Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cruz'n For a Bruiz'n

Ted Cruz has announced that he intends to seek the GOP nomination for President. Forget it. He’s finished. Here are my thoughts...

What Does He Really Want?: It’s obvious to anyone who is the least bit impartial that Cruz cannot win the nomination or the general election. So why is he running? What does Cruz want?

In most instances, the answer to why a fringer runs for President is simple: they want attention. Some, like Tom Tancredo or “B-1” Bob Dornan, want their one issue discussed. Others, like Ralph Reed, are looking for name recognition, which they can then parlay into a fundraising empire which will make them rich. Others, like Fred Thompson run because their wives push them. So which is Cruz?

Well, as odd as this sounds, I think Cruz actually sees himself as President. I have no proof to back this up, but here is what I’ve seen. Cruz has run a classic presidential campaign since arriving in Washington:
● First, he has the classic insider background – Harvard grad, worked in Washington, worked on campaigns.

● Secondly, like Obama and others before him, he has scrupulously avoided creating a legislative agenda which can be used against him. If he were truly the partisan he claims, he would be lobbing legislative bombs like Ron Paul or Bernie Sanders.

● Third, he has followed the classic strategy of shoring up his flank first by pandering to the far-right fruitcakes who decide elections in the South. But even more importantly...

● Fourth, Cruz has played his followers for fools by very carefully caveating every... single... thing... he’s... said... over the past two years. Remember when he opposed immigration reform? Actually, he didn’t. He opposed the particular bill, but made it clear he supported reform. Ditto on every other issue. In doing this, he thinks he’s left himself room to now move to the center with the media being unable to prove that he has changed positions. This is a standard tactic.
What this tells me is that Cruz has been cynically building a record (and avoiding a record) so he can shape his own campaign as needed, while simultaneously shoring up the mouth breathers long before he has to pander to the center. This is not the strategy of a partisan, it is the strategy of a chameleon who genuinely thinks he can make it all the way to the White House. Essentially, he is the mirror image of Obama in a ten gallon hat. But he has problems...

Cruz Has Miscalculated The “Base”: Despite Cruz apparently following the classic modern campaign plan for winning the election, Cruz has several problems. His first, is that he has miscalculated when it comes to “the base.”

Cruz’s strategy involves winning the self-described base before the primaries begin so he is free to run as a moderate on the national stage. This is something the Democrats excel at. What Cruz doesn’t understand, however, is how mentally ill the far right has become. What he doesn’t get is that they have become so obsessed with purity that they need constant reinforcement that their leader is just as obsessed as they are. That means that the minute he stops spewing the same nonsense they spew, they will begin to suspect something is wrong with him. And the moment he tries to sell himself as a moderate, they will turn on him as a betrayer. Cruz thinks they will accept a wink and nod and stay quiet as he tricks the public at large, but that is not who these people are. They want their leader to unapologetically foam at the mouth.

Cruz Has Also Miscalculated The Public: Despite Cruz caveating everything, which he thinks will give him the ability to sell himself as a moderate, Cruz seems to have misunderstood his own reputation with the public. Cruz’s battles with the GOP, which the public already views as too extreme, have painted him as an extremist among extremists. And once the public has an image of you, it is virtually impossible to change that image.

This is true of GOP primary voters too. For a couple years now, polls have shown that only 40% of GOP voters have held a positive view of Cruz, even as other candidates have scored well into the 60% range. He can’t really undo that. That means he can't win the public to win the general election and he can't win enough primary voters to win the primaries... even assuming the base doesn't turn on him.

Worsening his problem, his supporters are clustered in the evangelical states. Apart from the South and Iowa, Cruz is likely to find that he has negligible support. That means that all Bush needs to do is hang on for the Northeast and the West Coast and he will crush Cruz with insurmountable numbers.

Cruz Faces Money Problems: Finally, Cruz has so turned off the GOP money men that he will never get the funding he needs to organize and run a genuine campaign. This will hurt him after the first couple primaries.

As I see it, I actually do think Cruz thinks he can win this. He thinks he owns “the base” at this point and that he can now tack left to win the public. He will run as an outsider with Washington experience, but common sense. And he thinks this will let him hold the base while winning over enough moderates to cruise (pun intended) to the White House. I think he’s wrong on all counts though.

Am I right? Thoughts?

BTW, the media has written their first article calling O’Malley “the new JFK.” Put a fork in Hillary, she’s done.


