Thursday, July 21, 2016

Voting Their Conscience Means Voting Libertarian

The Trumpsters went hog wild when Cruz said GOPers should vote libertarian last night.

It's interesting the Trumpkins are so offended by the phrase "Vote your conscience." Think of what that says.

Why did it drive them so wild?

"Cruz’s public rebuke brought some immediate blowback."

"Doug Deason, a major Cruz donor now helping Trump, said he was “disappointed.” “He is a bigger man than that. He should have endorsed Trump, period,” Deason said, adding, “Ted didn't do himself any favors.”

"Shaun Ireland, a 33-year-old delegate from Texas, said, “There was so much good feeling and unity at this convention for three days, and Ted Cruz just came in and cravenly threw it against a brick wall just so he could set himself up for 2020.”

Martha Huckabay, a Louisiana delegate, said she burst into tears when she realized what Cruz was doing. “I haven't stopped crying,” she said, her eyes watering. “I’m devastated by what Cruz said.”

The Cruz delegates seemed enthused, and “for them voting your conscience means voting libertarian,” she said.

“I just sat down in disgust,” said Terrie Bourgeois, sitting next to Huckabay. “I felt repulsed.”

Read more:

There's are differing views on whether or not Cruz helps or hurts himself for 2020.
I agree with Brian Beutler. It was brilliant.

Even Beutler only thinks it's great if Trump loses. But yesterday there was a story in Politico that Cruz intends to run in 2020 even if Trump is President.

Morning Joe insists that somehow Cruz hurt himself by doing this. He should have done what Rubio, Walker, Christie, and other GOP sad sacks did.

I don't know. Mostly I don't care. I loved this because it's mud in Trump's eyes, not because I really care what Cruz does in 2020 either way.

But I think it's plausible that in the future the question will be Where were you when Trump happened? and Cruz will have a much better answer than Little Marco, Chrisite, or Scott Walker. Or Paul Ryan for that matter.

Jeet Heer argues that the GOP is now the party of Trump and this will hurt Cruz.

"In terms of preserving his honor, Cruz did the right thing. Trump, after all, was the man who created the slur “Lyin’ Ted,” who insulted the physical appearance of Cruz’s wife, and who slyly suggested that Cruz’s father was involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination. How could anyone keep their honor and endorse someone who had done all that?"

"But in terms of his long-term political ambitions, Cruz made a grievous mistake. Political parties are built on loyalty. You’re supposed to stick with your party-mates whether you disagree with them or not. There is some leeway in breaking ranks if a member is demonstrably corrupt, as Richard Nixon was during Watergate. Aside from such emergency exceptions, though, there’s nothing worse a party member can do than to fail to support a fellow candidate in their moment of need."

Ok. But there are normal parties and then there is the 2016 GOP. The normal rules don't apply. And Trump is more corrupt than Nixon who at least released his tax returns.

What you don't know in 2020 is where the center of gravity in the GOP. Anyway, it's not like Ted Cruz got this far by being a team player. If calling Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor and backing the party into a disastrous government shutdown in 2013 didn't hurt him, it's not clear why this should either.

"Cruz’s cool rejection of Trump calls to mind the crisis that engulfed the Republican Party in 1964, when Barry Goldwater’s nomination polarized the party. Some of Goldwater’s rivals kept a distance, notably Nelson Rockefeller who was roundly booed during the 1964 convention not just for his reluctance to fall in line, but for his criticism of groups like the John Birch Society."

"Nixon took a different tack than Rockefeller. Privately, he thought that Goldwater was a disaster for the party. But in public, Nixon was a good soldier. He endorsed Goldwater, and diligently campaigned all over the country, trying to shore of down-ballot candidates threatened by the electoral tidal wave that crushed the Republican Party that year."

"Nixon’s loyalty wasn’t forgotten; party members remembered his service. He had many chits to collect when he ran again in 1968 and secured the Republican nomination. Conversely, Rockefeller never lived down his reputation as a traitor and was hated by the conservative wing of the party until the day he died. He never got further than being an unelected vice president."

"In 2016, Cruz is playing the role of Rockefeller, and Marco Rubio (among others) is playing the role of Nixon. History suggests that the Nixon gambit is the smart one, since it’s the only way to win the voters who make up the largest bloc of the GOP right now. If Trump goes down to a massive defeat in November, Cruz and other non-endorsers will be blamed for stabbing the nominee in the back. They’ll be seen by party loyalists as the cause of the defeat. And they will have no future in national politics."

