Frank Underwood is the fictional politician played by Kevin Spacey in the Netflix series “House of Cards” who uses everything, including murder and blackmail, in his rise to power. Mind, the author does not suggest that Cruz is a sociopathic killer.
“Let me be perfectly clear: I don't at all mean to imply that Cruz's ambition bleeds over into sociopathic behavior, with him bumping off anyone who threatens to thwart his rise. Underwood's murderousness is an amped-up, funhouse version of Washington in which the bloodthirsty lust for power gets acted out far more literally than it (thankfully) ever does in real life. But that doesn't mean the more muted, real-life version isn't troubling.”
Why is Cruz troubling? Apparently for two reasons. He has a brilliant mind, having graduated magnum cum laude from Harvard Law. And he is a cunning politician with the skills of a Machiavelli who has run rings around more staid, establishment politicians. Since he is a conservative, right winger, this is a bad thing.
The author of the piece suggests that Cruz could never be elected president because he is too “extreme.” Of course he seems to think that no Republican could be elected president, so that is not surprising.
The article suggests that Cruz has succeeded eliciting one thing that smart politicians like to infuse in his or her enemies. That thing is total fear. Someone once said that it is better to be feared to be loved. Considering the adoration Cruz has gotten from the Tea Party base, he has succeeded in both, just not from the same people.