It’s hard to see how it’s not Cruz or Trump

king-kongLast spring and well into summer, no one could have predicted that this is where we would stand with less than two weeks to the Iowa caucuses.

In the most recent NBC News/Survey Monkey national poll, Donald Trump leads at 38 percent, followed by Ted Cruz at 21 percent. Together, the two men account for an impressive 59 percent of the GOP electorate, and should either of them falter, the other is best positioned to pick up his opponent’s support.

Marco Rubio, the best remaining option for the party establishment, is barely afloat at 11 percent. Jeb Bush is drowning at 4 percent. So even though no actual votes have been cast yet, it’s getting hard to envision a series of events that does not produce either Cruz or Trump as the party nominee.

And it’s not just about — or even mainly about — the poll numbers. Say what you will about Cruz and Trump as potential general-election candidates or as president; they reflect the angry mood of the Republican base more accurately than anybody else in the field, and that mood shows no sign of breaking.

In fact, rather than try to challenge it, even the supposed moderate candidates — Rubio, Bush and Chris Christie — have chosen to surrender to it. They too are now campaigning in dark, apocalyptic tones, trying to tap into conservative alienation. As Rubio sympathized to a group of Iowa voters over the weekend, “We sometimes feel like strangers in our own nation,” and I think that’s a pretty accurate summation of what the party faithful is feeling.

But if that’s the winning message, Trump and Cruz will always be more adept and shameless about spreading it. It’s their native turf, and I just don’t see anybody else in the race capable of competing with them.

David Brooks, writing in The New York Times, reflects the growing sense of panic among what he calls “the Republican governing class.” He complains that part of them have joined “the Surrender Caucus, sitting sullenly on their stools resigned to the likelihood that their team is going to get crushed. Some are thinking of jumping ship to the Trump campaign with an alacrity that would make rats admire and applaud.”

“Rarely has a party so passively accepted its own self-destruction,” Brooks writes. “Sure, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are now riding high in some meaningless head-to-head polls against Hillary Clinton, but the odds are the nomination of either would lead to a party-decimating general election.”

To avoid that calamity, Brooks calls for the establishment to pool its remaining influence around one mainstream alternative to Trump and Cruz, with a more mainstream campaign message as well:

“Years ago, reform conservatives were proposing a Sam’s Club Republicanism, which would actually provide concrete policy ideas to help the working class, like wage subsidies, a higher earned-income tax credit, increased child tax credits, subsidies for people who wanted to move in search of work and exemption of the first $20,000 in earnings from the Medicaid payroll tax. This would be a conservatism that emphasized social mobility at the bottom, not cutting taxes at the top.

Maybe it’s time a center-right movement actually offered that agenda.”

I’m sorry, but as a short-term proposition that’s laughable. With voting about to commence and passions high, it is much too late for “reform conservatives” to attempt to sell such a message to primary voters. That window slammed shut a long time ago.

Put another way, it is also much too early for that message. The 59 percent of the party backing Cruz and Trump have convinced themselves that they not only constitute a majority of the party but a majority of the country as well.  Yes, at one level they may feel like “strangers in their own land,” but at another they do not accept that they live in a country that has twice elected Barack Obama to the White House. They still see Obama as an aberration, as evidence of the failure and even betrayal of the craven GOP establishment rather than an indication of what the country really is.

No change is possible until they are given one last chance to test that thesis, this time with a champion finally willing to give the American people a stark choice. In Hillary Clinton, they would have a Democratic opponent who personifies a generation of GOP frustrations, which makes it even better. They demand a day of reckoning, one way or the other, and they’re correct in believing that Cruz and Trump are the two candidates most able to provide it.

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ByteMe
ByteMe

 Washington (CNN)The Democratic presidential hopefuls will face voters in a CNN town hall on Monday in Des Moines -- one week before the highly anticipated Iowa caucuses.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will field questions from Iowa Democrats in this prime-time event hosted by the Iowa Democratic Party and Drake University.

