Tuesday, November 24, 2015

No One Has Figured Out How Cruz Gets Rid Of Trump Yet... Any Ideas?


Media types seemed shocked yesterday when the Washington Post reported the results of a poll showing Hillary Clinton-- who, in preparation for the general election, is already moving rapidly to the right, at least on terror-- to be significantly more trusted by American voters than any Republican on the issue of how to handle terrorism. These media types are more used to seeing a flood of absurd polling from the Republican primary base that represents nothing but morons brain-washed by Fox News and Hate Talk Radio hosts-- like this nonsense about how trusted Texas neo-fascist Ted Cruz would be as commander-in-chief. No shock there, huh?

What should shock media types is that the Republican base is so committed to nominating a far right-- dare I say "fascist"-- like Trump, Cruz or Carson. In the latest Fox News poll, the 3 of them together have 60% of the Republican vote! (That's with Trump at 28%, Dr. Ben at 18% and Cruz at 14%.) And in the early states, it's even worse. In Iowa 3 three fascist-oriented candidates command 70%-- Trump at 30%, Cruz at 21% and Dr. Ben at 19%. No one is close. In New Hampshire, a more mainstream state, 52% of Republicans are supporting the 3 fascists (Trump with 32%, and Cruz and Dr. Ben with 10% each). And in South Carolina, fascism wins again, this time with 67% between the 3 of them-- an astronomical 35% for the Trumpster, 19% for Dr. Ben and 13% for Texas' answer to Joe McCarthy.

The right-wing website, WashingtonExaminer.com points out that in Iowa, where Cruz surged into 2nd place , behind Trump, the Texan "scores best among all the candidates when Iowans are asked who is ready to be the commander in chief. Approximately 67 percent of Hawkeye State voters think Cruz is ready, 51 percent of respondents think the same of Rubio, and 49 percent of those surveyed think Trump is ready to lead the nation." That's a lot more shocking than the poll showing most Americans trust Hillary handling terrorism than any of these GOP crackpots-- especially beating the three fascists. The Washington Post/ABC poll that found Hillary beating all the Republican blowhards on terrorism, showed her ahead of Trump 50-42%, ahead of Dr. Ben 49-40% and ahead of Cruz 48-40%. "Clinton’s position of strength... is perhaps more striking given it also found a record high 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling terrorism, and 57 percent disapproved of his handling of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Clinton owes her edge then, to a significant share of Obama detractors who nonetheless prefer her over Republicans. Tellingly, the poll found between one-quarter and one-third of those who disapprove of Obama's efforts dealing with terrorism also say they trust Clinton over Republican on the issue."

This morning Maggie Haberman offered some hope to the panicked GOP establishment: Trump may be wearing thin. She points to Trump's "salesmanlike stretches" and superficiality, which she may not understand is what makes the dumb, Foxified GOP base relate to him so well.
Here are some of Donald J. Trump’s favorite ways to deal with a difficult question:

Asked what he would do on difficult issues like trade deals or terrorism, he warns that bad things are happening “all over the place.” His policies as president might or might not include the subject at hand “and a lot of different things.” All ethnic groups will “love” a Trump presidency.

...No one ever expected Mr. Trump to turn himself into the issues expert of the Republican presidential field. Yet the verbal shortcuts and salesmanlike stretches that he has relied on for months-- generalities used to dodge questions, and questionable recollections-- are tripping him up as the tenor of the campaign has grown more serious.

Mr. Trump’s avoidance of specifics is seen by some of his admirers as a refreshing contrast to musty politicians who play by the rules. And he has a knack for muddying the waters with catchall phrases that allow his supporters and detractors to read whatever they want into his statements.

But his refusal to be pinned down on the details of his positions has repeatedly prompted reporters and interviewers to engage in a guessing game as to what he means. And he tends to choose all of the above.
Yeah, the press and the DC establishment types are frustrated. But that endears Trump to his cretin followers all the more. The Republican Establishment is, metaphorically, pulling the hair out of its head. They certainly don't want Trump as their candidate. Dr. Ben is even less plausible. But Cruz? The most hated Republican-- by Republicans-- in Washington? They don't exactly see him as the white knight coming to rescue them from Trump and Dr. Ben! Yesterday, though, Simon Maloy, writing for Salon, dealt with the question that's been lingering for at least a couple months. How's Cruz going to get past Trump. No matter how offensive Trump appears to normal people, nothing seems to make the great unwashed masses of pissed-off Trump supporters desert him. In fact, quite the contrary.
Ted Cruz, Trump’s competitor for the Republican presidential nomination, offered the gentlest of disagreements when asked about Trump’s Muslim registry flirtation, saying he’s “a big fan of Donald Trump’s, but I’m not a fan of government registries.” Then he knuckle-rapped the media for trying to sow discord in the GOP field. “I recognize that the media would love to get me and other candidates to attack Donald Trump,” he said, “There may be other candidates who want to do that. I ain’t gonna do it.”

Of course Cruz ain’t gonna do it. He’s been loudly refusing to criticize Trump for months now. Even as he rips into Marco Rubio over immigration and questions his Senate colleague’s conservative bona fides, Cruz won’t say a bad word about the GOP 2016 front-runner. Instead, Cruz is nothing but smiles and sunshine toward Trump-- he even hit the campaign trail with Trump in August, inviting him to appear at a rally in D.C. opposing the nuclear deal with Iran.

The reason for all this bonhomie is that Cruz is also a firm believer in the as-yet-unobserved Trump inflection point, and he wants to scoop up the leavings of Trump 2016 when the theoretical collapse occurs. “The Cruz camp is confident that Trump’s candidacy will have a natural arc, that eventually political gravity will pull his numbers down,” National Journal reported in August, “and that when it happens, Cruz will be ideally positioned to absorb his current supporters.” Until that happens, Cruz is happy to have Trump as an ally, especially since Trump has proven skilled at beating down other GOP 2016 contenders with an unceasing deluge of insults.

