It says something about you to be labeled as the biggest jerk at Harvard Law School. The school runs on jerks the way Smurfs run on berries. To be universally recognized as the biggest jerk in your class requires an amazing commitment to inhumanity. Think about it: I’m a pretty big jerk, but was I the biggest jerk at HLS while I was there? Please. Kiwi Camara, come on down.
A GQ article by Jason Zengerle yesterday just lit up Ted Cruz over his history of being a giant a$$hole that nobody likes. Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo, whose wife was at HLS with Cruz, added to the reporting, calling Cruz an “AASS,” which stands for “A$$hole, Arrogant, Super Smart.”
I think a quarter of the HLS class are decent humans who are just trying to get through law school with minimal stress and drama. These are the people who are out there in the world doing good stuff and when somebody says, “Did you know so-and-so went to Harvard?” you’re surprised because they’re such regular, well-adjusted people. A full 50% of the class are impressionable sorts who can access their inner jerk at a moment’s notice. They think they’re decent people with a “dark side,” but actually they’re jerks who don’t have the strength of personality to pull it off all the time. These are the future Biglaw partners of the world.
The last quarter of the class is actively in pursuit of being an AASS. This odious group might go into law or politics or media. They certainly interview with Skadden, but otherwise they don’t last long in Biglaw because they can’t spend 10 years with nobody listening to them. You never for a second do not know which law school they attended.
I think we all know which group I fall into, but my point is that this last group, tallest midgets all, should get its own award named after Ted Cruz…
The stories, well … the stories. One of the best was one I heard early this year from a number of people. Here’s the version I heard from an email back in February.
“My friend [redacted] went to Harvard Law with Ted. [He] says that Ted shocked people when during the first week, he announced that he was creating a study group and only people with high GPAs from the Big Three Ivies could apply for admission. In short, Ted managed to come off as a pompous asshole at Harvard Law.”
As my correspondent notes, Ted managed to distinguish himself as a arrogant a#@hole at Harvard Law School, which is an amazing accomplishment since the competition there for that description is intense.
That doesn’t happen by accident, folks. You don’t show up and accidentally piss people off with your desire to study only with people who went to college at Harvard, Yale, or Princeton. No, you sit in your room and try to think of a way to make as many people hate you as possible, and you come up with the Cruz plan.
Both TPM and GQ go on to explain that Cruz has operated his political career in much the same way. It’s like he’s been on one continuous crusade to piss people off while winning the loyalty and love of lesser lights who wish they had the balls to be as detestable as Cruz himself. Per Josh Marshall:
At each stage, Ted did seem to collect a quite small but core group of friends/followers, mainly people who were deeply in tune with his politics (he was as rightwing on day one at college as he is today) and who took what most found to be his assholery as a form of take-no-prisoners conservative badassdom. Indeed, if you think this is an issue of whom I talked to, just like-minded people maybe, consider this: It perfectly mirrors what’s happened over the last year in the Senate. Cruz has a small handful of followers in the Senate; but basically everyone else in his Republican caucus despises him.
My question is why wouldn’t HLS celebrate this behavior? The school already clearly encourages it. The school already screens for it in applications. You don’t just randomly end up with people like Ted Cruz in your class.
Let me put it like this: If HLS announced it would award the “Cruz Award” to the biggest prick in each class, do you think Ted Cruz would object? Do you think the recipient would feel ashamed? Or do you think Cruz would come out with something like “being mocked by the commies at HLS is an honor,” while the winners were proud to be crowned “the best” at anything?
Look, Cruz’s behavior might land him in the White House. A$$holes do well in this world. HLS is already regarded as an a$$hole factory, so I think the school crowning the biggest and the best would be a public service to everybody else.