He's been sliding almost from the beginning. Now that Ted Cruz wants to be president, he's alienated too many important people in his party to expect much support, and without that support, his candidacy goes nowhere. "He is the darling of conservatives in a conservative party. But he remains a long shot, at best," according to Nate Cohn at The Upshot.
Political scientists argue that the single most important determinant of the outcome of the nomination is support from party elites: those operatives who can staff a winning campaign; the donors who fund it; the elected officials and interest group leaders who bestow the credibility necessary to persuade voters and affect media coverage. ...Upshot,NYT.
His numbers are low within his own party. Only Chris Christie, the Times reports, does worse. With 18 candidates already ahead of them, the Texan and the New Jersey governor aren't looking exactly viable except -- maybe -- in Iowa.
You could perhaps conjure a scenario in which Mr. Cruz pulls it off. The Republican Party is conservative and populist, and Mr. Bush is hardly a perfect fit for the primary electorate. Forty-two percent of voters say they could not see themselves supporting him. Mr. Cruz runs a sharp campaign and excels in the debates (he was a champion debater at Princeton); comes across as capable of winning a general election and then governing responsibly; and ultimately earns grudging acceptance from party elites. ...Upshot,NYT
Okay. But how long has it been since a Republican -- at national level -- "governed responsibly"? Like ... five and a half decades?
The Washington Post's Dan Balz has a sunnier view of radical conservatism and perhaps Cruz's chances, writing that Cruz "also offered an upbeat portrayal of what the country would be like if it were guided by the conservative principles he espouses."
The speech was long on imagination of a better world grounded in constitutional principles. He imagined the repeal of Obamacare, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service, the demise of Common Core standards.
Absent were the practical policies that would bring about those changes, as well as the promise of robust economic growth and opportunities he said would take place with a return to first principles. This was not the day for policy white papers, however. Those can come later.
What Cruz offered in his announcement — what his candidacy is about — is a robust call to arms to tea partiers, evangelicals and people feeling cut out by the party establishments of both parties. Invoking God and the Constitution throughout his speech, he said, “I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America.”
In his relatively brief time as a national politician, Cruz has shown himself to be brainy, driven and ambitious. What he has yet to show is the ability to take his outsider message, convert it from criticism to optimism and expand his appeal beyond the true believers. He has made the argument about what his party needs. Now he must try to prove that he is the messenger conservatives want in 2016. ...DanBalz,WaPo
Jonathan Chait looks at what is driving Ted Cruz and his party.
Conservatives have not completely worked out how far they would go if given absolute power — back to 1932? 1905? — but they agree on the direction. This is the key factor distinguishing Cruz’s revolt against the party elite from Goldwater’s. Goldwater had both a substantive program and a political theory that distinguished him from his party’s leaders. Cruz has only a political theory. Because he agrees with the policy goals of figures like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, all he can do to distinguish himself from them is stoke the suspicions of the base that those goals have been undermined from within. His shutdowns, his filibusters, his wild personal attacks — they all reinforce Cruz’s story. He is the one Republican too brave and pure to submit to the Obama agenda. If his tactics fall short, it merely serves to dramatize his colleague’s fecklessness.
All this is why so many Republicans despise Cruz, and it will make it difficult for him to win the nomination. But the loathing between Cruz and his party is not some failing of etiquette. It is his entire plan. ...Chait,DailyIntel
Excuse me, please, but I'm spending a little time this Monday a.m. appreciating others' work.
Since they won control of both houses in last November’s election, everyone has said that Republicans now have to “show they can govern.” But more than that, they have to actually govern, whether they’re showing it or not. And the current intra-Republican conflict over the budget shows that they may have gotten so used to shaking their fists and drawing lines in the sand that many of them can’t imagine any other way to go about negotiating — even when Barack Obama and the Democrats aren’t involved. ...PaulWaldman,WaPo
A disturbed Canadian man wants to try to get into the White House, according to reports.
The man, who was born in Calgary before drifting to Texas, has been spotted in Washington, D.C. in recent years exhibiting erratic behavior, sources said.
In 2013, he gained entry to the United States Senate and was heard quoting incoherently from a children’s book before he was finally subdued. ...Borowitz,NewYorker
Historian Richard Hofstadter described the use of “heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy” in American political life. Hofstadter called this phenomenon “the American paranoid style,” built on the perpetuation of conspiracy theories and the use of apocalyptic prose. “[The] demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals,” Hofstadter wrote. “Since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration.” ...DavidLudwig,Atlantic
Empirical investigation into different modalities of knowledge production, distribution, access, and preservation has accelerated in recent years. Much of the energy behind that effort emerges from the intuition that formal intellectual property law frameworks are inadequate and/or incomplete to describe what one observes in the world when examining the governance of innovation. “Peer production” frameworks, and frameworks simply “beyond intellectual property,” are likewise inadequate and/or incomplete; broad, simple labels cannot themselves correct for the errors and omissions of IP as such and cannot capture the significance of diverse ground-level details. ...Balkinization
[But you knew that already, didn't you.]
