March 11, 2016

What next for Ted Cruz? And a #GOPDebate wrap

Even in South Carolina, the wheels were starting to come off.

Accepting the resignation of/firing his communications director just before Nevada didn't help.

Per this post-Nevada post-mortem, it was clear the wheels had really come off the Cruz campaign, and that the "liar" angle was a primary reason why, counting fake Photoshopping as another version of lying, of course.

Beyond that, it's clear that Cruz's campaign staff was clueless on strategy. Yes, most other GOP candidates expected The Donald to fold; however, nobody else explicitly predicated their strategy on that happening. Rich Lowry nails it in that link; Cruz's plan to "draft" behind Trump, like a car behind a semi on the freeway, was a massive failure. Cruz's staff recognized that too late, and adapted way too late, and by that time, Cruz was already struggling with the liar burden.

That, too, appears to be from his campaign manager, who, despite allegedly being a "winner," has lost a number of races, too.

Yes, Cruz theoretically has a path to winning. But, other than Florida, the GOP largely moves out of the South and the heartland of the Religious Right for the rest of the primary cycle. And, he's got to face Rubio in Florida, too. Theoretically, he still has a path to the nomination, but really?

Especially when he's now claiming the idea that god is hinting Rubio (and Carson, and Kasich) should drop out.

And, irony of ironies, he told another lie in that, because Rubio beat Trump (and Cruz) in Minnesota.

Yes, Rubio is now folding, but Cruz struggled to an approximate tie with Kasich in Michigan, who now looks more and more credible as the "establishment alternative."

And, yet, the Senate's own most hated Senator, by his own party as well as Democrats, still is the choice of the so-called Republican establishment. Brains has more.

From what I see of Trump backers on Twitter, the GOP establishment officially endorsing Cruz in some way would probably be his kiss of death. It's looking more and more like they'll have to accept The Donald.

Getting beyond this, at last last night's GOP debate wasn't as puerile as the previous one, though it was about as fact-free.

Climate change? Kasich did the schwaffle of "manmade, but we have no idea how much." Rubio, asked the question because Miami's GOP mayor (younger Cubans will keep turning Dem, you'd better too, your honor) is worried about it, flat-out lied, because a carbon tax + carbon tariff can indeed address it. Cruz and Trump weren't even asked it, which is one of many CNN head-scratchers.

Palestine? Well, there's not a national GOP figure alive who can tell an honest thing about Israel-Palestine issues. From Rubio's pandering 'Judea and Samaria" to others (I last track of whom) claiming that the Palestinian Authority is allied with Hamas (a clear surprise to Abu Mazen) to insinuations the PA is a terrorist group itself, there wasn't one bit of honesty.

Fact is the US — and the Department of State under Hillary Clinton (and John Kerry) — has made the PA dance like a puppet during Dear Leader's entire presidency, yanking its foreign aid purse strings whenever it won't dance to the Israeli tune. (Oh, and you won't hear that fact at a Democratic debate, either, not from Clinton, and not from Bernie Sanders, either.)

And, looking through my Twitter feed, two other notes. First:

I think a certain amount of Dems know that, even if they don't truly try to get inside GOP mindsets. Second, I'm not a Democrat.

Speaking of, there was a seemingly neoliberal Clintonista backer who accused Henwood of being a hypocritical Marxist for continuing to promote his book. He blocked me after one tweet by me to him; the one I shot off after first not realizing I was blocked said I'm not a liberal. I'm not. I'm a left-liberal, at least for America. I'm a shade left of Sanders on domestic policy, overall, and many shades left of him on foreign policy.

That said, I think Doug Henwood is an interesting kind of Marxist, and I'll write more on that later.

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