Has Cruz started his 2020 campaign?

cruzLast night’s results in the Republican primaries demonstrated the challenge the party faces in stopping Trump. Even with the loss in Ohio he gained significant ground. At this point it seems that only a collaborative strategy can stop him from seizing the nomination.

So why is Ted Cruz resisting such a strategy? It looks like he may have already written off this election and started to position himself for 2020.

Here’s where we are so far.

Once the dust settles from last night’s count it looks like Trump will have about 708 of the 1489 delegates assigned so far, about 48%. There are 983 delegates remaining to be assigned. Trump needs 54% of them to amass a delegate majority.

The problem going forward is that nearly all of the remaining contests are winner take all by congressional district, along with a few absolute winner take all states. That means Trump can potentially win large delegate sweeps with tiny margins of victory. Last night’s results in Missouri are an example of this. On March 15th Trump won almost 58% of the available delegates while earning barely over a third of the vote.

Most remaining contests are winner take all by congressional district, including the largest one, California (6/7). We still have contests ahead in Trump-friendly geographies like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  If one candidate could just gain five or six points on Trump, they could very nearly run the table on him in remaining races. But there’s a problem.

Making this a two-man race doesn’t actually help because neither of the remaining two candidates can be successful nationwide. Each would expect to beat Trump in different regions while losing decisively in others.

In a two-man contest, Cruz could win pretty solidly in places where the Republican Party is dominated by Protestant religious voters, mostly in remaining races in the Far West. Kasich would do better in places where Catholic religious conservatives dominate the party, like the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

If the goal is to stop Trump and play for a convention contest, Kasich and Cruz would have to put aside their differences and divide the map. Rubio recognized this play and told his Ohio supporters to back Kasich, helping to put him over the top. This strategy would probably work, blocking Trump from an outright win and letting the convention decide the nominee.

However Cruz, as usual, is being a real dick about it. He didn’t cooperate with Rubio’s strategy, helping to ruin Florida. Ted Cruz is crazy, but he’s not the stupid kind of crazy. It is beginning to look like he’s playing to be the 2020 nominee. This would make sense for a number of reasons.

First, it is very hard in the GOP to build the kind of national organization it takes to win a nomination. Candidates accomplish this in almost every case by running consecutively (Romney, McCain, Dole, Bush, Reagan, Nixon). One of the reasons this race is so nutty is that there was no decisive second-place finisher in 2012.

Cruz may be looking at the same math as everyone else and deciding that 2016 is a loser for Republicans no matter who gets the nod. If he goes for broke he risks smashing the party, a party that would otherwise treat him as the presumed nominee leading into a much more promising 2020 race. Notice that Cruz has been very careful to say he will endorse anyone who wins the nomination, including Trump.

Cruz may also be calculating that his chances of taking the nomination in a convention contest are not that great. He’s probably the most likely winner of a convention fight out of the guys in the race, but that’s still a very uncertain outcome. Convention delegates could go in dozens of different directions while creating a political atmosphere toxic for the winner.

Plus, the party generally hates him. He might have a fine collection of delegates on the floor, but the party’s remaining brokers will be working hard at a convention to make him a loser. Why contribute to that outcome just to lose in a 2016 General Election?

He may have decided to stay in this race and simply accept the outcome. If Trump comes up a little short Cruz might swing his delegates toward Trump to eliminate any doubt. This also sets up a precedent in favor of a plurality-winner, something Cruz might need badly in a subsequent race. Let Trump blunder into the buzzsaw of the General Election. Cruz can stand removed from the defeat and the party apparatus might still remain sufficiently intact to be useful to him in 2020.

Just speculating, but that seems like the best explanation of Cruz’s position. We’ll see.

***By the way, one caveat emerges when you do the math for the upcoming races. If they play out much like the previous ones and Cruz manages to win Indiana (very doable) and a couple of other smaller states, then California becomes the hinge. Based on that scenario, a Cruz win in California would deny Trump a delegate majority and leave Trump leading Cruz by only about 150 delegates.

That is almost certainly Cruz’s best potential outcome, one that depends on Kasich winning some Congressional Districts in the Northeast. In that situation, Rubio & Kasich’s delegates, if they decided to make a deal, would be enough to give Cruz a decisive and entirely legitimate win on the convention floor. That might also be the play Cruz has in mind.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Election 2016, Uncategorized
161 comments on “Has Cruz started his 2020 campaign?
  1. 1mime says:

    The GOPe is passing out the Cruz kool aid and the latest to drink up is none other than Jeb! Drip, drip, the big guns keep falling in line.

    What I am waiting to see is old Turtles making the Cruz endorsement….you know, the “liar”? When McConnell falls in line, the good old party line will once more be inviolate and totally compromised.

      • 1mime says:

        Good point and counterpoint, Fly; however, in direct comparison with Republicans, Dems are neophytes in their misdeeds. Free speech should not get violent and I personally don’t think it should be disruptive even as it must be allowed. The small acts of rebellion from the left are singular in nature and do not cripple total government function. Republicans clearly, willfully and arrogantly have obstructed and insulted not only President Obama, but the ability of our country to function. As citizens, we have a right to expect that our elected officials put country before party. Clearly, that hasn’t happened.

        Every person is entitled to their own opinions and to live as they choose (within the constraint of law, order, and decency). But, for heaven’s sake, know what you’re talking about – THINK!, and do not impose your views on others through personal or legislative force. Individual rights require responsibility and respect for one another and the institutions of our nation. Those who pontificate about original intent of our Constitution need to practice what they preach.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Interesting. It blames Trump’s rise on an overall abandonment of norms on the part of the Right.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Sorry. Wrong place. This should have appeared under the “blame the right” post.

      • flypusher says:

        The Senate had this reputation for being the “Greastest Collaborative Body in the World”. That reputation is in tatters right now, and most of the blame is on the GOP. Consider why so many Senators loathe Cruz. For all that the GOP invokes Bork and claims their current obstruction is just political tit for tat, remember that Bork got a hearing and a vote and he said some truly outrageous things that gave some Senators good reason to vote no.

        The Senate’s former reputation and how it’s been lost will make a good central theme in my e-mails to Senators, I think.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I continue to wonder if the abandonment of norms has something to do with the rise of social media, which during Bush versus Gore would have consisted of comments boards and such, and now would also include Facebook and Twitter. There’s been an overall loss of civility, a loss of inhibitions, combined with the frenzy and mob mentality that comes from being with like minds, and that comes with arguing with others, that allow us to say and do the first thing that comes to mind, and there will always be someone to support our views and egg us on.

      • 1mime says:

        In addition to all you stated, with which I agree, there is also an intellectual laziness from those who share their points of view. If what they hear or read reinforces their preconceived position, that’s the end of it. No further reading, no rational effort to explore more deeply. This has become behavioral and rises from the speed of transmission of thoughts which, by its very nature, precludes one’s ability to research an issue more fully. You have expounded upon the harm that is being done through reliance and absorption with media. It is manifest in social media and the promotion of opinions formed with blazing rapidity. No longer do we see careful thought and analysis as the basis for expressing opinion; rather, it’s “get it out there asap – a process which is guaranteed to emphasize emotion rather than fact.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        We have alway had strong, loud, obnoxious opinions. The difference is that they used to be contained within the privacy of our own homes, among family and friends, and maybe would find their way to the Thanksgiving table or trickle over into our conversations at work. But there was usually a reticence, a line or boundary as to where and how much we would say. Now those lines are gone, and we have taken to publicly showing disrespect to our president, even turning our backs on him in his presence. That is shameful.

        I can’t stand Trump, but if he were elected president, I would still accord him respect if I were ever in his presence.

  2. 1mime says:

    Since I’ve stayed up this late, I’ll claim a posting privilege for all the guys here who love engines. This is a pretty neat story and frankly, I needed a wee little campaign break.


