Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies. – Groucho Marx
The Washington Post reports that
CONCORD, N.C. — Sen. Ted Cruz stood on a stage straddling the lanes of a dragway at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, speaking directly to blue-collar workers with “calluses on your hands” and railing against the political establishment — prompting cheers and stomps on the metal bleachers.Meanwhile in Florida, a group of volunteers, including wealthy donors who supported Jeb Bush’s candidacy, was knocking on doors this weekend in Jacksonville, asking voters to cast ballots for Cruz (Tex.) in Tuesday’s Republican primary.
As Cruz hopes to land a knockout blow against Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida and narrow the primary contest to a two-man race between himself and Donald Trump, he is increasingly trying to appeal to two very different groups: working-class voters who may find themselves drawn to Trump, and voters from the traditional political establishment who want to stop him.
“For a lot of supporters I think it comes down to this sudden reality of a Donald Trump nomination,” said one of the Jacksonville door-knockers, Paul Dickerson, a Houston lawyer who supported Bush but is now backing Cruz, whom he considers a friend. Trump, he said, “would be a disaster for the country and embarrassment for the nation, and Ted is the best chance to defeat Donald Trump.”
The fit is not a natural one for Cruz, who pillories the political establishment on the campaign trail and wants to blow up what he calls the “Washington cartel” of lobbyists and special interests. He is detested in the Senate — Cruz jokes that he needs a “food taster” in the dining room there — and only one colleague has endorsed him.
But with Rubio’s candidacy sputtering and with Ohio Gov. John Kasich far behind, the establishment is warming to a man who called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a “liar” on the Senate floor. Even Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a longtime Cruz nemesis, now says the party may need to unite behind him. And Neil Bush, Jeb Bush’s brother, is supporting Cruz.
Many point to Cruz’s second-place standing in the delegate race and his organized and well-funded campaign as reasons to support him.
“Most of the people that I know would not have been naturally with Ted,” said Charles Foster, a Houston lawyer who backed Bush in the presidential race and Cruz’s opponent in the Republican primary for his Senate seat in 2012. “. . . Some are reluctant because that’s not where they were to begin with, and some are still sitting on their hands.”
The establishment world is hardly foreign to the Texas Republican. Cruz; his wife, Heidi; and his campaign chairman, Chad Sweet, all worked for George W. Bush and are making overtures to people who supported Jeb Bush, Cruz backers said. Foster said Cruz called him, while Dickerson said the campaign has been quick to extend a “welcoming hand” with no hard feelings. (Cruz’s campaign said there is no concerted effort to woo Bush supporters.)
Cruz is making the same type of overture to voters on the campaign trail, asserting that he is the only candidate who can beat Trump and directly appealing to those who support other candidates. But he is also infusing more populism into his stump speeches — a direct appeal to would-be Trump backers.
The Establishment warming up to an “outsider”. Now, where have I seen this before? Oh, yeah.
In the 1939 Frank Capra Classic, “Mr Smith Goes to Washington”, naïve and idealistic Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart), leader of the Boy Rangers, is appointed on a lark by the spineless governor of his state. He is reunited with the state’s senior senator–presidential hopeful and childhood hero, Senator Joseph Paine. In Washington, however, Smith discovers many of the shortcomings of the political process as his noble goal of a national boys’ camp leads to a conflict with the state political boss, Jim Taylor.
However, in this case, as the political shenanigans pulled by his Campaign Staff have sadly shown us, Senator Ted Cruz is no “Jefferson Smith”.
He is as much a Professional Politician as Jeb! Bush.
Hence, the support by Jeb!’s brother, Neil, and the reluctant embracing of his campaign by the Vichy Republicans.
The well-worn phrase, “Politics make strange bedfellows”, has never been more appropriate when describing a political alliance, than this situation.
Back on March 22, 2015, in a post reporting on Cruz’s announcement that he was running, I wrote
Get ready for the worst attempt of character assassination of a politician running for the Presidential Candidate Nomination of their Party by a coalition of the Main Stream Media and the Good Ol’ Boys in the Beltway, since Sarah Palin.
Just after Midnight, Conservative Firebrand, the Republican Senator from the great state of Texas, Ted Cruz, announced that he was in the hunt for his Party’s Nomination as their Candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America.
…I’m not shy about stating that I like Senator Ted Cruz. He is a straight shooter, who is not afraid to tell it like it is.
The Republican Establishment, or Vichy Republicans, as I have dubbed them, are presently pushing potential Presidential Candidates for 2016 whose platforms are so similar to those of their potential Democrat Opponents as to be virtually indistinguishable.
Oblivious of their past failures (i.e., Dole, McCain, and Romney), while pursuing their milksop Political Philosophy, the Vichy Republicans, or GOPe, as an internet friend has named them, still cling to their mission to hold onto their cushy Seats of Power, recently given to them last November by us, their Conservative Base, by playing an old, tired political game.
Make no mistake, they will defend the Washingtonian Status Quo to their last breath, and savage anyone who threatens it, with the help of their allies from “across the aisle”, the Democrats and their minions in the Main Stream media. Look at how they have attacked Former Alaskan Governor and Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin, in the past, and, in recent years, Ted Cruz.
They have called them both everything but Children of God.
Little did I know that, as his campaign for the Republican Nomination progressed, this “New Maverick”, Ted Cruz, would align himself with those whom he had fought so hard against in the Senate “on behalf of the people”.
I realize that Donald J. Trump has his shortcomings, as well.
However, as a political candidate, when you promise to fight against the “Washingtonian Status Quo” and then you join forces with its purveyors, in order to get elected, you may gain some potential voters, but you also disillusion a lot of your base.
Just like Captain Jean Luc Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, it appears that “Man of the People” Ted Cruz has been “assimilated”, with the Vichy Republicans playing the role of “The Borg”.
Only, in the case of Republican Voters,
Resistance is NOT futile.
We have a choice.
Until He Comes,
Tags: Donald J. Trump, Florida, Jean Luc Picard, Jefferson Smith, Jimmy Stewart, man of the people, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, New Maverick, professional politicians, Republican Establishment, REpublican Nomination 2016, Star Treck:The Next Generation, Ted Cruz, The Borg, Vichy Republicans