Normally this would all be true. What mitigates it is twofold:

1. The 2016 GOP is not a normal party. They are in much worse health than 1964.

2. Ted Cruz's whole brand is he's never been a party man. Yet he has a niche around him. I think this only cements him.

It's tough to say anything about how 2020 looks. I think it might be a divided party with different subsets having a cage match for dominance.

P.S. Does this mean John Kasich is in trouble in 2020 too?

I doubt it. It's possible that in 2020 there will be both a Trump and anti Trump wing. Cruz sets himself up for that.


  1. Best headline of the night last night:

    GOP Leaders Hate Ted Cruz Because He Stood Up to Cheeto Jesus & The Racists

    From Erick Erickson. I must have posted a link to his article 25 times over at Breitbart. It was fun watching the wounded howls of indignation come back: like throwing salt in their wounds. (they don't like being called "racists" by the likes of Erickson). I gave them Erickson's facebook page and encouraged them to leave him some "civil, well mannered feedback" ... Lol! Here's Erickson's piece:

    Here's all his pieces:

  2. How many times have you fantasized about various GOP scenarios of dissonance?

    The reality is even better than that! LOL

    Cruz has made a lot of enemies-which is his speciality.

    But he's also made a lot of friends. Even some Establishment GOPers like Romney's man, Stuart Stevens, are respecting him a little-just for what he did.

    1. It was good, but my fantasy was better. I wanted the FreeTheDelegates threat to really materialize ... that would have been all hell breaking loose. That would have been a division in the GOP that would have been absolutely devastating right now.

    2. ... in my fantasy, they would have skipped all the speakers and been on their 23rd ballot by now, still trying to pick a nominee.

    3. ... with actual fist fights involving delegates, skin heads, neo-Nazis, #NeverTrumpers, Russian mobster goons, etc, breaking out on the convention floor on every hour or so.

  3. I already checked Jennifer Rubin myself. She-as I suspected-loved what Cruz did.

    1. So you saw this piece by her then?:

      Trump proves he’s a Putin lapdog

      This is powerful stuff:

      The most remarkable words Wednesday were not uttered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). (Really, is telling people to vote their conscience such a wacky idea?) They came from Donald Trump, who in an interview with the New York Times simultaneously denigrated the United States in terms far harsher than President Obama has ever used, demonstrated his jaw-dropping ignorance and fueled concerns that there is some fishy connection between the Trump team and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      He said in the interview, “I don’t think we have the right to lecture [other countries]. Look at what is happening in our country.” This is pure left-wing anti-American bile. We are too disreputable, too corrupt to offer leadership to the world, says Trump — and the likes of Noam Chomsky. Had Obama said, “Who are we to tell China to respect human rights?,” the right would have gone bananas.

      She's ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about that. We corrupt American's have NO RIGHT to "lecture" other countries. My GOD can you imagine if Obama said that???

      The Title of her piece dovetails nicely with a common RedState/TheResurgent theme:

      Why isn't the media checking into Trump's Putin ties: i.e. through his corrupt Russian-mobbed up campaign manager, and through Trump's pro-Putin, anti-NATO statements himself

      That's kind of a paraphrased general plea I see made all the time at Erickson's websites.

      This is some truly scandalous stuff. They press should run around shoving that in the face of Walker, Ernst, Gingrich, and most of all Pence and ***RUBIO***.... asking them why they support a man who clearly thinks the USA is the moral scum of the Earth and wants to dismantle NATO????

    2. RedState echoing Rubin:

    3. The press should be all over this: this should be the biggest scandal yet from Trump. He should be forced to walk this back (after doing his usual Hitler-like "stay the course" nonsense for a couple of weeks ... long after the DNC convention!!! Lol!)

    4. This can tie into the ghostwriter's statements that Trump will destroy civilization.

    5. No I didn't see the one about being Putin's lapdog yet.

      This was it.

    6. Yes, I saw that too, but haven't read it yet. Almost every time they mention Paul Manafort at RedState or TheResurgent it's a variation on this phrase:

      ...Trump’s campaign manager and alleged Russian mob fixer, Paul Manafort.