The problem for Cruz is that he may have miscalculated the Republican base’s bottomless appetite for Trump’s proprietary brand of xenophobic trash wrapped up in glitzy packaging. The “natural arc” they believe exists has thus far not manifested itself-- Trump’s been bouncing up and down a bit in national polls since his early September peak, but he’s never dipped below 20 percent in the averages. And he looks to have survived a challenge from Ben Carson, whose numbers briefly rose to Trump’s level but are now on the decline. If Trump’s support remains this durable, what does Cruz do?

He can’t very well start attacking Trump, given the degree to which he’s defended him-- or at least declined to criticize him-- up to this point. How can you offer yourself as a credible critic of the front-runner if you’ve previously given him a pass on creating a national registry of Muslims? Also, the whole point in flattering Trump was to signal to his supporters that Cruz is on their side and, when the time comes, the natural inheritor of their adulation. If he flips to criticizing Trump, he’ll stomp all over the image he worked to cultivate. And Cruz has to know that direct attacks on Trump come with substantial risk, as Rand Paul and Jeb Bush learned the hard way.

And it’s extraordinarily difficult to out-Trump Trump. The pattern of the Republican primary thus far has been candidates inching further rightward to better align themselves with the markers Trump lays down. No one can replicate Trump’s bizarre cocktail of batshit policy extremism, raw xenophobia, and self-indulgent preening that the Republican base finds so appealing. They just have to patiently wait for voters to get sick of it.

It’s certainly possible that Trump’s dalliances with Muslims registries and the like-- which he’s now distancing himself from-- could provide that long sought-after inflection point. But, of course, the same thing was said about pretty much every other shockingly stupid utterance he’s made. If voters don’t abandon Trump soon, however, Cruz will find that he’s handcuffed himself. He’s in a position where he has to hope that the rumored Trump collapse actually comes to pass, but because he’s aligned himself so closely with Trump, he can’t do anything to help that collapse along.
Something tells me Cruz isn't looking to be Trump's VP pick. According to a report from AP yesterday, what he's doing instead is casting himself as "the electable conservative." But, as Steve Peoples wrote, "Cruz is among the most hated men in Washington, reviled by leaders of both parties as an ideological hard-liner loyal only to the far-right of the conservative movement." However, as Trump pointed out a few weeks ago-- right before soaring into Iowa's electoral stratosphere, Iowa Republican caucus goers are really stupid-- especially the religionist kooks. Cruz knows he can feed them any pile of shit and they'll gobble it up. So he is.

[I]n the crowded and unruly 2016 Republican primary, Cruz is trying to position himself as the grown-up alternative to Trump and Ben Carson, two inexperienced and undisciplined front-runners who have so far captivated their party's most passionate voters by riding a wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Carson's support appears to be softening, and Trump is struggling to explain with precision his exact plans for increasing surveillance of potential threats in the wake of the Paris attacks. At the same time, Cruz is ramping up his pitch and trying to cast himself not just as an outsider-- but an electable outsider at a time of widespread mistrust of Washington.

"I do not believe either one of them is going to be the nominee," Cruz told the AP about Carson and Trump. "I am working very hard to win every one of their supporters."

...[Y]et even while suggesting some Republicans have gone too far with their rhetoric, Cruz spent the weekend campaigning alongside Iowa Rep. King, a favorite of evangelical voters and one of his party's most outspoken hardliners on the issue.

King, who endorsed Cruz this week, has described immigrants living in the country illegally as disease-ridden and compared them to drug mules and livestock. He is perhaps best-known for a 2013 comment attacking children of such immigrants: "For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds-- and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they've been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

With King riding in the second vehicle of Cruz's two-car caravan, Cruz refused to condemn such comments when pressed. He also declined to name any Republicans whose rhetoric on immigration has been "unhelpful."

"I am not going to approach this election like a theater critic-- giving my reviews of every word uttered by every other Republican," Cruz said. "I'm going to focus on my message."

And while that message may be tempered compared to that of Trump and Carson, Cruz's efforts to paint himself as the electable outsider haven't won over some of his critics.

"I have serious reservations at this point about Ted Cruz," said Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican who served in the George W. Bush administration and now leads the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles "He's allied himself with Steve King," Aguilar said, suggesting that Cruz has turned his back on his immigrant roots.

King, meanwhile, heaped praise on Cruz as they crisscrossed Iowa together. The congressman introduced the presidential contender as "the man I believe will restore America's soul."

Like CBS' new poll from Iowa Republicans late last week, the poll Quinnipiac released the morning of more Iowa Republicans confirms Cruz with huge momentum (among the nuts who in the most recent past have voted to nominate Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee). Respondents picked Trump (25%), Cruz (23%), Carson (18%) and Rubio (13%), with no one else in serious contention. When asked who shares their values Cruz ran away with it-- 37%, with Carson (24%) and Trump (18%) trailing. Cruz also showed up as numero uno in the "Honest/Trustworthy" department (27%) and the Best Chance of Winner in November department (25%). When asked who they would "definitely not support," Jeb and Trump led the way with 26% and 23% respectively-- although plenty of nay-sayers for Kasich (19%), Graham (15%) and Christie (14%) as well... but Cruz is cruisin' with just 5%, the smallest number of any contender!

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At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this cycle of alleged public disgust with political parties, it seems that the hared of Cruz by leadership of both parties would be an advantage he might begin to exploit. The outsider-insider ploy.

John Puma


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