Wednesday, May 01, 2013


National Review's Robert Costa tells us, breathlessly, that Senator Ted Cruz is seriously thinking about running for president:
... "If you don’t think this is real, then you're not paying attention," says a Republican insider. "Cruz already has grassroots on his side, and in this climate, that's all he may need."

"There's not a lot of hesitation there," adds a Cruz donor who has known the Texan for decades. "He's fearless." ...

"You bet, he's on my radar," says Chad Connelly, the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. "Conservatives think he's a rock star. I hear about him from everybody." ...

He has been out front on each issue, brashly battling Democrats and, if need be, his fellow Republicans. "He's the purest of the young conservative senators -- that's how we see him," says a consultant who works for a leading conservative group.
It's obvious that Cruz is a guy with an ego the size of a small galaxy, and it's obvious that he thinks the sun of moral righteousness shines out of his ass. I absolutely believe he'll run.

But even Robert Costa admits that Cruz doesn't have much of an organization. And we know from Jennifer Rubin that he's alienating fellow Republicans, herself included. As a politician, in McLuhanesque terms, he's too "hot." He's just the kind of crazy-base darling who looks as if he might steal the nomination from the GOP establishment, but never does.

And that's especially true because we know Rand Paul is itching to run. If they both run, right there you've got a big split in the crazy-base vote. And maybe base hero Scott Walker will run. And Rick Santorum could run again. And thus the base vote gets subdivided. (And I'm still betting Allen West will run.)

That's what always seems to happen in GOP primary season, right? It looks as if the crazies might nominate a basehead, but then a bunch of base-friendly candidates split the base vote and someone presentable and establishment-friendly emerges from the pack -- McCain in '08, Romney in '12, arguably even Bush in '00.

So a Cruz candidacy will help ensure that, once again, the GOP standard-bearer in a presidential year is a guy who doesn't really represent the true GOP. It'll be someone Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio (sorry, he used to be a tea party guy, but no true teabagger would even flirt with the immigration reform crowd). And once again the press will be able to put on blinders and pretend that Republicans aren't dangerously crazy.

And who knows? Maybe 2016's presentable standard-bearer will figure out what McCain and Romney couldn't, which is how to persuade the centrists that you're sane while reassuring the base that you're crazy. It's hard, but I fear it's not impossible.


Ten Bears said...

How many hot shot THE NEXT REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL SURE THING have we seen in the six months since the election? How many months until the next election?

I suppose I should be more supportive. It's about all it would take for Cascadia to flip the US/Canada the collective bird and wish all y'all a fone farethewell.

No fear.

Victor said...

The Republican Party is desperately trying to hold together its 'confederacy of dunces.'

For 30 years, the 'money and financial power' guys were able to control the "Jesus-freaks,' and Neocons.

Then, they courted a group that, while it sided with the party, wasn't all that welcome - at least, not openly - the John Birchers.

Under W, the Jesus-freaks became more prominant, and the neocons had their wet-dream over Iraq come true - only to have it spiral from victory, to the epic collapse of the worst decision America made, since we decided to finish what France couldn't, in Vietnam.

After W, in the '08 election, the crazies ran in the primaries, which McCain eventually won. And, to appease the crazies and that base, McCain opened the door for the real, and more, crazies, by selecting Palin - though, to give him some cover, he probably did it unwittingly.

And then, after they lost to a black man, the whole right lost their sh*t.

They saw that demographic change had finally arrived, and went out and created astroturf groups to bring out the John Birchers, and Bircher wannabe's.

And now, the 'money and financial power' folks, have lost control.

They're desperately trying to hold things together, before there's a Tea Party schism - ruining them in not only national elections, but possibly in districts and states that aren't rabidly Red.

Existing politicians run hard right, so as not to lose in a primary, lurching the whole party to an extreme not seen since the Know-Nothings were around. And that may help them lose in general elections, in both '14 and '16.

What they fear the most, is losing the House in '14, or the gap narrowing significantly, and then, afterwards, another primary season with Presidential candidates trying to out-crazy one another.

And when someone like a Jeb, or even a Rubio, comes out ahead, after the failures of "squishes" like McCain and Romney, the Tea Party will want a "pure" party, runs Ted Cruz as a 3rd Party candidate, and loses the '16 election to Hillary, or some other Democrat.

That's my optimistic take, right now.

My pessimistic take is evolving as things change, but I'm bound to have one in the next few years. How could I not?

BH said...

Here's a brief, general candidate for your pessimistic take: as perhaps exemplified best by the presidential election of 2004, all things are politically possible in our republic of nimrods, up to and including a victorious GOP candidacy of Teddy Cruz in '16. 2.5 to 3 more years during which the media can make TC palatable to the "independents", and a tepid Dem candidate (say, Cuomo or O'Malley), & presto!

Ten Bears said...

He was born in Canada. Not a real 'Mercan.

No fear.