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When He’s Right, He’s Right

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GOWDY2Trump’s response to Rubio getting the coveted Trey Gowdy endorsement is actually pretty acute:

Probably not, which is why this is an excellent demonstration of Rubio’s problem, and the problem the GOP is facing as the actual voting approaches. While everyone waits for the voters to finally figure out that they ought to be supporting Rubio, the only candidate who at the moment looks like he might be able to defeat Donald Trump is Ted Cruz. From the perspective of the party’s fortunes in the general election, that would be sort of like being cured of your electoral syphilis by contracting gonorrhea.

On one hand, it’s understandable that the Rubio campaign would try to make a big deal out of Gowdy’s support, since Republican politicians have been stingy with endorsements this year and Gowdy is well-liked among his colleagues on Capitol Hill. But when Trump dismissed the endorsement by saying that Gowdy’s Benghazi hearings were “a total disaster,” you could almost hear Republican voters nodding in agreement. The special committee was just one more iteration of the pattern that has Republican voters so disgusted with their Washington leadership: touted as the vehicle to bring down Hillary Clinton, it ended up backfiring and doing nothing but make Republicans look foolish. So once again, Capitol Hill Republicans overpromised and showed their constituents that they’re ineffectual. It’s hard to imagine that too many base voters, in Iowa or anywhere else, are going to say, “Well, if Trey Gowdy likes Marco Rubio, that’s good enough for me.”

Yup. For many months conservative talk radio listeners were told that Hitlery Clinton personally ordered the attacks on BENGHAZI! to cover up for the murder of Vince Foster or something, and just wait until she has to appear before Congress. Getting Gowdy’s support, if it means anything to a rank and file voter at all, will just remind them that Gowdy’ hearings were an embarrassing shambles. And while it’s not Gowdy’s fault that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing on Clinton’s part, good luck telling that to people who were sold yet another bill of goods and never think to wonder why the promises made by Tea Party leaders never seem to work out. None of this means that Rubio can’t win the nomination, but this isn’t going to help.

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  • brewmn

    To break down my thinking on the Republican primary, the only question that needs to get answered is “is this the year the crazies finally break through?”

    The disconnect between the Republican establishment’s rhetoric and it’s actual governing agenda has been apparent to many for quite a while. Trump seems be finally making that disconnect clear to a sizable portion of the Tea Party rubes as well.

  • c u n d gulag

    Trey Gowdy endorses Rubio!
    LOL!

    At this point with the GOP base, it’s like having that banjo-pickin’ inbred kid* from “Deliverance,” endorse a line of cheap foreign guitars.

    *I’m glad that kid found gainful employment as a US Congressman.
    Just think of the damage he might have done to a school if he was a janitor, or to cars if he was working as an oil-change guy at an auto lube joint!

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      if it weren’t for the suit I’d guess the guy in the pic was more likely to have stolen a car from the auto lube joint than be a congressman

      • Ken

        Nothing says it can’t be both.

      • Pseudonym

        This is Trey Gowdy, not Darrell Issa.

      • rea

        Stolen car? That would be Issa . . .

  • BGinCHI

    When the top news item is a “Trey Gowdy endorsement,” your party is in serious fucking trouble.

  • NonyNony

    And while it’s not Gowdy’s fault that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing on Clinton’s part

    Yes. It is.

    Because without the Select Committee on Benghazi, there were still four other committees in the House that were investigating Benghazi. The creation of the Select Committee was a political stunt by John Boehner to placate the rubes long enough to get through another election cycle. Gowdy must have known the score – he must have known that it was political nonsense and nothing more. There were four other committees worth of investigation for him to look at and see that they had nothing at all to work with.

    And as a political stunt man he failed miserably when he brought Hillary Clinton up to testify and had nothing. If you’re going to drum up a political stunt like the Select Committee on Benghazi, you sure as hell better have something better than Hillary Clinton owning your committee for an entire day’s worth of testimony.

