Re: Secret Shame

1

The shame factor will probably help him in primaries, but hurt in caucuses. At least that would conform to my preconceived theory that he's going to under-perform in Iowa, a la Dean 2004.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 1-16 7:34 AM
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I suspect that in general the conservative establishment is exaggerating their dislike of Trump and Cruz.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01- 1-16 10:50 AM
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I suspect that in general the conservative establishment is exaggerating their dislike of Trump and Cruz.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01- 1-16 10:50 AM
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Maybe Cruz, but Trump really is a wildcard. He doesn't owe the establishment anything. When you can't even count on Bush's SC appointees to vote down Obamacare, are you going to trust Trump to replace Ginsberg and Scalia and potentially give the game away for a generation?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01- 1-16 10:54 AM
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yeah but 4 is not the type of calculation that voters are making.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-16 11:07 AM
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I was responding to 2/3 ("the conservative establishment").

I think Trump will flame out late, Dean-style. I have absolutely no idea who rises from the ashes. It seems reasonable that Trump-type voters will recognize Cruz as a kindred spirit who is actually qualified and somewhat less of a buffoon, but who knows with these people.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01- 1-16 11:42 AM
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7

4:

Yeah, they'd definitely prefer Cruz to Trump.

In fact, I think the establishment distaste for Cruz is almost entirely a fabrication. The guy went to Princeton, Harvard Law, and met his wife while they were working together on the Bush campaign; he went on to serve as a legal adviser to the administration, she as an economic one. His wife now works in a group at Goldman that works with ultra-high net worth individuals. His pedigree is as establishment as it gets.

He has some pretty major breaks with the party line on immigration and national security, but I think these can be written off as largely strategic -- he's picked issues on which he knows his hands are really tied as a senator and will be as President, like the NSA's wiretapping and the use of drone strikes.

This works for two reasons. First, he conveniently gets to appear to stand in opposition to Obama at the same time as he gets to point out that the party line is to support the same actions as Obama does. Second, he won't have to make good on these things and can, in private, credibly assure the kinds of people who are concerned about this that it's going to be business-as-usual when he gets into office.

To wealthier donors, Cruz has made much of his political acumen and his ability to bring disparate factions of the Republican party together in a way that the others can't. There's a strong wave of anti-establishment sentiment in the Republican party, so I think there's a strong incentive for Ted Cruz to ride the wave as much as possible, even if that means choosing not to court the establishment vote.

Also, the reasons that the party leaders don't like Cruz really have little to do with ideology. They mostly don't like him because he's opportunistic, breaks rank, and is completely self-serving[1]. But ideologically on taxes, guns, health care, and reproductive authoritarianism, they'd line up behind him just as happily as they would behind Mitt Romney.

[1] He can afford to grandstand in this way because he's from Texas. What are Texans going to do, elect a Democrat?


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01- 1-16 11:46 AM
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8

I think 7 is mostly true, but understates how much non-ideological animus Cruz has accrued because he is a world-historical asshole who cannot disguise his contempt for everyone else in the room. I mean, when you've been remembered for decades as a particularly awful prick by members of the Princeton debate team, are there more worlds of prickdom to conquer?

Also, his dad is nutty and voluble, and his no-exceptions anti-choice stance is going to kill him with white Republican woman that are open to voting for Hillary. (Plus he looks like Grandpa Munster giving out candy from the back of his van.) I think the Republican establishment, such as it is, is right to prefer Rubio even if it's not on policy lines.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 8:57 AM
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7: I think all of that reasoned analysis about Cruz is besides the point. They don't like him because they don't like him. Not everyone at Harvard likes everyone at Harvard.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 9:29 AM
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8: when you've been remembered for decades as a particularly awful prick by members of the Princeton debate team, are there more worlds of prickdom to conquer?

USA! USA!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 9:46 AM
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11

I keep waiting for someone on the debate stage to point out that the alleged "Ted" Cruz is really a Canadian guy named Rafael.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 10:37 AM
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8: In my day the members of the Princeton debate team were generally good people--it was Yale that the whole circuit hated with fiery abandon.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 11:36 AM
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12: AIMHMHB, in Cruz's day, the premier Yale parliamentary debate team was the well-liked and nearly invincible duo of Austan Goolsbee and Dahlia Lithwick. And the unanimous view of Cruz was "world historical asshole".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 11:53 AM
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8: Plus he looks like Grandpa Munster giving out candy from the back of his van.

I admit this is an excellent characterization. A friend insists Cruz looks like PeeWee Herman, but I don't see that so much. Grandpa Munster it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 1:10 PM
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Do you really think Herman was my son? People say it the eyes show the resemblance, but I think Grandma Munster was a Franken-groupie.


Posted by: Opinionated Grandpa Munster | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 1:15 PM
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The actor who played grandpa Munster ran for governor on NY on the Green Party line a decade or so ago. I hope Cruz doesn't look like him.


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 1:23 PM
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17

Cruz mostly looks like Joseph McCarthy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 1:26 PM
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I keep waiting for someone on the debate stage to point out that the alleged "Ted" Cruz is really a Canadian guy named Rafael.

Trump has been using a line about not many evangelicals coming from Cuba, which at least gestures in that direction.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 1:45 PM
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19

But would anyone who likes Cruz even be opposed to McCarthy?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 2:37 PM
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We had a preK teacher who kept calling Jammies "Rafael", which cracked me up - all that she remembered is that it was a white guy with a mismatched name, and she went with that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 3:48 PM
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Well all of those white guys with mismatched names do look the same.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 3:52 PM
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Oh hey, Heebie you didn't get flooded too badly last week did you? Driving home the sky looked really ominous over Heebieville. Then I got stormed on for the rest of my drive home.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 3:54 PM
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23

I know a white guy named "Rafael". I'm not sure if it is mismatched. I always assumed his mom was old-school Italian or a huge TMNT fan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 3:54 PM
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There was one meet-up when a lurker walked up and said, "Excuse me, do any of you have a tattoo that says 'Dick' on your arm?" which was pretty great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 3:55 PM
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A true TMNT fan would know it's spelled "Raphael".
I don't understand 24.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 4:06 PM
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26

I mean, it's obviously great but I feel like I'm missing a reference.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 4:13 PM
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27

There's a way they shove pigment into your skin. They call the resulting picture a "tattoo".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 2-16 4:33 PM
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26: Jammies had just gotten his tattoo, which is the word Dick, tattooed in small letters on his arm. (It's a replica of the tattoo his Grandpa Dick had.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 3-16 7:56 AM
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