Ted Cruz Is Making The Same Error As The Establishment

Full disclosure upfront, I worked on the short-lived Perry campaign and said when Gov. Perry dropped out that it would be a cold day in hell before I vote for Ted Cruz. I said this in the heat of passion, but it was more than that. From my perspective, I had watched as Cruz provided cover to Trump on multiple occasions over the summer months of 2015. Specifically, I held it against Cruz that he sided with Trump over Gov. Perry at a few critical moments early on. All that said, I have had time to work through the passions that led me to first say I wouldn’t vote for Cruz. The truth is, I respect Senator Cruz a great deal. Anyone interested can go back over the years and see me defending him on twitter and at RedState. In fact, I once argued for hours in defense of Senator Cruz to one of Senator Mitch McConnell’s staffers, much to his chagrin. On the flip side of that respect is the disappointment I’ve had with the strategic and tactical decisions made by Cruz running for the GOP Nomination.

Which really brings me to the point of this post.

For the duration of the 2016 campaign Cruz, his camp, and the most vocal supporters on twitter and in the conservative blogosphere, have largely refused to listen to what is meant as either constructive criticism or a plea to mend fences. In essence, Cruz is making the same mistake the “Establishment” made by refusing to listen to anyone not already in the circle for Cruz.

For myself, I have warned both privately and publicly that the early flirtations between Cruz and Trump would cause trouble when it comes time for a consolidation, and now we are here. In the process of getting here supporters of other camps have felt betrayed by the Cruz camp for this or that, and while I’d prefer that these type of things could be ignored with a simple declaration that these supporters need to suck it up and do what’s right, that isn’t how any of this actually works. In fact, that is one of the many mentalities that we have set ourselves out to fight against.

No, we must acknowledge, as our ideology does, the whole man. We are not just logic, we are not just emotion, we are a combination of both added in with the influence of providence/the divine.

Today’s ignored hurt feelings fester into tomorrow’s Trump movement. All the same mechanisms are in play, the only question is whether people will choose to ignore the issue, or recognize it and resolve it.

The only way to resolve this is to first acknowledge the fact that some of the supporters of Marco Rubio, as an example, would be enthusiastic supporters of Ted Cruz today if not for their legitimate grievances. Once that is done you can seek to persuade them to give their all for Cruz, rather than trying to shame them into voting for Cruz.

I want Cruz to win the nomination. When this all began I said I hoped Gov. Perry would get a plot of land and a P.O. Box in OK so he and Cruz could be on the ticket together, maybe there is still time. Who knows? At any rate, I hope the Cruz surrogates think hard on how they would feel if Cruz was knocked out by a competitor and they had to make the choice to support someone they feel betrayed them, justified or not.

The beauty of conservatism as an ideology is that is takes into account the whole of man’s nature. Conservatives would do well to remind themselves of this and apply it to the act of consolidation around Cruz which must occur to stop Donald Trump.

If Cruz ignores his most natural allies and their concerns, and demands their votes, he will look just like the establishment he is intent on bringing down.

I hope he finds a way to reconnect on a positive emotional level with these holdouts. Due to his stellar record as a conservative, this is the only roadblock currently holding Cruz back from uniting the party against Trump.

Last Night The Good Associated … Trump Delenda Est!

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

– Edmund Burke

I have been using this Burke quote as a call to action against the campaign of Donald Trump since September 11, 2015. As some of you may remember, this was the day that the longest serving Governor for the State of Texas, arguably one of the loudest voices in the nation for the concept of federalism, and a long time champion of the conservative movement, suspended his campaign for the GOP nomination for President of the United States. That was an incredibly tough day for me as a conservative, and as someone who had been a supporter of Governor Perry in 2012 and had a small role on his ill fated 2016 campaign. I hadn’t been paid in over a month and I was already concerned that the conventional wisdom offered in regard to Donald Trump was either woefully naive on the part of Rubio, or too clever by half on the part of Cruz.

We stand now at a crossroads, not only as nation, as has seemed to be the case in every election since 2008, but in the GOP. At no time in my life have I believed in the viability of a third party more so than I do today.

There is a reason for never considering a third party as a legitimate option until this point. Until now, the faction that would traditionally be leading a third part effort are the same people that are supporting Donald Trump today. The Birchers of yesteryear mixed with the Know Nothings, a dab of Paultard, and a grating sense of humor developed over a series of incredibly lonely nights spent playing Halo and “tea bagging” the “noob” … that’s apparently the vein of the GOP that is on the ascendency this cycle.

I want no part of it.

Granted, not every supporter of Trump is a white nationalist seeking payback for a white genocide they believe has been in effect ever since the 1960’s. Indeed, many of Trump’s fans are simply disenfranchised members of the GOP, but the time for their willful ignorance of who Trump has supporting him and how exactly Trump has actively courted that support is over.

David Duke, former member of the KKK, failed presidential candidate, white nationalist, and a legitimate example of racism in a world where that charge is often tossed about with little thought of its weight or meaning, is a proud supporter of Donald Trump, and Trump apparently has no issue with this. Nor does the hugging giant, Chris Christie, I suppose.

Until last night I thought the good would fail to associate, and, as Burke notes above, that Cruz and Rubio would “fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

Fortunately that isn’t what happened. The good associated and the bad man was exposed. That said, Rubio and Cruz only began the work that must be done, and they are not the only ones with a duty at this point.