  3. tuttabellamia says:

    Has a majority of the Senate already expressed itself in some way and said it would vote against the Garland nomination? I know McConnell is the majority leader, but does he have the power to speak for every single senator and completely block any formal consideration? I would think that even if It were determined now based on an informal vote that Garland would not have 2/3 of the vote, after some consideration there might be a change of heart among some senators. If I were a senator I would put my foot down and say that McConnell does not speak for me.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Actually, all that is required to defeat the nomination is just over a 1/3 vote opposing it, but still, I would think there are some individual senators who might want to formally consider the nomination, despite what McConnell says.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt…I don’t think they would vote against Garland. He is the kind of judge they generally would like and the GOP have sung his praises in the past.

        I realize that sadly nothing is above politics today, but this is using the supreme court as a political football, and from this side, it seems like yet another attempt to pretend that Obama is not a legitimate President.

        The “let the people decide” position is exactly what happened with the 2012 election. There was considerable thought given to the fact that we would rather have a Democrat nominating the next justices, not the a Republican.

        It is certainly starting to feel like at least one side of the spectrum is just simply refusing to govern (e.g., shutting down the gov’t, not conducting hearings for the SC).

      • flypusher says:

        I didn’t remember that Garland was the prosecutor who convicted the domestic terrorists responsible for the OK City bombing. NPR did a story on that (looking through their Archives for the 1st time he was mentioned). The guy did an outstanding and meticulous job. His goal was to make sure all the legal i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed so that those scumbags couldn’t walk on a technicality. He gave many updates to the victims/families of the victims to assure them that justice would be done. This just looks worse or worse for the obstructionists. They can say it’s not personal all they want, but they are insulting Judge Garland with this shabby treatment.

      • 1mime says:

        This has nothing to do with Justice Garland’s qualifications and everything to do with their hate for Obama. Now, Garland is no Scalia, which may trouble the hard right, as well as the hard left, but I always felt that Obama would find a candidate who was imminently qualified and would pursue fairness under the law. That is all that matters to me and it is all that should matter to all Americans. The highest court in the land should not be “stacked” but rather should be staffed with jurists of highest principle, greatest judicial experience, and an innate belief in fairness. Having nine such justices would result in a mixed bag of decisions, but America is a “mixed bag” nation.

        No, this is all about control and insult. This current Republican Party has it down, and it has worked for them. One day, hopefully soon, they will pay.

    • flypusher says:

      “I were a senator I would put my foot down and say that McConnell does not speak for me.”

      That’s one of the problems with the sort of blind party loyalty McConnell is demanding. Senators in close reelection races are at a big disadvantage, never mind the sheer mean-spirited stupidity of it. There will be Senators changing their minds, I have no doubt.

      I see this as analogous to soldiers having the right to disobey an unlawful order. Senators have every right to ignore a stupid order from a party leader.

      • 1mime says:

        Right, yes, do so, improbable. Lock-step. No deviations. You’re either all in or you’re out. Period. Say what one will of Democrats “big tent” and their in-coherent voice, at least they are speak and act independently without reprisal of the type imposed by the GOPe, the Heritage Foundation, and the Grover Norquists of the world.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        There’s still time to break the impasse. Maybe we should do the old-fashioned thing and write to our senators and to McConnell (respectfully, of course) and encourage them to hear this gentleman out. Naive, maybe, but it can’t hurt. It sure beats doing nothing but wring our hands on social media.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Of course, one of our senators is busy with his presidential campaign.

  4. 1mime says:

    I like to dig into numbers and such that help me better understand the electorate. Pew did a study on how religion factors into voting patterns by using exit polls. They found that: “Those who identify themselves as “born-again or evangelical” Christians constitute a sizable share of the electorate – 36% of registered voters, compared with 37% who are non-evangelical Christians and 27% who identify with non-Christian faiths or with no religion at all. ”

    Good survey, lots of interesting data if you you’re a wonk.


  5. flypusher says:

    The political coin has been split in half, it’s no longer heads or tails.


    The current SCOTUS temper tantrum is just the dropping of the final shreds of any attempt to disguise the blatant partisanship.

    • texan5142 says:

      Turtle man is disgusting…. let the people decide it says… when a overwhelming percentage of the general public thinks that taxes should be raised on the uber wealthy…. he/it says no, but he/it is fine with this nonsense. Fuck the turtle man, he/it should have been thrown out of office the day he declared to not do his job and obstruct everything the dualy elected potus does.

  6. 1mime says:

    All this Drumpf and SCOTUS distraction is allowing the Republicans to work with little observation on the 2017 budget bill. The cuts to the safety net are huge as are the cuts to taxes for the wealthy. Here’s a Democratic mark up of the Republican budget for your information. Please note that the President’s budget was not accorded a hearing by the House Appropriations Committee. Yet another slap at a sitting president. My hope is that Democrats will use the Republican budget during the campaign as it so clearly states its fiscal priorities. The working class that is so riled up, need to see clearly what the party they support will do to programs and services that directly impact them. One can only hope that the details will work their way into the consciousness of the working class so that their allegiance will have some basis in fact. I’m not hopeful that information will defeat emotion, but Democrats need to make clear exactly what cuts are priorities for the party they “think” has their interests at heart. Not.


    • Creigh says:

      Don’t tell me about “family values.” Show me your budget and and I’ll know what your values are. (Paraphrasing Joe Biden, I think.)

      • 1mime says:

        The problem is, Creigh, that the Republicans are working their budget through hearings under the radar. Media is so busy covering the presidential campaign, that there is little attention being focused on the actual budget that “should” have a major bearing on how people vote – especially, working class people.

        It doesn’t matter if people don’t know.

      • texan5142 says:

        Family values only extends to their families, the rest of us, not so much. This political season is about double speak, 1984 here we come. The current crop wants to make sure we are always at war with Eurasia.

  7. El says:


    The machinations to take the nomination from Trump at the convention are already fully in progress.

    • flypusher says:

      I have no doubt that the GOPe can tweak the system to deny Trump. What I’m curious about is how well do they acknowledge the consequences of such a decision. Do they understand that they are effectively handing the election to the Dems? Do they understand that they are creating a schism, and the GOP brand will take a while to rebuild? Will they understand that offering more tax cuts for the rich isn’t going to take them anywhere?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Will there be rioting?

      • 1mime says:

        Ego is a powerful motivator, Fly. I honestly think the GOPe believes they can still pull this out of the fire. And, who knows, maybe they can.

      • El says:

        Do they understand Will they understand

        No and No.
        The GOP options range from terrible to cataclysmic.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        This plan may backfire if enough voters get angry over the machinations and work towards giving him the required 1237 delegates so he gets the nomination outright.

      • flypusher says:

        “The GOP options range from terrible to cataclysmic.”



        So do you want cyanide, strychnine, or arsenic??

      • objv says:

        Tutt, Rioting? I hope not. However, the people are revolting …

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, who are you calling revolting?? 🙂

        Seriously, I wonder if Trump supporters will riot if the GOP establishment pulls a fast one on their man at the convention. I wouldn’t blame them for being PO’d. Cleveland, get ready.

      • objv says:

        Not you, Tutt. Your are a lovely person!

        I have no idea what will happen. I doubt there will be rioting … but I have been wrong about this election cycle so far. My estimate for Trump dropping out was March 8. Luckily, I have already bought Lifer’s book and don’t need two. 🙂

        Your money was on April 1, wasn’t it? There’s still hope.

      • texan5142 says:

        No, only black people riot, white people celebrate.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, yes, I had my money ($7) on April 1, along with Mime (great minds think alike) for the collapse of Trump’s campaign, and not too long ago I joked that the only way his campaign would collapse is if HE himself collapsed. Now, I could actually see that happening, what with all the turmoil at his rallies. I don’t wish him any harm. (Sorry, Texan.)

