It’s 2 a.m. The bar is closing. Republicans have had a series of strong and nasty Trump cocktails. Suddenly Ted Cruz is beginning to look kind of attractive. At least he’s sort of predictable, and he doesn’t talk about his sexual organs in presidential debates!
Well, Republicans, have your standards really fallen so low so fast? Are you really that desperate? Can you remember your 8 p.m. selves, and all the hope you had about entering a campaign with such a deep bench of talented candidates?
Back in the early evening, before the current panic set in, Republicans understood that Ted Cruz would be a terrible general election candidate, at least as unelectable as Donald Trump and maybe more so. He is the single most conservative Republican in Congress, far adrift from the American mainstream. He’s been doing well in primaries because of the support of “extremely conservative” voters in very conservative states, and he really hasn’t broken out of that lane. His political profile is a slightly enlarged Rick Santorum but without the heart.
On policy grounds, he would be unacceptable to a large majority in this country. But his policy disadvantages are overshadowed by his public image ones. His rhetorical style will come across to young and independent voters as smarmy and oleaginous. In Congress, he had two accomplishments: the disastrous government shutdown and persuading all his colleagues to dislike him.
This is the kind of political pablum the generally humorless Manhattan and Beltway Media Bubble types mistake for sharp humor.
They don’t get out much.
When Brooks says Cruz’s policies “would be unacceptable to a large majority in this country,” he means the hundred or so people he can identify by name at cocktail parties. He would be as familiar with what someone in Kansas or New Mexico thinks as he would the daily travails of a declawed cat.
The only thing “disastrous” about the government shutdown of 2013 is how many journalists and pundits it made too lazy to Google a synonym for “disastrous.” It’s the classic media bias case of repeating something that isn’t true until the public thinks it is. As has happened too many times in recent years, moderate Republicans in Washington aided and abetted the media with this nonsense, even as recently as today:
Sen Collins on why no GOP Sens backed Cruz: Leading the gov’t shutdown..was a disaster on every level.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 8, 2016
There are a variety of measures by which the shutdown can be judged, but it was only a “disaster” if you’re mad that the delicate protocol in the United States Senate was shaken up a bit. Can’t have tension in the official dining room now, can we?
Cruz wanted the shutdown to deal with the abject failure of Obamacare upon its rollout. That was in October of 2013. A month later, President Obama and the new healthcare law hit all time highs in disapproval numbers.
Brooks’s frequent dinner companions were apparently not polled.
When 2014 came around, the “disastrous” aftermath of the shutdown included stonewalling the president’s immigration legislation and, oh let’s see, an overwhelming electoral victory in November that gave the GOP control of pretty much everything but some liberal city councils and the White House. Given that 2014 was probably the best year Republicans had during Obama’s tenure, the shutdown disaster was rather remarkable for the absence of any disastrous consequences.
Let Brooks and his delusional ilk continue to spin their tales of “OMG TED CRUZ DOOOOOM!”
They are just upset because they never even get a glance at closing time.