Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Case for Ted Cruz

Now that the Republican Party is imploding, David Goldmansuggests that Ted Cruz is “our last, best hope.”

First, a meditation about the implosion. For Barack Obama the enemy is not radical Islam. The true enemy is the Republican Party. And don’t forget the Tea Party.

Obama is a bit like Paul Krugman, with more finesse. Whenever anything goes right he and the Democrats take credit. Whenever anything goes wrong he blames Republicans. We will not dignify it by calling to moral teaching, but one imagines that if Obama were given the choice between destroying radical Islam and destroying the Republican Party, he would choose the latter.

On that score, he has been markedly unsuccessful. With the sole exception of the presidential election of 2012 the Obamafied Democratic Party has done nothing but lose elections. Congressional elections, gubernatorial elections, state legislative elections. The Democratic Party has had a very bad time of it during the Obama presidency.

But, if you cannot beat the Republicans head to head, how can you beat them? You might resurrect a tactic invented by one Odysseus during the Trojan War. You might not remember the Trojan War, but it had been fought to a stalemate until the cunning Odysseus decided to construct a giant horse and to offer it to the city of Troy as a peace offering. The Trojans accepted the gift and lugged the large horse into their city. Once they had gone to sleep the horse was opened up and out popped Odysseus and a band of soldiers… who slaughtered the sleeping Trojans and put an end to the war. The Trojan horse was a poisoned gift.

One does not believe that Obama employed the same level of cunning, but he has sufficiently addled the brains of enough people for something similar to have happened. What could be better for the Democrats than to send a New York Democrat into the heart of Republican country… as a gift. And why not have him capture the hearts and minds of some Republicans while alienating enough others to fracture the party. It would be the crowning glory of the Obama years, a Republican Party marching to ignominious defeat behind a short-fingered vulgarian with markedly Democratic leanings.

I am not suggesting that this was planned out. Not at all. I am suggesting that when you replace reason with emotion, you end up playing a role in someone else’s fiction. And you do not even know it. The Democrats are watching the Republican implosion. They can barely contain their glee.

Think about it. A party that prides itself on upholding standards of decency and decorum, that promotes family values… gets taken over by a meretricious buffoon. You can't make this stuff up.

If the polls are any indication—and one knows that Trump supporters refuse to recognize any polls that do not confirm their opinions—Donald Trump has no chance of winning the presidential election. No way, no how.

Other candidates had worse poll numbers at this stage of the race, but everyone knows Trump and just about everyone has a very strong opinion. There is very little room for change.

Close to 50% of Republican women say that they will never vote for Trump. 40% of Republican men say the same. If that is not a recipe for political disaster, I have not seen one. I am not just thinking about losing the White House. The real problem for the Trumpified Republican Party is whether it can still function as a political party.

As everyone knows, John Kasich would run the strongest against Hillary Clinton. Ted Cruz would be evenly matched against her.

If you had thought that Trump would make America respected around the world again, you might be interested in the reaction of the British public to a recent interview Trump did with Piers Morgan.

The Daily Mail reports:

… viewers took to Twitter in their droves to ridicule Trump for the 'cringe' encounter, in which they accused him of not answering questions and continually repeating himself.

The entrepreneur received the bulk of Briton's taunts after he was asked if he wanted to send a message to the people of the UK, choosing to 'ramble on' about the golf course he built in Scotland.

Twitter user Kevin Meagher wrote: ' "Paris has some of the strictest gun laws in the world and so does France." Does Donald think they're two different countries?'

Meanwhile, user Imaginary Card tweeted: 'Fav part: Piers told him to send a message to the people of the UK and he rambled on about his golf course in Scotland #MorganTrump'

Jeremy Singer tweeted: 'That was bad! An hour of self promotion, weak answers & assertions by a man who could be president!'

And, one Chris Cooper summed up the general opinion:

It was like watching the ramblings of a drunk uncle at a BBQ.

It's not about making America great. It's about making America a laughing stock.

Anyway, back with David Goldman, who has long supported Ted Cruz, but who adds that he would vote for Trump over Hillary Clinton if he faced that choice.

Goldman begins with a reflection on the how badly America has disintegrated culturally:

America had 90% adult literacy in 1790, when only half of Englishmen and a fifth of Spaniards and Italians could sign their names. We had the best educated, most motivated, and healthiest workforce in the world by an overwhelming margin.

Now Americans aged 16 to 24 rank at the bottom of a 22-country evaluation of numeracy, literacy, and technological problem-solving.

