IT’S QUIVERING TIME

Featured

Quivering Time: Hands Away

“…where two or three believers are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them.”
—Jesus

 

 

December 3rd marks my discovery of The Urantia Book 45 years ago.  I still take a chunk of the day to reflect on what has happened in my life, since that momentous discovery.  It was the beginning of Christmas break at the university I was attending.  A friend of my roommate, a total stranger, was in our apartment when I returned from class;  we were listening to a radio blurb about some “born-again Christians” who were evangelizing on a San Francisco street corner, and were assaulted for their efforts.  I rudely and thoughtlessly expressed my disdain for the Christians.  She studied me a moment, and asked me if I had ever heard of The Urantia Book.  I had not;  she gave me a slight smile and said, “I think you’ll like it.”  She said she had a copy down in their van.  A moment later I was reading the white paper jacket on a seriously hefty blue book, and not prepared for what happened next.

Spiritual experiences are, for lack of a better word, ineffable.
It took me many months of reflection on just what happened in that moment; how it was possible to hear that spiritual alarm that went off in my . . . head? . . . a foreign sound that was not a sound.  A tap on the shoulder of my soul.

December 3rd, 2015 also marks the day my uncle Benny graduated this life to eventually reawaken in a higher plane of existence.  But in this life, he was very much an atheist, with an easily aroused loathing and even anger towards the very idea of a God.  Yet I tell you he’ll be overwhelmingly surprised someday— not to mention eternally grateful— when he wakes in the next world, to know, and be known, with his very same unique personality housed in a marvelously new and non-material body;  to take up life anew in a startling and unimaginable universe of eternal progress and adventure.

Unfortunately, it was simply impossible to even talk to him about such ideas here, in this life, because for whatever reason(s), he was closed to the very notion of eternal life.  I point this out because even that sort of intellectual error won’t prevent his re-awakening, and one day, we’ll have that talk we couldn’t have here;  but it will be very different.

Still, it’s true:  it’s very difficult to adequately explain to anyone, for numerous reasons, just how important the personal discovery of “epochal revelation” can be.  At one level, it is the difference between being woke in reality, or being virtually asleep in an automatic dream world.  At another, and higher level, it’s the fundamental and genuine awareness of knowing who you are, what you are, where you are, and why you are here; as opposed to not really thinking about any of those questions, let alone the answer to them.

The majority of people on this planet go through their entire lives assuming that the answers to those vital questions can never truly be known, so no reason to labor over them. Their lives are filled with more or less systemic confusion, which manifests itself in every major decision they must make, in every single relationship they have.  Death remains a great and increasingly ominous mystery to those who even dare to reflect on their own mortality, and often merely a glib ignorance of the basic nature of reality to those who do not.

But life and death are common daily experiences on our world;  new souls coming into it every day, while other souls are constantly leaving their mortal coil behind them as they head into the vast unknown.  It’s safe to say that even young adults have experienced a funeral of someone near or dear to them, and likely have been introduced to a newborn child of friends or family.  And it is this very commonness of these profound events that often allows us to overlook their cosmic significance in the real experiential wonder of living life as a sentient, spiritual, and potentially eternal being.

So. If you’re open-minded enough to wonder and investigate unknown realities, if you crave to understand the mystery of living and possess genuine intellectual integrity— then this annual plea is for you:  read The Urantia Book while you are still on Urantia.

Someday you will be glad— joyful— far beyond words, that you did.

 

 

GROPING THE APOCALYPSE

Herr TwitlerHERR TWITLER:  NO MERCY

White people bought this bullshit,
but we all get to pay for it.

 

The greatest book of all time,* the  “Art Of The Deal,” has no advice to help us with the rapidly mutating calamity of the choosing of a mentally ill narcissist to play president.  President-elect Trump has already resumed his mini-rants on Twittit™, even as the dolts who obstructed the Obama presidency for two entire terms are squealing at Trump protesters to “get over it.”  They don’t yet realize or care that the national psyche has only begun to feel the consequences of a concussion that could prove fatal to our democracy.

EUGENE ROBINSON

The people chose Hillary Clinton. But it’s the electoral vote that counts, not the popular vote, so Donald Trump will be president. And no, I’m not over it.