Everyone in the Republican Party knows that Reagan presided over an economy that has never been equalled, before or since. When I was on TV with Rand Paul, he confidently declared
When is the last time in our country we created millions of jobs? It was under Ronald Reagan …
Of course, it’s not true.
There was an even bigger job boom under Clinton than under Reagan, and Obama has now presided over three years of fairly rapid job growth, with the most recent year the fastest since the 90s. ...PaulKrugman
The Hill has added up the number of candidates the Republican party is fielding in 2016. I guess we'd better say "so far" the number is twenty. Two zero. Or twenty zeros, depending on how you feel about each and every one of them. Only god a Koch brother can guess with some accuracy just how many there will be by next year.
Oh Jeb shit Scott here Rand they Chriscome. Ben Now Mikewhat're Ted we Rickgonna Lindsey do? John Should Bobby we Rick arm Carly ourselves John quickly Peter with George squeezy Jimmustard Bobcontainers Mark?
Or move to a real democracy?
How do we stop this? Another short-count demo on the Mall? Heads on pikes? Or the biggest vote turnout on the left of the modern era?
The alpha male of the world order, the US, is neither willing nor capable of defending the steering system. It has ceased being the indispensable nation. The streak of idealism has disappeared, forcing the US to fall back on raw power despite the talk about soft power. Moral authority has slipped away, no longer available to support and substantiate US policies and interventions.
The malaise starts at home. The Americans no longer trust their own model and no longer express willingness to "export" it. ...JoergenOerstroemMoeller,HuffPo
Sometimes we can take bad news and turn it into the kind of energy we need to keep ourselves alive. Probably not this time. Moeller analyzes America's choices and finds few if any.
And -- speaking of vital economic activity -- how about our Congress?
Unfortunately for Western democracies, especially for the U.S. Congress, a new phenomenon, which may be labelled oligarch democracy to borrow from abroad, is gaining ground. In 1986 winners of a seat in the House of Representatives spent $360,000, skyrocketing to $1.6 million, in 2012 -- an increase of 344 percent. For the Senate the corresponding figures (all adjusted for inflation) are $6.4 million and $10.4 million -- up 62 percent. Add to this the amount spent on lobbying. Over the last decade oil, gas, and coal lobbied for around $100 million per year with the overwhelming part going to the Republicans; over the two years 2008-2009, during the financial crisis, lobbying by the financial sector has been calculated at more than $800 million. It takes a brave person to maintain that under such circumstances the political system and individual politicians have managed to wriggle themselves free of influence exercised by donors and lobbyists. It questions the very character of liberal representative democracy expected to reflect the social strata of the population; the money factor rules that out. ...JoergenOerstroemMoeller,HuffPo
"Liberal representative democracy"? What was that all about?
We know he's been trying to entice the Koch brothers for years. Now, as part of his effortful transition from corrupt Wisconsin governor to national-level courtesan, he has apparently been undergoing geisha training. He wants to be anything you want, voter.
Out on the presidential campaign trail, Gov. Scott Walker has left “Wiscahnsin” back home in Wisconsin. He now wants to strengthen the economy, not the “ecahnahmy.” And while he once had the “ahnor” of meeting fellow Republicans, he told one group here this week that he simply enjoyed “talkin’ with y’all.”
The classic Upper Midwest accent — nasal and full of flat a’s — is one of several Walker trademarks to have fallen away this month after an intense period of strategizing and coaching designed to help Mr. Walker capitalize on his popularity in early polls and show that he is not some provincial politician out of his depth.
He is tailoring his pitch to his audiences — wearing pullover sweaters in earth-tone colors in one early primary state, New Hampshire, and discussing the power of prayer in another, here in South Carolina. ...NYT
Not too sure about those earth-tone sweaters. Maybe under those puffy jackets New Hampshire voters wear -- even indoors this winter. Meanwhile, it looks like he's not wildly popular in New Hampshire.
While Mr. Walker is best known for his successful fight to strip many collective bargaining rights from most public sector unions in Wisconsin and his subsequent recall victory, he now brings up that dispute chiefly to thank people who prayed for his family while it was going on. But many voters still see him as a one-issue governor, as do his political opponents.
“Scott Walker won’t have a chance to win New Hampshire if he keeps attacking unions, because unions have helped generations of people here get ahead,” said William Shaheen, who has helped run Democratic presidential campaigns in New Hampshire and is married to Senator Jeanne Shaheen. ..NYT
Down here in Texas, after all those years of watching as Rick Perry pleasured corporations, we know a political whore when we see one.