AndrewPrice said...

As an aside, there is a headline from the Daily Caller which again demonstrates my point: "Liberals hate Cruz because he has balls." This sums up talk radio conservatism perfectly, which isn't about theory or ideology but hyper-machismo.

Kit said...

Something I've noticed about Ted Cruz: He speaks too much like an insider. Not, "inside-the-beltway" but he speaks too much in ways that only conservatives who are subscribed to National Review and sleep under portraits of Buckley and Reagan with the Bible, The Federalist Papers and Plutarch's Lives on his nightstand will understand or at least comprehend —and enjoy.

And that "enjoy" part is a strong "maybe."

For example, during a four minute floor speech he recited a section of Cicero's Against the Cataline, only inserting references to Obama, immigration, and the IRS scandal in the place of Cicero's references to Catilina's plot to overthrow and murder the Senate.

Then there is his comment during the shutdown: "Everyone I meet wants Obamacare repealed."

My favorite conservative writer, Jonah Goldberg*, compared this to Nixon's response to being asked if he believes over-population is real: "Yes, everywhere I go I see lots of people."

He spends too much time talking at Tea Parties and Think Tanks, i.e., only people who agree with him. It is like a Baptist pastor talking about the importance of believing in Jesus to a group of converted Christians. Not a bad thing, at least to keep the flock on board, but it should not be your only audience, lest you get too acquainted with an audience that always nods in agreement.

*Sorry, Andrew. :-/

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I am shocked that you prefer Goldberg to Price! LOL! Seriously, Goldberg is a great writer with a keen insight. I agree with most of what he writes.

I agree with you about Cruz. He talks the talk of genuine conservatism, only from an intellectual perspective. The kicker though, which few have noticed, is that he hedges everything. I've been amazed at how he always leaves the door open to do the things he otherwise implies are commie treachery.

It's going to be interesting the first time he tries to claim that he wants to compromise on something.

Rustbelt said...

"Kit, I am shocked that you prefer Goldberg to Price!"

Andrew, it's the theme music.* You may have to work hard to beat it.

(*- Yes, I'm aware of the focus on certain Decepticon in the video, but it's the only place I could find the original song.)

ScottDS said...

He's also the smuggest-looking motherf---er I've seen in a looooong time!

This article from The Daily Caller (which I had trouble finding after seeing it yesterday) actually supports your thesis: Cruz and Obama are simply two sides of the same coin. Naturally, the people in the comments are blaming the author for being a part of the "establishment."

Robert L. Hedd said...


While not a big TED Cruz supporter (tho there must be a lot of them out there to have a regular series of speakers talk at your conferences), I do like the fact that he appears to have a focus on getting rid of the insanity that these last 6+ years with Obama(PBUH) have brought this country to.

Unlike Rand Paul, who I like most of his ideas, his appeal to a more conservative electorate (I really don't know who you refer to when you state "mouth breathers" and other disparaging terms for conservatives) seems to resonate with many. Is it enough to get elected? Who knows. I just like it that someone is out there espousing a conservative view, rather than mealy-mush-mouth ideas like McConnell, Graham, McCain, etc. "Whacko-birds" or something like that right?

I say to Ted, get out there, toss your bombs and let the other candidates debate the wisdom and historical legitimacy of them in the primaries. If he gets the nod from the R electorate, then support him. Look at the alternative on the D side.

And this I guess is why many on the R side like him.....Who wants another Obama(PBUH) or "Hillary!" and their approach to power?

Robert L. Hedd said...

Also....It means he's not good at politics the way the Dems are. Lie through your teeth to the people and then do whatever the heck you want once elected, knowing you'll have the support of traditional media outlets.

Thank God for the internet!

tryanmax said...

Ironically, the 1st, 2nd, and 4th bullets are all traits that "reel" conservatives supposedly shun. The base has proven they have no loyalty whatsoever. Cruz should know, he entered upon the scene as the anti-Rubio.

Anthony said...

Cruz is a stronger candidate than the likes of Perry, Jindal and Carson, but so far Walker or Bush look like the only guys who should be measuring the drapes in the White House.

The charisma of O'Malley is a book that will never be written, but Hillary is as inept as she was in 2008 (I'm waiting for her to whip out the tears again) so perhaps he has a chance.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, I'll work on the theme music! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I don't know about O'Malley's charisma, but I'll tell you that neither Obama nor Gore have the slightest bit of charm and yet liberals fell for them personally... with both becoming messiahs. It's what they do. They have crushes, not candidates.

