Year after year, season after season, it happens on Survivor and Big Brother: an otherwise promising player plays their hand way too early.
Sometimes they build indestructible alliances, only to Hulk smash them all to pieces thanks to a self-destructive I-am-God ego.
Other times, they try to make a power play against another power player in the game and get sent home once the other players realize that the guy planning the tribal council coup is more dangerous than the guy winning the challenges and the social game.
And then there are those sad, sad times when the odds-on winner pisses in the house wine, defecates in the rice and beans, and begins offering buck naked prayers to Kony in a language that only the truly batshit crazy can understand.
Maybe you've heard it before. It goes like this: "When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham, and they did not like Obamacare either. They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house, or with a mouse."
Yeah, that was the moment that most of us realized that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was playing his end game, one that would either set him on the path to the White House or stop him dead in his tracks like a bath salt-zombie traffic cop with a penchant for directing pedestrians across the street and into his mouth. Unfortunately for Cruz, it was the latter. Any chance he had of winning the presidency is over with.
That's not to say that Ted Cruz can't win Iowa during the 2016 primary season or the First in the South state of South Carolina. The Republicans in those two states got stopped by the bath salt cop long ago. But his chances of winning the party nom are slim, and his chances of winning on Election Day are nonexistent. Not only will the masses remember Ted Cruz's green eggs moment, they'll remember he was the grinch who shut down the government, and that act of hubris will never be forgiven.
Of course, it goes without saying that Sen. Cruz will have a long career in the U.S. Senate as a career politician. The folks at Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives PAC and Heritage Action PAC will make sure that every time Cruz picks up a Dr. Seuss book on the Senate floor he gets carpet-bombed with campaign cash from the gullible, disenfranchised members of the Tea Minority.
DeMint has shown Cruz and his ilk that you can succeed in the GOP by rejecting corporate cash but only if you spend the majority of your time attacking your fellow Republicans. After all, there's nothing more that Tea Minority members like than ripping establishment Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Chris Christie. They're masochists at heart.
But no matter how much they like being the bottom, and getting a good 50 Shades spanking, they won't be able to get Ted Cruz elected.
Rand Paul, on the other hand ... well, we'll have to wait and see about that one, but I have a feeling that he has more than one neo-Confederate in the closet.