    He owns it. If he didn’t want to own that fail, he should have told Boehner that he was going to take a pass on his stupid “Select Committee To String Along The Slack-jawed Limbaugh Listeners With Promises That We’ve Finally Got The Goods On Clinton This Time”.

    • Pseudonym

      This. Gowdy agreed to the farce; he gets to own it.

      • random

        He also worked to directly promote some of the most outrageous expectations and thrived on the attention for months. So it’s definitely his fault he didn’t have anything to back it up.

    • Murc

      Gowdy’s problem, ironically, is that his committee hearing was far too reality-based and sensible.

      From a standpoint of politics, rather than governance, it would have been best if Gowdy had come at Clinton with shit so outrageous it can’t be proven wrong. Real tin-foil hat stuff, accusations of X-Files level coverups that extend to all levels of government and society.

      That still won’t result in an indictment or charges, but it shows willing, and that would have been enough for the crazies.

      • Cassiodorus

        Even that’s just another sign the patients run the asylum. You only have Very Serious Benghazi Hearing if you’re deluded enough to think you have something of note.

      • IM

        Yes, he was to fair. He should never have agreed to a public hearing. A hearing behind closed doors – and then making things up would have been the way.

        • ColBatGuano

          I think Clinton demanded a public hearing to avoid the obvious trap of the R’s just making stuff up or selectively leaking misleading testimony. Gowdy certainly wanted to keep it behind closed doors.

  • tsam

    Il s’agit tres Gowdy.

  • Todd

    Maybe, but what non-Trump thing has been described as anything other than a disaster by Trump? Is it an accurate assessment, or is it merely a broken clock?

    • Crusty

      Exactly. Disaster is Trump’s go to insult for anything, so he’s only right in the strictest broken clock sense.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Well, no — he was actually making a specific point here, and it was correct.

        • Crusty

          Well, no- I don’t believe that. Trump knows that Trey Gowdy is associated with the Benghazi hearings. His brain knows that and inserts the word “disaster” and comes out with the sentence that the Benghazi hearings were a disaster. What does Trump think was disastrous about them? To much partisan hackery, or not enough? There is no coherent Trump philosophy such that his assessment of anything as a disaster can be seen as anything other than the blurting out of some words that get him applause and sound nice to him in his head and which may or may not be correct, but which have nothing to do with any sort of political acumen or skill in assessing.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            Trump is shrewd enough to make that kind of assessment- if he wasn’t capable of it we’d never have heard of him

            • Crusty

              He also thinks that the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state and the Affordable Care Act are disasters. How do you find shrewdness in some of those assessments and not others.

              In any event, your statement is wrong- we’ve heard of Trump because he’s been skilled at self-promotion and being a celebrity for a long time, not because of any keen political insight.

              • Pseudonym

                They’re all disasters for the GOP. Not that that requires any particular acuity to notice.

              • random

                thinks that the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state and the Affordable Care Act are disasters.

                The only reason that doesn’t qualify as ‘shrewd’ is because every other Republican in the race says the exact same thing. It’s definitely not a good example of a random utterance by Trump. They are saying that for a reason.

                In this particular instance, *everyone* agreed the Benghazi hearing was a disaster for the GOP. Even as it was still going on. Including the Republicans.

                Trump bringing up that universally-recognized disaster the second Rubio gets an endorsement from the guy responsible is definitely a smart thing to say. He likely believes it to be true, sure, but he also likely wouldn’t have said it if he thought it would help Rubio. It’s a clear example of him having good political instincts.

                In any event, your statement is wrong- we’ve heard of Trump because he’s been skilled at self-promotion and being a celebrity for a long time, not because of any keen political insight.

                I don’t see how those first two things aren’t confluent with that third thing. At any rate the reason we keep talking about Trump the past few months is because he’s got all three. He definitely wouldn’t be in first if he was just a self-promoting celebrity but had zero political savvy.

            • Sev

              I’ve been impressed by his shrewdness- we misunderestimated him. His attacks on his opponents are cunning; Bush is ‘low energy’, etc. He has the bully’s instinct for the jugular.

