Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Republican Primary Voters Do NOT Care That Ted Cruz Is Unelectable Outside The Old Confederacy


Late Sunday night, in reviewing Radio Free Albemuth, we looked at Philip K. Dick's insightful portrayal of a dystopian future with a paranoid, manipulative 4th term president, who is very much the spitting image of Ted Cruz. Perhaps like-minded neo-fascist Steve King read it last night too and felt inspired. He endorsed Cruz early yesterday. "I'm all the way in, supporting Ted Cruz for president," he told Iowa xenophobes and racists. "Do your duty for God and country," he urged the kind of crackpot extremists they need at the caucuses on February 1 who back them both. Tough blow to poor Dr. Ben, who was hoping the potent religionist nut vote in Iowa would all go to him. But King has made it clear that the endorsement was aimed at Rubio and the boomlet the Establishment is trying to engineer on his behalf. King didn't like how Rubio tried equating his own immigration agenda with Cruz's last week.

The big chatter Monday morning-- hours before King's endorsement-- flowed from Katie Glueck's Politico piece on how the rest of the Republicans are coming around to seeing Cruz as the candidate to beat.
He has more cash than any other Republican candidate. He is organized in every county in the first four voting states. And he has served up one strong debate performance after the next.

Now, not three months from primary season, rivals concede they have begun to fear Ted Cruz has an increasingly clear path to the Republican nomination.

"Anybody who thinks differently," said an operative with a rival 2016 campaign, "is lying to you."

The 2016 field’s reluctantly bullish outlook on Cruz marks a dramatic about-face for Republicans weighing the divisive senator’s odds. For months, Cruz was considered a long-shot at best-- a hardline conservative with a niche audience of angry evangelicals, mired in the middle of the polls and overshadowed anyway by Donald Trump. Allies of, and operatives on, campaigns as varied as Jeb Bush’s and Mike Huckabee’s dismissed the Texas senator’s ability to court enough supporters to defeat a more mainstream Republican.

No longer.

The same Republican rivals who relegated Cruz to a second tier in discussions this summer now see this insurgent firebrand as the candidate who benefited most from Scott Walker’s exit and the one who stands to gain should Donald Trump or Ben Carson decline. Indeed, Cruz is seen by most of his competition as one of the few likely to still be standing in March.

"He's the longer-term threat,” said Fergus Cullen, the former chair of the New Hampshire GOP and a Republican who does not support Cruz. “I suspect once Trump goes down, people like me will have Cruz to deal with."

...Certainly, Cruz still lags Trump and Carson. But friends and foes alike say Cruz is the candidate best positioned to benefit should either of those poll-leaders stumble. He has refused to attack the candidates and in fact invited Trump to co-headline a rally opposing the Iran nuclear deal. Thanks to a reputation built by being a thorn in the side of GOP leadership, he has managed to create an image of a true outsider with an insider’s understanding of policy.

"People are increasingly saying he has one of the better potential paths" to the nomination, said a source from another rival campaign. “There's lots of people in D.C. who shudder at the prospect of Cruz being the nominee. He's ruffled so many feathers in town, there's a healthy dislike of him in the institutional operative class … He wears that as a badge of honor, and he should. It helps him project the outsider image even though he's a sitting U.S. senator."

Since last week’s Republican debate, GOP odds-makers are increasingly talking up the possibility of a Cruz-Rubio primary fight, a contest that would see two young Cuban-Americans running for the nomination of a party historically led by older white men. Indeed, this could be the outsider vs. insider, conservative vs. establishment face-off that so many on the right have been angling for.

"They appear," said Doug Gross, an Iowa Republican who sees Cruz as unelectable, "to be the two biggest talents in the party."

Indeed, Cruz and Rubio are on a collision course. They argued last week over their records on immigration reform as Rubio’s campaign sought to cast doubts on Cruz’s conservative bona fides while Cruz dismissed Rubio's characterization of his position as "laughingly, blazingly, on its face false.”

Still, as Republicans working for other candidates admit Cruz is gaining steam, rivals argue his nomination would give the White House to the Democrats.

“I don’t think he can win a general election. I think he would get beat really bad,” said the first source from another campaign. “But I think he can win the nomination of the Republican Party.”

