Once upon a time, it was considered uncontroversial for elected officials to denounce anti-government extremists, especially those whose actions resulted in death and serious injury, and especially if the people they attacked were agents of the forces of the United Nations. ‘order. In fact, you could say that condemning anyone who even considered harming “boys in blue” was a demand for Republicans, who have long insisted they were the party of “law and order.”
Now, of course, things are a little different. Oh sure, the GOP always likes to say that Democrats hate the police and their members are the only ones fighting crime, but if a situation arises in which violence is carried out in the name of Donald Trump, well, all is well and good for the right. Better than good, SUPER. This is the position that many Republican lawmakers and right-wing commentators have taken regarding the events of January 6, 2021, and for the most part, the Senator Ted cruz took it too, proudly reminding people that he opposed the certification of Joe bidenand helped spread the lie that the election was stolen from Trump, which helped instigate the attack on Capitol Hill.
Unfortunately for Cruz, the January 6th birthday apparently led him to let himself be carried away by the moment and to say something which is close to the truth about what happened that day. Speaking from the Senate on Wednesday, he told his colleagues: “We are approaching a solemn anniversary this week, and it is the anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol, where we have seen the men and women. Women of law enforcement show incredible courage, incredible courage, risk their lives to defend the men and women who serve in this Capitol.
It was apparently a bridge too far for Fox News’ Tucker carlson– who spent the last year spreading disinformation about January 6 and produced a “docuserie” filled with conspiracy theories on the day. Carlson made it clear on his Jan. 5 show that he was extremely unhappy with the Texas senator, telling viewers: “[Cruz] described January 6 as a violent terrorist attack. Of all that January 6 was, it was certainly not a violent terrorist attack. It was not an insurrection. Was it a riot? Sure. It was not a violent terrorist attack. Sorry. So why are you telling us that was the case, Ted Cruz? And why are none of your Republican friends who are supposed to represent us and all the people who were arrested in this purge saying anything? What the hell is going on here? “
Being called out by Carlson undoubtedly caused Cruz to piss him off metaphorically and maybe literally his pants, because, as one foreign policy adviser put it, “A white supremacist TV host can now make or break the career of a Republican.” So, on Thursday, he appeared on the show to ask for forgiveness.
From the start of the segment, Cruz was unambiguous about the fact that he had no problem exchanging the slightest iota of dignity that remained to him to get back into the good graces of the Fox host. “Tucker, thanks for inviting me,” he said. “When you aired your episode last night I texted you shortly after and said, look, I’d like to continue because the way I phrased it yesterday was sloppy and it was downright stupid. “
But Carlson wasn’t going to let someone who had briefly said bad things about January 6 get away so easily. “I am not buying this”, he declared to Cruz. “I’ve known you for a long time, even before you got to the Senate.” You were a candidate for the Supreme Court. You take words as seriously as any man who’s ever served in the Senate, and every word — you’ve repeated that phrase. I don’t think you used it by accident. I do not do it.