I said in my last post that failing to disclose a Goldman Sachs loan in his Senate campaign won't hurt Ted Cruz in the primaries. Charlie Pierce says he agrees with me on that (thank you again for the shout-out, Charlie) -- but he thinks the loan story hurts Cruz in the long term, as does all Donald Trump's birther talk, which, yes, is getting traction:
... It has not been a good week for the Tailgunner, poll numbers in Iowa notwithstanding.... having your lift-off bankrolled by the Great Vampire Squid does lend a kind of distinctly non-populist stench to the enterprise....Pierce thinks Cruz is suddenly taking fire because he's done a terrible job of making the right friends:
... the notion that Cruz is disqualified from being president because he is Canadian by birth has gained some actual traction beyond the hootin' and hollerin' at the various stops along the Trumpapalooza Tour Of The Americas, '16.... Trump just threw that thing out there for laughs, and now people are earnestly pondering why the Founders left such an important point so utterly ambiguous.
This is what happens when you dedicate your entire political career to alienating anyone who can do you any good. You wind up in a death struggle with a vulgar talking yam and nobody has your back. In fact, more than a few people who might've helped you out, had you not been a dickhead big enough to have been carved by a Borglum, actually start whispering that, hey, you know that vulgar talking yam has a point here.But according to today's New York Times, a number of GOP movers and shakers are so desperate to avoid having Trump at the top of the ticket that they're warming to the idea of snuggling up to this porcupine:
The vast majority of Republican elites remain bitterly opposed to the prospect of Mr. Cruz’s becoming the party’s presidential nominee, some even preferring to take their chances with Donald J. Trump. Yet, to the strains of a jazz threesome a block from St. Charles Avenue here, over Texas barbecue at his Houston campaign office and in one of Washington’s see-and-be-seen steakhouses, Mr. Cruz, Washington’s chief anti-establishment agitator, has quietly begun wooing some of the party’s most entrenched donors and officials.Ms. Matalin is, of course, Mary Matalin, veteran Bushie and wife to James (Serpenthead) Carville. One of the meet-'n'-greets Cruz has been attending lately took place at Carville and Matalin's house. But Cruz has been meeting with a lot of muckamucks who don't seem to care whether Cruz makes their skin crawl as long as he can get to 1236 delegates and 270 electoral votes:
Some in the old guard have started signaling to their reluctant right-of-center brethren that it is time to face the possibility that the hard-line Mr. Cruz could be their standard-bearer.
“If Cruz makes it, which is very doable, every one of the establishment crowd who is now eviscerating him will line up, salute smartly and get on board,” Ms. Matalin said, offering a mix of prodding and prophecy. “No one will want to be responsible for a G.O.P. defeat.”
Andrew Puzder, the chief executive of the conglomerate that owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., supported both of Mr. Romney’s presidential campaigns and has contributed to a number of “super PACs” and candidates this year, including Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. But after spending a couple of hours eating brisket with Mr. Cruz on Sunday at his campaign headquarters, Mr. Puzder said he was “very seriously considering” getting behind him, in part because of his appeal to the conservative base.I guess it's like Sinatra-loving record executives signing up rock acts in the 1950s and 1960s even though they hated the music -- I dunno, this crap seems to be what the kids want these days. The Cruz converts among the fat cats just want to protect their money, all of which they (absurdly) think Hillary is going to take if (as they believe would be inevitable) she wipes the floor with Trump; if they start thinking Cruz is their only alternative, then they'll tell him he's charismatic and handsome and write him a big, fat check. And maybe they realize that he'll probably get with the plutocrats' program as soon as he's in office, whereas Trump might deviate from the ALEC wish list in a particular or two. But yes, he's becoming more popular. If this continues, be afraid.
“I’ve become a one-issue voter,” Mr. Puzder said. “My one issue is whether somebody is going to win. My big question is: What is your path to a general election victory?”