Helping this along, once the left picks a candidate, the MSM starts selling them as idols. They will do the same with O'Malley. And if he sticks to teleprompters and soaring rhetoric, he could easily become the next JFK, as one liberal journalist has already called him.

On Cruz, I think his role will ultimately be just to make sure that Bush cruises past Walker with little difficulty. After that, he will snipe away at Bush, quit politics "in disgust," and make a fortune on Fox.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I don't see him as smug so much as a charlatan. He is selling himself very carefully as something he is not, but I don't think he grasps how unstable his supporters are.

Thanks for the link. I concur. Cruise is copying Obama's strategy to the letter, right up to avoiding any sort of legislative agenda that can be taken apart. It's a smart move in the modern age, but his problem is that he's pushed just a bit too hard and let himself be labelled. You can't undo that once the public has their view of you.

AndrewPrice said...

Robert, Every conservative I know, and pretty much all the moderates and independents want to undo the Obama years. I even know a lot of Democrats who want to undo all of his messes. So Cruz has no monopoly on that. What's more, I think you will be shocked, if and when you discover that what Cruz wants to replace Obama's policies with are things you think he hates. I can guarantee you, for example, that he will support "amnesty." You have to listen carefully to his bold pronouncements... they are full of legalistic disclaimers.

In terms of disparaging comments, I have nothing but good to say about conservatives, but nothing good to say about self-described "genuine conservatives." Those people wouldn't know conservatism if it bit them in the ass. They define their ideology simply as having more balls than anyone else and being in direct opposition to everything anyone else proposes.

They are essentially morons who are engaged in a temper tantrum and guys like Ted Cruz and Macho Marshmallow Rush Limbaugh have played them for suckers for years now.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's the irony, isn't it? We hates people who wents to fancy skools... except Ted Cruz. We hates people who gots corrupted by Washington... except Cruz.

Like I said though, I think Cruz's real problem comes the moment he implements the next phase (which has already begun with some trial balloons) by trying to move to the center and sound thoughtful and moderate. He doesn't seem to realize that the fringers he's courted genuinely believe that the vast, vast majority of the public is with them, hence "he just needs to stand up and say what he believes to win." They will not tolerate him trying anything else, because they really do believe the public will join them "if only we finally stand for something!"

To them, politics is about affirmation and martyrdom, not about getting an agenda in place.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW Robert, I can't stand McCain, Graham, and the rest either. They stink at politics and they lack party loyalty... much like Cruz does.

Kit said...

" I don't know about O'Malley's charisma, but I'll tell you that neither Obama nor Gore have the slightest bit of charm and yet liberals fell for them personally... with both becoming messiahs. It's what they do. They have crushes, not candidates."

They have spent the last 50 years looking for the next John F. Kennedy.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I have come to believe that liberalism actually is a mental condition, and I say that seriously, not just to be cute. Liberals is premised on emotional connection rather than logic and it is openly contradictory... a sure sign of mental illness.

Even worse though, their relationship with their leaders is unhealthy. When they look for leaders, they look for idols rather than people. Essentially, they want someone they can worship. That's why the coverage of their latest crushes always turn to how beautiful, stylish and glamorous their leaders are. That's why ugly and tasteless Michelle or pants-suited mannish Hillary instantly become fashion icons and get voted one of the prettiest women on the planet... despite being objectively hideous, why Obama gets voted the sexiest man alive, why female journalists openly write stories about the sexual fantasies they had about Clinton or Obama, why they name their children after their leaders, why they devour articles about what their leaders watch on television or eat on their pizza (do you recall that Obama's choice in pizza topping soared after they were revealed in some magazine). The reason is that they are looking for someone to idolize and to mimic. And when the person fails to deliver, their worship turns to hate and betrayal. It's really sick.

Kit said...


I think that is more of a human condition. Look at the Cults of Personality around Hitler, Stalin, and Evita Peron. Heck, look at the Reagan-worship on the Right in recent years and the constant search for someone who can be the next Knight in Shining Armor to save the day.

(True) Conservatism just happens to require a person to take the mental steps necessary to avoid messianic hero-worship. When you have a somewhat pessimistic view of man and society as permanently flawed, hero-worship becomes easier to avoid.

