Thursday, April 19, 2018


Ted Cruz has been widely mocked for lavishing praise on Donald Trump as part of Time magazine's annual Time 100 list:
President Trump is a flash-bang grenade thrown into Washington by the forgotten men and women of America. The fact that his first year as Commander in Chief disoriented and distressed members of the media and political establishment is not a bug but a feature.

The same cultural safe spaces that blinkered coastal elites to candidate Trump’s popularity have rendered them blind to President Trump’s achievements on behalf of ordinary Americans....
Thank you, Ted. You have 95 words to go (I won't repeat them here), but you already have the highest score ever recorded in Wingnut Mad Libs. I think we can stop the competition now.

Why is Cruz humiliating himself this way after Trump insulted his wife's looks and suggested that his father was in on the Kennedy assassination? I think he's afraid of the Democratic challenger he'll face in November, Beto O'Rourke.

I don't think the just-released Quinnipiac poll that shows O'Rourke trailing Cruz by just 3 points was a factor -- that poll, I'm sure, was published long after Cruz agreed to abase himself for Time. I think he's concerned with nationwide polling for the past several months, and the results of recent special elections, and the surprisingly high turnout by Democrats in Texas primaries last month.

As an incumbent Republican in Texas, Cruz should be headed for an easy victory, based on past elections. But Democratic voters this year are motivated. Are Republican voters?

Cruz is assuming that if they're motivated at all, it's by love of Trump. They're probably motivated to give money only to candidates who love Trump. So after his (temporary) resistance to Trump in 2016, Cruz really needs to establish his bona fides if he wants enthusiastic base support.

It's a double-edged sword, given the fact that Trump is surprisingly unpopular in Texas. (He's underwater in Texas according to that Quinnipiac poll, with 43% approval and 52% disapproval, and a January Gallup poll had even worse numbers for Trump in Texas: 39% approval, 54% disapproval.)

But Cruz is making the bet most Republicans make -- that motivating the base is more important than offending everyone else. So he grovels.

Or maybe he grovels because he thinks he's going to lose in November. Hey, there are sure to be some openings in the Trump administration in 2019, right?

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