Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cruz kills himself

When Ted Cruz melted down in the face of impending disaster for his campaign in Indiana, I thought it would render a future run exceedingly difficult for him if Trump ended up joining the Republican party pantheon alongside Reagan and Lincoln. If referring to oneself as a "Trump Republican" became comparable to what "Reagan conservative" or "the party of Lincoln" had been prior to this election cycle, the following clip would be the kill shot every one of Cruz's primary opponents would effortlessly dispatch him with:

This was of course dwarfed by his convention speech. It's hard not to chalk this political self-immolation up to anything other than pathological vindictiveness. The much savvier approach would've been to publicly but tepidly endorse Trump and then work behind the scenes to sabotage him. Or better yet, to reconcile. Trump has a Caesarian disposition when it comes to clemency as Trump's invitation for Cruz to speak in prime time on the second to last night demonstrated. But once he's betrayed, Trump doesn't forget.

Consider the political implications. If Trump loses in November, especially if it's within five points or so, Cruz is going to get a lot of the blame. It's not only firm Trump supporters who will blame Cruz's betrayal for the loss. Most Republican voters, including those lukewarm to Trump, will hold Cruz responsible for Hillary being elected.

Is Cruz delusional enough to think that he'll be the nominee in 2020 with the Republican electorate and all his GOP opponents justifiably pointing to him as the primary reason Hillary got her first term?

It'd be far-fetched enough if the quisling was someone like Kasich or ¡Jabe!. At least those guys could conceivably find some establishment support.

Cruz, though, had more supporter overlap with Trump than any other candidate in the field of 17. He was vying for the same anti-Establishment designation that Trump was. Cruz was acutely aware of this. It's why he alone among primary contestants refused to go after the god-emperor in the first few debates.

The vast majority of primary participants who voted for Cruz in the primaries will be voting for Trump in a few months. He's sabotaging their political aspirations--and the well-being of the country if the party platform is taken seriously--for a modestly better chance that the next Republican presidential primary is in 2020 instead of 2024 and also for a drastically decreased chance that he'll win the nomination if a 2020 primary takes place. This stunningly selfish act of treachery will be, courtesy of social media and Youtube, there for the world to see and remember.

Cruz, aged only 45, rapidly made his way through the cursus honorum. There were many consulships on his horizon. He would've been in a strong position to be Trump's VP. The two led a joint rally together and had been publicly affable towards one another in the debates and other media. In his early fifties at the end of Trump's second term, the 2024 Republican nomination would've been his for the taking.

That's all gone now. If he's done anything, it's united the party against himself, not against Trump.

Varus knew what to do here, Ted.


Black Death said...

Cruz, Kasich, ¡Jeb!, Romney, Ryan, McCain, etc., etc., etc. - they're the ghosts of Christmas past. The new Trump GOP is a leaner, meaner fighting force and is better off without them. Good riddance!

Mil-Tech Bard said...

Cruz will have a well funded GOP primary opponent for his Senate reelection campaign.

C.B. said...

Is Scruz going to go crawl into a safe place now to hide?

Anonymous said...

Shrug. Like, anyone would have respected anyone who went out and endorsed Trump after Trump said the sort of things he did about Cruz? Like anyone would've respected Trump if he would've accepted any endorsement from "Lyin' Ted"? What right would Trump have to expect any personal loyalty from someone he's said those sort of things about? And to his credit he never seemed to expect it.

SoCalMike said...

Anon, don't forget that Cruz started i with those pix of Melania.

SoCalMike said...

Started it.

DissidentRight said...

Fiorina should have stood a little further to her left.

Ted said...

No reporter has even been able to find a colleague, a college roommate or debating team partner, a high school one, who has ever been able to stand the guy. That says a lot. He's just a prick and not a good politician.

Audacious Epigone said...

Black Death,

Many of the hollow men who fell in line at the convention are survivors. They have a good sense of political self-preservation. Walker and Rubio both had the knives out for Trump during the primaries. Paul Ryan kept poisoning Trump's food. However, they all endorsed him, and they did so unequivocally, if tepidly. Their careers haven't hit the ceiling yet.

