Congratulations to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has won this year’s Equine Posterior Achievement Award, People For the American Way’s annual prize for the country’s most extreme right-wing politician. Cruz won by a 21-point margin in a poll of PFAW members and Right Wing Watch readers, repeating his 2013 victory, when he beat out the likes of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin for the coveted award. The Texas Board of Education came in second place this year, emerging as a serious contender as a result of another round of historical revisionism, denial of climate change science and flirtation with Creationism.
Cruz ended the year by embarrassing himself when he pulled a stunt that backfired badly. The Texas senator and Tea Party darling hoped to humiliate President Obama and congressional leaders by challenging a bipartisan budget bill as a way to show his anger with the president’s recent executive actions on immigration.
Instead, Cruz’s maneuver was easily defeated, but it did give Senate Democrats the opportunity to put several judicial and executive nominees up for a vote before Republicans took control of the chamber, delighting Democrats while fomenting anger amongst Cruz’s fellow Republicans.
Such attention-grabbing political stunts are typical of Cruz, who spearheaded the opposition to a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision by falsely claiming that the amendment would throw comedians in jail and muzzle pastors.
An anti-gay crusader, Cruz threatened civil disobedience to block the enforcement of gay rights measures, introduced new measures to prevent marriage equality, said same-sex marriage is “heartbreaking” and causes his heart to weep and alleged that gay rights laws will put pastors in prison.
Cruz also stood by lawless rancher Cliven Bundy , notorious for his racist remarks and refusal to recognize the U.S. government’s authority, while at the same time torpedoing the nomination of a noted civil rights attorney , whom he accused of “fanning…flames of racial tension.” Now, Cruz wants to go to war with net neutrality , although he doesn’t seem to have a clue about what net neutrality actually means.
So congratulations Sen. Cruz, or something.