No one should be over it. No one should pretend that Trump will be a normal president. No one should forget the bigotry and racism of his campaign, the naked appeals to white grievance, the stigmatizing of Mexicans and Muslims. No one should forget the jaw-dropping ignorance he showed about government policy both foreign and domestic. No one should forget the vile misogyny. No one should forget the mendacity, the vulgarity, the ugliness, the insanity. None of this should ever be normalized in our politics.

The big protests that have followed Trump’s election should be no surprise. You can’t spend all those months trashing our nation’s values and then expect everyone to join you in a group hug. Trump made the bed in which he now must lie.

If a normal Republican had been elected, I could say the polite and socially acceptable thing, something like “I didn’t support So-and-So, but he will be my president, too, and I wish him success.” But I cannot wish Trump success in rounding up and deporting millions of people or banning Muslims from entering the country or reinstituting torture as an instrument of U.S. policy. In these and other divisive, cruel, unwise initiatives, I wish him failure.
(my emphasis)

But not to worry, mon.  Erry ting goann be awwiet.  Perhaps.  In a few dozen decades.

Meanwhile.  The citizens (not the corporations) of most of the great powers are taxed, regulated, and controlled almost oppressively.  Economic injustice is out of control.  And the curtailment of individual liberties promises to continue around the world.  Many Americans, and indeed, many of the world’s citizens are increasingly frightened and apprehensive about their future in Trump World.  The fear and anger that drove a majority of whites in the U.S. to take a blunt instrument to their craniums just to “shake things up,” will now begin paying the price for their paroxysm of vengeance.

Part of that unforeseen price is going to be the painful ruination of our democracy, at the stunted little hands of a B-grade reality teevee star, tweeting his tiny tantrums from the midnight oval office.

THE DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
Many Americans seem to have the notion that “democracy” is baked into our reality like cherries are in a pie.  But our democracy is a product of civilization, not of organic evolution, and that makes it both fragile and volatile. There are several clear dangers that threaten democracy;  here they are:

Glorification of mediocrity.  Check.  Do you really need examples? 

Choice of base and ignorant rulers.  Check.  Trump isn’t the first or the worst; (yet).  George Bush set a new low; now the question is how low can we go.

Failure to recognize the basic facts of social evolution.  Check.  Yes, we’re talking about economic injustice, and the failure to recognize and achieve human brotherhood. 

Danger of universal suffrage in the hands of uneducated and indolent majorities.  Check.  Nothing in our history makes this point like our most recent presidential election.

Slavery to public opinion.  (The majority is not always right.)  Check.  We have made a fetish of democracy, through the exaltation of the common man’s ideas which we collectively call “public opinion.”  One man’s opinion, by itself, is not regarded as worth much. But when many men are collectively functioning as a democracy, this same mediocre judgment is held to be the arbiter of justice and the standard of righteousness.

Education of public opinion is still the only safe and true method of accelerating our civilization.  Force is only temporary.  Public opinion, the mores, is the elemental energy in social evolution, but it must be nonviolent in expression.  Civilized government arrived when public opinion was clothed with the power of personal franchise.  Now more than ever, we know that elections may not always decide things rightly; they just happen to represent the right way even to do a wrong thing.  

WHO WOULD JESUS BOMB
Meanwhile, some free advice.  All you earnest Evangenitals¹ should answer this question:  Who should Jesus “bomb the hell out of”  first?  Maybe you reflexively thought to yourself, “Jesus wouldn’t bomb anybody.”  But hold that thought.

After this election, it’s safe to say that the order of progressive evolution is occasionally subjected to sudden and unexpected changes in both the material and the spiritual worlds.

. . .no state is going to transcend the moral values of its citizenry as exemplified in their chosen leaders. . .

Jesus alluded to a “phase of the kingdom” in the future, and did, on numerous occasions, intimate that such an event might appear as a part of a world crisis.  What sort of change is hard to speculate;  but how about a nuclear exchange over. . .   a hand gesture?  Just a guess.  

Our political or administrative form of a government is actually of little consequence, provided it affords the people with the essentials of civil progress:  liberty, security, education, and social coordination.  It’s not so much what a nation is, as what it does that determines the course of social evolution.  But no state is going to transcend the moral values of its citizenry as exemplified in their chosen leaders.  Ignorance and selfishness will insure the downfall of even the highest type of government.  Bombs away.

WHITE NATIONALISM
As much as we regret it — and we must — America’s white national egotism has been essential to our social survival.  The chosen people doctrine was a prime factor in building the nation.  But our nation will never attain ideal levels of functioning until every form of intolerance is mastered;  it is inimical to human progress. 

How should our nation — even the world — function ideally in the 21st century?  There are at least three powerful and all-encompassing drives we can use to set out upon a progressively ideal course:

1. Intelligent patriotism — based on wise ideals.

2. Love — derived from the realization of human brotherhood.

3. Cosmic insight — interpreted in terms of planetary facts, needs, and goals.

Un-American measures such as a Muslim registry is certainly not the answer;  it would quickly make matters horrendously worse.  Intolerance— fear and hatred of the other— is always best combated through a wise combination of science, commerce, play, and real religion.  But only a truly ethical consciousness can unmask the immorality of human intolerance.  What’s your honest estimate of the number of Trump supporters the poorly educated with a “truly ethical consciousness”?   Only a moral conscience will condemn the evils of national envy and racial jealousy.  Only truly moral beings will ever seek for that spiritual insight which is essential to living the golden rule.

THE PROGRESSIVE AGENDA
Okay then.  Here are a dozen bullet points true progressives should be willing and able to agree on and work to implement.  No pressure.

1. Preservation of individual liberties.

2. Protection of the home.

3. Promotion of economic security.

4. Prevention of disease.

5. Compulsory education.

6. Compulsory employment.

7. Profitable utilization of leisure.

8. Care of the unfortunate.

9. Race improvement.

10. Promotion of science and art.

11. Promotion of philosophy — wisdom.

12. Augmentation of cosmic insight — spirituality.

SO ARE WE DOOMED?
I hear you.  You’re exhausted, confused, outraged, stuck in traffic, etc., and already don’t have enough time or means to take care of your essentials.  Gee times are tough.  And let’s be honest, looks like they’re going to get exponentially tougher, at least short term;  even after the impeachment.

But yes, there was number nine up there:  Race “improvement.”  And yes you heard right, Trump thinks he has superior genes.  Whatever he has, he is absolutely the worst spokesperson for eugenics you could possibly find.   Huff-Po put it like this:

This May Be The Most Horrible Thing That Donald Trump Believes


Most unfortunate.  Do you believe in evolution?  Yes?  Then you probably know that simple farmers have known for centuries that the “crossbreeding” of plants and animals could favor more desirable traits; but when it comes to humans, animal-origin humans— eugenics becomes evil, because, Hitler!  Yes, imagine it:  there’s a wrong way to do a right thing!
But.  If you’ve never actually met an amoral criminal-type who would just as soon cut your throat as bomb a children’s hospital, I can understand some of your apprehension.  But after this election??

It’s time you got over it.

* LOL;  NO.

¹ Christian nutballs

 

Philip Geiger Has A Date With Destiny

Philip Geiger

 

LA JOLLA, CA  —  Philip  “Propagandee” Geiger, my one and only blog bro here at Urantian Sojourn, graduated from life on Urantia Monday evening.  He had been in ICU for three weeks following a horrendous surgery to remove blockages from his lungs and to repair damage to his heart.  Faced with this terminal condition which gave him maybe a year to live and made it hard to catch a breath with even mild exertion, he opted for the surgery.  He saw it as a definite win-win situation: they could fix the worst of the problem with his material body— or he would wind up with a new one, on a new world.

Usually, an obituary gives you some perfunctory particulars of a person’s accomplishments during their brief sojourn on this planet, and a listing of relatives who “survive” the deceased.  They are written as if a person’s life has actually ended and now they cease to exist.   But Phil’s transit to the next stage of universe existence is the perfect instance to attempt to awaken those who might read this to the reality of the Father’s plan of universe ascension.

You see, Phil is a “Urantian”— a longtime student of The Urantia Book here, on the “World Of The Cross.”  And because he fully believed in the precious promise of eternal life presented through this amazing revelation, he knew that mortal identity on a world like ours is a very transient time-life condition in the universe, and he understood that no one knows how long they have here.  That’s why Phil was betting on a sure thing;  if he didn’t survive the operation— which at one point he was told it was a fifty-fifty proposition— his mortal identity, his soul and his spirit, would be transported and reassembled in a new form, on the next world in our ascendant careers.  Indeed, that is what has happened, and I would like to explain in more detail how that comes about, through insights from The Urantia Book.

The situation which makes repersonalization possible is brought about in “the resurrection halls of the receiving planets of a local universe.”*  Here in these life-assembly chambers the supervising authorities provide that relationship of universe energy— soul, mindal, and spiritual— which makes possible the reconsciousizing of the sleeping survivor.  The reassembly of the constituent parts of a onetime material personality involves:

The fabrication of a suitable form, a [soul] energy pattern, in which the new survivor can make contact with nonspiritual reality, and within which the [necessary] variant of the cosmic mind can be encircuited.

The return of the [Indwelling Spirit] to the waiting creature.  The [Indwelling Spirit] is the eternal custodian of your ascending identity;  your [Indwelling Spirit] is the absolute assurance that you yourself and not another will occupy the form created for your personality awakening.  And the [Indwelling Spirit] will be present at your personality reassembly to take up once more the role of Paradise guide to your surviving self.

When these prerequisites of repersonalization have been assembled, the seraphic custodian of the potentialities of the slumbering immortal soul, with the assistance of numerous cosmic personalities, bestows this entity upon and in the awaiting mind-body form while committing this evolutionary child of the Supreme to eternal association with the waiting [Indwelling Spirit].  And this completes the repersonalization, reassembly of memory, insight, and consciousness— identity.

The fact of repersonalization consists in the seizure of the encircuited [soul] phase of the newly segregated cosmic mind by the awakening human self.  The phenomenon of personality is dependent on the persistence of the identity of selfhood reaction to universe environment;  and this can only be effected through the medium of mind.

Selfhood persists in spite of a continuous change in all the factor components of self;  in the physical life the change is gradual;  at death, and upon repersonalization, the change is sudden.  The true reality of all selfhood (personality) is able to function responsively to universe conditions by virtue of the unceasing changing of its constituent parts;  stagnation terminates in inevitable death.  Human life is an endless change of the factors of life unified by the stability of the unchanging personality.

When you awaken on the mansion worlds of Jerusem, you will be so changed, the spiritual transformation will be so great that, were it not for your Thought Adjuster [indwelling Spirit] and the destiny guardian, who so fully connect up your new life in the new worlds with your old life in the first world, you would at first have difficulty in connecting the new … consciousness with the reviving memory of your previous identity. Notwithstanding the continuity of personal selfhood, much of the mortal life would at first seem to be a vague and hazy dream. But time will clarify many mortal associations.

The Thought Adjuster [indwelling Spirit] will recall and rehearse for you only those memories and experiences which are a part of, and essential to, your universe career. If the Adjuster has been a partner in the evolution of aught in the human mind, then will these worth-while experiences survive in the eternal consciousness of the Adjuster.

But much of your past life and its memories, having neither spiritual meaning nor morontia* value, will perish with the material brain; much of material experience will pass away as onetime scaffolding which, having bridged you over to the morontia* level, no longer serves a purpose in the universe.  But personality and the relationships between personalities are never scaffolding; mortal memory of personality relationships has cosmic value and will persist. On the mansion worlds you will know and be known, and more, you will remember, and be remembered by, your onetime associates in the short but intriguing life on Urantia.¹ 

But eternal life is a choice:  Our identity is real only in so far as any person elects to become a continuing universe phenomenon.  The Indwelling Spirit is truly our path to Paradise, but each of us must pursue that path by our own deciding and freewill choosing.  And it is this very power of choice— the universe insignia of freewill creaturehood— that constitutes our greatest opportunity, and in fact, our supreme cosmic responsibility.

Upon the sincerity of the mortal free will the divine Spirit within depends for eternal personality;  all will creatures are to experience one true opportunity to make one undoubted, self-conscious, and final choice;  the soul of man must and will be given full and ample opportunity to reveal its true intent and real purpose.

When the more spiritually and cosmically advanced mortals die on the worlds of time and space, they proceed immediately to the mansion worlds*;  the worlds where all who survive the life in the flesh initially continue their existence.  But most of us will be assigned to the ranks of the “sleeping survivors,” who will be repersonalized en masse at the end of the current planetary dispensation.  Regardless, our conscious experience of the moment of death is seamless;  the blink of an eye.  The second you “die,” is the second you awake in a new body.  It’s not unlike the experience of lost time under anesthesia: one second you’re headed to surgery, the next, you’re waking up after it’s over.
 
Of course, there are serious difficulties that hamper our efforts to understand just exactly what happens to us in death.  One of these difficulties consists in the impossibility of conveying to our level of comprehension an adequate description of a “transaction on the borderland of the physical and spiritual realms.”*   Sorry about that.    Another is brought about by the restrictions placed upon the revelators of truth by the celestial governing authorities of Urantia.  There are many interesting details which might have been presented in The Urantia Book, but our immediate planetary supervisors, sticklers all, nixed most of them.  They know who we are.  But they did say this much:

THE URANTIA BOOK:

There is something real, something of human evolution, something additional to the [Indwelling Spirit], which survives death.  This newly appearing entity is the soul, and it survives the death of both your physical body and your material mind.  This entity is the conjoint child of the combined life and efforts of the human you in liaison with the divine you, the [Indwelling Spirit].  This child of human and divine parentage constitutes the surviving element of terrestrial origin;  it is the immortal soul.

This child of persisting meaning and surviving value is wholly unconscious during the period from death to repersonalization and is in the keeping of the seraphic destiny guardian throughout this season of waiting.  You will not function as a conscious being, following death, until you attain the new consciousness of [soul] on the mansion worlds.

At death, the functional identity associated with the human personality is disrupted through the cessation of vital motion. Human personality, while transcending its constituent parts, is dependent on them for functional identity. The stoppage of life destroys the physical brain patterns for mind endowment, and the disruption of mind terminates mortal consciousness. The consciousness of that creature cannot subsequently reappear until a cosmic situation has been arranged which will permit the same human personality again to function in relationship with living energy.

During the transit of surviving mortals from the world of origin to the mansion worlds, whether they experience personality reassembly on the third period or ascend at the time of a group resurrection, the record of personality constitution is faithfully preserved by the archangels on their worlds of special activities.  These beings are not the custodians of personality (as the guardian seraphim are of the soul), but it is nonetheless true that every identifiable factor of personality is effectually safeguarded in the custody of these dependable trustees of mortal survival.  As to the exact whereabouts of mortal personality during the time intervening between death and survival, we do not know.

And when you thus awaken on the mansion worlds of Jerusem, you will be so changed, the spiritual transformation will be so great that, were it not for your [Indwelling Spirit] and the destiny guardian, who so fully connect up your new life in the new worlds with your old life in the first world, you would at first have difficulty in connecting your new consciousness with the reviving memory of your previous identity.  Notwithstanding the continuity of personal selfhood, much of the mortal life would at first seem to be a vague and hazy dream.  But time will clarify many mortal associations.

The [Indwelling Spirit] will recall and rehearse for you only those memories and experiences which are a part of, and essential to, your universe career.  If the [Indwelling Spirit] has been a partner in the evolution of aught in the human mind, then will these worth-while experiences survive in the eternal consciousness of the [Indwelling Spirit].  But much of your past life and its memories, having neither spiritual meaning nor survival value, will perish with the material brain; much of material experience will pass away as onetime scaffolding which, having bridged you over to the next level, no longer serves a purpose in the universe. But personality and the relationships between personalities are never scaffolding; mortal memory of personality relationships has cosmic value and will persist. On the mansion worlds you will know and be known, and more, you will remember, and be remembered by, your onetime associates in the short but intriguing life on Urantia.¹

Despite all that, and the joy it brings through the recognition of its truth, those of us who knew Phil in this life are still going to miss him and all the things we came to love about him.  But until we ourselves make this transition and are repersonalized, and stand in the presence of all those who’ve gone before us and those who have made such an amazing transition possible, we must continue to know these things through our living faith; which is exactly the way Phil lived his life here, and who has no doubt now realized these very truths in reality.

Until then. . .

•   •   •

* See:   The First Mansion World

¹  This entire quote was edited for clarity of terms.

(See Phil’s bio on our About page)

 

 

 

 

 

 

VOTING FOR THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS IS SO TWENTIETH CENTURY

Two Evils: Ready For Hillarity

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes
—The Eagles

:

There’s been a gleeful sense of schadenfreude in the coverage churned out by left-leaning outlets in particular. How lovely it has been to watch the conservative movement’s house of cards fall into shambles!

The problem, of course, is that Republicans aren’t the only party facing an historic rift. Over the past two weeks, it’s become increasingly obvious that grassroots liberals are thoroughly disgusted by their own party establishment.

Yes, the Republicans are unconditionally fucked.  They must swallow their own vomit and nominate a rapacious pig of a candidate, or watch their rabid base literally burn their hypocritical asses to the ground.

But even as Bernie surges, the simpleton Dems (and they are legion) still look likely to nominate their very own One Percenter,  a shrill establishment harpy who is increasingly despised by the growing throngs who are championing her insurgent foe.

The reason [Bernie] keeps beating Hillary Clinton is because a huge portion of the electorate—particularly young voters—is yearning for the kind of explicit social justice he’s prescribing. To put it bluntly: he’s articulating a moral vision, not an electoral path to the White House.

You know— what the Democratic Party did when Franklin Delano Roosevelt offered voters a compassionate and responsive government that stood against the corrosive values of a capitalist theocracy, not to mention global fascism and a world war which killed 50 million people.

What does the modern Democratic Party offer? …  The modern Democratic Party …  has chosen to enable— and in many cases sponsor— policies that have allowed capitalism to act like a giant centrifuge, concentrating wealth and power in the hands of the few to the detriment of the many.

This is why a majority of Democratic primary voters not only identify as liberal, but believe that socialism has a (gasp!) positive impact on society.

Queen Hillary

I’d just like to know who’s balls are decorating that throne.

The wave that senior statesman Bernie Sanders is trying to surf flows from a possible majority of democrats who no longer believe in capitalism as a guiding root of our economy or our politics.  And they can plainly see that Hillary Clinton is the Empress of the status quo—  and that she represents the democratic minting of crony capitalism.

The logic isn’t terribly subtle. If you raise funds from the financial and fossil fuel industries, or collect millions in personal fees for speeches to Wall Street executives, you are beholden to them.  As a rule, politicians don’t police their patrons.

And this.

In squaring off against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton never had to face such stark questions about her own integrity, because both of them were willing to exploit the corruptions of the campaign finance system.  They passed for liberal, because they were the only options.

For the first time since the Great Society, a candidate has staked out authentically progressive positions:  bleeding private money from politics, reforming our criminal justice system, insuring education and health care as rights.  And paying for these programs by rolling back the massive tax breaks of the past few decades, and closing the corporate loopholes.

These solutions aren’t new, they’ve been intentionally obscured by an enormous cloud of corporate money and propaganda expressly intended to hide just how compromised our political discourse has become in the past four decades.

And one of the main reasons Bernie appeals to so many young voters is precisely because they have the most to lose by tolerating this Orwellian miasma of misinformation.

They are not victims of the Stockholm Syndrome that afflicts so many so-called “pragmatists.”  What young voters see is one party hell-bent on ravaging government so that plutocrats can run the show, and another devoted to a pattern of moral acquiescence.

To put it more affirmatively, Bernie Sanders hasn’t moved the Democratic base to the left. He’s revealed a base that has always been there, one that is tired of accepting “the lesser of two evils” as an electoral argument.

Berners— Sanders supporters— don’t just want somebody who can stand up to the greedy nihilistic bullies across the aisle, the very same white homophobic corporate lackies who’ve been cockblocking our first black president for the last seven years.  They want a leader who rejects the evil of moral decay embraced by the Democratic Party itself.  They want a leader with a clear vision of commitment to uncompromising moral and ethical truth.

Despite that appetite for change and hunger for truth, Hillary Clinton may still be the Democratic nominee, and may even manage to squeak by Donald Trump in what promises to be the ugliest fucking nightmare of an election you can imagine.  But beating a racist right-wing lunatic will do next to nothing to fix the moral fabric of our democracy, nor will it win the fight for the soul of our nation.

It’s going to take nothing less than a spiritual awakening for that.

 

Loathsome Ted

F U TED

Ted Cruz provokes a round of Bronx cheers from natives with “New York values”

An AP/GFK poll released yesterday shows that presidential candidate Ted Cruz has a net unfavorable rating of 33%.  That’s 10 points less than Donald Drumpf (with whom he shares a mere 26%approval rating), and 20 points higher than Hillary Clinton (40% positive rating).  Drumpf and Clinton are two well-known commodities with substantial history and exposure.  Drumpf ‘s negatives are as much a feature as they are a bug of his strategy to appeal to the lesser angels of certain demographics he needs for a core constituency.  The Clintons spawned an entire cottage industry of conservative haters during the nineties, which waned after Bill Clinton left office.  Now that Hillary is running for president, it is back in full force.  In contrast, Cruz, with the exception of his success at shutting down the US government in 2013,  has been on the national stage for only a year since he announced his candidacy. What, then, makes him so loathsome?

When he tries to be personable, or God forfend, humorous, Cruz somehow comes across as creepy; or at least unauthentic. His reading of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to his daughters on the Senate floor during his filibuster of Obamacare had all the charm of a dentist doing a root canal without anesthesia. With a face made for radio, we can chalk up Senator Sourpus’s electoral successes, not to the appeal of his personality, but to the professionals running his campaign.

His fellow Republican Senate colleagues find him even more loathsome than does the general public. In addition to calling Senate Leader Mitch McConnell a liar for bringing the Export-Import Bank back to life, he called him “a puppet for Democratic leaders and a foe of conservatives” for refusing to add a rider defunding Planned Parenthood in the 2016 budget bill. He pressed his attack on McConnell by forcing a procedural vote that was, in effect, a backdoor referendum on his leadership. McConnell, no shrinking violet when it comes to playing political hardball, blocked him from speaking on the Senate floor, cementing Cruz’s reputation as persona non grata on both sides of the aisle. (Karma alert: Cruz is now courting his estranged Senate colleagues for support in winning the GOP presidential nomination.)

All of which pales in comparison to Cruz’s success in actually shutting down the entire government in 2013 for not defuning Obamacare, Ted’s greatest achievement in the eyes of his loyal followers.

After dropping out of the presidential race, Cruz’s fellow Republican senator Lindsey Graham announced his support for Jeb Bush. When Jeb’s campaign cratered ($130 million dollars just doesn’t buy what it used to), and the field of contenders shrank from 17 to 3, poor Lindsey found himself hoisted on the horns of a dilemma: Who to support now?  Drumpf or Cruz? In late January, he announced his choice, lamenting:

It’s like being shot or poisoned. What does it really matter?

Graham put the disdain of his Senate colleagues into even greater relief when in February of this year he told the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 72nd Congressional Dinner crowd:

My party’s gone bat shit crazy…If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.

Good one, Lindsey. With a record of statements like that, one could be forgiven for assuming that you would support the only other candidate with a path to the nomination, Donald Drumpf. But so great is the GOP’s fear that Drumpf would lead it to utter ruin,* that a mere three weeks later, I see you steadying yourself with one hand on your fainting couch, clutching your pearls with the other, raising money for Cruz. Must really suck to be you.

In close, a question for Cruz: How’s that whole sneering “New York values”  dis of Drumpf working out fer ya?

Cruz rotten apple_big

Senator Sourpus really knows how to make an impression

*The same AP/GfK poll found that “two out of three people now have an unfavorable view of the party. The 67 percent negative rating is up from the 58 percent who viewed the GOP that way in October 2014. Just 30 percent of Americans now have a favorable view of the GOP…”