Cruz has the biggest warchest in terms of SuperPAC contributions from the fascist wing of the GOP-- $15 million from Texas' psychotic neo-Nazi Wilks brothers, $11 million from Setauket hedge fund extremist Robert Mercer and $10 million from Texas energy manipulator Toby Neugebauer. These billionaire fanatics really want Cruz in the White House and they're willing to pay for it. And they're not alone. More than any other candidate, Cruz is getting money from subversive elements whose wealth dwarves Trump's, Romney's and the Bush family's. You think Hillary would be bad for America on Wall Street issues? She would be, but she'd be Karl Marx compared to Cruz.

And did someone tell you lately that Cruz is a "brilliant" debater from Harvard or Princeton or something? You've seen him debating. Do you think he's so brilliant? He's not a terrible debater. He isn't as bad as Jeb, Rubio, Dr. Ben or Trump but "brilliant?" I don't think so. And, apparently, neither does PolitiFact, which fact-checked 61 of his debate statements and found most of them false. Does that count in debates? Probably not in Republican debates, but when a candidate has to debate in the real world....

Conventional wisdom say the final battle for the GOP nomination will be between Rubio and the Establishment insiders vs Cruz and the outsiders and extremists. That may be true, but right now Cruz and Rubio combined don't have as much support from GOP primary voters as Trump does. And as Carson continues to rapidly deflate, plenty of his backers are going over to Trump. I don't know how it's going happened but I'm still engaged in the magical thinking that gives us the most easily beaten GOP ticket of all times: Cruz/Fiorina, the worst of all possible worlds. Even as flawed and disliked a candidate as Hillary could probably wipe the floor with these two clowns. (And is it even constitutional for the Canadian-born to be president?)

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At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And, apparently, neither does PolitiFact, which fact-checked 61 of his debate statements and found most of them false. Does that count in debates? Probably not in Republican debates, but when a candidate has to debate in the real world…."

The problem is that the "real world" has a very strong content of media types who confine discussion of fact v. fiction to the their little fact-checking feature. Fact never penetrates "journalists" "minds."

In the real world of American "journalism," an Al Gore states fact in a cogent coherent fashion, rolls his eyes at Li'l Georgie's argie-bargie ... and the "journalists" and conclude Gore is too arrogant to be president and decide they'd rather drink a beer with an allegedly sober criminal nitwit. Everyone "knew," for example, that Al Gore said he invented the internet, even though, you know, he never said it. I think on about October 10, 2000, the New York Times finally admitted on page 23 that he never really said that, after every "journalist" in the country had spent the preceding six months talking about what an arrogant tool Al Gore was based on his various claims he never made.

Reagan was the "Great Communicator" even though he was clueless about facts.They liked McCain's barbecue even though he was so dull-witted he let Sarah Palin onto his ticket. Bernie hasn't got a chance in the general, even though polls as well as Hillary against Republicans. Fact is, if a "fact" is in contention and a candidate is never foolish enough to admit a lie, as poor Ben Carson did about West Point, American "journalists" will suspend use of their brains and just cover the horse race with an edge to the candidates with whom they have an emotional attachment.

At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never underestimate the venom of Northern republicans!I see little old ladies at my precinct who always vote straight R with a big sneer.
They look at me, the resident Dem. Like I have cooties and I am a little old lady, too.

At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 6:55, I have never been able to understand the better brand adherence of the Republican Party vs. that Other Party. I myself was raised Republican during the era when the GOP still had lots of good people and the Dems still had lots of ugly people, i.e. Dixiecrats. I stopped voting for them for President when Reagan first ran, and have since slowly weaned myself off their increasingly stupid, thoughtless candidates at all levels. But I admit I still have a grudging admiration for a party that is a machine built to win vs. one that is a treehouse built for friends; a party that takes care of its own mid-career vs. one that continually exploits young hires for a pittance and old volunteers at election time, with no care or concern for politicos trying to raise a family; a party that has swung so far to the right that I find myself admiring the votes of Justin Amash and Walter Jones far more frequently than that of my Democratic Congressman. I could go on, but the bottom line is I hate Democrats.

Recently, I was conversing with a friend winding up his career on the Hill who used to be a liberal Republican but has swung right in order to save his career. He said, "You know, you're not really a Democrat." I have worked in many Democratic campaigns and in a responsible position for a Member on the Hill. But that man was absolutely correct. All I could say was, "Well, take our party back from the lunatics and assholes and I'll sign up."


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