"We are honored to partner with CNN on their town hall with our three fantastic Democratic candidates," said Dr. Andy McGuire, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. "With this event airing just one week before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, it's an incredible opportunity for Iowans to see our candidates detail their plans to move our country forward and their vision for Iowa and the nation."

The town hall, which will be moderated by CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, will air from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. ET, the network announced. A CNN spokesperson added that it will make the town hall available to its Iowa affiliates to air live.

No additional debates permitted by DNC, so they found a way around it.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@ByteMe

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo

Just to show how little attention I pay to cable "news"--I didn't  realize until now that Gov. Cuomo-the-Lesser even had a brother in the biz.

honested
honested

NPR had an interesting piece this morning on the trump endorsement by National Imbecile sarah palin.

Seek it out and listen to it as it is a perfect example of "the first woman who always gets drunk and loud at a party".

ByteMe
ByteMe

@honested That's the Republican Primaries this year in a nutshell, though.  The loudest drunks at the party are getting all the attention and adulation.

Peachs
Peachs

I always heard Congressman Wilson who yelled liar at Obama during the State of the Union speech a few years ago was tanked..

ByteMe
ByteMe

 [Jeb] Bush slammed Michelle Obama for failing to attend a California summit between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping that took place in 2013, Politico reported.

"The scandal in China was that Mrs. Obama and the United States government, and the United States, therefore, were insulting China and its first couple by not being there," Bush said.


So my takeaway from this is that China's backward view of women is a view also held by JEB.  I'm sure his Mom wants to smack him upside the head at this point.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@ByteMe

China's backward view of women is a view also held by JEB.

Let's be careful here. Has John Ellis Bush expressed similar concerns about American women failing to observe Muslim-majority nations' conventions as well? If he's consistent... look, there's a 0.001% chance he is, right? 


ByteMe
ByteMe

By the way, when DiA finally shows up, give him grief over his "hostages for terrorists" bullspittle from two days ago.


It turns out that so-called “prisoner swap” with Iran didn’t involve much of a swap. When given the chance, none of the Iranians freed from U.S. custody chose to return to Iran, according to U.S. officials familiar with the negotiations.

As the United States and Iran secretly negotiated the terms of a deal that culminated with a “prisoner swap” this weekend, both parties agreed they would fly their prisoners to Geneva, Switzerland, for the exchange – a neutral country that for years has worked as a diplomatic mediator between the two adversaries.

After an hours-long and nerve-wracking delay, a Swiss plane took off Sunday from a military base in Tehran just before 7 a.m. ET carrying three long-held American prisoners: journalistJason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini.

That same day, a plane took off from somewhere on the East Coast of the United States, carrying the seven Iranian-Americans freed from U.S. custody who wanted to return to Iran (or so everyone believed). But not one of them boarded the plane, according to the U.S. officials familiar with the process. The plane left anyway because it was designated to bring the freed Americans on to their second destination in Landstuhl, Germany.


Seems those "terrorists" as DiA called them really preferred living here and decided to stay.

KUTGF
KUTGF

GOP strategist slams ‘crazy’ Trump fans: ‘Childless single men who masturbate to anime’
___________________
Looks like the gloves are coming off

And I sure don't want to see any of it. 

ByteMe
ByteMe

@KUTGF As I commented earlier: the visual the guy gave seems suspiciously specific, doesn't it?

KUTGF
KUTGF

@ByteMe @KUTGF You mean he may have met a Trump supporter or two?  Perhaps from this blog.?

ByteMe
ByteMe

@KUTGF No, I meant maybe he was fantasizing about something.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

 If the Clinton administration thought they were a threat why did they pass on Bin Laden when he was offered.

I'm really starting to think it's time I stopped suffering ITM's willful foolishness.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Visual_Cortex The reality is Clinton fired cruise missiles at OBL just missing him.


