I noted the other night that Donald Trump may have opened the “Overton Window” for Ted Cruz, by making Cruz acceptable to both Republican establishment types and general election voters who otherwise would have considered him Cruz conservative.

I noted the fear of a liberal who wrote:

Donald Trump looks like the warm-up act. Whoever follows him from the Republican party looks reasonable (and sane) by comparison.

How will the mainstream media react if Cruz’s current poll surge holds and he looks like a viable challenger to Trump? We know the answer, because there’s a history here, one I documented back in August 2013. And ironically, it’s a theme Trump appears to be taking up in a recent attack on Cruz.

I called it the crazying of Ted Cruz, focusing on a Daily Beast article trying to portray Cruz as “creepy”:

A lifetime of achievement that would normally be heralded by liberals if achieved by a liberal Hispanic, devolves into creepiness on the slimmest of pretexts.

This is all part of the crazying of Ted Cruz by liberal publications like the Daily Beast. It doesn’t matter what the substance is, they just want to associate the word “creepy” with Ted Cruz in the minds of the public, many of whom don’t read past the headline.

Ted Cruz Daily Beast Cover Creepy

Its a meme that persists to this day, pushed by Rollling Stone, HuffPo, NY Magazine and others:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=ted%20cruz%20crazy

It’s the imagery and headlines that count, like this recent Salon.com column:

http://www.salon.com/2015/12/02/ted_cruzs_plan_to_conquer_america_how_the_senator_from_wing_nut_nation_could_win_the_gop_nomination/

Jon Stewart showed how it’s done:

When Donald Trump called Cruz “a little bit of a maniac,” he was following this line of attack:

Cruz tried to respond in a light-hearted manner.

But it’s a line of attack Cruz needs to be worried about. It’s the same line of attack from establishment Republicans against Cruz. But by embracing the “crazy” meme, establishment Republicans need to understand it doesn’t stop with Cruz.

The media will portray any Republican nominee as crazy. With Jeb floundering, Marco Rubio is reputed to be the establishment Plan B. But Rubio too will be crazied.

I wrote in 2012 about how The “crazy-ing” of Marco Rubio begins:

Marco Rubio is on the short list of Republican presidential contenders for 2016.  Of course, that’s a long way away, so who knows if he remains on the short list.

So Rubio’s a target even more so than in the past couple of years. Every question in every interview is a potential land mine.  There can be no off-the-cuff remarks.

The motus operandi will be to “crazy” him, the long-standing tactic used against Republicans and particularly people like Rubio who sprang from the Tea Party movement (something he doesn’t wear on his sleeve very much) or who occupy that most reviled place in the mainstream media, religious Christians.

The Strategy of Crazy was used against the Tea Party in 2009-2010 and continues to this day….

Here are some recent “crazy” hits on Rubio:

https://www.google.com/search?q=marco+rubio+crazy&oq=marco+ru&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j0j69i57j0l3.1551j0j4&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=0&ie=UTF-8#

If you are a Republican, you don’t actually need to be crazy to be crazied.

Trump is using the crazy liberal media playbook against Cruz. It’s not one other Republicans should embrace.

Let’s not form a crazy circular firing squad. No Republican is safe.