      • objv says:

        Speaking of white people celebrating, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you Irish Americans out there. No rioting, please.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, you did say the people are revolting.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Texan, Black people get mad; White people get even.

      • 1mime says:

        That is starting to change. Black people are fed up and the BLM movement is indicative of their determination to make change – substantive change. As was pointed out by Rob, the electorate who voted out the D.A. who exonerated the two police officers who gunned down Tamir Rice, are learning how to fight the system within the system. Good.for.them.

        Not all White people have been able to get even. Our justice system is tough on poor people, White and minority. Still, minorities have a much harder time and that needs to change.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        You’re right, Mime. No one is completely immune to hard times.

      • 1mime says:

        OT but as we talk about “hard times”, we need to acknowledge that the poor encounter injustice in our judicial system disproportionately. Our incarceration rates are obscene by any comparative measure throughout the free world. The SPLC works steadfastly to help poor people of all races and ethnicity who are victims of our justice system. Today, the SPLC in cooperation with other similarly focused organizations, challenged Congress to pass legislation that will greatly reduce imprisonment of the poor who are jailed simply because they couldn’t pay a fine….sometimes, something as innocuous as a traffic fine. While Congress debates how big the tax cuts for the wealthy will be, I do hope they will find time to pass the “End of Debtors Prison Act” to help those whose only crime is not being able to pay a fine. These people lack a champion. They are forgotten.


    • 1mime says:

      That is exactly what GOP legal consultant Ben Ginsberg described on MSNBC. Exactly.

  8. Question for the learned members of the commentariat here:

    I’ve heard some discussion in other places online about what Trump will be like post-election as the leader of the opposition. This puzzled me, firstly because America doesn’t seem to have the concept that the loser in the presidential race is the leader of the opposition, and secondly because I had assumed that the Trump movement would self-destruct after the election defeat.

    Do you believe that Trump is likely to retain his status as a demagogue when he’s defeated in November? If so, what form will it take? If not, what will his emergent movement do without their leader?

    • flypusher says:

      Trump is the symptom, not the underlying disease. I don’t think his political career would survive a loss of either the nomination or the general election, but all the resentment and frustration and economic pain he tapped into is still there. If that isn’t dealt with, some smarter, sneakier, and more talented politician will tap into it next cycle. The GOPe shows no signs of getting a clue about it so far, given all the condescension coming from their supply-side ivory towers.

      • 1mime says:

        Likewise, I wonder what lessons Democrats are learning from this working class outcry. I do believe there is an underlying racial issue for many, but not all. Those who legitimately are angry because of outsourced jobs and changing times have a legitimate beef. America has not planned for re-training of these people and the businesses which are involved certainly haven’t demonstrated responsibility or concern for those workers who will lose their livelihood after giving years to the company. Both parties and our government have responsibility for failing to address the problem of obsolescence, planned or incidental. These people have been quietly ignored. Exacerbating the situation is the focus on tax cuts for the wealthy by Republicans who balance the loss of revenue by cutting services and programs that benefit the most vulnerable.

        The Great Recession started this ball rolling down the hill. Democrats to their credit supported a major infrastructure jobs bill but the GOP blocked it. The recovery is ongoing but many people haven’t been able to climb out of the hole the GR put them in. People who are in their 50s and 60s hear constant threats to their lifelines – more cuts to the safety nets they depend upon, the big ones being SS, Medicare and Medicaid, and workmen’s comp in state after state. The message to the working class is, “you are on your own”. Fear and anger are largely responsible for the racial undercurrent because they haven’t been able to hold anyone else accountable. It is a vent for emotional distress. It’s time they were heard and that America step up and deal with this huge problem that is not just financial, it has impacted our cultural and social institutions. The “how” is the tough part, but it shouldn’t be an excuse for doing nothing.

      • flypusher says:

        “Likewise, I wonder what lessons Democrats are learning from this working class outcry.”

        A very pertinent question. It’s very easy for Dems to drink the schadenfreude over the GOP chickens coming home to roost, but some of those same fowl could be in the Dem future. Hillary does have that too-beholden-to-Wall-St millstone around her neck. While things like the TPP may be a net gain for the country as a whole, some groups of people will get the economic rug yanked out from under them, so what kind of plan do you have for that?? The problem doesn’t care what flavor of politician works to solve it.

      • 1mime says:

        My only caveat for the Dems is that they have tried at least since the G.R. under Obama to help but GOP obstruction has precluded any meaningful assistance…..even though O’s recommendations would have helped a lot of people who were hurt during ’08, people who lost savings, homes and jobs. The Republicans just couldn’t let these people be helped if it was perceived that Obama would get credit. That is about as ugly as politics gets.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Put it this way. Trump values his brand and more importantly, his ego, above all else. It’s one thing for him to lose a primary here and there. He can come back from that. How do you think it looks if he gets absolutely crushed in a general election by Hillary Clinton in what, IMO, will be one of the great political routs of our time.

      You think his pride would let him swallow all that and stay on? I sure as hell don’t.

      • 1mime says:

        You can bet your buns that Trump will play as dirty as he can to drag HRC through the mud. He will be aided in that effort by the GOPe. HRC legitimately has faults and has made some poor decisions, but she will not deserve what she will get. The good news if she is elected PResident, is she will have a looong list of people to remember for their ugliness. Unlike Obama who felt he could reach Republicans, Clinton will be under no such illusion. I just hope if she wins that she will have a Senate majority to kick some major ass.

      • 1mime says:

        Speaking of “staying on”, Rubio was seen at his recent press conference as being “exhausted” after a year on the campaign trail. Many and Big sighs from the candidate in his appearance. I think it’s time for Marco to get a little help from some seriously “old” candidates who are burning up the campaign trail….Bernie at 76 and Hillary and Trump at age 70 (or close)….Guess winning is a pretty potent tonic to ramp up one’s stamina…

        Rubio has 10 months remaining in his senatorial campaign and he intends to use them to accomplish some things that are important……Just being there is a great start.

  9. It’s real simple, Chris. You can’t win if you don’t play. Cruz understands that. As strange as this cycle has been so far, I seriously doubt the weirdness is done. Ragnarök is upon us. At the twilight of the gods you don’t fold ’em; you play out your hand.

    • goplifer says:

      I’m pretty sure that’s the tagline for the convention:

      RNC 2016: Twilight of the Gods!

      By the way, do you watch Vikings on the History Channel? We visited York with the kids several years ago. They have a massive Viking archeological site there that they’ve turned into a sort of amusement park. A lot of what we learned there is in the show. It’s not bad.

      • Griffin says:

        You’ve mentioned in another comment that you worked in England, which I found incredibly random and unexpected since you’d never mentioned it before. I mean my Mom’s Scottish and I practically have British passports and even I haven’t been, so I think I’m a little envious!

        Did you go to the highlands of Scotland? The Vikings actually controlled that territory for far longer than they did York or any other part of England as far as I know, it would be weird if something wasn’t done with that. I really want to learn Scottish Gaellic (which sounds pretty similar to the Norweigan the Vikings spoke, I think Gaellic actually mixed with it) but as it turns out it’s incredibly difficult to learn a language only 60,000 people can speak and that doesn’t have many resources to draw from.

      • MassDem says:

        Vikings is fantastic and if you watch The Last Kingdom on BBC America you pick up 100 year later history as well.

        Many of the characters in both shows are actual historical or legendary figures-if you read too much on Wikipedia, you’ll end up spoiling the plots.

      • LOL. Yep.

        With a new like Thorleifson, of course I watch Vikings. It’s really quite a remarkable series, interweaving both the sagas and the Anglo Saxon chronicles in a very entertaining way. Assuming the storyline remains true to the original accounts, I’m primed with a number of spoilers,with which I tantalize/torture my better half – that’s as much fun as the show itself!