Of course the GOP said this was all just a big distraction from the Lewinsky scandal at the time.

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@Visual_Cortex If you think I am wrong then by all means, debate the topic. Is it always necessary to sink to name calling.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@_GodlessHeathen_ @Visual_Cortex @Hedley_Lammar

I will grant that the part about the "GOP saying it was all a distraction" is somewhat exaggerated--obviously not all claimed this, but it was a popular allegation at the time.

Also, neither I nor Jay had unreasonable expectations expectations of GWB's prognostication abilities. I don't see the Aug. 5, 2001 PDB as quite so damning as many, either. It was what it was--something that just looks real bad in retrospect.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

He sure did, he told his aid through the door to his office, " go shoot off some cruise missiles just don't brother me right now while I am shooting off "

honested
honested

@Infraredguy 

I guess you explain why the gop cannot govern effectively, they are fixated on foolishness.

honested
honested

@InTheMiddle2 @Visual_Cortex 

The topic is simple.

Your notion about President Clinton being 

'offered BinLaden' is nothing but a wrong-wing media fantasy. 

That President Clinton attacked facilities in Afghanistan and Somalia while being ridiculed by the gop children is a historical fact.

That it doesn't fit the gop chest thumping narrative doesn't change either item.

breckenridge
breckenridge

WATERLOO — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will return to Waterloo for a rally on Saturday night.

The event, hosted by the Keep the Promise political action committee that is supporting Cruz, will also feature radio personality Glenn Beck, Cruz national co-chairs Steve King and Bob Vander Plaats, and conservative author David Barton.

Cruz ought to keep better company.  Beck went off the deep end several years ago, and Barton is a professional serial liar.

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@breckenridge You do realize that the only difference between Beck and Bookman is the side of the coin they are on. Other than the direction the wind blows they are absolutely identical in the construction of their arguments.

honested
honested

@InTheMiddle2 @breckenridge 

When is it that Jay engages in wild-eyed, mythological fantasy?

I have found that to be the main difference between beck and every sane person I know.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@InTheMiddle2 @breckenridge 

Disagree strongly, ITM.  Mr. Bookman always has facts to back up his positions, and acknowledges the value of science in making decisions.

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@Nick_Danger @InTheMiddle2 @breckenridge Beck does too. Like Jay he only uses facts that support his conclusion. In addition Glen frames his arguments to be ant-Democrat and anti-Liberal, just as Jay frames his to be anti-Republican and anti-Conservative.

honested
honested

@InTheMiddle2 @honested @breckenridge 

EVERYTHING beck does is attached to some misinterpretation of judeo-xtian mythology and or wealth-worship.

I find Jay to be nothing like that and instead BASED IN REALITY.

If you want to call that two sides of the same coin go ahead.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@InTheMiddle2 @Nick_Danger @breckenridge "So here you have Barack Obama going in and spending the money on embryonic stem cell research. ... Eugenics. In case you don't know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person. ... The stuff that we are facing is absolutely frightening." - Glenn Beck

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Hillary certainly does not need the help of a serial liar, she IS ONE

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@InTheMiddle2 @Nick_Danger @breckenridge "You pinhead. You think we would actually be sitting here and saying "well, look at the way she was dressed?" If she were Joan McCain, stop it. You self-centered self-righteous socialist out of control dangerous man-hating b*tch. Shut your mouth. We might have bought into this cr*p in the 1960s because too many people were doing LSD. We're not on LSD anymore — we need to start making sense." - Glenn Beck

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Infraredguy

Add anti Jewish to Bookman's rants

Do you believe in Hell?  If so, do you believe that liars go there if they don't repent?

You probably ought to repent, then.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@breckenridge But then again the far right went off the deep end and continue to whine! Did they hit their heads? Hard?


And now "rebirthing" Palin....oh my! She sounds like an uneducated child...no wonder she supports Trump.