Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Global warming is good for your lawn, Texas paranoia abounds, and we found the most adorably deranged complaint ever filed in federal court. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. 

5. Ted Cruz

TedCruzLast week I wrote about Lone Star State governor Greg Abbott summoning the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15 — essentially an act of capitulation to the delusional paranoia of certain constituents. And this week, that paranoia has spread even higher up the political food chain — from dissenters at a risible small town hearing all the way up to GOP presidential contender Sen. Ted Cruz.

Jade Helm 15, you may recall, is an eight-week training exercise conducted by four branches of the U.S. military. A vocal gaggle of unhinged Texans, goaded on by talk- radio hosts, think the exercise is the opening salvo in an attempt by the federal government to declare martial law in the Republic of Texas, seizing guns and letting ISIS soldiers roam rampant.

Part of the insanity can be attributed to a misreading of this map, which indicates that Texas was to play the role of hostile territory in the war games. This misunderstanding, compounded with a long-simmering mistrust of the federal government and a particular animus for the current administration, has blown up beyond anyone’s expectations and made Texas a national laughingstock.

Which brings us to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Rather than throwing water on the flames, Cruz signaled his support for Abbott and his fellow kooky Texans, expressing his empathy with those who fear and hate the federal government — you know, the one he wants to lead.

“I understand the concern that’s been raised by a lot of citizens about Jade Helm,” Cruz said. “We have seen for six years a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens and that produces fear. When you see a federal government that is attacking our free speech rights, our religious liberty rights, our Second Amendment rights, that produces distrust as to government.”

Video via Dave Weigel/YouTube: