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DefeaTed

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If I may summarize this National Review article: Ted lost because Everybody Hates Cruz.

“He’s got the whole establishment p**sed off at him, so they didn’t rally to him as the alternative,” says former Virginia representative Tom Davis, who has endorsed John Kasich. “They sat on the sidelines with their hands in their pockets.” That’s because, according to the GOP aide, supporting him “would establish a new model for how ambitious young senators would behave in the Republican party that’s totally intolerable for the establishment-senator types.”

At a press conference on Tuesday morning, his final day on the campaign trail, Cruz let loose on Trump, calling him a “serial philanderer” and a “pathological liar” and concluding, “Morality doesn’t exist for him.” But the Republican establishment and the party’s voters knew that, and they chose Trump over Cruz anyway.

Indiana: “Give us Barabbas!”

Even Cruz’s donors weren’t that crazy about actually spending money on him.

Though Cruz and his allies likely would’ve decided against investing significant money in New Hampshire, it’s also true that Cruz’s allied super PACs couldn’t spend much of the cash piling up in their coffers. In a bizarre scheme, Cruz donors had placed a total of $38 million into bank accounts, but the money came with all sorts of strings attached. Millions of dollars of money “raised” by the super PACs were never released by their donors, and thus could never be spent to help Cruz.

Ironically, it was the campaign’s proven fundraising ability, much of it phantom, that put Cruz on the map when much of official Washington still considered his candidacy a joke. After he raised more money in the first quarter of 2015 than any other candidate with the exception of Jeb Bush, they had no choice but to take him seriously. The vast majority of the super PAC money, though, came from three wealthy donors whose largesse was conditional. One of them, Toby Neugebauer, an American ex-pat living in Puerto Rico, ultimately spent just $1 million of the $10 million he gave to a Cruz-backing super PAC.

Staking his political fortunes on the ultra-right from the outset of his campaign turns out to not have been the best strategy, either.

As it turned out, Cruz’s triumphs, even in friendly territory, were more the exception than the rule: There simply aren’t enough very conservative voters to make a candidate the Republican nominee on their own, even in an anti-establishment year.

And talking of extremists, I hope this story is true.

Tony Perkins, the chairman of the Family Research Council, reportedly advised Cruz to replace his white shirts and red ties with pastels in order to soften his image.

Should have tried earth tones.

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  • efgoldman

    We need a macro that just drops Schadenfreude in these threads randomly.

    • Ahuitzotl

      I thought that was what ‘Murc’ was?

  • Barry Freed

    Chris Christie must be breathing a sigh of relief.

    • Warren Terra

      In between the sobs of realization, from his fetal position.

  • DAS

    So Cruz got himself on the political map in this campaign by having rich people “give” his campaign money under the condition the money not actually be spent? If Cruz would have won with that strategy, it would have meant that rich people could buy a nominee without actually having to spend any money!

    • ColBatGuano

      rich people could buy a nominee without actually having to spend any money!

      Sounds like a Beckett play.

  • sleepyirv

    For all his strategic gifts, Ted Cruz is so lacking a moral core that he simply could not talk to Indianans as human beings. And without that ability, he no way to explain why stopping Trump is so important.

    • efgoldman

      For all his strategic gifts….

      The strategic gifts that led him to a distant second against an oaf who has no real strategery of his own?

      • sleepyirv

        Strategy means nothing when you have no army. In fact, for a guy with no army to last this long is something on its own. He lasted longer than Jeb!, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio. That’s certainly not on his stances or likeability.

      • Nobdy

        Ted Cruz did better than anyone else, and he did it while being Ted Cruz, which is to say fundamentally unaplealing. Strategically he was quite bright, staking out a strong position on the far right and waiting until the field winnowed to make his move.

        It didn’t work, but it was the best route available to Cruz and he did have a chance. He just couldn’t close the deal because strategist Ted Cruz was advocating the candidacy of unpleasant candidate Ted Cruz.

        • NonyNony

          Ted Cruz’s strategy was to stand back and let Donald Trump take out Jeb Bush for him. Then to stand back and let Donald Trump take out Marco Rubio for him. All the while assuming that eventually Trump would implode.

          He hung on as long as he did because he succeeded in not making himself a target for Trump until the very end. Had Trump actually imploded everyone would be saying that he was a brilliant strategist. But Trump never imploded, so his strategy actually kind of looks really stupid in retrospect. It may have allowed him to hang on longer than anyone else but that was mostly because he didn’t do anything much for the first two months of the primary except occasionally pile onto Jeb or Rubio after Trump had already chewed them up and spit them out.

          • Nobdy

            I disagree. Cruz carefully targeted specific states, had a strong ground game, a great delegate game, and a good organization. He lost, sure, but was the only one other than Trump to win a few states and actually look like he had a chance for awhile. He won significant delegates. It wasn’t just a matter of being too meek to be bothered with. That was Jim Gilmore. Cruz had a plan and if things had broken differently in a few places (like if Kasich had dropped out) it might have worked. Or not. But it was a plan.

          • cleek

            but Trump’s strategy was to keep as many of Carson and the 15 establishment dwarfs around as possible, so that they could fight for the not-Trump vote.

            and it worked perfectly.

            • Warren Terra

              Also, arguably it suited Trump to have the fundamentally unlikable Cruz as the last non-Trump standing (or, pace Kasich, the last significant one). Though to claim that was strategy is probably giving Trump too much credit.

            • JG

              I don’t think Trump really had a master strategy. He just made fun of one person at a time and it worked.

              • Ahuitzotl

                exactly my thoughts

        • FMguru

          Yeah. Of all the candidates, Cruz was the one most serious about running for office, spending money wisely, putting resources into key states, and taking the effort to build state organizations. His campaign very closely resembled the Obama 2008 effort, and the contrast between Cruz and someone like Rubio (who skipped building state organizations because he thought he could charm voters through media appearances) or Rand Paul (who visibly resented every second he spent campaigning instead of playing Xbox) or Jeb! (whose campaign seemed to be largely a giant cauldron of gravy that various well-connected consultants took turns skimming from) was striking.

          Alas, all the campaigning savvy and hard work couldn’t quite make up for the fact that Cruz looked like an alien replicon wearing a human skin, or that at any moment he would open the slit in his belly and let thousands of glistening eggs tumble out. Still, the fact that he was the Final Boss for Trump to defeat out of a field of 17 shows that Cruz was very good at the whole grinding work of actually campaigning for public office.

          • Joshua

            Rubio (who skipped building state organizations because he thought he could charm voters through media appearances)

            Maybe charm isn’t the right word, but wasn’t this what Trump did?

            • Hogan

              Basing your campaign on getting on TV is a bad idea unless, like Trump, you’re really really good at getting on TV. There was never any reason to think Rubio could play in that league.

              • Ahuitzotl

                indeed I’m amazed he managed to stumble into a Senate seat in the first place.

        • Joe_JP

          Cruz had the tools to have an army & stick around but ultimately he did not have enough broad support (or at least lack of strong opposition) past his conservative base. Romney, McCain, Bush etc. had that. Plus, he was doomed once Trump won nearly all (minus Texas) of the Old Confederacy. Mississippi etc. should have been Cruz territory.

      • yet_another_lawyer

        I don’t know… coming 2nd in a field of 17 is pretty impressive in most circumstances. When the circumstances are “Cuban-Canadian in a GOP primary,” that’s pretty good, right?

        • Warren Terra

          But, amusing though it is, and technically accurate, “Cuban-Canadian” is a terribly inaccurate description of the signifiers Cruz sends out. He is fanatically, uncompromisingly partisan-Conservative (this is a place where his fundamental lack of humanity maybe helps him – you can’t see Cruz being moved to compromise as an expression of sympathy or fellow feeling), he is Anointed Of God, and to the extent that his Canadian-Cuban identity even figures it’s as part of a story of Blessed Jesus Followers cast into the wilderness by evil Communism and eventually alighting in Blessed Amurrica, ie Texas, home of the Faithful. The story is a load of hooey, but it’s what his followers like to hear.

          • ColBatGuano

            His failure to catch on is the ultimate proof that hard right conservatism has very little popular following among Republican voters. Racism, misogyny and xenophobia are the big draws for the committed R voter.

  • MacK

    And listening to his ‘concession’ speech, I thought what an oily cliché he is – and demonstration of extreme Freudian projection.

    One more thing, after unloading on Trump earlier in the day, I suppose a Trump/Cruz ticket is now impossible??

    • Nobdy

      Fiorina is available!

      Seriously though, if Trump thinks Cruz would help him (and can stand being around him) he will select Cruz. Politics is a dirty sport.

      I very much doubt Trump will select Cruz thiugh because Cruz is a noxious human and a bad campaigner. He is smart and would make a good campaign strategist, but his anti-charisma is very unappealing.

      • rea

        No, he’s going too save Cruz for the Scalia seat on the Supremes

      • NonyNony

        I very much doubt Trump will select Cruz thiugh because Cruz is a noxious human and a bad campaigner.

        Also because Trump will want a true subordinate in that position and not someone who even thinks he might be Trump’s equal. Trump’s ego will demand it.

        I’m still not sure who it will be, but given how he’s spoken in glowing terms about the drubbing that Trump gave him, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ben Carson as his veep.

        (I’m also seriously wondering about Jon Huntsman. Why would he endorse Trump? I could see Huntsman trying to play the HW Bush to Trump’s Reagan as we delve into this farce).

        • efgoldman

          I could see Huntsman trying to play the HW Bush to Trump’s Reagan

          Except that the convention has to ratify and formally nominate the VP choice. Huntsman was Obama the Kenyan Usurper’s ambassador to China. The RWNJs never forgive, never forget.
          Plus his gravitas would highlight Trump and the opossum on his head’s abject assholery.

        • Blathering Christopher

          Allen West.

          • catclub

            Ted Nugent

            • rm

              Tom Tancredo

              • N__B

                Jan Brewer.

      • Derelict

        For those who subscribe to the theory that Trump is actually trolling the GOP and ran in order to destroy the brand, selecting Cruz as his VP pick would be ideal. It would let Trump continue to be the naked Id of the party while Cruz spends the rest of the campaign alienating even fervent Christians on a national scale.

        • NonyNony

          I think Cruz would take a hard pass. He’s going to retrench and run again in 2020. He’ll need to win his Senate seat again in 2018 to do that.

          But he has to know that Trump is most likely going down in flames and hitching himself to the Trump bandwagon is the worst thing he could do if he wants to ride to the rescue of the party in 2020 as the savior that they should have picked the first time around.

          • catclub

            But he has to know that Trump is most likely going down in flames

            If he knew that, he also knows that HE would go down in flames. I don’t think he does.

            • NonyNony

              He really doesn’t have to believe that. All he has to believe is that Trump is going to lose the general election, that he would have been able to beat Clinton where Trump couldn’t, and that he could have beaten Trump if only Kasich had gotten out of his way.

              Honestly that’s only mildly delusional. I would not be surprised at all to find out he believes all of it. Stir in a bit of “they’ll realize what they did when Trump loses and come crawling back to me – you’ll see” and he’s all set up to try again in 2020.

          • Pseudonym

            Constitutionally, is Cruz still allowed to serve as Speaker of the House if he’s the Vice President rather than a Senator?

  • rdennist

    I hope we can get a few reporters to follow Ted around on his first day back in the Senate. I’m sure his colleagues are eager to see him right about now!

  • NonyNony

    Ironically, it was the campaign’s proven fundraising ability, much of it phantom, that put Cruz on the map when much of official Washington still considered his candidacy a joke. After he raised more money in the first quarter of 2015 than any other candidate with the exception of Jeb Bush, they had no choice but to take him seriously. The vast majority of the super PAC money, though, came from three wealthy donors whose largesse was conditional. One of them, Toby Neugebauer, an American ex-pat living in Puerto Rico, ultimately spent just $1 million of the $10 million he gave to a Cruz-backing super PAC.

    Okay, waitaminute. I’m not getting how this works. The SuperPAC reports a $10million donation but it’s really only a $1million donation? And Cruz gets the benefit of the press around how donors are flocking to back him meanwhile donors aren’t actually backing him?

    This sounds like a problem in the reporting requirements. Shouldn’t they only be allowed to report “money in the bank” and not “money that is totally going to be in the bank, I swear, it’s just that Mr. Potter has asked for a few things and we’re having a hard time making him happy but he’s totally promised to deposit the rest of that $10million check so just count it”?

    Also – WTF conditions? What were these guys asking for? Was it meaningfully corrupt like they wanted assurances from Cruz that their son-in-law was going to get appointed to the Secretary of Labor position, or was it more like the donors wanted Cruz to show up and do the Dance of the Seven Veils for them and a few dozen of their closest friends? I want to know more about the conditions that were set on that money and how exactly a superPAC that isn’t supposed to be coordinating with a candidate was ever going to be able to meet them. There’s an interesting story buried in there if we could find a way to fund an investigative journalist to go find it.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      the conditions may have been based on actual electoral performance- “win these states, get another million”. granted, that seems really out of character for rich conservatives these days…

    • Nobdy

      I think it is more like the money is placed into a revocable trust with conditions attached.

      We are watching the total collapse of campaign laws. Super Paxson are pretty close to directly coordinating at this point and the Supreme Court is about to legalize bribery. Things are gonna get worse. It doesn’t seem possible but it seems to be the trajectory.

      • DAS

        About to legalize bribery? They already did so with Citizens United. The majority opinion enshrines a quote from Kennedy’s dissent in McConnell v. FEC

        “Favoritism and influence are not . . . avoidable in
        representative politics. It is in the nature of an
        elected representative to favor certain policies, and, by
        necessary corollary, to favor the voters and contributors
        who support those policies. It is well understood
        that a substantial and legitimate reason, if not the
        44 CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMM’N
        Opinion of the Court
        only reason, to cast a vote for, or to make a contribution
        to, one candidate over another is that the candidate
        will respond by producing those political outcomes
        the supporter favors. Democracy is premised
        on responsiveness.” McConnell, 540 U. S., at 297
        (opinion of KENNEDY, J.).

        This is pretty much the speech a mobster in a movie would give while bribing a corrupt politician in order that there be no evidence of actual quid-pro-quo (even if the speech is recorded on wiretap) yet would ensure the politician would know exactly what the mobster wants done. I.e. under the standard enshrined in Citizens United, unless a prosecutor can show explicit quid-pro-quo, it’s not bribery. Of course, I do wonder how, e.g., Shelly Silver’s conviction will stand (upon appeal) given that standard.

    • medrawt

      I’m more perturbed by “American ex-pat living in Puerto Rico,” which seems like a sentence written by someone who doesn’t know what Puerto Rico is, but perhaps that’s common usage and I’ve just never encountered it?

      • Right, he’s a tax dodger. The only ways one gets ex-pat out of his move to Puerto Rico are ignorance or dishonesty. (Or both.)

      • DAS

        Why don’t Puerto Ricans pay at the same tax rates at the rest of us. They should bail out Puerto Rico and, in exchange, tax them at the same rates as the rest of the US and redistribute money to PR just like they redistribute wealth to poorer states. IOW, make PR a state already (de facto if not in name as well).

        • Warren Terra

          Do Puerto Rican pay less federal tax than we do? I would be surprised if that were true.

          Puerto Rico has been aggressively courting rich (English-speaking) Americans, trying to get them to move or, really, retire there, through tax breaks – but I doubt those are federal tax breaks, because I doubt they have that power.

    • Cheerful

      Based on a linked article:

      http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-cruz-donors-20160502-snap-story.html

      Neugeabaer had his own theories on how the money should be spent – fewer negative t.v. ads, more positive social media, and was not really all that opposed to Trump anyway.

      In short, he was like somebody who helped pay for the theater and insisted on sitting in on rehearsals and providing his own theories on the choreography.

      Oh and remember John Oliver’s piece about the POS billionaires who moved to Puerto Rico to take advantage of the tax breaks and live in wealthy enclaves while the island falls apart around them? He’s one of them.

      And his chief concern for the future is U.S. debt.

      What a world this is.

      • Nobdy

        I have never comprehended rich people who move somewhere for the tax breaks. Isn’t one of the points of being rich that you get to live wherever you want? Now Puerto Rico has a lot to recommend it as a place to live, but moving there specifically for tax purposes seems kind of crazy.

        What is the point of having all that money if you let it dictate basic choices like where you live?

        • NonyNony

          The point of having all that money is to have all that money and to not let anyone tell you what you can do with it.

          Sure by moving to a tax haven you’re implicitly allowing someone else to tell you what to do but that’s not the point. The point is that you’ve done it because you wanted to save your precious from the hands of those nasty hobbitses who were just going to throw it into the volcano. If you have to save the precious by jumping into a volcano then it’s a small price to pay.

          • Derelict

            About 16 years ago I met a man who had just cashed out at the top of the dot-com boom. Got himself a neat $100 million, on which the tax bill would have come to about $30 million. He was approached by Ernst & Young with a deal that would keep him from having to pay taxes on his money, and it would only cost him $20 million.

            Long story short, it turned out that Ernst & Young’s plan was 100% illegal, but they took his money (and then some). He ended up owing the taxes, plus penalties and interest. By the time everything was done, he was left with just a few million.

            And all because he just couldn’t stand the thought of paying any taxes on his windfall.

            • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

              I worked for an accounting firm for a while. Many of our small business owners were actively looking for side ventures which would lose money so they could cut their tax bills.

              From their point of view, it was better to lose money if they would save 35% of their losses in reduced taxes (giving a net loss of 65%) than to make money and pay 35% in taxes (giving a net gain of 65%.)

              When I explained it to them that way, most still wanted to pay lower taxes even if they had less money as a result.

        • yet_another_lawyer

          There’s another way of looking at this. Sure, you might like wherever you live. But if somebody paid you millions of dollars to live in Puerto Rico instead, would you? Probably. That is, essentially, the choice these guys are facing. It’s literally cheaper to live in Puerto Rico and fly to your dream city every weekend (or even for a daytrip!) than to live in NYC full time.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      There’s an interesting story buried in there if we could find a way to fund an investigative journalist to go find it.

      Kickstarter?

      • rea

        an investigative journalist

        might as well ask for a virgin with a unicorn.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      Okay, waitaminute. I’m not getting how this works. The SuperPAC reports a $10million donation but it’s really only a $1million donation? And Cruz gets the benefit of the press around how donors are flocking to back him meanwhile donors aren’t actually backing him?

      Is Megan McArdle the SuperPAC treasurer? That could explain it.

      • Hogan

        It’s a hypothetical, not a donation.

  • libarbarian

    It seems odd that, in this age of gender fluidity, we still use the “win”/”loss” binary to decide elections.

    • Gregor Sansa

      … and smells like Cheetah!

      (In other words: no, thanks, on the dowdy jokes.)

  • Murc

    Cruz will be back.

    He might be personally unlikable, but he did very well, certainly better than McCain did in 2000, and the GOP is only going to resemble him more, not less, as time goes by.

    I mean, I could be wrong. Internal party realignments happen. But the GOP appears to be right in the middle of one that’s moving towards Cruz rather than away from him.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      IIRC, the only reason Cruz got into the Senate was a result of a Teabagger primary upset against an “establishment” candidate.

      Now that Cruz is a known quantity, his re-election might be really tough.

      • Bill Murray

        yeah, Cruz lost the initial primary to David Dewhurst (Lt. Gov.), but won the runoff, with the vote numbers essentially reversing

        • Manny Kant

          Run-offs are going to help the guy who has the more devoted, intense followers over the better known guy nobody cares that much about.

    • Nobdy

      That realignment would turn it into a regional party that might jerrymander control of Congress but could never win the presidency.

      Also we have not yet seen the effect of Trump’s election on the party in general. The presidential nominee often reshapes the party in his image at least a little c b and quite a lot if he wins and becomes president.

      I think it is important that a non-religious New Yorker won the nomination. That suggests that the Republican party may be going away from crazy evangelical, not towards it.

      • NonyNony

        That suggests that the Republican party may be going away from crazy evangelical, not towards it.

        Or that everyone, including the evangelicals, have misunderstood what the movement towards “crazy evangelical” actually meant.

        I think that the evangelicals had a vested interest in portraying themselves as the most vital element of the GOP coalition. They were very loud and very media savvy and able to exploit their religion for attention. But what the press always calls “evangelicals” is actually a mix of devoted evangelical conservative Christians and a seething mass of white resentment that uses the term “evangelical Christian” as a badge of tribal membership.

        When given a choice between an “evangelical Christian” using codewords to speak to their white resentment and Donald Trump – who speaks to their resentment directly without using any coded language at all – the white resentment mass of the “evangelical” core of the GOP moved to Trump. I think that should pretty much answer the question of just how powerful the evangelical Christian faction really is in the GOP. The party is built on white resentment, and has been since Nixon.

        • DAS

          I dunno. If you are a crazy Dispensationalist premillennial evangelical you might support Trump over Cruz because Cruz is (supposedly) a Dominionist. While Cruz certainly has made noises about doubling down on crazy foreign policy, Cruz ultimately wants to build a viable Christo-fascist nation. If you don’t accept Cruz’s eschatology this is heresy and any constructive actions to improve the planet may well delay Jesus’ second coming (in your opinion).

          OTOH, who knows what crazy shit Trump will do and who knows where it’ll lead. If you want the world to be destroyed as a pre-requisite for Jesus’s second coming, wouldn’t you vote for Trump as the craziest possible candidate? At the very least, supporting Trump is kinda the right-wing, Christian fundamentalist version of heightening the contradictions: just as communist might ally with fascists to make things worse to precipitate a revolution, a Dispensational premillennialist might support the candidate most likely to bring on Armageddon.

          Of course, the idea that some dispensational premillennialists have that one may wish to hasten Armeggedon does align them with postmillennialists (including, presumably, Dominionists) who have long been accused of wanting to “immanentize the eschaton” … so maybe even evangelicals who don’t agree with his eschatology should be ok with supporting Cruz, so you are right about what their support for Trump means.

          • rm

            An old friend of mine has become a fundamentalist pastor, and he is mulling over exactly these issues. I don’t think he’s a premillenial rapture kind of person, and I think he rejects Cruz’s Dominionist views as heresy. His dilemma is whether or not God can use a sinner as disgusting as Trump to restore a nation’s godliness by banning abortion and so on. God used a lot of awful sinners in the Old Testament, so maybe . . .

  • MPAVictoria

    Guys this thread must be a joke because this person on RedState did the math and Cruz is going to win the nomination. It is all right here in black and white:

    http://www.redstate.com/diary/creinstein/2016/04/22/290282/

    • Murc

      Jesus wept.

      “Liberal” is not usually a proper noun. Nor is “state.” Nor is “delegates.”

      • Pseudonym

        Are you calling the Constitution a Liar?

    • Chester Allman

      First I want to say that I get inside information from my sources. For instance I get information on S. Carolina from a friend who is very active in the politics there. I also get information about Oregon, Montana, Wisconsin, and various other States via friends and contacts. As a growing ‘celebrity’ I am also getting unsolicited information from people about some of the States I may not have good contacts in, which surprised me when it started happening, but now I just roll with it. So if I call a State under this it should be considered to be an “Informed Decision”.

      Those are some serious bona fides! Red State really does offer a wealth of informed analysis.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        All this illustrates how the internet has allowed the crazy and deluded people to more easily find one another.

    • Joe_JP

      This is by all needs going to be VERY LONG. If you want the cliff notes skip to the bottom

      tl;dr — never mind

  • JKTH

    This is about the only election cycle ever where Ted Cruz dropping out is a sign of disaster. Well…at least until 2020 when he’s running as the Moderate Reasonable Republican.

  • DrDick

    And once again, Cruz (and much of the rest of the GOP) was hoist upon his own petard. They have all convinced themselves that America is a hard right country with (for Cruz) a burning desire for theocracy. They are shocked to discover that really is not true and their appeal really just comes down to hating on the black and brown people.

  • Joshua

    I wonder if this will make some of the narcissist teabags realize that their ideas and their politicians are, in fact, wildly unpopular with the electorate at large. The vast majority of people, even Republicans, have no interest in a right wing theocracy.

    • StringOnAStick

      No, it won’t. Tea Baggers are so sure in their very core that they are RIGHT, not unlike how the Bundyists have that annotated Constitution and believe every bit of it, even when sitting in jail and preparing their sov cit briefs for the long suffering judge. Gawd is on their side, and the non-believers WILL be made to pay!

    • Derelict

      If history is any guide, Cruz’s defeat (and, eventually, Trump’s defeat) will just be further proof that the candidate wasn’t conservative enough. If only he’d run on a platform of forced church attendance and rounding up liberals for extermination, then he would have won in a landslide!

    • efgoldman

      The vast majority of people, even Republicans, have no interest in a right wing theocracy.

      Was it only 12 years, and three cycles ago, that Turdblossom rode anti-gay referendums to victory in Ohio and a few other key states?
      Think of that. Twelve years. A blink of an eye.
      Sure there’s some rearguard actions in some traitor states, but every one of them causes a huge backlash.

    • JG

      As much as Trump sucks it is really funny to see the Tea Party go down

  • Joe_JP

    Indiana: “Give us Barabbas!”

    Lol.

    Barabbas really means “son of the father,” so probably is sort of a pun. The idea is that ironically they chose the son of the father (Jesus=Son of Father/God], but the wrong one.

    Harder call here.

    • DAS

      Release Roderick!

      • wca

        Who is the “Wodewick” to whom you wefer? He sounds a notowious cwiminal.

        • Chuchundra

          I have a vewy good fwend name Biggus Dickus.

          FYI, the extras playing the guards in that scene weren’t told what was going to happen. Their only direction was “stand there and don’t laugh”

    • mds

      Indiana: “Give us Barabbas!”

      In fairness, if Pilate had offered a choice between Barabbas and Cthulhu, I would’ve taken the Barabbas option, too.

  • Charlie S

    This also means all those “second ballot” delegates Cruz so assiduously recruited can now celebrate Trump’s coronation. Wah wah.

    • DAS

      “Don’t worry. Those second ballot candidates go to me” says an increasingly delusional Kasich.

  • osceola

    Here’s a chilling thought: Cruz is only 44. He’s got a safe Senate seat he can keep as long as he wants. He’ll be back (possibly more than once), having learned from his mistakes, recalibrating, and hiring some image consultants.

    Our long national nightmare is NOT over.

    • Rob in CT

      Never is.

    • D.N. Nation

      I don’t think there’s a fact that shocks me more these days than that Ted Cruz is only 44.

      • I believe he’s the first serious presidential candidate to be born in the 70s. He is however 45.

        • Warren Terra

          Well, yeah, in human years.

          • Charlie S

            How long does it take the planet Repitilius to orbit its sun?

            • Ahuitzotl

              in human years, or Great Slow King years?

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      Well, hopefully his senate seat has become less safe as a result of this whole fiasco.

      • osceola

        Sorry, but I live in Texas and I’ma tellin’ you the only way his seat is not safe in the Texas GOP is if he gets a primary challenger even nuttier than he is.

        The Democrats at the state level are a non-factor. (The Castro brothers you ask? They’d get eaten alive, even if they didn’t both look like First Holy Communion was last year.)

        • Sorry, but I live in Texas and I’ma tellin’ you the only way his seat is not safe in the Texas GOP is if he gets a primary challenger even nuttier than he is.

          Kickstarter for Louis Gohmert, anyone?

    • brad

      I’m not so sure it’s a bad thing for him to be left in the wild, oozing a trail of slime, to lose in 2020.

      The one thing all this enjoyable mocking seems to be overlooking is that without Trump Cruz would have had this nomination easily. In the end he was the only serious Republican candidate. Now he has infrastructure, contacts, experience, and history.
      He could never, ever win a GE, but he’s got to be the overwhelming favorite for the nomination in 2020. I could never root for him, but I’d still prefer him over someone who could conceivably win.

      • N__B

        My dream scenario* is Clinton knocks off Trump this year and Cruz in 2020. Let’s discredit both the “outsider” and the RWNJ.

        *Grading on a curve. My raw-data dream scenario is that I wake up and find out that it’s December 2000 and the Supremes allowed the recount to proceed.

    • mds

      On the other hand, as has been noted in comments over at Edroso’s place, Ted Cruz could fund another presidential run entirely off of telling people “Give me a quarter, or I’ll touch you.”

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