Saturday, September 24, 2016

Senator Ted Cruz Went With His Conscience

There was a beautiful jerk moment when TX Senator Ted Cruz went up on stage at the RNC and said that conservatives should vote their conscience.  I thought this was the right move for him at the time--it wasn't the popular thing, it wasn't the go-along to get-along thing. But it was being the kind of jerk you can almost admire: Donald Trump called Ted Cruz's father a possible assassin. He implied that Cruz's wife was homely. He called Cruz a "basket case".  Oh, and an anchor baby. If Senator Cruz took all that personally enough, it made his calculation to go "Never Trump" forgivable, in a sense, to Republicans who might find his lack of faith in Darth Trump disturbing.  He's a human being whose wife and father were insulted in personal ways, whose family might have been disrupted by a possible Roger Stone/National Enquirer "dirty trick" pinning him as a possible philanderer.  It's completely natural and principled for him to make a statement to the effect that it might not be within one's personal ethical code to whole-heartedly support someone like Trump but to act on one's conscience.

But apparently that look did not feel natural at all to Ted Cruz, so on the off-chance he needed Trump and could just be of any help at all to his party, well golly gosh and gee. He's up to support the guy who called his wife fugly and his dad a greasy Hispanic president-killer.  Not in a "sniveling coward" way, mind you. In an amorally ambitious weathervane kind of way.

At some point, you understand that he really, deeply, truly, wanted to tell his little girls that there was no way he could allow Hillary Clinton to be the President because there's just this something about her that shouldn't ever be trusted, yet the guy who insulted Pop-Pop and their Ma, should. Ted Cruz is going with a thing he might call his conscience, but I have a feeling that it's not what most of us would call it. Also his bad hairline is about to be a landing strip for Trump's balls. He will be made to eat this one, chew slowly, and swallow hard. Don't know how, don't know why. But at some point, if Cruz sees this ambulatory Cheeto around for some Texas campaigning (because it might be tighter there late in the game than it ever had a right to be with a normal Republican candidate) Cruz will have to stand by with the tightest grin on his waxy mug whilst something humiliating to him, personally, goes down. After all, Chris Christie had to endure it (and will likely see no political pay-off), so why not expect Ted Cruz to get a little Trump on him?

After all, Cruz is thinking about his political future. Now retired pols like, like GHWB, might be able to vote for Hillary Clinton. (I neither know whether this is 100% true, but allow he knows the Clintons, and isn't liable to run for any damn thing in the near future) but working folks like George P. Bush, whose father was humiliated and whose mother was insulted by Trump, just sort of have to tow the party line a bit. The choice is even starker for an ultra-conservative like Cruz. Evan McMullin? (Call me curious about Nathan Johnson--I thought it was a misspelling for Navin Johnson, Steve Martin's character in The Jerk, which, as a Steve Martin fan, at least made me appreciate his good taste).  Gary Johnson?

Make of that what you like. I just think it's great that Ted Cruz reverted to the guy I kinda thought he was before I got comfortable thinking of him as the guy he temporarily wanted to be.


Yastreblyansky said...

I.e., his conscience left the room and he went with it.

Formely Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, as a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy I may have some insight into this.

My view is that Ted made his endorsement decision based on one or more of three possibilities.
1) He always knew that he would eventually endorse Trump, but he wanted to have a period of revenge before he did so.
2) The RNC has explained that in cases where candidates have promised to endorse the Republican and they don't, there won't be any help or money forthcoming the next time they run for election.
3) This is my favorite.) Ted lost a lot of popularity among Republicans with his tricky maneuver. This has caused a lot of talk about Rick Perry running for his senate seat in the next election. Rick Perry may not have gotten far in the presidential race, but he is enormously popular in his own state. He would be a real threat to Ted.

The thing about Ted is that he is a politician. You know, on my side of the political spectrum there is a lot of ginned up hatred for Mrs. Clinton. (I don't know why people are always surprised to discover that both sides do exactly the same thing.) I try to explain, look, it's not that she is demonic; she's just another politician. And having a higher profile and longevity in politics, she has used her opportunities which naturally creates a dismal track record.

Incidentally, did you see the comment that I made directed at you and mikey at the bottom of mikey's page? I suspect you would find it interesting.

Vixen Strangely said...

You have a good point, Formerly Amherst, about favoring scenario three--I think, based on how Trump polls in Texas, his continuing to hold a grudge against Trump could hurt him in a possible primary scenario. There just has to be a little bloodlessness in politics.

I did check that comment just now. One of the things my dad always suggested was, in a real clutch, poke above the eye, curl and pull. The idea of doing it has both appalled me and been stored away as a useful thing to know without ever wanting to be in the position to need.

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