Kit said...

It is a form of celebrity worship.

AndrewPrice said...

Now you're depressing me, Kit. And you are probably right that it is the human condition because instinctually, humans are herd animals, and that remains a powerful force... as the power of celebrity endorsements demonstrate.

I think I was spoiled, growing up at a time when conservatism really was an intellectual force. I don't recall conservatives doing the hero worship thing in the 1980s and early 1990s. Instead, they were focused on ideas and promoting freedom and individualism. Even Reagan wasn't worshiped at the time. He was instead respected... and often disagreed with by other conservatives (sometimes harshly).

And like you say, I agree that true conservatism is inconsistent with hero worship because it is an intellectual theory based on the message rather than an instinctual level reaction to the messenger.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Celebrity worship drives me nuts. Not only do I hate the idea of person worship, but celebrities in particular are often the people who have made the worst choices, but people mistake their success with having a good underling strategy... even though 99.99% of celebrity is pure luck. Ug. Why worship those people??? It's like worshiping lottery winners.


Anthony said...


I don't remember liberals falling for Gore like they did for Clinton or Obama, so while I agree the phenomena is mostly due to Dems wanting to fall head or heels, the personalities of the target factor in (if one considers public speaking a personality trait).

Also, Dems never really turned on Clinton even though (unlike Obama) he was willing to work with Republicans.

Anthony said...


Celeb worship is bizarre. There are artists whose genre work I buy sight unseen but I don't want to meet them or care what they think about subjects outside their specialty.

Kit said...

"Now you're depressing me, Kit. "

Apparently, if recent events are any indication, depressing people is a talent of mine. :-)

AndrewPrice said...


BTW, the more I think about it, I'm not sure it's fair to say that conservatives are hero worshiping Reagan. For the most part, I think conservatives are citing Reagan as the example of the greatest triumph of conservatism and they point to him as how we should be acting accordingly. What they aren't doing is trying to emulate him in any way beyond his political side.

In other words, they aren't naming their kids Ronald, they aren't dressing like him or eating the foods he ate. They aren't having sexual fantasies about him. Etc. Liberals are doing all of that with Obama.

Kit said...


A few have named their kids "Reagan."

Anyway, look up the Sarah Palin Cult.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, They never turned on Clinton because he was a success. He entered the pantheon of the immortals -- FDR, JFK -- rather than the hall of the hated -- Jimmy Carter, LBJ, and their failed candidates like Mike Dukakis.

In terms of Gore, they never had the chance to embrace him in that way because he lost and their focus became how evil George Bush stole the election... so they invested their energy in hating and destroying Bush instead of worshiping Gore the loser.

That said, they did go on to embrace him as a messiah in the environmental movement. Penn and Teller actually did a thing where they went down the street and asked people to describe Al Gore and liberal after liberal used religious terminology to describe him. This was when Inconvenient Truth was out.

And don't forget, even during the election, the things liberals focused on with Gore were things like "the kiss."

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Celebrity worship is definitely herd instinct coming through. And sadly, it does work with many people, as evidenced by its continued use in everything from advertising to political endorsements to the fact that people like Sex Tape Hilton can start creating lines of product. Wow.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The Palin Cult was the first sign that these self-described genuine conservatives were not conservatives, but were something very different.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Anthony, Personality does factor in. That is true. Sometimes you just can't polish a turd.

Kit said...

About Palin:

"High flying, adored
So young, the instant queen
A rich beautiful thing, of all the talents
A cross between a fantasy of the bedroom and a saint
You were just a backstreet girl
Hustling and fighting, scratching and biting"

"I came from the people, they need to adore me
So Christian Dior me from my head to my toes
I need to be dazzling, I want to be Rainbow High
They must have excitement, and so must I."

Kit said...

"Sometimes you just can't polish a turd."
Hillary's problem. As Jonah Goldberg said, "she is the woman who tells you there is no eating in the library."

BevfromNYC said...

If Cruz last to the primary debates, that will be really interesting. He is a masterful litigator and debater. If you've never seen his altercation with Dianne Feinstein, it is worth a watch. He listens and knows his stuff and he doesn't get rattled. Not that that will make him a good President or leader, but it is entertaining to see Diane Feinstein (and other Dems on the committee)get rattled and sputter and spew...maybe that's why she's not running again.