Cruz, Jabe, Mitt--they're done. Cruz will have to work to hold on to his senate seat and he'll never rise above that. No way he wins the Republican nomination, ever.


Not personal loyalty, but Trump reasonably expected Cruz to publicly support him because doing so would've been mutually beneficial. He could've had a little fun with the 'heated rhetoric' two guys 'fighting hard for America' threw at each other. Most people don't care about that kind of stuff.

If Cruz endorses Trump, Cruz becomes the party's next-in-line.

Why he would do the bidding of the #NeverTrumpers, who only backed him out of desperation after everyone else had fallen by the wayside, is beyond me. They're irrelevant and they don't even like Cruz.

Unless Trump loses big--as in a double-digit popular vote margin--Cruz's presidential aspirations are history. He will not win a Republican nomination. It'll be too easy for his opponents to frame him as a lying backstabber who put Hillary in the White House (or at least tried to) to further his own political career.


Cruz had an easy path to either a VP spot or a supreme court nomination if he'd stuck to his shrewd initial plan of staying out of Trump's line of fire.


Great point, thought the same thing. It's unfortunate for her (and fortunate for us) that the video indicts her almost as it does him.


He has a good sense of timing. It got him his senate seat and may well have given him the nomination if Trump hadn't shown up. He had the anti-establishment rhetoric pegged better than anyone else besides Trump.

Theaters said...

I've argued for an under 50 year old Cruz on the Supreme Court, either in Scalia's seat or Ginsburg and Breyer are in their 80's.

One leftie I saw did make the point that when Cruz said vote for whoever was best for the country, the booing suggested that subconsciously they knew Trump wasn't best. He's not, but until they offer me Sulla's old title of "dictator legibus"...

Audacious Epigone said...


I guess it would've been better if they immediately shouted "Trump! Trump! Trump!", but the "best for the country blah blah blah" was interpreted as filler to signal an intentional snubbing of the nominee. I wouldn't read too it.

Cruz probably could've negotiated that with Trump. Being a supreme court justice for forty years is more powerful/influential in total than being a president for 4/8 years is. It's not quite as lucrative, though.

Audacious Epigone said...

wouldn't read too much into* it.

Anonymous said...

AE: Not personal loyalty, but Trump reasonably expected Cruz to publicly support him because doing so would've been mutually beneficial.

I guess the way I understood it, Trump's whole thing is being relentlessly assholish to anyone who is a competitor, never losing gracefully, being thin skinned, never playing down any insults made against him.

If you were trying to go for being heir to Trump, you absolutely would not roll over for his personal attacks and go back on them, and you wouldn't endorse him, unless he'd done a dodgy deal with you for it. The people who support Trump are supporting him because he's a very strong authoritarian leader, and because he does things his own way, for his own personal aggrandisement. So where does it get you if you show them you're so weak you'll dismiss those kind of personal attacks for a little immediate gain, because it's the thing to do? They'd just peg him as a craven snake, he wouldn't get anything out of it. If anything, Cruz has got wise to how you deal with an authoritarian charismatic leader (something fairly foreign to the modern Anglosphere), and what people will respond to, and that's going to increasingly happen among others as Trump gains more power.

Audacious Epigone said...

The authoritarian thing is based on one study that turned out to be total bullshit. It was obviously so to me from the moment it was released--the idea that Trump supporters are conformists who fall in line behind a strong leader is so ass backwards it can only have possibly been thought up by someone who has no idea what's going on at the ground level of American politics. Supporting Trump is about the most non-conformist thing a person can do. Sanders is far more socially acceptable, and all of the other presidential candidates--including Stein and Johnson--are too.

Flip your assessment. Everyone already thinks of Cruz as a snake, this just makes it worse. And it makes it seem like this is all about his own personal aggrandizement. Most primary voters don't care about the egos of the candidates. Most Cruz supporters want Trump to beat Hillary. That's alone is reason enough for why Cruz should publicly appear to want the same. People back Cruz and Trump as representatives of themselves, not as kings.