Poor student performance should be no surprise: America's family structure is falling apart. Nearly 30% of non-Hispanic white children are born out of wedlock, as well as 53% of Hispanics and 73% of African-Americans. When Reagan took office, 18% of all American births were to unmarried mothers. By 2014 the figure was above 40%.

Goldman has no sympathy for the ruling class, for the establishment types who have run the country into the ground.

In his words:

Our elites, to be sure, have sold us down the river. There's unlimited capital for investors to buy foreclosed homes, while half of Americans can't raise a down payment or qualify for a home mortgage. The Pentagon and the defense contractors slated a trillion dollars for the F-35, the biggest lemon in the history of military aviation, crowding out every other acquisition program in the military. Our tech companies have become a conspiracy to suppress innovation, managed by patent trolls instead of engineers. The financial industry ran the biggest scam in history, the subprime bubble of the 2000s, and the Obama administration hasn't sent a single miscreant to jail (it just slapped multi-billion dollar fines on the banks' stockholders, that is, your pension fund or 401k). The Clintons are a criminal enterprise, as Peter Schweizer showed in his book Clinton Cash. The foreign policy establishment treated the world like a giant social experiment and wasted blood and treasure to make the world safe for democracy.

The result is the most corrupt and cartelized economy in American history. For the first time since numbers were kept, new business has contributed next to nothing to employment recovery since 2009, as I reported here March 2. But Donald Trump encourages magical thinking. Repeating, "We're going to make America great again" by kicking out Mexican illegals and repatriating jobs from China is nonsense.

Of course, the most consequential enemy of the ruling elites is not Donald Trump. It’s Ted Cruz. Goldman makes the case:

Ted Cruz is the a gifted outsider with unique leadership capacities. He has a brilliant grasp of Constitutional law from his service as Texas' solicitor general, a granular understanding of business economics from his service at the Federal Trade Commission, and a clear vision of what America should and shouldn't do in foreign policy. He was an academic superstar at Ivy League universities but never let his success flatter him into complacency. He has deep religious conviction. He also has the will to lead. It's not surprising he isn't popular among his Senate colleagues: if Cruz is elected president, it will shut down a corrupt and cozy game. He has the brains to understand the problem and the guts to clear the obstacles to a solution.

As for the notion that Trump is a businessman who gets things done, one notes that executive talent, as such, is not fungible. Directing a company where your name is on the door is not the same as directing a government where power is balanced out. Building tall buildings does not qualify you to run a bank, an energy company, an auto company or much of anything else.

Goldman is well qualified to comment on Trump the businessman:

We keep hearing that Trump is a businessman who will "get things done." That is utterly wrong: the most successful businessmen are very good at very limited number of things. Great entrepreneurs, as George Gilder wrote, are the kind of people who sit up all night thinking of better garbage routes. Trump is not even a particularly successful entrepreneur; if he had put the $100 million he inherited in 1978 into an index fund, he'd have twice as much money today. As a casino investor, he doesn't compare to Sheldon Adelson, who came from poverty and now has ten times Trump's wealth. In fact, Trump has the worst possible kind of background for a president: as the child of wealth running a private company, he is used to saying "Jump," and having his lackeys say, "How long should I stay in the air?"

And, of course, Trump does not read… anything.  He does not seek or take advice. Because, don’t you know, he knows everything.

A journalist named Michael d’Antonio interviewed Trump at his home and noticed, in the garish palace, that there was not a single book. Please do not compare Trump to Teddy Roosevelt.


Scullman said...

I support Trumpism. Secure borders, economic nationalism, interests-based foreign policy, and above all judging every government action through a single lens: does this help or harm Americans? For now, the principal vehicle of Trumpism is Trump.

When you come up with a better vehicle, please let us know.

As far as worrying about the "future" of the Republican Party....that's a joke set-up, right?

Anonymous said...

Here’s a little inside baseball from someone who actually knows the truth: the GOPe dislikes Cruz NOT because he’s an outsider, but because he’s an INSIDER who decided the best way to advance himself was to bite the hand that fed him. Let’s just say I am very close to someone in the GOPe machine and I’ll leave it at that.

When Ted worked for Bush, he was angling for a bigger position than he got. He actually wanted to be the Attorney General.

He thought he had more pull than he actually did, more juice because of some of his Texas connections. His marriage to Heidi was supposed to solidify his position because she was actually held in higher regard than Ted within the Texas/GOPe sphere. He was seen by the insiders as over ambitious, an opinion that was only ENFORCED by his reach to be named AG.

