Third Party & Independents Archives

Texas Holdem in the Frozen Corn Fields of Iowa

This is getting fun. Ted really aimed at one of Trump’s biggest assets - his proudly cherished ability to make a deal. Like two B-rate actors in a straight-to-video action flick, they’re busting each other up in the frozen corn fields of Iowa. And Ted Cruz is now using Trump’s deal-making as a club to try and beat the billionaire with.

You want deals? With Pelosi, McConnell, Schumer and the rest? Trump's your man. You want big government and lots of deals with corporate lobbyists? Trump's your man. You want to know who the establishment is - in Cruz's narrative at least - rushing to join? Trump's their man.

The provocative - to not say gleefully obnoxious - senator from Texas is daring GOP voters to side with Trump. And presenting himself as the only true conservative left standing. And he clearly feels that if he can unite the conservative movement then he will win the nomination.

Is that the case? Can conservatives - evangelicals, Tea Party constitutionalists, fiscal conservatives etc. - hold down the fort against the populist movement currently building and sweeping through American politics? The GOP race has boiled down to this question.

And the ethanol question in Iowa is now a litmus test on the true will and force of conservative ideology in the GOP in 2016. Ted Cruz may win Iowa - barely if he does do so. But win in New Hampshire seems unlikely at this point. By some polls, he's down by 20 points compared to Trump. That could change in a hurry of course.

Does Cruz have any other option? Given who he is and what he stands for and where we are in the nomination process? It would seem he has finally had to truly take a stand, rather than stand and filibuster or criticize the legislative and political process in Washington. Often with more than a bit of reason on his side it must be said. He has been flexible in his policy stands on immigration and other issues, but now he has to lay his cards down. And wait for the house to prove he's a winner. Or not.

Posted by AllardK at January 26, 2016 7:28 PM
Comment #402198

Trump is single-handedly blowing up the GOP and conservatism. And I have no idea what he will replace it, other than nativism and an appeal to authoritarianism.

The other day 22 conservative columnists published short essays in the National Review attacking Trump. The attacks came from Rich Lowry, Glenn Beck, Erick Erickson, Michael Medved, Thomas Sowell, and many more. Yet in national polls Trump retains his lead, and according to some, has even increased it- same holds true for IA.

And what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The RNC decided to withdraw from the NBC debate because they did not like the moderators. Now Trump is pulling out of the FOX debate because he does not like one of the moderators, Megyn Kelly. Given his big lead, it seems like a smart move, and demonstrates once again that he could not care less about the Republican establishment or their agenda.

Trump’s attacks against Cruz have been devastating. He swept him aside with a few well aimed sentences about being born in Canada, his unlikeable personality, and his inability to work with- well, anyone. Admittedly Cruz was an easy target, but… wow.

If Trump wins IA, a state with demographics somewhat unfriendly to him, then it appears the only thing that can stop Trump from running the table is himself.

Posted by: phx8 at January 26, 2016 8:31 PM
Comment #402219

The anti-establishment Republicans, political commentators, and talking heads are calling the GOP politicians at every level RINO’s while at the same time praising the administration of Ronald Reagan. I just don’t get it.

Posted by: George in SC at January 28, 2016 8:23 AM
Comment #402222


For a long time, the Left has alleged that most of conservatism’s adherents were the victims of a great big con. That truth is unraveling right before our eyes. The uneasy truce between business interests and social conservatism is coming apart.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 28, 2016 9:54 AM
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