Thursday, July 21, 2016

When Ted Cruz Attacks: Day 3 of the RNC

The Omnivore joked that Punchable Face (Ted Cruz) would attend the Republican Convention just to get close enough to stab Trump. Last night, he did. Metaphorically at least. This was his speech. It's noteworthy that he didn't bash Trump. He spoke about conservative values. He didn't endorse Trump--but he did congratulate him on winning. While these might be fine distinctions, he was loudly booed from the floor.

The dangerous line in Ted's speech, other than its tone and delivery, was telling people to "Vote their conscience." This is the "All Lives Matter" for the Republicans: it sounds like no one could disagree with it--but in context it means something troubling to the base (that you should vote other than Trump). This is because Vote-Your-Conscience was the catch-phrase of #NeverTrump.

The Trump reaction has been something like this:
And, again, on the night VP Mike Pence gave a perfectly good speech, the narrative is all about something that went wrong. Make no mistake: this did go wrong. If you want any evidence that it'll leave a mark, look here:
Now they will hate him all the more. The Republican apparatchiks will despise Cruz out of their own envy, because he demonstrated the courage to do what they would not: resist Trump to his face. They resist him only through their mealy-mouthed endorsements. They will hate Cruz for making them trash a vote of "conscience" while they defend a Trump candidacy they loathe. Cruz has provoked defense hawks like Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) to denounce him strenuously as "not a true conservative," on the same night Trump put into question the whole NATO alliance in a tossed-off interview in The New York Times. Cruz has caused Trump's useful idiots to out and embarrass themselves further.
When you become outraged at a man who encourages you to abide by your conscience, it means your conscience has already condemned you.
He's right.

Today, Cruz stated that he was not a "servile puppy dog," effectively 'subtweeting' Chris Christie. While Cruz makes his play for 2020, the observers are, again, wondering what the hell the Trump campaign was thinking putting that guy on stage. While they have said it was no big deal, these were their faces:
The Art Of The 'No-Big-Deal'
It'll be fascinating to see if this convention produces a bounce for Trump--and how long lasting it is.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting: Erick Erickson claims to have a source within Trump's camp who alleges that the booing over Cruz's "vote your conscience" line was orchestrated by Trump's people, and that the RNC straight-up threatened him and his family (with negative press, one assumes) if he did not endorse Trump.

    I still think #PunchableFace is a loathsome fartbag, but what he did took courage, as noted elsewhere.


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