    7. This whole "I'm not so sure about NATO, but I love me some Putin... who are we to judge anyway?" stance of Trump's is enough to justify massive endorsement of Hillary by the neocons and old school realists alike (the Bush family, Kristol, Will, Krauthammer, Romney, McCain, Lindsey Graham, etc). I know McCain is supporting Trump, but he needs to let this position of Trump really sink in. Krauthammer too apparently got in a scuffle with Steve Hayes this morning, with Krauthammer taking the pro-Trump position, but I think he's not a huge Trump fan from what I've read.

      If they actually put the country's best interests over party loyality, I could see them doing it. I won't hold my breath, but I could see it happen.

      Now if that would be GOOD for Clinton ... that's another matter entirely. Maybe it wouldn't!!

    8. ... so all in all, maybe they can best serve their country be NOT endorsing Hillary, but continuing to hammer on Trump (or a least keep silent).

      Ah, let's throw Dole in the mix too. I think he's pro-Trump just to stick it to Bush Sr. But can he really countenance a pro-Putin, anti-NATO stance? A reporter needs to get in his face about that.

  4. Delicious rumor from TheResurgent's comment section:

    Texas Senator Ted Cruz was denied entry into billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adleson’s suite following his speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, Independent Journal Review has confirmed.

    A former U.S. Senator inside the Adelson’s luxury box at the Quicken Loans arena told Independent Journal Review that Cruz approached the suite after he finished his speech that fell short of endorsing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

    Cruz was not welcome in the suite “because he’s a piece of sh*t,” the Senator said.

    From commenter Sammuel Everest:

    Here's TheResurgent's facebook page:
    Under their link to this article:

    1. They should shove Trump's recent anti-NATO statements into the face of Sheldon Adelson too. Make that actual troll (as opposed to internet troll) out to be exactly what he is: the bankroll of sociopaths.

    2. Here's more on that Adelson story:

      I wish I knew which ex-US senator called Cruz a "piece of shit."

  5. The irony has been pointed out that the GOP has accused Obama of abandoning our alliances then it nominates Donald Trump

  6. Other good news: Mark Cuban was on Colbert last night and announced he's now #NeverTrump.

    The whole opening sequence was Cruz dancing around with a microphone with their "Gloves Off" music, insulting Trump every which way he could, and insinuating that Donald isn't really even a billionaire. He said something to this effect:

    Sure Donald: you'd have 10 billion if I loaned you 9.5 Billion!!!

    That surely would be the undoing of Trump: to discover that he isn't really as rich as he claims. To be looked down on by real Billionaires as a poser.

    1. Should be "opening sequence was Cuban dancing around"

    2. Good to hear this about Cuban. If this convention turned him maybe it's turned a lot of swing voters.

      I do wonder if Trump actually gets a negative bounce-in defiance of historical expectations.

      I can't for the life of me think of anything that went right in first three days.

      Only thing that anyone will remember-going into Trump's speech tonight-is Melania's plagiarizing Michelle Obama''s speech and Cruz's wonderful cold dis

    3. To be honest, I think Cuban was pretty skeptical of Trump weeks if not months ago, but the campaign didn't start out that way. Colbert pointed out he was pretty positive about the Trump campaign at first, saying something like "Trump's campaign is the best thing to happen to politics in a long time." I know I saw an interview (I think with Chris Hayes maybe) weeks ago in which Cuban threw a LOT of shade on Trump and especially his claims about how much he's worth, and about what he's like as a business man (treating people poorly and all the lawsuits, etc). So I figured then he wasn't in the Trump camp, but he announced that he's #NeverTrump last night.

    4. Colbert also asked Cuban if he's ever done business with Trump. He has once, but a very minor deal. Colbert asked "Ever again?" and Cuban's response was funny: "Sure, if he did exactly what I ordered him to do." Lol

    5. ... a barb designed (I think) to get under Trump's skin. I imagine the lawsuit has already been filed... Lol!

  7. Erickson doesn't think the booing was spontaneous. He thinks the Trump people warned Ted that if he went through with the speech as written (they approved it before he read it) that they'd make sure he was booed and that they'd have "certain radio hosts" go after him (Ingraham and Hannity) and that the RNC would spread the rumor that he went off script (he didn't, and that rumor flopped because the RNC had already released it to the press before the speech -- oops!). Plus he points out that they started booing before he got to the very end when he could have still endorsed Trump.

    Basically Erickson thinks that what's most important to Trump is to be able to focus his cult's hatred on somebody, and he loves more than anything to do that to Republicans. So he was willing to sacrifice Pence's VP speech for the purpose of focusing attention on hatred of Cruz. Erickson thinks the smart play was to simply ignore Cruz's speech, but Trump isn't smart: he's vindictive.