I am neither for, against, or otherwise any of the candidates yet. Well, okay, Hillary is a "against" for now. It is far too early for me. But I will be listening at what the candidates say, and watching what they do and see if they are the same. Someone asked me how I knew what Obama would turn out to be. I said what he says and what he does are completely different and it is the same with almost everyone in his administration.

And THAT is why the Dems can worship him. They take him at his word and don't watch his actions. They only see the surface of what he says and the photos. But they don't go beyond the surface. We do that with celebrities too.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Hillary and the democrats are non-starters for me. I know them too well to ever want to see them in power.

Cruz is definitely a good debater, but I don't think that will help him ultimately. Winning an election is about image, not debating skill.

What amazes me is how easily liberals dismiss obvious contradictions in their heroes and how they can actually pick and choose the versions of their heroes that they like and just ignore the rest.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Goldberg describes Hillary perfectly! LOL!

Robert L. Hedd said...

Celebrity worship, by liberals, is a replacement for God worship by many conservatives. Many people need someone/something to worship, as we see all our flaws every minute of every day, and love to worship those we think don't have any flaws.

I don't think the right has ever written songs about their candidates, stated they were "like a god," and believed they could stop the rise of the oceans, etc.

Back to Cruz, it is interesting to see/hear how both the left and the "right" are going after him for finally putting his hat in the ring, so to speak. Let's hear him out, debate his ideas and see what he has to offer. Just like with any of the other candidates such as Bush III, Rubio, Christie, Walker, Perry, etc.

What we won't do is take him at his word, like the left does with their candidates.


AndrewPrice said...


I agree completely. I have no problems hearing Cruz out, or any of the other candidates. I personally don't have a favorite at this point, though I do admit liking Rand Paul a lot. I'm just trying to discuss where I think things are headed.

And yeah, I've learned never to take any politician on faith... which is the only way the left takes theirs!

That's an excellent observation about celebrity worship: "we see all our flaws every minute of every day, and love to worship those we think don't have any flaws." That's very true.

And you are correct, conservatives just don't play the lovey-lovey games the left does. We don't write songs about them. We don't fantasize about them. We don't go on blind faith.

Robert L. Hedd said...

Andrew.....Actually, I went on (or listened to) Blind Faith during my SDRR days.


AndrewPrice said...

Bob, LOL! Excellent choice! :D

BevfromNYC said...

More accurately, Hillary is that "that woman who tells you there is no eating in the library...while eating in the library"

AndrewPrice said...

... and while her husband molests the librarians. ;-)

tryanmax said...

I at least want Cruz to last until a few primaries come back, so that every "cruise" pun imaginable can be exhausted.

Also, I see that the media is in a frenzy over Cruz signing up for Obamacare as his wife takes a leave of absence from her job. On the part of the media, it's a pretty disingenuous snub to call Cruz a hypocrite. On the other hand, I'm already hearing unfounded speculation about how this is the first move in a master plan to "expose" Obamacare to the public. Presumably, these are coming from his supporters, which says they aren't comfortable with it.

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax - It doesn't bother me one bit that Cruz has bought an exchange plan for his family. At least he will have first hand experience with the process. And I think Cruz should pump up that he is signing up for Obamacare on an exchange rather than taking the taxpayer funded and paid for insurance provided to all federal elected officials unlike anyone who actually voted for Obamacare.

As far as I know, Sen. Schumer, Sen. Gillibrand, nor my Dem Rep. Carolyn Maloney have given up their government provided health insurance to buy their own on any exchanges. I asked them all...none replied, so I take it that they are ashamed to admit it.

Koshcat said...

A crazy Cruz is still better than a third Bush.

I don't really know what is going to happen. The money problem could go away with a couple really good showings. If he is truly a good debater, it may go a long way to changing people's mind. Reagan use to be a registered Democrat; now a GOP hero. People change and it doesn't necessarily hurt them.

I think the key will be if he will stand for something rather than against everything. He would definitely win Texas and much of the south and Midwest. Outside that it could get fuzzy.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, My views on another Bush are well known. Ug. I would choose almost anyone else, Cruz included.

People can change, but the problem Cruz faces is that he is trying to win over incompatible audiences. To win the public, he needs to abandon the fringe... assuming the public buys it. But if he even hints at being less than 100% full-go fringe, he will lose the fringe. He has a dilemma that I think can't be solved.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. That's just another game of "MSM gotcha."

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Democrats pass laws for other people... not themselves.

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