    • objv says:

      Hmmm, that would be Götterdämmerung in German. Maybe, we can get this lovely lady to sing at the convention.

  10. texan5142 says:

    Random thoughts should remain just a thought sometimes.

  11. texan5142 says:

    You ever wonder if I die, will I remember this?

  12. texan5142 says:

    Strange times, same as it ever was.

  13. MassDem says:

    Hey Lifer, do you remember when you were “Who ARE these people???” when Trump presented his slate of delegates in Illinois? And I was like “Meh, who cares who the delegates are?” cuz they only have one job and that is to vote for their guy? Well surprise, surprise, it looks like Trump may have lost three delegates in the IL loophole primary because his supporters didn’t like voting for delegates with foreign-sounding names. Huh.


    • goplifer says:

      One more reason why racism should be considered a basic evolutionary flaw. If the Trump campaign can find a Muslim willing to elect Trump and sign up for his yellow crescent, they really ought to use him.

  14. Griffin says:

    I’ve heard before that Trump getting crushed in 2016 will help Ted Cruz’s argument that the party needed to nominate a “true conservative” to win. Just as Republicans suddenly decided in 2009-ish that Bush wasn’t popular because his policies weren’t conservative enough or that Romney lost because he was a “Massachussets moderate”, they will be saying that Trump’s heresy on some economic and foriegn policy stances (as well as lack of religious fundamentalism) is what caused the 2016 loss. They needed someone more Orthodox, more doctrinaire, more in-line with the AM radio hosts, the ultimate right-winger.

    I don’t want to believe that the 2020 nominees might be even further right than Trump in many ways so thay they can better fit the ideal of the ultimate Republican, but I think that’s what is going to happen. Especially since Trump has shown them you can get away with even more than they previously thought possible and still get the nomination.

    • MassDem says:


      The activists and idealists in a party always want someone who is more idealogically pure, but it rarely works out.

      • Griffin says:

        Oh c’mon it’s not my fault the name of your state is so perfectly designed to be misspelled. I missed one letter! One! Do you have any idea how few people who don’t live in Masachu… Mastachu… in that place gets that close to spelling it correctly without the help of Google!

        I don’t want to overstate it but I’m basically a God.

      • MassDem says:

        Eh, I’m just being a Masshole 😉

    • flypusher says:

      But here’s the fly in that ointment, all those people who have decided to stop voting with their BIbles and start voting with their middle fingers. These people have finally wised up to the fact that the culture wars are a diversion. If this “true conservative”, be it Cruz or someone even more RWNJ, keeps offering the same old trickle down crap, why will they listen?

  15. WX Wall says:

    I go with the ‘Cruz is just a big dick’ option. No need to overthink this. I think his intelligence is overestimated. Cruz never displayed any tactical brilliance when pushing to shut down the govt. He lost the battle and the war, ended up being hated by his party, and didn’t get any additional voters beyond his evangelical base. And yet he did it anyway, over and over again. If he didn’t do that, the establishment probably would have anointed him as their preferred choice instead of Rubio.

    Goplifer, you live in the fact-based world. Cruz lives in a faith-based fantasyland (and I’m not talking about only his religious beliefs). You’re trying to find reality-based tactical decisions in a person who believes he’s the second coming of Christ sent to this world to finish the crusades (this time against socialists in addition to Muslims).

    You might as well ask why Osama bin Laden sent planes into the twin towers when he must have known we’d find him and kill him for it. I bet OBL never regretted his decision, and I doubt Cruz is thinking beyond wanting to gleefully watch Republican infidels burn either.

    Also, IMHO Rubio will be the front runner in 2020, not Cruz. Unless the Republican party descends so much that Cruz starts looking like a sane moderate (don’t laugh. Look at how kasich was viewed when he got elected to the House vs now…)

  16. Rob Ambrose says:

    I think of all the things this crazy cycle has shown, its that Cruz doesn’t have a path to the white house and never did.

    Trump has shown that whatever was holding the “conservative movement” together , it WASNT religiosity and social conservatism. Those things may have been used to keep some stragglers on board, but it’s not the underlying dynamic, or else Trump would have never won a state.

    A Cruz presidency is predicated that there is a massive, silent bloc of voters that has stayed away until now because there just isn’t a candidate who is religious enough. With Trump proving that false, Cruz could never win.

    America will be LESS Conservative (in keeping with a several hundred year trend of liberalisation that continues to this day) in 2020, not more.

    Cruz is probably a 10-20 tears too late.

  17. Rob Ambrose says:

    Lol these nuts are hilarious.

    So Obama is “politicizing” the SCOTUS nominee by nominating an eminently qualified, very moderate centrist who has been praised by ppl on both sides of the aisle thus fulfilling his constitutional duty? Not the Republicans for unprecedented refusal to even hold hearings for ANY nominee?

    The GOP played chicken with Obama, he called their bluff, and now they’re freaking out because Obama has made their obstructionism much harder to hide.


    • MassDem says:

      That explains why Obama job approval rating is currently in the low 50s and Congress job approval is ….11%!
      Although that’s an improvement from their all-time low of 9%.

      • 1mime says:

        Fine ratings for O is also a good thing for Dems up and down the line. The party who is in power durich which time the economy is positive with a president sporting ratings over 50 – that’s a big deal! Historically, these are markers which consistently pre-dispose voters to feel kindly about the incumbent party. Combine these factors with a very healthy unemployment rate, a continuously rising jobs rate, a halved budget deficit since 2009, low inflation plus low interest rates, and it’s pretty hard to criticize this administration….unless, of course, you are Republican, and then it’s not nearly good enough….

    • flypusher says:

      They could have played along, held hearings, and voted no. Of course, they’d have to own that no vote, especially for a nominee of Garland’s quality. But since they were so stupid as to tip their hands within hours of the news of Scalia’s death, they are going to take damage no matter what they do.

      I think this situation highlights how delusional the GOP has become, vs how Obama is grounded in reality. He made his pick based on how things are, as opposed how he might wish things to be, and he picked someone who is undisputedly qualified. Yes, the lefties wanted someone more liberal, but that’s not going to fly with a GOP majority Senate, and even a moderate would tilt the Court to the left. To quote the late, not-so-great candidate Marco Rubio, Obama knows exactly what he’s doing. I expect a number of GOP Senators to cave as the summer drags on. Kirk is especially damned. He’s got Tammy Duckworth as his opponent and he’ll be beaten over the head with this obstruction constantly.

      I will have to write a scolding e-mail to Cornyn. Not that I expect him to response, or response with anything better than an insipid canned response, but just to go on record as a displeased constituent.

    • 1mime says:

      WaPo has an interesting theory on a GOP gambit regarding Chief Justice Garland’s appointment. To Obama, you want him? We just might quietly (but quite deliberately) allow you to appoint him during the lame duck session. That way, Republicans don’t have to actually vote on the nominee, much less conduct a hearing, and they get the most centrist SC nominee by a Democratic President ever. Game, set, match. Guess Repubs know a little chess too. They are really hedging their bets….tamping down the issue as a campaign tool for Dems by allowing the appointment and gambling that Trump (or their nominee of whatever name) will win and they will get to appoint the next SC justices. The article goes into far more detail. Fascinating….


  18. Chris D. says:

    Trump will offer Cruz the VP slot with a backroom promise to put him on the Supreme Court, which is where Cruz would rather be over the long run. This gives Trump the ground troops he needs for the general. You heard it here first.

  19. Crogged says:

    My mindset and grey hair remind me of other previously ‘destroyed’ political parties; Dem’s in 1972, 1980 and Republican’s in 2010 and 1976. But then I read something like this and wonder what will be ‘establishment’ for Republican’s in 2020? Let them eat cake and move………..


