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Ted Cruz Versus the Internet, Times 7

Sen. Ted Cruz exposed his Achilles' heel again last week. During a Commerce Committee hearing, Cruz went after Google executive Maggie Stanphill, preening for the cameras about Google and its donations, or lack thereof, to President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a man who can clearly tell a joke.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a man who can clearly tell a joke.
Gage Skidmore

Cruz was trying, we think, to harden the growing consensus among conservatives that big tech, be it Facebook, Google, Twitter or any other social network, is biased against them. Cruz, like Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and other conservatives, seems to think regulation is necessary to make sure Republicans don't get their feelings hurt when they venture online. 

That argument, of course, should be anathema to any small government conservative, but it's not a surprise coming from Cruz. For all his political skills, the senator can't help but fall on his face anytime he or his campaign confronts the dark and scary internet.

Here are a few of his greatest hits:

1. That time his Twitter account liked a porn tweet. — Early on the morning of Sept. 12, 2017, Ted Cruz's official Twitter account liked a tweet featuring a pornographic video. A meme was born. Whenever Cruz tweets something that gets more than the smallest amount of attention, someone replies with a screen grab from the clip, earning a hearty laugh from those who get the joke and deep confusion from those who don't. Cruz blamed the mishap on staff, but it would've been a better look if he'd just admitted to mashing that "like" button.

2. Cruz tries to make a joke about Notre Dame burning, fails. — If you're going to crack wise in the wake of such a tremendous tragedy, it had better be really, really funny. Cruz is incapable of being even a little funny.

3. Cambridge Analytica, the senator hardly knew ya. — In March 2018, extensive reporting from The Guardian and The New York Times revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a research firm bankrolled by Republican kingmaker Robert Mercer, illegally harvested the data of as many as 50 million Facebook users. Cruz paid the firm $6 million for its help during the 2016 election and walked away with absolutely nothing to show for it.

4. Net neutrality is for suckers.Way back in 2014, Cruz managed, somehow, to tie net neutrality, the principle that all internet traffic should receive equal bandwidth priority from service providers, to Obamacare. His tweet makes as little sense now as it did five years ago.

5. Same old song and dance. — Before there was the Stanphill show last week, Cruz ran the same play against Mark Zuckerberg.

"There are a great many Americans who are deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship," Cruz told the Facebook CEO.

Maybe Cruz thinks there should be Affirmative Action for Trump voters.

6. Mr. Cruz, you're no Harry Shearer. — Anytime Cruz tries to show off his "human" side, he ends up coming off as, at best, deeply weird. These Simpsons impressions he did for Buzzfeed are terrifying. 

7. Two-take Ted. — If you're going to record two takes of your impromptu State of the Union response, like Cruz did in January 2015, make sure both takes don't get out. 

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