Culture

Ted Cruz’s Crusade Against Masturbation Makes Him the Perfect Guy to Catch Watching Porn

Let’s just assume he’s the one who ‘liked’ the tweet

Okay, so: Ted Cruz “liked” a porn video on Twitter. Of course, it’s also not quite that simple. The Texas senator’s campaign team has launched an internal investigation to find out who on staff was responsible while the rest of us are trying to deduce some answers for ourselves. It could have been an honest-to-God accident, and lone conspiracy theorists will enjoy explaining how it was actually a well-plotted effort to make Cruz seem relatable.

But none of that changes the outstanding optics of the event: On the evening of 9/11, Cruz appeared to show interest in explicit erotica, disseminated by something called “Sexuall Posts,” that depicts a porn actress (who looks kind of like Cruz’s wife) masturbating upon discovering her daughter fucking on the living room couch. Those who tried to dissuade Twitter from having a good laugh about the incident were drowned out. Comedian Kumail Nanjiani, for example, would come to delete this scolding tweet:

In other words, we pretty much all agreed this was hilarious — if you were online for it, you saw Twitter achieve rare perfection for about an hour, with no one able to tweet about anything else. We could tell that no matter the news cycle to follow, the impending denials and cover-ups, there was some beauty to treasure here. Everyone watches porn, and everyone gets busted watching it, and that’s always funny in the sense that our universal horniness is funny. (“Dick for Two,” the graphic video in question, is a cult classic by default, by the way.)

Yet Ted Cruz isn’t your unemployed roommate who thought he had the apartment to himself for the afternoon. He’s not just any ultra-conservative, moralizing, Evangelical politician jacking off to incest porn, either. Not even taking into account the notion that he’s the Zodiac Killer, or realizing that his face is stuck in a permanent caught-wet-handed expression, could fully elucidate our amusement.

In fact, the true joy of Cruz throttling his hog to this admittedly rather vanilla sex scene derives from his long, rich history of interest in such materials — and the acts of self-abasement they inspire. The stories begin with Cruz’s freshman year at Princeton in 1988, when he roomed with one Craig Mazin, who has been forthright about how widely despised the future failed presidential candidate was in their dorm and around campus.

You see where this is going, don’t you? Mazin heard Cruz pleasuring himself. A lot. And when social media lit up over the “mysterious” porn like, Mazin was chuckling with us.

Yeah, Cruz was (at least back then) a serial masturbator — but anyone could out their college nemesis for this kind of behavior after the fact. What’s truly amazing is that Mazin had already brought it to light, back during the 2016 Republican primaries.

This solid burn is a link to our next piece of the Diddlin’ Ted legend: Mazin was referencing an argument Cruz put forward in 2007, as Texas solicitor general, against the sale of sex toys. Retailers in Austin and a distributor of these “obscene” devices (dildos, fake vaginas, etc.) were challenging a state law against their sale, then punishable by up to two years in prison. Cruz was obligated to defend the statute, but he did so in a brief that suggested the government should be actively discouraging “autonomous sex” and “prurient interests in sexual gratification.” Most notoriously, the 76-page document stated: “There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.” He could have let it drop once an appeals court sided with the dildo-peddlers, but no — he and Attorney General Greg Abbott doubled down with another brief full of the same reactionary bullshit. Only when that, too, got shot down by the judges, leaving the Supreme Court as a final recourse, did Cruz at last relent.

Why not take the battle all the way to the Final Nine? Could it be that Cruz remembered, with some guilt, his many years of white-knuckled knob-waxing? I doubt it. If anything, he was mad that people were getting off with foreign objects while he had stayed loyal to his plain, tired hand. On the contrary, I believe Cruz would have relished a chance to take on vibrators in the highest court in the land — were it not for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. See, while Cruz left the sex toys out of his book A Time for Truth, he spotlighted, and basically never stopped telling, an anecdote about watching web porn with O’Connor while working as Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s clerk in 1996. He recounted this for the billionth time in front of his wife and daughters at a 2016 town hall.

During his campaign, Cruz was convinced enough of his charm in relating this tale that he repeated it compulsively. What purpose it was meant to serve, we may never know. (In the book, he notes that the court librarians found the dirty clip by searching the term “cantaloupe,” which feels like it needs a whole other article.) The point is, he had seen porn with the first woman justice of the Supreme Court, who in 2007 was still hearing cases. Cruz has his version of what transpired that day 11 years before, but no doubt O’Connor has her own. In his heart of hearts, Cruz had to know that making an oral argument claiming the 14th Amendment’s privacy clause doesn’t apply to personal pleasure before O’Connor would destroy him. She had sat right next to a 26-year-old Cruz as he witnessed a cantaloupe-related sex act; hell, she’d probably looked right into the puddle of mucus he calls a soul. To try to persuade her on this, of all issues — and to inevitably lose the decision — was to forever ruin his cocktail-party brag about their triple-X-rated moment together. He simply refused to take that unthinkable risk.

That is why it won’t be funnier if Mike Pence or Mike Huckabee “like” some Satanic dungeon porn next week, or Paul Ryan and Rand Paul accidentally post the same Ayn Rand fetish cosplay. Trump himself could go full porn account without us batting an eye — nothing short of the piss tape will rouse us from this malaise. Cruz is, in every conceivable way, the supreme choice for “politician who inadvertently reveals he was milking his lizard on a day of national mourning.” To quote The Big Lebowski: “Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place.” That time is September 11th, that place is Twitter, and that man is Ted Cruz. God bless America.

Miles Klee is a contributing writer at MEL.

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