at Gary Johnson, FWIW.


  29. Jay wrote:

    “Liar – you decide which way (“I like Donald Trump.”/”[Trump] Is Utterly Amoral, Narcissist, Philandering, Pathological Liar”)”

    I suppose one could argue that this might not be an example of a lie. Those could be all the things he likes about Donald Trump.

  30. mgb @ 3:17 pm:

    The problem with Ted Cruz is basically that he is an asshole whose only use for other people is as instruments for his own advancement, which I imagine is something that may not come across in international coverage. People who have to work him end up hating him. It’s why he never got a job in the Bush White House despite being a senior policy adviser in the campaign, and it’s why despite being a sitting senator not one colleague has endorsed him. If you want further details, this article from Mother Jones gives a nice overview of people who hate him, and this one from The Atlantic delves into how he alienated fellow senators.

  31. There’s plenty of reasons to hate on Ted Cruz without even having to call him names, just focusing on what he’s done.

    He ran a sleaze-filled campaign from the get-go, starting with those claims of Ben Carson dropping out, which was fraudulent and knowingly so.

    He then started taking delegates he wasn’t entitled to through games in some states that changed the rules, and through the delegate-selection process. That may be “legal,” but it’s literally a page out of the Kim Jong-Un playbook. It’s the mark of a wannabe tyrant.

    And then, in a desperation move, he named as his “running mate” a woman whose only qualifications were contributing to the bankruptcy of an iconic American company (Lucent) and nearly destroying another one (HP), erasing tens of thousands of American jobs in the process. Doing so was tantamount to a declaration that, if elected, he planned to loot the United States Treasury.

    Meanwhile, his father claimed he was “anointed by God” to be President…a declaration presumptuous in the extreme, and that has no place in the political sphere.

    Maybe he won’t bother to seek re-election to the Senate. It might spare him from the need to produce either a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or some other documentation showing that he didn’t gain the seat through fraud in the first place.

  32. Aren’t they supposed to be skin TAGS? I’d hate for dear Ted to be misclassified.

  33. One certainly could not call your descriptions of Cruz “politically correct.” Nor could one call it “civilized discourse.” It’s your site and you can blog what you wish, but this particular post saddens me and I am in no way a Cruz supporter.

  34. @Calvin’s Corner: Cruz wasn’t even interested in buying your Liberty back. He was going to force those that stole it from you to return it.

    I was thrilled that Ted Cruz was going to restore my God-given right to die before my time by revoking my health care, but I guess that just wasn’t enough to carry him across the finish line.

  35. “I know it’s Texas, but how the hell did he get elected, even there?”

    By stealth, underhandedly. It was a midterm election, everybody understood that the incumbent Lt. Governor, Dewhurst, wanted that seat, and it was assumed he would get it without much effort. Cruz jumped into the primary, ran a short, nasty campaign, and edged Dewhurst in the unusually low-turnout primary.

    It being Texas, the winner of the GOP primary is pretty much guaranteed winner of the general.

    I don’t think that will work again, but you never know. There are actually people here who love the slimeball.

  36. As an Australian who appreciates a truly colourful insult, I applaud you.

  37. meh. name calling is just name calling regardless of how verbose, loquacious, articulate (enter appropriate adjective here (I’m now too drunk to see the rest of the words in my thesaurus)) you are.

  38. Excellent list. I prefer “overgrown ego the size of Betelgeuse” and “if we could refine the oil that drips from his “smile”, we could solve all fuel crises forever”, myself.

  39. OMG OMG speaking of assholes, have you seen what Chuck Tingle, that Doyenne of Space Dinosaur Rocket Buttsex Porn (literal asshole-afficionado), has done to the puppies (figurative assholes)? He has nominated ZOE QUINN to pick up his Hugo if he wins. I came here to see what Scalzi had to say on this development and I am disappoint :)

  40. Cath Lawrence: I don’t know about Our Glorious Host (pbuh), but I personally think that’s ironic and hilarious considering what kind of hate the Puppies are known for.

  41. Am I the only one who thinks he looks like Spider Jerusalem’s nemesis, the Smiler?

  42. That picture makes me shudder. Cruz leaves a slime trail everywhere he goes. How does he keep his externalized mucous membranes from drying out in the sun?

  43. My all-time favorite remains the “ambulatory cloacal splotch.” It’s so short, so pithy, even poetic, and so very, very devastatingly accurate. Whenever I think of or refer to the senator from Texas, that is the phrase that immediately comes to mind.

    Don’t get me wrong – I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of Mr. Scalzi’s highly literate and accurate descriptions of the former candidate. But “ambulatory cloacal splotch” is my favorite.

  44. One certainly could not call your descriptions of Cruz “politically correct.”

    For all definitions of “politically correct” that equate to ” You’re hating what I like!”

    Though, come to think about it, that DOES define almost all forms of the perforative.

  45. @Kevin Hicks: 2012 was not a midterm election, but it’s possible that the voters basically ignored the summer primary because it wasn’t tied to the presidential election. Sadly, we still have at least another two years of Cruz being a bad senator, and even if he’s not re-elected, he’s got too much self-importance to not run for president again.

  46. You know what worries me most about Ted Cruz? The fact that we won’t have him to kick around anymore. This beating wasn’t deep enough to make a dent in his rhino-hide ego; he’ll run for President again in 2020 unless something extraordinary happens (on the order of the Second Coming or an honest politician being found).

    So though it may be cathartic to enjoy his temporary setback, please remember that this was just a battle and not the whole war.

  47. JohnD: I think the democrats would have to run a pretty awful candidate for him to ever stand a chance. Plus the Republicans would have to be as bad as they were this year. Remember he was considered the ridiculous candidate before Trump made his move.

  48. Zeb Berryman, that’s pretty much what they said about Nixon as well. And look how that turned out.

  49. A few random thoughts.
    Ted went to Princeton and Harvard Law, but doesn’t own either of them, so you don’t have to worry about being alumnus of “his” university. Don’t worry, this Texan will not hold going to the same university as our Glorious Leader (spit) against anyone.

    I’ve been annoyed with Cruz since he started using Preacher Voice as a political tactic. I vote him most likely to say “Vote for me, or you shall all burn in hay-yell” while practising speeches in front of the mirror.

    He’s done one possibly good thing I can find off hand, by making it legal for the President to refuse visas to any diplomat found to be involved in espionage activities. I’m not sure the bill actually increased presidential power, since the Prez already has the ability to declare a diplomat “persona non grata”, and expel them from the US as long as Prez wants. From some limited googling, there exists a memo (dating April 4, 1980) from the US Attorney General stating that the president should have such power based on various precedents, going back to at least 1855, Kind of a waste of time to pass the bill from what I can tell.

  50. Oh, this one is easy.


    If you want a serious riposte, this is part and parcel of how “Gaming the System” eradicates said system. Letter, not Spirit, of the Law and all that. Ironic, if you wanted to ever compare current BLM debate wash-back vrs what Ted did to the amateur debating clubs he was in. [Hint: both used tactics to win by any means].

    Or, in other terms: Your ability to function as the Anointed is largely destroyed when the Public gaffs (eating boogers, elbowing wife in face, hugging child who looks like trauma is an every-day occurrence) are mixed with the Conspiracy weave (Heidi Fless, affairs, JFK) and hits the bottom line:

    Ted Cruz doesn’t own a G5.

    https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/157575099036340226 [2012]

    Oh, he has a private plane, but it ain’t a G5.


    Prosperity Gospel, G_D ain’t loving you too much. This is YUUUUGE in said circles.


    He won’t run in 2020. 100% cert and sealed deal. Little fucker tried to whelsh on a little too many deals with the money-men – the behind the scenes deals are all about GS and so on. Divorce in 2018, pre-nup involved.




  51. JohnD, there is no beating Cruz could receive that could put a dent in his ego, self-regard, or personal sense of destiny to keep him from running for President every four years, even (especially) in elections with a Republican incumbent. He will join a long, (in)distinguished history of obnoxious quadrennial also-rans, easily overshadowing the two current leaders in that field, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, and perhaps someday even best the likes of Lyndon Larouche in terms of sheer, obstinate, masturbatory fuckery. He just loves himself that much.

    Y’know, if Dann isn’t going to develop an honest sense of political perspective, the least he could do is develop a sense of humor. I mean, seriously, Dann, if we can’t make fun of an mind-numbingly ineffectual politician, spectacularly failed presidential candidate, and all-around unlikable shit person like Ted Cruz, who can we laugh at?

    And, yeah, feel free to laugh at Bernie. I do, and I would have enthusiastically voted for him.

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