    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Interesting. This rif seems different, I don’t know how they pull the party back together after all this, if the GOP elites start talking like this.

      The GOP has always been repulsed by their base. They’ve given platitudes to religious and social Conservatives, but they find the poor whites that make up their base just as much in contempt as they hold poor blacks.

      Now that the working class whites aren’t playing along anymore, the GOP elites are finding it increasingly difficult to prevent their true colors from showing.

      • objv says:

        Rob, BASE jumping can be dangerous thing. Here, it has been the Democrats who have neglected their base and caused them to jump to the Republican side. In the past, Democrats courted all lower and middle class voters. By vilifying poorer white males and religious people, liberals have alienated a large swath of the population that used to vote dependably Democrat..

      • 1mime says:

        The Democratic Party didn’t abandon the religious right fundamentalists , they consciously left them. The GOP picked them up and can keep em. Please be specific about how the Dem Party has viilfied poor whites….funny, here I’ve been thinking all along that it has been the Dem Party who was standing up for poor white people….just not those who are racists.

        I do agree that the Dem Party needs to do more to help poor people, but to imply that the Dems have vilified them is not accurate. That they can do more to help is accurate. That poor white people have chosen to vote for a party (Republican lest there be any doubt who I’m talking about here) that has advocated giving more to the wealthy while continuing to cut benefits for the working class underscores your argument (and Lifer’s) that Dems have not been listening. Their platform should appeal to poor whites equally as well as it does poor minorities. That their message is not being heard and their needs sufficiently addressed, obviously indicates they either have a messaging problem and/or delivery problem. Either way, these people need a place to go where they feel they are represented. The problem is, a great deal of their resentment is race-based, and that is not a winning reason.

      • MassDem says:

        Yes, Democrats vilified those poor white males by not being racist/sexist/xenophobic/homophobic enough for them.
        Good riddance I say.

        Although it is pretty horrible that the Republican establishment who they’ve supported all these years against their own interests is kicking them in the teeth like that.

      • objv says:

        “Please be specific about how the Dem Party has viilfied poor whites”

        “Yes, Democrats vilified those poor white males by not being racist/sexist/xenophobic/homophobic enough for them.
        Good riddance I say.”

        Mime and MassD, Here you go. Yes, Democrats revile white males, especially those in lower income groups, by calling them racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic. As with those who are religious, Democrats like you say the GOP can “keep them.”

        You don’t have to read far in this blog to read as much over and over and over again. Is it any wonder that almost all of the conservative men that have posted comments in the past have either been alienated or forced to leave?

        My husband, while technically not “poor,” is not racist, sexist, xenophobic or homophobic. The Democratic Party offers nothing to him. Indeed, the presumption is that he is a religious nut whose sole motivation is racism. That is not the man I know. Neither is it typical of other conservative men I know.

      • Griffin says:

        I and most liberals that I’m aware of don’t have an issue with the “religious”, unless by “religious” you mean “religious fundamentalists who think literal interpretations of ancient texts should guide societies laws”. That very specific group of the “religious” is virtually always homophobic (“No no you prejudiced liberal, we don’t HATE them we just don’t think they should be allowed to marry, adopt children, etc.”) and unless you live in a total fantasy land I don’t see how you can claim otherwise.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I don’t know Obj…I generally reserve calling people racist, sexist, xenophobic and/or homophobic when they actually are racist, sexist, xenophobic and/or homophobic.

        Folks who fly the confederate flag, insist that the only real racism is directed against White folks (and possibly conservative Black folks), and who equate aborting a six day old embryo with keeping adults as slaves at least have a tone deaf view of race in the US.

        Folks who don’t believe that gay people deserve the same rights and privileges as straight folks might not exactly fit the technical definition of homophobia but can probably safely fall into a category of bigot.

        Believing that Branch Rickey is really the person who broke the color barrier in baseball by hiring the slightly above average ball player Jackie Robinson rather than Robinson himself breaking the color barrier might be said to have an odd mindset when it comes to race in the US.

        I’m actually blanking on the screen name of the biggest bozo who used to inhabit these parts, but he easily fit the definition of racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic as well as just a normal old bigot.

        I know it is apparently never tiring to nail yourself to the cross, but I just don’t see the rampant labeling of normal White male folks as racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic. If you want to pop up examples of talking head liberals on TV saying idiotic things, then sure, but then you have to go along with talking head conservative idiots saying all sorts of rather mean things about liberals.

        If you keep it within the confines of this blog, I’m just not seeing it.

      • 1mime says:

        I guess we see and hear what we want to, Homer. Good response.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        “If you want to pop up examples of talking head liberals on TV saying idiotic things, then sure, but then you have to go along with talking head conservative idiots saying all sorts of rather mean things about liberals.”

        Good point. Not all Conservatives are bloviating gasbags like Limbaugh. Most ARENT actually.

        Just like most liberals aren’t safe space seeking, trigger warning needing, gender pronoun insisting space cadets. We find them just as absurd as everyone else.

        In real life, I’m viewing none of the bitter partisanship that permeates politics and the internet. I have a handful of friends I discuss politics with, and I have a pretty good idea of the political leanings of my wider social circle (thanks to FB memes). But very little political talk tends to happen in the flesh and blood real world. I’ve got excellent friends, guys I’ve known for years who I have no idea who they vote for even if they voted. The intense partisan divisions that are happening in the political class don’t permeate down to the street level, at least in my experience

      • 1mime says:

        I think older and old (ages 50 up) White people are more “fixed” in their views and less reticent about expressing themselves to those with whom they disagree. Most of us have experienced the family gathering where someone touches upon (innocently or not) a political statement to make it clear where they stand in politics. I have learned to either walk out of the room, ignore the comment, or, if it is really off the wall, to counter it as tactfully as possible, then change the subject. You have to be careful because for some people, this is the opening they are looking for to lay into their diatribe. Most of us just tiptoe around any mention of politics because positions are so hardened that civility is difficult, even among family who supposedly love one another. How can people separate “love for family” with crass intolerance for others?

      • Griffin says:

        Rob I’m glad that’s been your experience but I have radically conservative members of my family who do make it a big deal. My Grandfather is utterly dismayed that one of his sons (an Uncle) is a liberal and blames colleges for it, and I used to have friends of the family tell me not to go to Berkeley if I got in because they thought I would be converted into a “communist”. Worst of all I’m treated like a kool-aid drinker by my Uncle (a different one obviously) because I “believe” in global warming, and he speaks to me as if I’m a brainwhashed hippie. He has threatened to move his family out of California where he has a six-figure job and into South Africa because he hates Obama so much and because the pundits he listens to are winding him up so much, and half my family have become conspiracy nuts in the past eight years.

        I love them but it’s very frustrating, they can’t seem to calm down.

      • MassDem says:

        Caveat, I’ve spent almost all of my life in New England, one of the most segregated areas of the country, so that probably affects my views.

        I don’t think I’ve ever known a blatant, in-your-face racist except that one scary neo-Nazi guy who I worked with one summer as a teenager. But I do know a lot of people who make judgements about other people based on racial, sexual, gender-based, and ethnic stereotypes, and who are both liberals and conservatives. I’ve been guilty of it myself, to tell you the truth, although I think my life experiences have gone a long way toward washing that out of me (now my typical crime is making assumptions about people based on their political persuasion, so yeah, I can be a hypocrite).

        The fact is that those blue-collar voters fled the Democratic Party once it embraced inclusion, at least as an ideal (reality is we still have a long way to go). Gee I wonder why? Remember we weren’t talking about blue-collar white males in general, but specifically those that left the Dem party because reasons.

