Curly Haugland, an unbound North Dakota GOP delegate, declared today that “the GOP chooses the nominees, not the voters.” Welcome back to the Republican Party Country Club. No Conservatives allowed.” So much for the Republican “Big Tent.”
Donald Trump “ran the table” in all of last night’s primary battles – Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Florida – except for Ohio, which went to John Kasich. After losing Florida, Marco Rubio suspended his campaign, giving one of the best speeches of any sort in recent memory.
Still, it’s all Rubio’s fault that Cruz lost every single state. If only he had bowed out after the debates, Cruz would have had his votes. I thought the same thing as the I-told-you-so pundits. Had I been his campaign manager, not for all the considerations in the world would I have allowed my candidate to put himself in the position of being blamed for those Super Tuesday losses.
Rubio made a youthful mistake as a first-term, junior Senator in allowing himself to be co-opted by the Senate Establishment. His loss was not so much a rejection of Rubio himself but a rebuke of those same Senate Republicans his forced through the Gang of Eight amnesty bill.
He didn’t help himself by running for president so early in his political career as a Senator (neither did Cruz) and missing key votes in the Senate, making him so much fodder for Trumpzilla. Still, he’s young and a good man. If there’s a future for our country, then there’s a future for Marco Rubio. He’s really too good to be floating amongst the flotsam and jetsam of this campaign (Ted Cruz excepted), alligators and vipers all.
He should thank God this wasn’t his moment. It’s sad to see his faded picture among the other ghosts of Campaign 2016 Past. But on the whole, he’s the better man for now being out of it.
As a result, Trump’s machine was able to grind on, reaping delegates like a harvester on the plains of western Illinois.
Now that there are only three candidates left, the Country Club Republicans are going into battle mode. After the stinging rebuke they felt in Florida’s rejection of their dark-haired boy, they’re ready to fight off all outside pretenders to their GOP throne.
It’s their party, they proclaim!
Even those of us who openly despise the profane, foul-mouthed neon god Trump, secretly hope he does chew up the Republican Party and grind into a fine dust. They worry about threats of violence. Don’t blame Trump for those rumors: there have long been rumblings amongst the peasant Trumpsters of, if not violence, a third-party movement.
The Trumpsters are dug in and ready for a pitched battle if Trump legitimately wins the nomination but the Republican National Party denies it to him, replacing him with the nefarious Paul Ryan (I could have told you so about him at least two years ago). As far as he’s concerned, we Cruzers would rather hold our noses and vote for Trump than vote for yet another RINOsaur.
The Republicans have some hope of perhaps crowning Kasich King of the Republicans. After last night’s ridiculous performance in Ohio, where Kasich flapped about the podium, beating his jacket like the wings of a flightless bird, stumbling and stammering out words, and looking like a loser rather than the winner of Ohio, his chances of winning a state like California are not very good.
His chances of winning in anti-Common Core New Jersey, if Trump didn’t already have the state all sewn up, are virtually nil. He might as well not even bother putting his name on the ballot here. Rubio would have had a better chance than Kasich. But he’s history, Kasich is a court-jester, leaving only Trump and Cruz.
Cruz really needed all of yesterday’s delegates. He may win the Midwest, but will have a difficult time convincing a state like New Jersey to elect him as a nominee. Even our Tea Parties are pro-Trump, I’m sorry to report.
If Cruz realistically expects to win any of the remaining states, he’s going to have to get out his hiking boots, study each state, and embrace as many citizens and kiss as many babies as he can. California has an unhappy minority population who will look to Trump if Cruz cannot allay their fears about California seceding from the Union and joining Mexico.
Here in New Jersey, which is one of the very last states in the Primaries, he’ll need to come here in person if he expects to win over Garden Staters. He’s already had a taste of New Jersey in North and South Carolina, although he may not know it.
The Carolinas are where all the working New Jerseyans have fled. For the most part, these are the children and grandchildren of tough-minded, transplanted New Yorkers. Some are even First Generation transplants. They’re tough-talking and want to hear tough talk, not soaring rhetoric or even Constitutional principles.
The transplanted New Jerseyans, I suspect, who lost their jobs here, are the reason Trump won in the Carolinas. Had Cruz (and Rubio) fought Trump back in the debates prior to those primaries (and I know they tried, but not hard enough and if the Media had pummeled them for it), had Cruz fought back on the issue of the Iowa vote, he’d have fared better.
The Media wouldn’t have liked it. Donald certainly wouldn’t have liked it. But the New Jerseyans would have understood.
