OK, all you Ted Cruz fans out there: It’s time to tap the brakes on your magical thinking.
Of course, it’s still too early to pick winners and losers in this unpredictable presidential race, but let’s face facts: Cruz isn’t really campaigning for the White House. The Republican establishment isn’t embracing Cruz; it’s tolerating him to stop Donald Trump. Cruz’s right-wing politics would never attract swing voters. In modern politics, no candidate has been this far behind at this point in the primary season and still won the nomination.
Yes, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has endorsed Cruz in next week’s primary in his state. But before that, Walker had said he “rules out Ted Cruz” because of a lack of executive experience. All anybody could get out of Jeb Bush on Cruz was a terse, written statement.
The Republican Party is, in all reality, giving Cruz just enough rope to hang Trump. Trump would probably not only lose the fall election but cost Republicans control of one, or even both, chambers of Congress. Already, Republican House members are trying to put as much distance as possible between themselves and Trump, who has never heard of Congress, nuclear weapons, foreign policy or the Constitution.
Of course, it’s not as if the junior senator from Texas is exactly replete with accomplishment.
Cruz has missed 160 votes in the Senate, roughly one in every six votes since the people of Texas dispatched him to Washington. That’s 10 times more, or “much worse,” than the average serving U.S. senator, according to the tracking service GovTrack. The only bill he ever sponsored that became law was one barring one Iranian official – the foreign minister – from entering the country. One. Lyndon Johnson, John Tower, Lloyd Bentsen or Kay Bailey Hutchinson he’s not.
Nor even John Cornyn, come to think of it.
You might, or might not, like Cornyn’s brand of conservatism; he is actually more conservative than Cruz. The difference is that Cornyn actually gets mundane things done.
To repeat, since the primary system arose in the late 1960s, the number of candidates to be this far behind the front-runner at this point and prevail is zero.
Even if elves were real and Cruz won the nomination, he is too far to the right to attract enough swing voters. His platform is entirely composed of pandering platitudes.
Charitably, Cruz is a faker.
He keeps saying “carpet bomb” ISIS, then insists he didn’t mean it. He says he started listening to country music, but only after 9/11. What kind of Texan is he? The kind that is a Harvard-trained lawyer from Canada or, worse, that is all hat and no cattle. Cruz is really good at one thing: Grandstanding.
So, Ted, on with the magic show. We’re all watching. But some of us aren’t holding our breath.