Now is the time, as Erick Erickson noted early today, for all good men to stand up together and associate. Let it be known where you stand. Tell everyone publicly, early, and often that you will not support Donald Trump as the GOP nominee.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

– Edmund Burke

To Defeat Trump You Must Get Under His Skin …

The call is out from conservative activists and leaders alike. Now is the time to take out Trump. Mr. Trump has continued to defy the conventional political thinking. Whether it was the prediction he would fall after Labor Day, or that he would not be able to convert large crowds into votes without a traditional GOTV operation, Trump has shown that he isn’t going to self implode.

That said, what Mr. Trump has shown time and time again over the course of the primary season is that he is incredibly thin skinned and can’t really take a punch. Granted, for those caught up in the Cruz/Rubio side match you may have missed how easy it would be for either to get Trump off balance and leave him bloodied on the canvas by Super Tuesday. But let’s look at what has actually happened as recently as this month.

Make America Awesome Again, a conservative PAC meant to counter the rather cancerous campaign of Donald Trump, has been punching Trump in the nose for the last week on radio, tv, and digital ads across Nevada to inform caucus goers of the many inflations, misstatements, and flat out lies that Mr. Trump has spouted about his positions and record while on the campaign trail.

The transcript of the radio ad, which is playing heavily in and around Clark County on both AM and FM stations, is as follows:

“Real Trump Record” Script:
Christmas leave you feeling stressed? Maybe a little broke?
Most of us know that feeling.
We could use someone on our side, fighting for a better economy and higher wages.
Some folks say that’s Donald Trump, and they think they know him from the character he plays on TV.
But Trump’s real record? Not so fast.
That $10 billion he claims he’s worth?
Forbes Magazine says Trump’s exaggerating, claiming to be a lot richer than he really is…
Maybe he hopes you’ll forget his companies have gone bankrupt…four times.
Trump says American workers are paid too much.
Maybe that’s why he’s been caught importing cheap foreign workers…

…and Trump’s casinos have slashed worker benefits.

The Washington Post says the way Donald Trump got richer was at the expense of taxpayers, or the banks and investors who loaned him money.

He’s even used government power to seize private property, and brags about it.
That’s the real Trump record; fighting for himself, not for us.

Make America Awesome paid for this ad and is solely responsible for its contents. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

This ad left a mark on Trump, so much so that he attempted to get it taken down.

That’s right, Donald Trump, Mr. Toughguy, President Macho Camacho … had someone on the campaign try to get this ad pulled from Nevada radio by hinting they would sue at least one station airing the ads according to an email sent out to the press by Liz Mair, who runs the Make America Awesome effort.

And that’s just a radio ad. Visual ads, like one in which a series of moronic Trump comments, of which there is a YUGE supply, are spliced together in a mesmerizing melody of mocking moments, should do the trick nicely as well.

And that’s just what Mair and Make America Awesome have done.

Mair shared their plans for this ad to run statewide in Nevada, “on reality TV shows featuring on A&E, among other channels, which have significant Trump-inclined voter viewership.”

“Not For Us” Script:

You’ve seen the Trump show.

[Trump: “You’re fired!”]

And know the act.

[Trump: “Bing, bing, bong, bong, bing, bing, bing, you know what that is, right?”]

But the real Trump record?

After inheriting millions, Trump mismanaged his companies into bankruptcy four times.

Trump protected his money, but left working folks stuck with the bill.

The Washington Post says Trump got rich at the expense of taxpayers and banks and investors who loaned him money.

And he used government to take private property.

That’s the real Trump record.

He’s for Trump.

Not us.

Make America Awesome is responsible for the content of this message.

We will know a little later tonight whether or not this had an electoral impact, but judging by the squeals that have come from the Trump campaign, I think Liz Mair and Make America Awesome are on the right track.

Now if we could only get Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to follow the advice of Erick Erickson, myself, and many other on the right, and take this sort of fight to Trump directly on the campaign trail.

Donald Trump Is Just Getting Started

For the last seven months I have warned of the menace that is the Donald Trump campaign. Now, I don’t want anyone to get me wrong, I am a fan of the entertainer known from The Apprentice. I always enjoyed watching celebrities shove their dignity to the side just to get the chance to be an ambassador of the Trump brand.

Watching the show actually gave me quite a bit of insight into how his campaign would work and that, yes, he would be able to translate huge crowds to a huge caucus. You might want to interject here that Trump didn’t win and that I was wrong, and I was to a degree. Trump didn’t win first place in the caucus, but he did place very respectably in 2nd place, and he did so with almost no GOTV organization to speak of.

Yes, Donald Trump had his friends in radio and his “adversaries” in the MSM priming the pump for the Donald the entire time, but still, that alone wouldn’t be enough to capture nearly 25% of the caucus. Trump was able to do what most thought impossible, he got people to show up without a GOTV operation on the ground going door to door.

Of course, Donald Trump has been learning for years how to use social media and earned media to his advantage. This is doubly true of the aforementioned show The Apprentice. I

On The Apprentice the contestants, celebrity or otherwise, are given tasks to either fundraise, advertise, or create a physical presence at an event. Any of this sound familiar to the work done in politics? Yeah. Trump knows how to not only influence a crowd but move them to physical action.

Heck, this was evident at many of his rallies in various ways to those who were watching.

If he can do this in a caucus, which requires the voter to go out and stay out for a rather long time just to cast a series of votes, he can certainly do it in a primary. When you get right down to it, Donald Trump got nearly 40,000 people to show up on a cold February night when a blizzard is on the horizon. That’s no joke.

We have a series of proportional states forthcoming in which we could possibly see Trump pull higher numbers than he has here in Iowa precisely because it can be done with less organization.

What should scare everyone now is if there are any indications Trump decides this was a good opening negotiation point by the voters and begins spending on organization now in earnest.

After all, we know this was just the opening round and Trump isn’t done yet.