        Furthermore, as far as prejudice against the religious, I don’t care what religion anyone is as long as they don’t try to force their beliefs on me or anyone else. And let’s be clear here, evangelical Protestantism is not the only religion out there–there are a lot of religions that don’t agree with denying rights that everyone else enjoys to gay people. I used to be UCC, and we perform same-sex weddings in the church & have done so for years. So there’s that.

        Frankly, I don’t go out of my way to vilify people based on their innate characteristics, but I reserve my right to get annoyed by the stupid.

      • flypusher says:

        “My husband, while technically not “poor,” is not racist, sexist, xenophobic or homophobic. The Democratic Party offers nothing to him. Indeed, the presumption is that he is a religious nut whose sole motivation is racism. That is not the man I know. Neither is it typical of other conservative men I know”.

        Racists, sexists, xenophobes, homophones, and bigots ARE as Racists, sexists, xenophobes, homophones, and bigots DO/ SAY. If your husband has not done/said any racist/ sexist/ xenophobic/ homophobic/ or otherwise bigoted things, no RATIONAL person will assume that he is racist/ sexist/ xenophobic/ homophobic/a bigot. As for what irrational people say, the source should be considered and dismissed with the contempt they deserve.

        This isn’t rocket science, and a fake persecution complex becomes nobody.

      • objv says:

        Where do I even start here?

        No, I have not put in an application for sainthood … yet. I am not nailing myself to a cross by trying to defend white, conservative males. In fact, I feel rather odd doing so considering that most of you are (gasp) white men.

        I suppose it is like me reading men’s comments on knowing all about women’s feelings on abortion. :-/

        We all seem to have formed our opinions by interactions with the people in our lives – especially relatives. In my own life, I have had positive experiences with conservative men (especially, my husband.)

        I do realize that there are huge chasms of thought and emotion between our beliefs on abortion, gay rights, and religion. On one hand, I sincerely like gay men and lesbians and want them to be happy. On the other hand, I don’t feel I can rewrite the Bible. If that makes me a bigot, so be it.

      • flypusher says:

        “On the other hand, I don’t feel I can rewrite the Bible. If that makes me a bigot, so be it.”

        All the anti-gay stuff I’ve seen cited from the Bible is either the old Hebrew tribal rules, or Paul’s negative opinions. Absolutely zip from Jesus on the subject. People are free to interpret as they wish, but be honest enough to admit that gay=sin is not unambiguous in the way “love thy neighbor as thyself” is.

      • objv says:

        Now, Homer, I’ve always thought of you as reasonable – believe it or not. I don’t want to get into a discussion about a certain person who has left out of respect for another person who is still here. I think the person in question was treated abysmally but I’ll let you have the last word should you so desire.

        I enjoyed your comments about your sons in one of the previous threads. You may see a turnaround in your boys’ preferences as they get older. My two kids, vastly preferred me when they were babies and toddlers, but they quickly figured out that my husband was the fun parent around the ages of four or five.

        I’m glad you got the joke about the junior band instruments. They were the worst idea I’ve ever had. (What was I thinking?)

        The best toy investment I ever made was buying Legos. I started buying kits when they went on sale for my daughter and continued with my son. They spent countless hours with friends or by themselves building all kinds of elaborate things. You’re sons are still probably too young and in the choking hazard stage, but I’d highly recommend starting to buy a few packages here and there for future fun.

      • objv says:

        Sorry …. your sons, not you’re sons. 🙂

      • objv says:


        I don’t believe that the Bible teaches that simply being gay is a sin. God loves everyone. He created all kinds of people. He offers acceptance and forgiveness to all who seek Him.

        That being said, Christians are supposed to follow teachings regarding sexual behavior. Gay sex is out but so is all sex that is not exclusively between a man and a woman who are married to each other. And, yes, lots of Christians are hypocritical on that point.

        The overreaching theme of the Bible is love. Sad to say, the concept has been badly mangled.

      • 1mime says:

        So, let me see if I got this right. The Bible doesn’t condemn gay people as long as they don’t have sex, but God loves them all, regardless, just “no touching”. I wonder how this correlates with medical findings that homosexuality is not “learned” behavior, it is congenital. Meaning, of course, that people do not “choose” their sexuality, yet if they have a partner whom they “love”, it must always be platonic. Like lepers, they are shunned from normal intercourse with society (in the broadest possible terms). The “others”.

        It’s no wonder homosexual people have such a tough time. They can’t procreate so what’s the harm if they are in a relationship? As noted, casual sex is rampant among people generally, whereas homosexual sex must be denied or restricted. Where’s the love?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…right now, legos are the devil’s tools because they are small and easily stepped on by my big feet. We are more at the Duplo stage, but even those are a pain in the tail because it takes a long time for uncooperative kids to pick up the hundreds of pieces.

        However, they do allow for building of things by the twins that allow their younger brother to come sweeping in with unbridled glee as he knocks them down. It used to really upset the twins, but we’ve now turned it into a joke of “oh no, it’s godzilla” as the little one comes in to destroy their creations.

        Regarding the re-writing of the Bible
        No re-writing is necessary. I don’t think there are prohibitions in the Bible regarding gay marriage. You can fully believe gay sex is a sin and still support gay marriage, just as you would not support denying marriage licenses to heterosexuals who engaged in pre-marital sex (at least I would assume we would not support such a ban).

      • flypusher says:

        “That being said, Christians are supposed to follow teachings regarding sexual behavior. Gay sex is out but so is all sex that is not exclusively between a man and a woman who are married to each other.”

        Here’s the issue that I (and plenty of other people) have with that. Being attracted to the same sex is not a choice. People like you will say “Oh, just don’t act on those urges.” Which means a gay person either has to be celebate, or enter into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, which would be based on a lie. They have no opportunity to enter into a committed adult relationship with the person they love. Some of us see that as grossly unfair. If that is really what God wants, then God gets no reverence from me.

      • Griffin says:

        Objv As others have said being gay is not a choice. However believing in a highly selective reading of the Bible that allows you to have an authoritarian social policy IS a choice. You could overlook the “gay stuff” just like I assume you overlook the stuff about women not being allowed to speak in church or slaves not being allowed to disobey their master (and that’s just the New Testament, if I went into the crazy laws in the Old Testament I’d be here all day.)

        Most Christians I know either acknowledge these laws are archaic and don’t need to be followed or as being spoken about in a highly metaphorical context and thus, again, not having to be taken literally. You CHOOSE to put emphasis on certain parts of the Bible with a highly biased interpretation because you retroactively want to justify cultural bigotry by seeking justification from a “higher” source. Science usually can’t do that so you used religion instead (which religion doesn’t really matter. You could have used selective interpretations of Islam/Judaism/Hinduism/etc. just as easily). It’s confirmation bias applied to the Bible. If you read the Bible and took it all literally you would probably be leading a very different (and difficult) life.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Heck, even if being gay is a choice (which it isn’t), it would still not be appropriate to allow discrimination or denial of rights based on that choice.

      I’ve never understood why this was a position to be taken by religious folks – “well, the behavior is a choice, so we can’t go around carving out protections for behaviors that people choose to undertake.”

      We have explicitly carved out protections for behaviors that are a choice – belonging to a religion and going to church are completely choices (no matter what your mother tells you), and the US has explicitly (and correctly) provided protection against discrimination for that choice of behavior.

      Maybe, just maybe you could make the argument that the state has no role to play in marriage at all, for straights or gays. Why would the state care what you do in your own house?Therefore, no marriage licenses are going to be done for anyone.

      However, there is no reasoned stance for providing for marriage of straight folks but not gay folks (bigotry is not a reasoned stance) just as there was no reasoned stance to outlaw inter-racial marriages (bigotry was not a reasoned stance then either).

