Wide-eyed Baby (WEB): Hello, Senator Ted Cruz. You’re here late.
Ted Cruz (TC): Well, I’ve been campaigning all day. This wasn’t exactly at the top of the list of media outlets I talk to. Really, you’re fortunate I came.
WEB: As usual, you have managed to thoroughly charm your audience.
TC: I mean it, you are lucky. Not only do you have the Republican front-runner to interview, but I’m also a great guest. I don’t wander off topic, and I don’t complain, either (Cruz pronounces “either” like “eye-thur”).
WEB: What have you got to complain about?
TC: Some folks would complain of your smoking, for instance. Some people would be horrified to watch an infant smoke, in a futile attempt to appear as a hardened, street-wise reporter. I myself do not care.
WEB: I have to admit, it is a bit intriguing that you haven’t said anything about it.
TC: I’ll admit it’s odd that you smoke Kools. For a newborn, Virginia Slims might be more appropriate. But this isn’t about you and your search for a vice. It’s about me and my campaign. Don’t you have any questions for me?
WEB: Okay, then. What are your thoughts about criminal justice reform?
TC: I’m not opposed. But we have to do it the right way. That means one, identifying the problems; two, generating options; and three, selecting a course of action and committing to it. And lastly, four, persisting in applying our chosen course until we make it successful.
TC: (Also blinks)
WEB: I have to admit it’s impressive you gave a straight-forward, detailed answer.
TC: (smugly) You see? Even a baby who doesn’t know anything about anything gets it.
WEB: I find that while I agree with everything you said, you are so intensely disagreeable that I would actually not mind seeing criminal justice reform fail, just to spite you. (Introspectively) Is it because hearing my own beliefs reflected in such an obnoxious way requires me to hate you or myself?
TC: Nice to see you’ve graduated from grungy city reporter to self-absorbed New York Times elitist. Congratulations on what I’m sure is a momentous event in your life.
WEB: You do realize that people might agree with your politics but won’t vote for you because of how arrogantly you behave, don’t you? Do you ever think a public relations strategy might be beneficial?
TC: Do you ever think of asking questions with substance? Let’s see if you can dream up one question that is grounded in critical thought.
WEB: (Glowering) Let’s see if I can. All right, Senator Cruz, how do you reconcile your supposed support for Constitutional freedoms with your desire to implement conservative policies that restrict others’ right to make their own decisions, like banning abortion?
TC: (laughs in grating manner) Well, it’s certainly not the first time I’ve been asked the question. Yet rather than invest 15 seconds in a simple Google search, your instinct is to ask me to just repeat my answer to you.
WEB: (Narrows eyes) How can you criticize liberals for policing behavior when you would like to ban marijuana? Isn’t that the same thing?
TC: Wait a minute. We have not yet resolved my question, which was the key to the whole conversation. And if I may say, a far superior question than any I have been asked tonight.
WEB: (sarcastically) Is there anything you don’t do well?
TC: My question is, Can you look me in the eye and tell me that you believe it is right for a street-wise, chain-smoking infant to neglect to do any research prior to conducting a major interview? That is your definition of ethical behavior?
WEB: Ethical…? No, that is not how I would define ethical behavior.
TC: (leans back, with appearance of cat that has just eaten a delicious mouse) So you agree that you were deliberately broadcasting untruths?
WEB: Wait- what?
TC: Let me ask you, just why should anyone believe you when you attempt to call my integrity into question, after you just admitted you are actively distorting the concept of right and of Truth?
WEB: I didn’t say –
TC: Oh, now you’re going to deny what you just finished saying? Well, I would be remiss if I did not express that I’m deeply saddened by this shameful insight into your character.
WEB: (red and shouting) You know what, Ted? I’m going to give you my opinion of you. Are you ready for some feedback?
TC: No. No, I am not.