    1. he loves to focus hatred on Republican dissenters that is. You can't have an open skeptic right there in your cult: that won't do!

    2. BTW, I'm not sure I buy Erickson's conspiracy theory about the boos... but maybe he's right.

    3. A lot of people are suggesting this and a number of reporters have considered the theory

      So this is not a fringe view by any stretch

    4. That's a believable conspiracy theory: it involves a pretty modest goal (getting people to boo) and it wasn't covered up very well, and it didn't go off without a hitch (they could have waited till he said his final word).

  8. Cruz isn't backing down!!!: He's pissed about Trump's personal attacks. Haha:

    1. Nope. A thing of beauty. He's not going to back down. If he were then he'd have done it before last night




  12. I SOOOOOO Hope that Trump threatens to have Cruz deported to Canada (or better yet, waterboarded "or worse").

  13. Laura Ingraham gave a nice right handed Nazi salute after hectoring the boys not to be sore losers.

    1. Was she wearing a fuchsia colored top? I think I saw a photo. I couldn't quite make it out. Nickname for her comes to mind: "Bitch of Belsen":

    2. More violet color... I found it and posted it to Erick's facebook page.

  14. Jonoah Goldberg:

  15. I thought this was an interesting criticism of Ted: not for his convention floor speech, but for the "choose your own adventure" water muddying he did after (essentially trying desperately to have it both ways):

  16. Jennifer Rubin has another piece up today which can be used and a lead pipe of shame to beat Trump skeptics over the head with to let them know they aren't doing enough to stop the terrible devastation this moron (Trump) will cause:

    Former deputy director for policy planning in the State Department in the George W. Bush administration Kori Schake (who, although a Republican, recently announced she would back Hillary Clinton) told Right Turn, “His endorsements of authoritarians and heedlessness about our alliance commitments strengthen our adversaries and frighten those who look to us for protection and to be a beacon of our values. America would be a worse place and the international order badly destabilized by his election.” Schake, now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, adds, “He doesn’t seem to care that there are real consequences to others for the reckless things he says and does.”


    In sum, even before leaving Cleveland, Trump has set off an international furor, shed doubt on his competency and proved Hillary Clinton correct: He is too dangerous, erratic and ignorant to be president.

  17. This would be terrific, but I doubt it will actually happen:

    If Texas did that, I'll take back one of the mean things I've said about them. =)

  18. Mike I'll tell you what the Democrats need to do: Get Jennifer Rubin and about 3 or 4 more Republicans who care about NATO up on the stage along with Tony Schwartz (Trump's ghostwriter) and spend one day (not the whole convention) just scaring the fuck out of the whole world about Trump: and make it clear that he represents an extinction level threat to life on Earth.

  19. Mike, I thought this was a funny comment about Ann Coulter and her bitter attacks on Cruz concerning his speech (she called him a "little bitch") from some RedState commenter called "bk":

    I could picture someone writing books about this campaign with titles like:
    Demonic: How the Trump Mob Is Endangering the GOP
    Godless: The Church of Trumpism
    Guilty: Trump "Victims" and Their Assault on Conservatism
    How to Talk to a Trumpette (If You Must)
    If Trumpettes Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
    Slander: Trump Lies About the American Right

  20. BTW, something Michael Moore said on Maher's show last night I thought was good: he suggested that an hour or two of debate prep with him and Bill could help Hillary shove a shiv of humor under his skin that would make him unhinged, since according to Trump's ghost writer he has zero ability to laugh at himself. I suggested something similar ... humor might be able to take down this would-be tyrant. That was supposedly Robespierre's undoing as well... when the National Assembly started laughing at him... he couldn't cope with that (being utterly humorless) and started chocking on his words... when one of the representatives saw that he pounced and accused him of chocking on the blood of his good friend and gregarious, well liked former colleague, Danton, whom Robespierre had sent to the scaffold a few months earlier, during a calculated internal power struggle draped in high minded bullshit about "terror" and "virtue." (Danton had soured on the terror and tried to rally his colleagues to put an end to it... that was his unforgivable sin)

  21. Sounds like a good idea by Moore. Glad he's not Bernie or Bust.

    Trump is fuming tonight about Cruz according to reports. Let's hope so. Then he'll really screw up.