      • 1mime says:

        It hasn’t been that long ago that Texas determined what could go on within a person’s private quarters….Thankfully, that law was challenged and overturned. What gauls me is the condemnation of others for their personal choices which have nothing to do with the person rendering judgement. What right do they have? And, all in the name of Christianity. It’s enough to make one feel downright uncharitable…

  20. johngalt says:

    Cruz is doing reasonably well in delegate counts, but take a look at states that matter (not you, Idaho), he’s a disaster. He trails distantly in anything that can be considered a swing state:
    Ohio (13% – 3rd behind Kasich and Trump)
    Nevada (21% – 3rd behind Trump and Rubio)
    Florida (17% – 3rd behind Trump and Rubio)
    Virginia (17% – 3rd behind Trump and Rubio)

    He ran close seconds in North Carolina and Missouri. To win a presidential election, the GOP has to win at least two of those (OH, FL, VA), probably all three. Cruz can’t consistently get one-sixth of his own Republican electorate to vote for him in those places. How does that change significantly in four years?

    Plus there’s this:

    • Crogged says:

      Hahahahahaha. Last night we saw the dream team, Ted Cruz and Dan Patrick, on CNN (those two faces don’t just stop the clock).

      After listening to Ted, I had to go look at the calendar because his is permanently stuck on 1985. Flat tax, bigger military, no regulations will bring back Morning in America. Simply spout political choices and they result in an economic paradise. Exactly why do we have to keep hearing how f_____g clever smart he is? He BELIEVES this shizz.

      • 1mime says:

        Remember, Crogged, Cruz’ father said his son is (present tense) the “anointed one”. I kid you not. Infallibility doesn’t fall far from the tree, evidently.

    • 1mime says:

      Months ago, a Goplifer commentator who specialized in speech noted that people who speak in a nasal tone are very unpleasant to listen to and that this would hurt Cruz. For me, it is not only his “tone” but his pontificating style I find offensive, and that doesn’t even include my repugnance to the substance of his remarks.

      The ONION visage of Cruz really paints a picture of the man beneath, doesn’t it?

      • Crogged says:

        Remake Animal House and Ted Cruz would make the perfect Doug Neidermeyer. Down to the spittin’ p.

      • 1mime says:

        Why ruin a great movie with the addition of Cruz?

      • flypusher says:

        Actually Cruz would improve it, because you would hate that character even more. Wouldn’t seeing Cruz dragged by the horse be so much vicious fun??

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Cruz would probably lose to Martin O Malley in the general. Seriously.

      Trump is…..well, let’s just say I’m not as confident in his imminent demise. I THINK HRC beats him, and probably handily (winning the support of 35% of the tiny slice of Republican Party that votes in primary elections is not exactly a can’t miss strategy). But I’m not as certain as I used to be.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t think it’s a slam-dunk either, Rob. For one thing, she will not only be fighting Drumpf, she will be fighting the Repub establishment that hates her. Not only that, but they want that SCOTUS nominee choice to be made by them so they can continue to legislate from the bench those outcomes they can’t manage legislatively.

        But, Hillary also has to overcome the legal challenges in the wings. I am concerned that the Director of the FBI is a donation-giving Republican appointed by a Republican. One always hopes that the long arm of injustice wouldn’t “dare” go this far, but I am expecting a really, really ugly campaign.

        If she gets past all this, she still needs the millennials and minorities to gotv. With Drumpf as the GOP nominee, they should logically flock to the polls, but they stayed home in other critical elections.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        I think this is a high-variance election. I think Hillary’s chance of losing to Trump is fairly low right now because of the present implosion of the GOP (the last time a party had a problem this catastrophic, Wallace ran for president) but I think that Trump has a chance of winning because he has such a wide variation of possible support. It is really hard to tell until we see the election and see just how dumb/fearful the American population really is.

        The thing is, this could also turn into a total stomping for Trump, the likes of which we haven’t seen in 32 years – if not more.

        I think both are possibilities.

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      Really laugh out loud funny!

  21. tuttabellamia says:

    I don’t know much about how contested conventions work. Could Kasich arrive as a potential nominee for the presidency, and then after all the negotiating end up as the vice-presidential nominee?

    Must every candidate for president arrive with his running mate in tow, already declared, or can the running mate change during the convention?

  22. MassDem says:

    Cruz isn’t stupid. If Trump’s disaffected supporters sense that their candidate’s nomination was stolen in a contested convention, all hell will break loose. Trump said as much on CNN this morning.


    Don’t know why the GOP would want to recreate the 1968 Democratic convention, but there’s a lot I don’t understand about Republicans.

    If I were Cruz, I would hang in there for the long game as you have described Lifer. Of course, for me to be Cruz would require a sex change operation, a million hours or more of Fox News indoctrination a la Clockwork Orange, plus the surgical removal of all of the ethics and morals that I currently possess, to be replaced by a God complex. Oh yeah, and a law degree.

    • 1mime says:

      Oh, MassDem, you forgot massive intelligence! More than anyone else! Green eggs and ham intelligence……and, don’t forget perfection…..his way is always the only way….

      And, no, I’m not talking about Drumpf; I’m speaking of Cruz here….that narcissist who thinks he can call the Senate leader a liar on the floor and shut down government over his “principles” costing ALL OF US billions of dollars plus threaten economic stability across the globe and then RUN for PRESIDENT????? His narcissism is only exceeded by his arrogance. Being smart is a gift. How one employs this gift is either wisdom or self-serving. It’s pretty obvious the path Cruz has taken.

      • Crogged says:

        Here’s his ‘intelligence’ at work.

        The US was in conflict with the USSR.
        Mr. Reagan increased defense budget (don’t mention higher deficit and increased taxes).
        We bankrupted the USSR and ‘defeated’ them!
        I will do the same thing to ISIS!

        This isn’t ‘logic’. It’s not brains or clever smart.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “Don’t know why the GOP would want to recreate the 1968 Democratic convention, but there’s a lot I don’t understand about Republicans.”

      Kinda weird how the common denominator behind almost every major period of intense political instability, from slavery, to the 1968 Democratic split, to the current GOP split has been….racist Southern voters.

      They are persona non grata in the Democratic party. Looking like they may be booted (or takeover) the GOP. Nowhere else to go for these wingnuts.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Pretty much.

        Though it is worth remembering that 1968 was also over the Vietnam War.

        The thing is, I think, the GOP may be happier having the 1968 Democratic convention because, after all was said and done, the Democratic party survived it.

        The real fear of the GOP is that Trump wins the nomination and the Republican party becomes a white nationalist party, as opposed to simply appealing to white nationalists.

        Once that happens, a lot of old-school Republicans lose interest in the party, and probably turn to the Democrats to try and at least have something.

        The reason they’re intent on fighting Trump is that if they win and Trump pulls a Wallace, maybe they can be rid of them and not have to constantly fight this war. If they no longer have any reason to pander to those people, they can put their 2012 recommendations into place and actually try to build a new base that isn’t virulently racist.

        If they lose to Trump, they no longer have a party and are more or less going to have to choose between the white nationalists and the Democrats. Most of them know what choice they have to make in that case, and they’d have to go into the Democratic party and rebuild up a base for themselves and their views – not an easy task at the best of times, especially as “Republican” would quickly become a dirty word.

      • goplifer says:

        That’s actually a perfect description. The 2016 Presidential Election is irrelevant that this point. We’re really fighting to determine who is going to own the Republican brand and who has to go build their own.

        If the Trumpists get locked out, what are the odds that they build their own separate, credible political infrastructure? Let me help: 0%. They make up about 11-15% of a potential the general election bloc. Let them head for the wilderness.

        Pander to them, let them take over the party, and they’ll break the whole system for decades.

      • 1mime says:

        Let’s look at a Cruz win scenario. Does the Republican Party become a much larger version of the Freedom Caucus?

