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Ted Cruz: poster child for everything that's broken in American politics

Ted Cruz is betting the farm- and America's future- on the extremely dubious premise that there are enough hard-core conservatives or, at least, people sympathetic to hard-conservatism to win a national election.

It's a common delusion on the hard Right. It has been for years, no matter how many polls and how many elections disprove it. America is a crazy quilt of social liberalism, theoretical fiscal conservatism, vague libertarianism, and a kind of fuzzy, mindlessly emotional approach to issues to which Cruz or someone like him might appeal in some ways, but which he would alienate in far more.

The really telling point is that Americans have generally given Congress a favorability rating below 20% since time nearly immemorial for one basic reason: its inability to compromise and get anything done. Both parties are guilty of this. Regrettably, though, Republicans- and Ted Cruz, preeminently- have gone out of their way to do it, and to do it in such a way that they, rather than President Obama and the Democrats, will be blamed by the American people for the resulting gridlock.

Threatening someone at gunpoint doesn't work very well if you have the gun aimed at your own head. Somehow, Ted Cruz has never learned this.

Cruz is the poster child for non-compromise. He was willing to shut the government down over funding for Planned Parenthood that had no chance of final passage in any case. His combative partisanship lacks the slickness and sophistication of Barack Obama's As a result, when the gridlock which has hobbled Congress for so long gets interpreted by the American voter, it gets interpreted- and generally not without reason- as the result of the unreasonableness of Republicans like Cruz rather than of Democrats like Obama. Few Americans are gullible enough to buy the reasoning that says that when parents fail to meet a kidnapper's ransom demands and the kidnapper kills the victim, the parents rather than the kidnapper are to blame.

Ted Crus is, in the most literal possible sense, the poster child for everything about the government that angers the average American. Donald Trump is unelectable because he's ignorant, arrogant, unstable, ill-informed, erratic, impulsive, and a clown. Ted Cruz is a more serious candidate- almost anybody would be- but he, too, is unelectable because when the American people look at him, conservatism- a minority ideology in any case- is not going to be what they see.

What they see will be a political terrorist, a person who was willing to shut down the government over a rhetorical point. They will see a fanatic- somebody who, as Winston Churchill once said, "can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

The American people don't elect such folks president- at least without a great more charm and sleazy charisma than Ted Cruz has. Like Trump, Cruz is a certain loser.

A vote for either of these men in next week's Iowa Caucuses, or in any subsequent caucus or primary, is effectively a vote for Hillary Clinton- or whoever the Democrats ultimately find to run in her place.

This is an election the Republicans ought to win. But by nominating either Trump or Cruz, they guarantee that they will lose it.

Photo By DonkeyHotey via


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