Friday, September 23, 2016


Ted Cruz told us at the time of the Republican convention that there was some excrement he would not eat, not after the guy trying to feed it to him insulted his wife and accused his father of conspiracy to murder. Now, however, he's put all that behind him and endorsed Donald Trump. I think Ed Kilgore's analysis is basically correct:
It is the changing dynamics of the presidential general election ... that may well be pushing Cruz toward at least a pro forma gesture toward his party’s nominee. By that I do not mean that Cruz is gaming the possibility that Trump will win; no matter what he does now, the Texan will almost certainly be frozen out of any real influence in a Trump administration. It’s the significant likelihood of a narrow Trump loss that is probably bugging Cruz and his advisers. It was one thing to stay on the sidelines and watch sadly as Trump self-destructed and lost by a landslide, as appeared likely for a good part of the general-election campaign. In that scenario, Cruz was in a good position to help pick up the pieces afterward and become the chief advocate for a movement-conservative version of the GOP’s post-Trump future. But after an agonizingly close Trump defeat, Cruz would become a prime object of recriminations for having helped Hillary Clinton and her baby-killing, Christian-hating secular-socialist minions to seize power.
Also, please note that Cruz's favorable ratings among Republicans began plummeting as soon as he took on Trump in the later stages of primaries, and as a result of his opposition he's looking at the possibility of a well-financed primary challenger in 2018.

So does this mean that Trumpism is now the undisputed ideology of the Republican Party? Not really.

The Republican Party has the same ideology it's had for years, one that can be summed up in one sentence: Democrats are the Antichrist. Foolish pundits, and even politicians like Cruz, think there's more to Republicanism than that, but there isn't. Trumpism is dominant right now because Trump seems like the person who can most effectively cause pain to Democrats, and to the right's other enemies (non-whites, non-conservative women, gay people, climate scientists, etc.).

Cruz probably thought Trump would lose badly, after which Wingnuttia would conclude that the loss was because Trump was really a filthy liberal; at that point, Cruz could pose as the "true conservative" savior for 2020. But Trump, even if he doesn't win, is causing the right's enemies conniption fits, so he's the strong horse the right likes at this moment, and everyone on the right needs to get behind him. Right now it looks as if Trump will lose a close one -- I'm not sure Cruz endorsed early enough to completely avoid partial blame for that, but if he'd never endorsed, his share of the blame, according to the conservative base, would be right up there with ACORN's.

Trump will probably quit politics if he loses, so there'll be a new battle for who makes the right's enemies the most miserable. Cruz is going to have a hard time regaining the trust of the faithful, but he's going to try, and he wouldn't have had a chance otherwise.

I think he really thought there'd be a post-November ideological battle, when, really, all there'll be is a contest for who can be nastiest to Democrats. He might regain his mojo and have a shot at pulling that off. It's certainly in his nature.


KenRight said...

Cruz would have to rescind his support of giving Obama TPP negotiating power to regain trust of America Firsters. Matter of fact you do not seem to understand the power has been removed from the free trading Elite of the party, which means you don't have the GOP to kick around anymore. Not unless the Elite you favor more than the People steal it back.

jsrtheta said...

@KenRight: Do you have the slightest understanding that there are real life people at work here? Or do you think there are just groups like "the Elite" (Oooh! Scary!) who have secret handshakes and meet in dimly lit clubs where they slow-roast proletarian children over the heat of burning Progressives?

Do you know any actual human beings? Have you been outside lately? Do they let you outside?

Ken_L said...

I suspect you're correct about Cruz's thinking. But really he had nowhere else to go. Falling obediently in line behind Trump would have doomed him to irrelevancy as just another GOP senator with nothing interesting to say. If Trump wins, Cruz will no doubt be crossing his fingers that he's as horrible a president as everyone expects, in which case he might be able to primary him in 2020. And if he senses any kind of popular mood for a rebel caucus to form in the GOP, especially if Trump manages to upset the Christianists, you can bet he'll be jostling for the chair.

Anonymous said...

the power has been removed from the free trading elite!? W. T. F?

If there was ever any doubt KenReich is a paid though sorely undertalented corporate propagandist, tis thus removed. They do indeed have secret handshakes, dine with the Bilderbergers at the dimly lit Bohomian Grove, weekends at Davos, Chairs at the Council on Foreign Relations, a cubicle at Iron Mountain, and are at their pinnacle of power. Anyone who would dare call it anything different is a paid corporate shill. Most likely an alien, quite probably illegal.

America Firsters!?
Eat shit and die.
O'owlish Amenheh
(Ten Bears)

jsrtheta said...

@homelessonthehighdesert: Ssshhhhh. They'll hear you.

Victor said...

KenReich, isn't part of the rich gang.

But, he gets to hang out with the "cool kid's" poor servants, and so, he gets to lick their poop & pee pots with them.

Hey, it's a job.

KenRight said...

"The Republican Party has the same ideology it's had for years, one that can be summed up in one sentence: Democrats are the Antichrist."

Yeah, right. Tell the "I'm voting for Hillary" coterie around Daddy and W Bush.

CF2K said...

Oh. You mean the ones that Republicans call "RINO" in Kansas where I live, KenRight?

Dark Avenger said...

Ken "Fruit" Loops is still showing that he's one of Putin's paid-for running dogs for this election.