              • Crusty

                Having no sense of decency isn’t shrewd, its just having no sense of decency.

                • random

                  What’s indecent about pointing out that everyone knows the Benghazi hearing was a disaster?

                  Having no sense of decency is actually a massive disadvantage if you don’t also have some political acumen guiding your deployment of said indecency.

              • keta

                I detest the man but his handling of opponents, and especially the media, during this primary run has been masterful.

            • Cheap Wino

              Is Trump shrewd enough to recognize that his winning the R nomination would be a disaster for the party?

              • random

                Why would he care what happens to the party?

                • BigHank53

                  I will take this opportunity to remind you (and I suppose you could go read the bankruptcy proceedings if you felt like it) that what Donald Trump excels at is covering his losing bets with other people’s money. He needs the GOP for about 310 more days, and that’s it.

          • SatanicPanic

            Trump understands that the public wanted those hearings to end Hillary’s career, and they didn’t, so they’re a disaster. maybe an overstatement, but that’s what Trump does.

            • random

              Trump isn’t the one who came up with the idea that the hearing was a disaster. Everyone who knows anything about those proceedings (in either party) knows it was a one-woman slaughter. He’s just really good at manipulating public opinion to his advantage.

              • Cassiodorus

                Yes, but for a different reason. We know they’re a disaster because there was nothing worth investigating. The Republican base thinks they were a disaster because Gowdy didn’t go for the throat and slash Hillary to bits with all the juicy bits they knew he was sitting on.

                • random

                  Sorry I think I actually meant to post that in response to someone else’s comment.

                  But yeah, for Republicans the hearings were a failure because Gowdy is a failure.

          • random

            Trump knows that Trey Gowdy is associated with the Benghazi hearings. His brain knows that and inserts the word “disaster” and comes out with the sentence that the Benghazi hearings were a disaster. What does Trump think was disastrous about them?

            Nope. Pretty much everyone considers those hearings as a ‘disaster’. Trump isn’t giving us his personal assessment of the hearings; he’s reiterating the already-existing opinion of the hearings.

        • Warren Terra

          I don’t get why this is so hard to grasp. Trump is a blowhard sensationalist egomaniac habitual liar, but that doesn’t make him some sort of compulsive liar – he’s perfectly willing to play off of the truth if that is most convenient and will serve his purposes.

          • witlesschum

            See also Trump taunting Jeb! regarding the later trying to claim “My brother kept us safe.”

          • Humpty-Dumpty

            IOW, and this point has been made plenty already, he’s a bullshitter, in the Frankfurtian sense. See, for example, Jeet Heer.

    • random

      Literally everyone already agreed prior to this that the hearings were a total massacre for the GOP.

      Trump isn’t making an independent assessment. He’s just reminding people of their own assessment, which is that it was a disaster.

  • CrunchyFrog

    I know it’s not a new observation, but a fundamental part of the GOP’s problem today is that, due to their out-of-control propaganda apparatus and their resulting alternate view of reality, there are many promises they make to their base that they simply cannot possibly deliver on. One of them was Benghazi. The conservative view of the facts on that event are, as we know, completely outside reality. Yet if you believe those “facts” then the very obvious thing to do would be hearings/prosecution/etc. However, when those hearing are held the actual facts get in the way and the result is nothing like what was promised to the conservative base. The conservatives don’t change their views, of course, they just blame the person who was supposed to deliver their victory.

    Sure, they can hold hearings on the climate change hoax, edit the results, and tell themselves that they proved the hoax theory. In their information bubble all is happy, since no actual changes in policy were expected. But when they want actual results – such as law changes or prosecutions – it falls apart.

    I don’t know how this ends but it’s an interesting cul-de-sac that they’ve driven into.

    • Ken

      If it’s a cul-de-sac they will have to turn around and backtrack. However it might be a one-way road that goes off into the desert. Maybe it just peters out in the middle of nowhere, or maybe it ends abruptly at a cliff.

      (I’m polishing my analogies and metaphors in hopes of getting a position on the Sunday talk shows. I’d like a job where I won’t be fired no matter how repeatedly wrong I am.)

    • Murc

      I know it’s not a new observation, but a fundamental part of the GOP’s problem today is that, due to their out-of-control propaganda apparatus and their resulting alternate view of reality, there are many promises they make to their base that they simply cannot possibly deliver on.

      It’s worth noting that this only holds as long as Democrats control some sort of veto point. If that ever changes the Republicans absolutely will be able to deliver on many of their promises.

      • humanoid.panda

        I wouldn’t bet on that. Will Republican senators will be eager to commit suicide, and,say, cut social security? They didn’t in 2005..

        Mega-tax cuts are of course a non-brainer.

        • JKTH

          Even in Congress now when their plans have zero chance of getting enacted, they haven’t been exactly eager to specify any steps on how they’d shred the safety net.

        • Shirley the plan is to spend all the money so there’s no way of paying social security, and leave the details of cutting it to Democrats.

          • humanoid.panda

            Problem is that, until we return to the gold standard, there really is no such thing as spending all the money..

            • Ken

              Even when we were on the gold standard, there was more money than gold. There were also fewer controls on how much money banks could create, which was one reason they regularly failed.

        • ExpatJK

          Not too sure about that, though the current GOP congress is much further to the right of the 2005 one, at least as far as I can tell. I could see chopping benefits or ending it for people <55 yo.

          • Cassiodorus

            But even that is a political non-starter. Current seniors are smart enough to know that if the Republicans pull up the ladder then younger people are going to move in mass for slashing their benefits too.

            • ExpatJK

              I don’t know about that. Didn’t Paul Ryan basically propose something like this in 2012 and the GOP ticket got a lot of senior votes?

              Also, current seniors are probably not so worried about younger voters getting back at them. Those are their benefits, they earned them, worked hard, etc, unlike those lazy layabout youngsters these days! And in any case, young people are far less consistent voters than seniors, so I don’t know how grounded in reality such a fear (assuming it even exists) would be.

              • humanoid.panda

                Yeah, sure, but Romney and Ryan never mentioned that plan during the GE..

                • efgoldman

                  Yeah, sure, but Romney and Ryan never mentioned that plan during the GE..

                  You’ll recall there was a focus group which presented Granny Starver’s budget and entitlement ideas, verbatim without comment. Almost universally, the reaction was: that’s made up, no politician would actually suggest that.
                  The current crop of RWNJs would croak SS and medicare in a heartbeat, absolutely sure that it’s what the voters wanted. I’m sure it would cost them afterward, but in their bubble they don’t think so.

      • random

        He’s talking specifically about those promises that actually are impossible to deliver on.

        For example look at any promise made prior to the invasion of Iraq about how that would turn out, almost none of them were at all realistic.

        A more recent example: Romney promised to cut taxes, add 1 trillion in new military spending, and erase the deficit. You can’t do that in the real world no matter what level of control you have over the government.

        • Philip

          Sure you can. The resulting inflation will not make you a lot of friends, but no one said the GOP congresscritters were intelligent.

        • efgoldman

          You can’t do that in the real world no matter what level of control you have over the government.

          When I was in middle school, late 1950s, they introduced the experimental “Yale math” or “new math” (set theory).
          The RWNJs now have their own Republimath.

    • MacK

      There is this clown I run into from time to time in DC – Republican, connected – and he talks at me. I suggest he is not very bright – and as an alleged accountant familiar with economics – calling Obama a Marxist is well…..

      But here is the thing … The republicans actually believe their own spin – they make it up, and then suddenly get believe something that rationally they should know is not true because to quote Sarah Palin “they made shit up.”

      This was a big factor in the Benghazi debacle – the Republicans convinced themselves that Hilary is the Wicked Witch and of course she committed a crime, and all you had to do was flip over a few rocks, look in the files and voila! You’d get her. Gowdy believed the bullshit too.

      It’s a sort of green lanternism – Hilary and Obama are bad, bad sinners … And if someone republican with real guts and perspicacity goes after them, he’ll unveil all…but there is nothing to unveil, it’s futile.

      Then the base which has a similar belief set concludes that the latest snark hunter did not fail because there is no snark – but because he is gutless, a sellout, worse a RHINO …. And on it goes.

      • Woodrowfan

        It’s frustrating how many people keep saying “oh, they don’t really believe that crazy crap,they say.” YES THEY DO. That’s why they’re so dangerous. You can reason with someone who is lying for personal gain. Make them a better offer, or show them to to profit from the truth. But you can’t reason with people who have constructed their own reality and refuse to leave it.

        • Cassiodorus

          Exactly. Even if it was cynic once upon a time, you can’t let that cynicism be openly known. That’s eventually going to create a crop of idiots who actually believe it. That bumper crop of morons is now all over Capitol Hill.

          • humanoid.panda

            Yep. People like Ryan, Tom Cruz, and, say, Tom Cotton grow up marinated in that stuff, and can now spend 10 years in Harvard and Princeton and Yale without any of that liberal academic stuff penetrating their bubble.

      • John F

        But here is the thing … The republicans actually believe their own spin

        Yes, this is actually a thing, for instance 2012, I’ve now read enough interviews and articles where I now believe that holy crap a ton of people in Romney’s camp had actually drunk the koolaid, believed in unskewed and thought he was going to win, the smarter ones merely believed he had a viable “path” (until the results started rolling in).

        Brownback really honestly believed that his policies would create/attract jobs to Kansas- and when it failed he doubled down…

        We can laugh at moon landing hoaxers, and we’d like to laugh at anti-vaxxers, but basically we now have a major and powerful political party operating in the same mental mode.

        The old USSR could have fixed their agricultural productivity problems at will, literally any time- they didn’t and couldn’t because the people with the power to do it were (1) eager to retain that power; and (2) more importantly were so utterly wed to an ideology that the necessary reforms were completely off the table right to the end.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Agree with all of this. There once was a notion that while the unwashed GOP masses believed the lies the elders knew better. Then we saw the 47% tape. No really Romney and all the other elders fell for that nonsense. (For the record, 47% was the number of income tax returns that did not include federal income tax, but most of those (all but 19% overall in 2009, which was a great recession year) paid social security and medicare. Of the 19% not paying any, 10% were retirees who were now drawing from those programs and 9% were unemployed and students. The lie was to pretend that almost half of people paid no form of income tax at all. Turns out even the supposedly smart republicans believe it – including many who are in the 47% category without realizing it.)

          Ditto even stuff like Obama-a-Muslim. Listen in on a candid conversation at a fund-raising party amongst the local GOP political leaders and you’ll find they buy in, too, even if they are a bit more wary about saying it openly. I mean, where do you think Trump learns all of his facts?

  • Dr. Waffle

    I usually refrain from mocking physical appearance, but Jesus Christ, would someone bring Trey Gowdy to Supercuts already? Allowing him to cut his own hair clearly isn’t working out.

    • keta

      I think the Pinhead Steeple suits him perfectly.

    • tsam

      Haircuts, clothes, tattoos, body jewelry–all mockable. You stay away from the traits they didn’t choose.

      • muddy

        He ought to choose to grow his facial hair longer so we can’t see his perma-pout.

    • Hogan
      • keta

        Informative and entertaining!

  • David Hunt

    And while it’s not Gowdy’s fault that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing on Clinton’s part

    Totally have to disagree with this one point. Gowdy should have known from the bazillion previous hearings that there was no evidence. The whole point of the hearings was to make Clinton look bad by bad-mouthing her in front of cameras and ask loaded questions trying elicit a response that would look bad. Any actual evidence of wrongdoing would have been a bonus. Unfortunately for Gowdy, he and his committee were not good at looking like anything other the spoiled children they were acting like.

    • Derelict

      Gowdy was just following the trail blazed by previous superstars like Issa and Cantor. Remember when the hearings on Solyndra were going to result in Obama’s impeachment? At least until Cantor uncovered the letter that ended it all–the letter he wrote to DOE telling the department to back the loans to Solyndra.

      Gowdy’s problem was not recognizing early on that he was walking that same path. Unlike Issa and Cantor who quietly let the entire this drop, Gowdy and his crew saw the cliff dead ahead, and decided that gravity was just a theory.

    • random

      It also can’t be emphasized enough that Gowdy and his aides kept indicating to the press that they had a smoking gun that would expose the massive conspiracy.

      It may not be his fault that there was no conspiracy, but it is his fault that people thought he was going to expose a conspiracy.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Totally have to disagree with this one point. Gowdy should have known from the bazillion previous hearings that there was no evidence.

      Well, yes, but it doesn’t contradict my point.

  • Tom Till

    In the larger scheme of things why is Rubio considered the GOP’s best hope for salvation against coming demographic ruin? Is it because he’s Obama-esque in some ways and allegedly favors immigration reform? The GOP base revolted with salivating, instantaneous intensity when George W. Bush floated the idea of immigration reform. It did so again over a half-decade later when Rubio himself spearheaded the effort before abandoning and denouncing his own bill.

    Now all of a sudden an even older, whiter, and more extreme GOP electorate is going to accept immigration reform because….why, exactly? Because of Rubio’s youth and attractiveness? Because the same party elite that for decades has wanted immigration reform in defiance of this same GOP base says he’s their best hope? If he’s elected and then tries anything remotely resembling his Senate bill he’s dead in the water, and the GOP’s desire to reach out to non-white, non-elderly, non-insane voters gets smothered yet again in a cloud of xenophobia and extremism.

    • humanoid.panda

      But he will be in the White House, and will get to shore up the conservative Supreme Court majority and pass a major tax cut and hack the regulatory state. The most important thing about the mind-set of these people is that they know they have only a limited time-frame to implement as safeguard of their agenda as they can.

    • ExpatJK

      I don’t see him trying for immigration reform again if he wins the nom and presidency. He has been pretty quiet on it the entire campaign thus far. However, he is young, etc, etc, and in the dreams of some GOP elite types probably will bring in the “Latino vote” because he is a Latino and all non-cishet white Christian males are totally motivated by identity politics when voting. This is the same line of thinking that led to nominating Palin because it would capture the women’s vote after when Obama, not Hillary, was the Dem nom.

      Assuming he somehow wins the nom – which looks not all that likely, but let’s just go with it for the sake of argument – then I would imagine the electorate would support him over Hillary. But he has to beat Trump and Cruz first.

      • efgoldman

        I would imagine the electorate would support him over Hillary.

        What electorate? Women? African Americans? Younger voters?

        People keep looking at the RWNJs as though they are running in a vacuum. Once it is clear which klown emerges from the klown kar, the Dems campaign will bury him with all of his extreme positions – and also glue all the other klowns’ outrageous statements to him as well.

        • ExpatJK

          I meant “GOP electorate”, my bad – where has the edit button gone??

      • random

        I don’t think the electorate would inherently back Rubio over Clinton even if we awarded him the nomination.

        But also, to win the nomination against guys like Trump and Cruz in the first place, he will have to very loudly embrace a number of positions that most GE voters don’t agree with. This happened to Romney in 2012 too.

      • John F

        However, he is young, etc, etc, and in the dreams of some GOP elite types probably will bring in the “Latino vote” because he is a Latino

        Sadly he will probably do a little better among latinos than a generic GOPer would because of this. OTOH he may actually do slightly worse among white for the same reason.

        There are white people who vote for the GOP/against the Dems because they see the Dems as the party of “those people” and see the GOP as their (whites) party, tax rate policy has nothing to do with it.

        There are blacks who vote for the Dems/against the GOP because they see the GOP as the party of racist bigots, not because of abortion politics or tax rate policy etc.

        Identity politics is a factor, but it’s a factor baked into the cake because the GOP has been playing it so hard for 40 years now.

