Cruz’s “Dirty Tricks” Or Good ‘Ole Politics?

Ted Cruz

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is catching flack from all sides after a series of tactics deployed by his campaign that many are calling “dirty tricks.”

The Cruz campaign sent out “voting violation” notices to intimidate and threaten voters who have irregular voting patterns.

The tactic, aimed at getting-out-the-vote, was made to look like an official rebuke from the government while disclosing the voting history of the recipient and their neighbors. While the voting history is public information, it is still uncomfortable to know that your neighbor knows how often you do or do not vote.

The second gaffe of from Cruz World is one that the candidate has already apologized for. On Iowa Caucus night, the campaign informed it’s 1,500 precinct captains that Carson was “taking a break” and “making a big announcement.” The memo encouraged the campaign leaders to spread the word and go after Ben Carson supporters.

Dirty? Yes.

Unprecedented? No.

On last night’s O’Reilly factor, GOP operative Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove (the nickname is courtesy of his former boss, George W. Bush), attacked Cruz for his dirty tactics.

Karl earned his nickname as everywhere he appears on the campaign trail, “turds blossom” from his grotesque actions in the field.

While Rove was just a lowly college republican, he allegedly stole the letterhead of his opponent, Alan Dixon, and circulated an invite in Chicago’s Red Light District that called for the unsavory to show at a Dixon campaign event for “free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing.”

Hundreds of homeless and heavy drinkers showed up at the reception.

That may be just plain college fun, but Rove’s “whisper campaigns” are things of legend.

When George Bush opposed Ann Richards for Texas governor, Rove was supposedly behind the whispers saying the Richards was a lesbian.

Rove was also behind the “love child” rumor that circulated in the 2000 presidential election.

But Rove is not alone in his sleaziness.

In the very first presidential debate to appear on television, Kennedy’s team infamously turned up the thermostat after learning of Richard Nixon’s perspiration problem. The quick trick led to Nixon sweating profusely as Kennedy maintained a calm and cool look.

In the 2002 senate race between Jeanne Sheehan and Republican John Sununu, operatives for the Republican hired a telemarketing firm to jam the phone lines of Sheehan during the crucial get-out-the-vote hours. The two behind the scam were convicted of conspiracy.

While Rove earned his nickname, in the end, all of his actions really can’t be traced back to the establishment consultant . . . and that’s why he is both feared and respected in the world of politics.

It’s clear the Canadian born presidential contender is willing to use “dirty” campaign tactics, but his biggest problem is that he’s overt about his actions and gets caught. Cruz may want to take a play out of Rove’s book and keep a distance from the shenanigans.

Morgan is a freelance writer for a variety of publications covering popular culture, societal behavior and the political influences of each.