  23. antimule says:

    Offtopic, but it is fascinating to watch how National Review has shifted gears from “minorities are moochers” to “all poor people are moochers” as soon as it turned out that even white poor don’t want republican establishment candidate anymore. It is like their ideology cannot, fail it can only be failed, this time by whites.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      *Ding ding ding*

      We have a winner. The GOP platform is and has ALWAYS been: take more wealth from the undeserving massess and give it to the deserving wealthy elites.

      They needed to demonize poor black ppl so the poor whites could have an enemy to hate so they could attack that enemy to get the poor white votes. Now that they aren’t getting that, they are showing their true contempt for ALL poor ppl.

      • antimule says:

        Yeah, but the question is, where the hell do they expect to find people willing to vote against their own economic self interest now?

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Antimule: I think the choice at that point is to try and appeal to educated democrats. Policies which benefit the middle class on up are beneficial to 70% of Americans.

        They’d have to actually come up with policies which appealed well to them, of course.

        Though I think you’re wrong about what the GOP platform actually is about. The brand of economic liberalism which drives a lot of these folks is NOT “take money from the undeserving masses”. It is basically a more Darwinian view of things: everyone is free to make money, if you don’t make money, too bad for you.

        There’s a reason Ayn Rand appeals to folks.

      • 1mime says:

        “Everyone is free to make money”…..Yes, but some are “freer” than others, and that’s the problem. If everyone started off with the same “basic” opportunity regarding their educations, family circumstances, “race”, your statement would be more applicable. We both know that is not the case and thus class has become a stumbling block to real participation in the “free” market. That is not to say that it is impossible, but that it is much more difficult if you are a minority, poor, live in a single parent household, go to poor schools, live in unsafe areas, etc. These are factors of birth, ones that children can’t control, but that directly impact their ability to challenge into America’s “free” capitalistic society.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        1mime: Meritocracy and equality have nothing to do with each other. I think a lot of people get confused about this because meritocracy is such an obviously good system, that they forget that merit has absolutely nothing to do with fairness.

        Once you understand that they don’t actually care about fair – they care about merit – it makes sense.

        In all fairness to them, there is no such thing as fair. Life isn’t fair, and a lot of things are heritable, either culturally or genetically. Having good parents is a huge advantage over which you have absolutely no control whatsoever, but it has a large impact on how much merit you have.

        Free markets aren’t about fairness either; if one person is better than another person, they will (and indeed, are supposed to) have an advantage in the free market.

        There is no such thing as “fair” anyway, and people with “fair” as their goal are not really behaving in a reasonable manner. Things are going to be unfair. That’s inevitable. Our goal is to minimize the most deletorious starting circumstances without behaving in a grossly inhumane manner.

        Eugenics, after all, are one way of trying to forcibly make life fairer, but most people reject them as a solution. People forget that the goal of eugenics was not “kill all the Jews” but “make mankind better”; it was later hijacked by a bunch of racist jerks, but the core idea was basically selective breeding of humans, just as we selectively breed livestock and cull undesirable traits from them.

        A lot of attempts at making things “fairer” are seen as having truly horrifying consequences once they’re considered outside of the light of making things fair.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree with most of what you said, Titan, except for your statement that our goal should not be fairness. It’s one thing for life to be inherently “unfair” (birth, race, wealth, etc), it’s another to structure organized societies around anything other than a goal of fairness, however impossible. It bears asking, what should our societal goals be in the absence of “fairness” as an over-arching theme? Reasonableness can be fair or not. The value of a Democracy is that aggrieved parties have the opportunity to change the structure to reach the elusive but important “fairness” doctrine. Guess I’m too idealistic and stubborn to give up on fairness.Good, thoughtful reply. Thanks.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        The problem is that some people do have an unfair starting position. There’s no way to make someone who is born without the right genes to be a top-tier Olympic sprinter. Thus, the only way to make things “fair” is to cripple the people who are better off. But that’s undesirable.

        The goal is to make things less bad for the disadvantaged, not bring down the advantaged to their level.

  24. SkippingDog says:

    Cruz will be lucky to get re-elected in Texas.

  25. Somehow i do not see the base allowing the Republican Party to mellow. The McConnells of the world have whipped them all into a frenzy thinking Obama, etc are all demons to be removed from power! Any Republican disagreeing with that theory will get primaried out of office! It’s sad. Both parties need the other to prevent them from going off the cliff! Every time one party runs everything, the country gets into real trouble!

  26. 1mime says:

    I know all are aware at this point that Pres. Obama has nominated Appeals Chief Justice, Merrick Garland. Despite all the hyperbole about an “extreme” liberal, O did exactly as I expected, he chose the best possible candidate who has impeccable credentials….which, of course, won’t help a damn bit in changing McConnell’s mind about holding a nomination hearing, but it certainly speaks well of O that he put the integrity and importance of having a SC nominee who is above reproach over partisan appointment. It’s sad that the GOP has so boxed themselves in with their petty politics that they can’t accept the gift of a superb nominee who is not partisan. Guess that would take more humility and intelligence than is currently under the hood at this point.

  27. csarneson says:

    The GOP has cancer. It’s time to just admit it. The strong and vibrant party of Reagan is close to death. Trump is merely the largest tumor. They could play convention games and cut him out (the tumor metaphor) but the cancer has spread and will flare up even worse the next time consuming the entire body. The only chance of a return to health is a chemotherapy-like treatment where you allow Trump and Cruz to become the official leaders and let it nearly kill the patient. Only after they lose in a historic landslide can you start to regain strength and health. Anything less just delays the inevitable death.

    Great article Chris. I have no doubt that Cruz is playing the long game. It’s amazing how somebody that smart can be that crazy.

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      It has been fairly well exposed that the interests of Trump, Kasich, and Cruz don’t really intersect much.

      Political parties are supposed to be coalitions, but everyone has to more or less be on board with the other stuff, even if it isn’t as important to them. But Trump, Kasich, and Cruz have opposing views about not only what the government should be doing, but what the government IS. And, heck, they have differing views of reality.

      You’re not supposed to expose the raw, underlying lack of concern between the groups.

      The GOP had been placating these voters, but they know now that’s all that it was.

      Do you really think they’re going to forget just because Trump or Cruz lost?

      Do you really think that the notion of “compromise so we can win” really resonates with these people?

      Do a survey of the GOP, and ask what percentage of them believe in political compromises.

      You’ll come up with a number of around a third.

      Who do you think the other two-thirds are supporting?

      Why do you think they’ll change their minds?

  28. antimule says:

    So, after all is said and done, they’ll nominate Trump?

    • goplifer says:

      It’s all down to Cruz, really. Does he want to go for broke to be the 2016 nominee, or is he really cagey enough to make the long play? He’s enough of a pig-headed fighter to maybe resist folding at the convention, but he’s also pretty smart. Hard to tell.

      • 1mime says:

        There is also that “ego” thingy not to mention the fact that he is the “chosen one”…..That can cloud one’s judgement.

    • 1mime says:

      Not nominate, “anoint”…

  29. 1mime says:

    I can see no path forward for a 2020 Cruz run when Paul Ryan is the logical, far better qualified, extremely well respected opponent. You didn’t comment on Cruz’ interest in VP slot…assume Drumpf would prefer a Kasich or someone who didn’t have Cruz’ negatives.

    The Freedom Caucus is gearing up for a serious budget fight. IF Republicans lose the Presidency, it is conceivable they will also lose Senate seats, breaking the majority GOP hold that currently exists. Cruz once again becomes the hold out….He will never, cannot, play nice. IT’s not in his DNA. No, my hope for the Republican Party is that people like Cruz, and members of the hard right coalition, will fade and a reasonable center re-emerge. I want no more Cruz types. It would be helpful, btw, if TX would field an alternative Senate candidate, but, this is TX so doubt the Republican leadership would do anything near that smart.

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