So Ted decided since he knew the ins and outs of the GOPe (insofar as the GOP and Bushes were one and the same), and since he couldn’t advance any further within that sphere, that he would run against them.

He ran for Senate against a GOPe favorite and won. He hoped this would show the GOPe that he was a serious contender and that they would welcome him back into the fold. It backfired, mostly because of Ted’s outsider rhetoric.

Now Ted chose to run for POTUS, which on its surface was a slap in the face to Jeb Bush and the GOPe. In truth, it was an olive branch by Ted to the GOPe.

Why? Because he was there to split the conservative vote in order to help Jeb win. He was never supposed to be in this position, but if it got down to him and Jeb, the fact that Ted isn’t natural born was going to come out, forcing him to drop out, leaving Jeb and his millions in donor money as the last man standing.

Why do you think Jeb always spoke about winning without the base and losing the primaries to win the nomination? It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?

Trump was the wildcard they didn’t expect. Ted was sent to cozy up to him with a non-aggression pact, but Trump was no dummy. He kept the Canadian Ted thing in his back pocket to use when needed.

I could go on but bottom line, the GOPe is warming to Ted because he’s is not actually an enemy, but a prodigal son who tried to earn his way back into the fold by helping Bush.

priss rules said...

booger eater?

Marsh said...

"Booger eater?"

Yes, booger eater. He ate one on live TV during the last debate. Lots of video of it. Just be sure to watch it on an empty stomach.

Marsh said...

Stuart, why do you keep beating a dead horse? Your opinion of Trump has already been roundly rejected by Trump supporters. Try another approach. Something different. B/c this isn't working.

How about this...How about you try to write a post about why Trump is so well liked? (His latest national poll rating was 55%.) Go ahead and give it a go. It just might give you a fresh way of looking at things.

Let me know if you'd like help.

Marsh said...

Stuart, you're a very good writer. And you have an interesting perspective on things not Trump. But, you don't know how to market yourself (sell your brand) or your blog very well. If you could let go of your prejudices towards Trump, you could actually learn quite alot from him.

He's a genius at selling his brand. You could be too.

I follow you on Twitter, so I know what you're doing wrong there. Check out Mike Cernovich.

Also, read this one...

Marsh said...

As to your assertion that Trump doesn't read... He was able to list twenty books he's read about China right off the top of his head.

Also, the idea that anyone could become a billionaire if only given (in his case loaned) a million dollars is nonsense. All you have to do is look at people who've won the lottery.

Marsh said...

Also, Trump had already made more money than his father had when his father died. So, he didn't inherit his wealth from his father.

Marsh said...

Oh and Ted Cruz is such a gentleman when he calls his enemies rodent copulators.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: imagines that if Obama were given the choice between destroying radical Islam and destroying the Republican Party, he would choose the latter.

What's that psychological defense where you imagine political rivals as doing exactly what you're doing?

As best I can tell, if Obama promised to do everything the republicans wanted in all things, as if he was a black man working for his white masters, they'd do exactly as you say in reverse. i.e. "Anything goes right the Republicans take credit. Whenever anything goes wrong the Republicans would blame the president."

The reality might be something more ugly. At least if we consider the Democrats "overpromise" and then claim they can't do what they promised because of the loyal opposition, and the Republicans "overpromise" also claim they can't do what they promise because of the loyal opposition.

And that's why abusive Trump has sway in this Repubican election cycle - because the Republican voters actually believe what their politicians have said, and then get disillusioned, like when a 57th vote against ObamaCare finally passes the House and Senate, and suprise, President Obama vetos the bill.

What could President Obama possibly hate about the loyal opposition that can't pass anything except things they know will be vetoed?

And that takes us to the problem that Trump can NOT win the general election, and the majority of the Republican party itself won't support Trump, and he's probably going to lose in a landslide.
Sanders beats Trump 52 - 38 percent;
Clinton tops Trump 46 - 40 percent;
Sanders tops Cruz 50 - 39 percent;
Clinton gets 45 percent to 42 percent for Cruz;
Kasich tops Clinton 47 - 39 percent;
Kasich gets 45 percent to Sanders' 44 percent.

But as we see, the republicans have done very well under Obama, they've gained the vast majority of governorships, and gained the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, and have a fair chance of keeping both under a Clinton presidency.

