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Wisdom of Children

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Sen. Creeponaut, family man.

Am I surprised that Ted “Spanky” Cruz is unable to recognize non-verbal and verbal cues that clearly state “Back. The hell. Away. Old man”?

No. I am not.

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  • kayden

    Ouch! She seems really angry. That’s how I’ll feel if any Republican wins the Presidency.

    • DrDick

      That whole video is totally creepy and makes my skin crawl.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Apparently this is a Rorschach test. You get out of something what you bring to it. I don’t really see it as creepy. Just typical parent kid behavior. But I’ll allow that we’re products of different experiences. In my family I was that little girl. As the youngest I was always getting hugs and kisses from everybody else. I behaved the very same way she did. And I still do. I don’t think my mother or sisters are creepy forcing hugs and kisses on me. It’s just what they do.

        • addicted44

          There are a lot of things parents can do with their kids that a re super creepy when a non-parent does it.

          Kissing them is almost certainly near the top of that list.

        • Origami Isopod

          That’s a good way to teach a kid that adults don’t need to respect their boundaries. Which leaves them more vulnerable to sexual predation.

  • Gary K

    Oh, I dunno. When we don’t like someone we start to see all kinds of stuff, and I agree: he’s a creep in so many ways. But the kid is at that age when it’s embarrassing to get a hug from dad. You hug ’em anyway.

    • sharculese

      You hug ’em anyway.

      I’m gonna go ahead and not accept parental devotion as sufficient justification for invading the personal space of someone who’s clearly uncomfortable with it.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        the flinch is just really bad. He might not have pushed the hug on her if the camera hadn’t been there, but he should have just smiled at her and let it go

        • sharculese

          I can’t tell how old Cruz’s daughter is, but at the least she’s old enough to vocalize how she wants to be touched. Which, well, if we needed more evidence, she clearly vocalizes how she wants to be touched.

          Not acknowledging that isn’t a sign of affection, it’s a sign of being selfish and shitty.

          • She’s seven.

            • sharculese

              I’d call that more than old enough to at least start saying which ways you like being touched and which ways you don’t.

              • Agreed. Old enough to indicate “Hey, cut it out,” starts before we finish drying off.

                • sharculese

                  Yup. Consent isn’t a switch that flips on when you turn 18, it’s a spectrum that starts as soon as they start having personalities of their own.

                  I don’t think this is true of every parent who insists on hugging their kid when they don’t want to be hugged, but the behavior I’m seeing from Cruz is absolutely on a through-line to purity balls and promise rings.

                • It can start then, but there’s seldom real interest or concern in what the children want or don’t.

            • I don’t think seven is an age when little girls stop wanting to be hugged by their parents. That really wasn’t my experience, at any rate. 11 and 12 starts to be a very self conscious time. There’s no excuse for his pushing it on her at any age.

              • sharculese

                I don’t think it’s necessarily the age where she doesn’t want to be hugged by her parents, I’m just saying it’s a point where she’s capable of expressing ‘don’t hug me right now.’

              • Thirtyish

                If you’ve watched the out takes from the Cruz family campaign videos, it’s obvious that this kid has a tense relationship with her dad. And who can blame her? There is clearly some eye-rolling and exasperated gesticulating going on in those scenes. If her bullshit meter is already going off, I sincerely hope for her sake that she holds onto that sense of “something’s not right.” It might be her saving grace from having by a psycho like Ted Cruz as a father.

              • The Youth are maturing faster these days.

                I (& any self-respecting seven-yr. old) probably would resent the hell out of being forced to wear the same frock as my younger sister. At least four such visible in these images.

                • Thirtyish

                  Seriously. Seven is old enough to not want to seem like a “little kid.” Recalling myself at seven, I resented the hell out of the indignity of being made to appear like a younger child.

              • I didn’t mean to imply it was. However, I think [not] wanting to be hugged will depend on the person, not their age.

              • ThrottleJockey

                As the youngest in my family I had a thing about showing physical affection of any kind, it felt like weakness. My mother forced hugs and kisses on me anyways. I don’t see anything objectionable about the practice. By using the word “consent” you suggest that the behavior is “rapey”, which I don’t think it is at all. It’s unfortunate to conflate the two.

                Other times I had my space violated: if I got in a fight with my cousin my aunt would make us talk it out. At the end she would make us hug one another. Neither of us wanted to. All these years later I’m still not a hugger but I don’t think there’s anything creepy about the practice.

                • sharculese

                  By using the word “consent” you suggest that the behavior is “rapey”, which I don’t think it is at all. It’s unfortunate to conflate the two.

                  I’m really not, TJ. Forms of physical contact less intense than rape still involve consent to be touched.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  I guess but can you see how the language might suggest to some people that he’s “rapey”? I feel like people are stopping just short of calling him a molester….For me that girl’s behavior was an everyday thing growing up so I can’t read anything creepy into the interaction… I feel like we can still despise opposition politicians without imputing the very worst behaviours to them.

        • DrDick

          Oh yeah. That whole thing is cringe worthy and deeply disturbing.