        • random

          Yes but he’s Cuban, which most Latinos don’t actually identify with. The main reason he’d bring in a chunk of the Latino vote is just as likely a side-effect of him appealing to a slightly younger voting demographic than the average GOP candidate.

          But really, I don’t see how you get nominated in that party without pissing on the Latino vote first.

  • joe from Lowell

    Is that how Republican voters actually feel about Gowdy and the hearings, though?

    I can definitely imagine those people deciding that Gowdy completely won that exchange, but the MSM spun it as a Hillary victory.

    • random

      Every Republican who commented on it at the time described it as a humiliating embarrassment.

      The rank and file were repeatedly told that Clinton and large parts of the Obama Admin were going to be arrested as a result of the hearings, which was supposed to expose a massive and extremely malicious conspiracy. Instead Clinton’s numbers went up.

      So I doubt that many of them are happy with Gowdy.

    • IM

      he average trepublican voter never has heard of Gowdy.

      placs like Red State thought it a disaster back then too.

    • witlesschum

      Most of the conservative spin I’ve seen has been “Look how that shameless Clinton lied her way out of responsibility for Benghazi!!!”

      When the Tea Party email list type things I get aren’t even willing to claim victory, it’s pretty bad.

  • njorl

    “the only candidate who at the moment looks like he might be able to defeat Donald Trump is Ted Cruz. From the perspective of the party’s fortunes in the general election, that would be sort of like being cured of your electoral syphilis by contracting gonorrhea.”

    I think it would be more accurate to analogize Cruz to syphilis and Trump to gonorrhea. Trump is an obvious and immediate pain in the dong, while Cruz is a more serious and insidious problem.

    • AMK

      Being hated personally and being unacceptable politically are two different animals. Cruz is hated personally because he’s made a career of throwing the establishment under the bus every chance he gets…but his platform is not so wildly out of step with GOP elites. I woud argue that the substantive difference between Cruz and, say, Rubio is much less than the difference between Sanders and Clinton, especially since the only policy criteria that really matters to the donor elte is high-level tax cutting. On the WSJ opinion page, Rubio’s taken more flak for his nothingburger childcare credits than anything Cruz has said or done.

      Is Cruz more electable than Trump? In the sense of keeping a speedo on his fascist impulses instead of letting it all hang out 24-7, then yes. A competent Dem campaign would be able to get out front and brand him an extremist, but while I have confidence in Clinton as a President I have no faith in the legion of hangers-on that seem to always be running her show.

      • Crusty

        “…I have no faith in the legion of hangers-on that seem to always be running her show.”

        The Clintons do seem to have a lot of those and they’re never as bright or talented as the Clintons themselves.

      • random

        I woud argue that the substantive difference between Cruz and, say, Rubio is much less than the difference between Sanders and Clinton

        I suspect that much of the difference between Sanders/Clinton and Rubio/Cruz one way or another is a side effect of the different electorates they’ve had to face over the course of their careers. But I’m pretty certain there would be no substantive difference between the Presidencies of Rubio/Cruz, or the Presidencies of Clinton/Sanders.

        Is he more electable than Trump? In the sense of keeping a speedo on his fascist impulses instead of letting it all hang out 24-7, then yes.

        I go back and forth on this question (assuming that the right even gets to the GE without splintering).

        Cruz has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s politically incompetent. His entire strategy for winning the GE is delusional idiocy that is guaranteed to lose. And he has zero charisma either on camera or in person.

        I dunno what a Trump GE campaign even looks like. There’s not much Trump’s campaign can do in the general, but at least his strategy for the campaign is likely to be less-stupid than what Cruz will do.

  • John F

    The first name that popped into my head looking at that photo of Gowdy was:

    Timothy McVeigh…

    • MacK

      There is a certain “separated at birth” thing going on there.

  • Morse Code for J

    Is this the right space to talk about the Benghazi action movie coming out two weeks before the primary?

    • ColBatGuano

      I’m really curious about how that movie plays out.

  • It’s great that Rubio has Trey Gowdy’s support, now all he needs is Deuce Bigalow and Ace Ventura for the trifecta.

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