So if Ted Cruz won the presidency, and the Republicans suddenly controlled the President, Senate and House, you could be SURE this is a bad thing because all the "fake promises" they've made would then have to be implemented, so ACA would be repealed, a pro-corporate Supreme Court justice would be appointed and we'd soon have "all free speech is money" as the law of the land, and Social security would be privatized, all federal prisons would be privatized, all military functions would be contracted out to blackwater clones to the highest bidder, corporate tax rates would be reduced to 5%, taking care of the Irish sandwiches, and income taxes would be reduced to a flat tax 15% for all, and when budget deficits explode, every federal social program would be cut "because we can't afford it" and the top 1% would go from holding 90% of the wealth to holding 99%. You can be sure government handouts to the top won't stop, even as social programs are cut.

So there are probably a few Republicans that might object to these extreme measures, but just as many who would say things are not changing fast enough. AND the likelihood that disaster will follow such rash actions will be very high, the republicans will be 100% responsible for EVERYTHING.

So that's why the republicans don't want to win the presidency ever again. Instead they can play their political games with a majority in the House and Senate, and President Clinton can only stop a fraction of what they want to do, and everything that goes wrong will be the President's fault.

There's no downside for the republicans, if only most did not act like children, it would be smooth sailing for them under President Clinton.

Marsh said...

LOL the GOP establishment did great under Obama. But, the American people DID NOT. Which is why Trump is ahead.

You're absolutely right about how the GOP establishment will be very happy w/ Hillary as President. Nothing changes for them. They still retain their power and money flow. And things will stay the same or get worse for the American people under Hillary.

But, everything will change if Trump' s elected.

Marsh said...

Is AB Stoddard a Trump supporter who is ignoring his poll numbers against Hillary too????

She makes great points, doesn't she?

Ares Olympus said...

Scullman ... Yes, I work very hard (or quick?) on my antiprivization hysteria.

The problem is a process of detailed research for the actual most likely effects of a republican control of all branches of government is hard work, so I just make up my best 2 minute guesses.

Okay, looking backwards I see 2003-2005 was the last time GOP all-branch control happened, which involved declaring war against Iraq based on 100% dishonest and manipulative argument.

And I coincidentally Bill Moyers just linked a 2007 documentary about that disaster.
In 2003, the United States pre-emptively attacked Iraq in a war that would last for eight years claiming an estimated 189,000 lives, costing over $2 trillion and causing untold economic and emotional devastation for the Iraqi people.

In this 2007 documentary that originally aired on Bill Moyers Journal, Moyers investigates big media’s role as cheerleader in the clamor for war in the months preceding the March 19, 2003 invasion. How did the mainstream press get it so wrong in the run-up to the Iraq War?

And Blackwater's rise happened around the same time, doing anything the U.S. military could do, but at 10 times the cost.

I don't actually know what the status of paramilitary corporation are these days, although I'm sure it makes a lot of sense for international companies with more money than most governments to pay for their own security. Government contracts are surely just icing on the cake, even worth a discount to raise their reputations.

As the 1% or 0.1% or 0.01% gain more and more wealth and power you have to believe the future is strong for such companies. Billionaire businessmen surely don't like dying that much and the world is a dangerous place.

Anonymous said...

Ares, when does it become the time for you to defend the blog you so despise?

Scullman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sam L. said...

I do not put much faith in foreign media. They do not understand us; they seem to know only what's on TV and in the movies, and think it is real.

Anonymous said...

Enough just because you want Cruz does not make it so. how many articles can you write Cruz good Trump bad. Your missing something , perhaps you should see someone for this. Reality has jumped the shark at this site. Did not think that would ever happen.

Anonymous said...

Does Ted Cruz tell the truth

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Paul Ryan cannot beat Hillary.
Ted Cruz cannot beat Hillary.
John Kasich cannot beat Hillary.

All of these people will lose because they will fall prey to the Democrats central premise: "Republicans and conservatives are mean." The Democrats will unleash this message yet again from many, many directions and angles. The Republicans will defend against this assertion, which is impossible to defend against. The Republicans must counter disruptively by turning the premise back on the Democrats and their media enablers. Make them defend their record of aiding and abetting failing schools, weakness on defense, the debacle of ObamaCare, and their desire to destroy the simply-worded Second Amendment while co-opting the rest of the Bill of Rights for their own purposes. But the Republicans won't do that, because they're too respectable to engage in such tactics. They will lose valiantly. Pickett's Charge-style.

I don't particularly care for Trump, but Republicans are so apoplectic about him that they are missing the attraction of his core message. Trump is (1) not PC, (2) he questions our "fair trade" policies, (3) he's tough on national defense, and (4) is sane about immigration. None of the other candidates is willing to take that chance, and isn't open to learning about Trump's success. It's more of the same. And they will lose.

I would prefer to not have Hillary Clinton as POTUS. What's it going to take?