Marco Rubio rightly said in his concession speech that our choices shouldn’t be based on anger and fear. Good words lost on a public betrayed time and again by the only other party of choice – the Republican Party. The blue-collars have no problem with anger. The white collars long ago abrogated their voice in matters political.
Cruz has been reluctant to attack Trump for fear of alienating Trump’s supporters. Criticizing Trump is considered a personal affront by Trump voters. Reasoning might work, but it must be done gently.
Cruz could do himself a great service by coming to New Jersey and speaking to its major Tea Party groups: The Bergen County Tea Party (in Hackensack), the Morristown Tea Party, the Sussex County Tea Party (in Sussex), the Jersey Shore Tea Party (Ocean), the Bayshore Tea Party (Red Bank), the Skylands Tea Party (Newton), the West Jersey Tea Party (Medford), the Lakeland Tea Party (Wanaque) and of course, the North Jersey Regional Tea Party out of Wayne.
I don’t know about the others, but North Jersey is chock full of Trumpsters. I thought we were formed on the principles of lower taxes, limited government and Constitutional principles. Apparently, North Jersey’s members think otherwise. They’re great readers and may have read Cruz’s book.
I’ve been reading his book myself (thank goodness I did) and found myself stuck on the chapter where Cruz writes in defense of government agencies. He worked in one of those agencies (the Federal Trade Commission) and defends their continuation on the premise that many of its bureaucrats are honorable friends of his, professional, career public servants who would lose their livelihood if the agency was disbanded.
Does he want to win this election or not?
I went 30 pages beyond the initial reference to the Federal Trade Commission, but my mind was back on page 130 (“A Time for Truth,” Broadside Books, 2015) where Cruz writes:
“I think you could write a book on how to run a federal agency based on how Tim Muris led the Federal Trade Commission. But don’t worry; this is not that book.”
Although it might as well be.
“A mistake that many Republicans make in government,” he continues, “is to view the agency they’re heading as the enemy. They view their mandate as stopping bad things at the agency. But Tim Muris understood that bureaucratic inertia is a powerful force. It is like fire; if you fight it directly, it has the potential to consume you. Tim taught me it is far more effective to shape and direct the focus rather than directly attack the career professionals.
“Most of those career professionals are good, decent, honorable people. Naturally, they are less than pleased when some political leader comes in and says, “Everything you’ve done with our life has been harmful. Stop!”
Oh, naturally. The poor little dears, living in their sprawling, suburban Virginia homes.
At this point, my reading came to a screeching halt, my head turned around three times, my eyes bulged out, and my inner Tea Party rebel screamed out, “WHAAAAATTTT?!!!!” Several days at least passed before I could resume reading it. I even covered the book over with issues of National Review so I didn’t have to see Ted’s earnest, basset hound eyes staring up at me.
Stop!! What the heck is he talking about? What part of “limited government” didn’t he understand when Tea Party citizens elected him? If he doesn’t remove his FTC tattoo and disavow these sentiments, Cruz is going to suffer Rubio’s fate.
He owes his allegiance to the voters, not to entrenched bureaucrats. If there’s anything American people hate worse than politicians, it’s bureaucrats. Cruz should remand all copies of this book, build a bonfire, burn it and hope no one ever actually reads it.
As for the Country Club Republicans, yes, the war drums are calling to one another in the suburban towns across America. You’ve crossed your voters for the last time. You’ll be lucky if the voters don’t tear up the arena in Cleveland. Probably they’ll leave that job to the MoveOn.org mob. Violence is more in their area of expertise than the suburban voters.
What the suburban voters will do is completely withdraw their support from the Republican Party and create a third party. My vote for a name is the Conservative Party. To put it in the words of Jeremy Carl, writing in the Jan. 25, 2016 issue of The National Review (“What Trump Sees,” pp.16-18), they will leave the ‘Republican Captain Ahab[s] to haplessly chase the great Hispanic whale, which, even if miraculously caught, wouldn’t do much to improve the party’s 2016 electoral prospects.’
Not all of us are Trumpsters, fanatically and unquestionably loyal to our preferred candidate. We’re a demanding lot who read books and expect our candidates to hew to the people’s wishes, not the needs of potentially homeless career “professionals” who’ve made a career out of overregulating American businesses and the American people, rendering us homeless and jobless.
You can get the picture now, Republican Party (and Ted Cruz) or you can get the message later on in the heat of the Cleveland Convention in July where the message will no longer be a warning a rout, both physical and political.