Saturday, May 7, 2016

Tough Time for the GOP

Mark Leibovich describes the difficulty faced by the Republican Party with Donald Trump as its presumptive Presidential nominee in The New York Times Sunday Magazine.

You can certainly see how many Republicans find themselves in a tough spot. They think that Hillary Clinton is awful and that it might be politically problematic for them as Republicans to say they’d vote for her, even if they believe Trump would be worse. It’s considered unseemly for politicians to say they plan to stay home in November rather than vote, even if that’s what they plan to do. No third-party option has come forward. But there’s also something hilarious about Marco Rubio calling Trump the “most vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency” during his campaign and then last week pivoting to say that Trump’s performance has “improved significantly.” He added that he’s more certain than ever that he will support the Republican nominee “now that it’s apparent that Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee,” as if that prospect came out of nowhere (or that he might be Feeling the Bern otherwise).

Ted Cruz, meanwhile, called Trump a “pathological liar” and “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen” as recently as Tuesday. (This was after his father said electing “the alternative” to his son would signal “the destruction of America,” which led Trump to insinuate that Raphael Cruz had a role in the John F. Kennedy assassination. 2016.). And yet Cruz has said repeatedly that he would support Trump if he were the Republican nominee — though he did show signs of perhaps reconsidering after Trump started mocking Cruz’s wife. Cruz said nothing about supporting Trump in his departure speech on Tuesday night, while Trump played gracious and praised Lyin’ Ted as “tough,” “smart” and “one hell of a competitor.”

If Cruz really does plan to be the skunk at the garden party that he claimed, shouldn’t he have made it clear by now that he would not support Trump under any circumstances? But this is Presumptive Trump America, a land of heavy pressure to finesse and contort — even if it lands you on the side of a pathological liar who would ensure the destruction of America. Also, Cruz will probably run again in 2020, for what that’s worth. There are always considerations. It will be awkward.

No comments: