Every passing day seems to bring new, jolting surprises to all those attuned to the ongoing campaign for the White House. Just when you think that the lowest of nadirs has been reached already by some of the candidates on the Republican side of the aisle, suddenly they spring a real McCoy of another ugly surprise on you. They’re getting nastier and nastier in their obstinate desire to dive deep for the ultimate filth. We jolly them on.
It all began this week with a pro-Ted Cruz super pac running a campaign ad with a picture of Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, in an old semi-nude pose for GQ magazine. The ad wondered if American voters would ever want such a person as their first lady. Cruz denied any knowledge of, or involvement in, the production of the sleaze.
Offended by the ad all the same, Trump, the ultimate impresario of “gutterspeak”, hit back at Cruz. In a tweet that was part threatening, part hedging, Trump said he was going to spill the beans on Heidi, Cruz’s wife, whatever that meant in the first place. The Uncrowned King of tireless tweets that he is, Trump roared back with another tweet featuring pictures of Melania and Heidi, juxtaposed for comparison; the one looking beautiful and charming, the other donning the features of a depressed and pathetically lugubrious lady. Accompanying the pictures was the rather long caption: “No need to ‘spill the beans.’ The images are worth a thousand words.”
“Leave Heidi the hell alone,” Cruz bristled back. And you could feel the righteous indignation in his voice. Poor fellow!
But you don’t get into an ugly fight with Trump and expect to emerge victorious. The result is instantly predictable, because when you get into the mud with a pig, you end up looking like a pig. If you’re not convinced about this, then, for Christ’s sake, ask a gentleman named Marco Rubio. Thank you.
Next, Cruz felt something hit him hard in the face with the debilitating force of a tornado. The National Enquirer, that sorry scandal sheet — remember? — came out with a story alleging that Cruz had had extra-marital affairs with not one woman, not two, not three, but five mistresses. Really? Wow!
The revelation, true or not, has since set tongues wagging. Trump now says he had nothing to do with it. Others are alleging that Rubio’s former campaign operatives might have planted the story. But of what avail is the finger-pointing? To what end is the denial? And to think that this is even happening at a time when the Republican establishment is beginning to coalesce around Cruz in their concerted effort to defeat Trump, their bete noire! And right at the time when Cruz’s poll numbers are starting to tick up, especially in the state of Wisconsin which holds primaries next week?
“Garbage!” That’s all Cruz continues to say as I write.
Who would have thought that the sweet relationship of yore between Trump and Cruz would come to this pass? Be careful what you pine for, folks. When the Texas senator had several opportunities to take Trump on and eviscerate him as best he could months ago, he, instead, brushed off the media dismissively as always rooting for a “cage match” between him and Trump. Cruz would next link hands with Trump and sing Kumbaya with him. I’m almost certain Cruz rues his mistakes today.
Now, this: If the Republicans can do these things to themselves, then you wonder the kind of things they’d do to the eventual Democratic nominee, be that nominee Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. As Ola Rotimi, the late Nigerian playwright once said, if crocodiles can eat their young ones, what would they not do to the flesh of a toad?
Not to worry. In the meantime, I recommend that the Democrats should order large bowls of piping hot popcorn and continue to watch and rock with delirious laughter as this veritable theater of the absurd unfolds.