        • DrS

          I get the feeling that if the camera were not there, this might have earned her a little violent attention.

      • Yep. Plus I’m sure she knows he’s doing it all for the camera, & she may well be sick & tired of being on the campaign trail.

        • ThrottleJockey

          9You’re suggesting that he only kisses his daughter when the cameras are around?

          That would be really weird for a parent.

          • No, I think they were suggesting that the daughter knew *this kiss* was for the camera.

            • ThrottleJockey

              Bijan you’re a smart guy. If you always kiss your daughter goodbye how would “this kiss” be just for the camera?

              For what you’re arguing to be true he would pretty much never kiss her goodbye except for when there’s a camera around. That’s possible but not terribly likely. It’s more common than not for parents to kiss their children good bye.

              My own guess is that he probably just recently disciplined her or told her she couldn’t have more candy or whatever and she didn’t feel like kissing him goodbye because she was mad and she wanted him to know that she was mad. I have seen that a number of times.

              • mark

                My read or guess or whatever you call it was that the forced follow through was for the camera. It is quite possible to believe this without believing he never hugs his daughter at any other time.

                I didn’t grow up in a huggy family and public hugs were rare enough. A hug with a camera or other people around might well trigger the rejection. In my family the “rejected” hug would not be forced; it might become a pat on the arm. But then we weren’t running for office, and the point of the hug was to communicate affection, not convince strangers we were a loving family even if it made one party squirm.

    • mark

      I’d find this interpretation more plausible if it weren’t for a camera he’s clearly aware of and probably performing for.

      And I should add I *want* to find it plausible because as it stands it’s way creepy.

      • Snuff curry

        Definitely a performance, and he’s banking on it to win him some affection amongst macho assholes, which it invariably will.

        • ThrottleJockey

          How would him hugging his daughter win him affection among macho assholes? That seems like a big stretch. I’d assume that like most parents he just wants to give his kid kiss. That would be the most typical.

    • Snuff curry

      You hug ’em anyway.

      Yes, that is their approach to consent, ignoring the waving fingers and exclamations of “ouch.” Dumb broads / kids / blah-people don’t know what’s good for ’em.

    • Thirtyish

      You hug ’em anyway.

      Mmm, no. I absolutely despised forced gestures of affection when I was a kid, especially when I wasn’t feeling it (and those times were many, for a whole host of reasons). You’re not going to force a kid to feel any damn thing, and by pushing past her boundaries in the name of “that’s just what a parent does,” you’re eventually going to elicit feelings of resentment, antipathy, and passive aggression.

      • I think there’s a wide variety of people and relationships and reactions.

        Sometimes, people are a bit shy and a bit of pushing breaks through the shyness. Sometimes one isn’t feeling the first order emotion (or not feeling it strongly) but the gesture signals that things are fine on a basic level. Sometimes the rejector is being insensitive rather than the profferer. Sometimes it’s both.

        Sometimes it blows up into something bad. Other times one side just humors the other.

  • msobel

    “Obviously she had been assimilated by the collective. Only a good spanking will fix it.” One assumes The Tailgunner would say.

  • The only candidate who could turn out to be a molester & it would not surprise me. Including Trump.

    • I dunno about sexual molestation, but I would almost expect every one of them in this yr.’s go-round, including Mme. DeFargeiorina, to have abused their children in one or several ways. You’ll remember the joy Cruz took in saying he’d spank someone (Obama?) like he spanks his daughters.

      • CrunchyFrog

        He was talking about spanking Hillary of course. You knew sexism had to factor in there somewhere – much less likely he says that about a male politician:

        http://gawker.com/who-told-ted-cruz-it-was-a-good-idea-to-talk-about-span-1751921286

        …in my house, if my daughter Catherine, the five-year-old, says something she knows to be false, she gets a spanking.

        Now, let’s suppose you’re 7. Let’s suppose your dad is a pathological liar. Let’s suppose you challenged him on something he said that was false. He calls you the liar and spanks you. Suppose this happens a lot.

        Sadly, I actually knew a child who was in this situation – only it was the mother who was the problem. Eventually she was taken out of the mother’s care, not long after I witnessed this happening in real time. Extremely sad case. And yes, she did NOT like giving her mother hugs.

  • Halitosis? Her Grace Heidi, the Duchess of GoldmanSachs, doesn’t want his mouth near her either, per TBogg:

    Following the GOP debate last Thursday, Cruz attempted to give his wife, Heidi, a celebratory smooch. She, in turn, did everything she possibly could to shift her mouth, skin, muscles, cartilage and tissue below the surface to one side of her face — away from hubby Ted’s creepy thin-lips.

    (Straight to the image.)

    • The Pale Scot

      Well, it could be the “don’t smudge my lipstick moron” dodge, but you’d figure she would know it’s a photo op and go with it.

      Seeing it that way makes it even worse I guess.

  • gmoot

    I’d lay odds that Cruz is one of those men who tell women to smile “because you’re so much prettier when you smile.” And then doesn’t understand why women think this is offensive.

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