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In a GOP contest for who hates Ted Cruz the most, Peter King would win gold.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The hatred Republican officials have for Cruz is by now legendary. “I just don’t like the guy,” George W. Bush said, in a comparatively mild version of sentiments that are nearly universally held. Lindsey Graham was more blunt, joking that, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”

Graham’s remarks were funny, but talking about wanting to kill a fellow senator, even in jest, leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Leave it to famous motormouth Congressman Peter King to come up with the perfect formulation for expressing Cruz revulsion. “I hate Ted Cruz,” King said on Morning Joe. “I’ll take cyanide if he got the nomination.”

King’s smart twist was to turn the violence of Graham’s remarks towards self-slaughter. Graham’s comedy of sadism has become King’s comedy of masochism. And laughing at yourself is usually more congenial than laughing at others.