by C. Edmund Wright 7/22/16
The fullness of time will vindicate Ted Cruz’s actions at the National Convention this week, and as a bonus, the reaction has exposed that Donald Trump has indeed jumped in between the sheets with the Republican Establishment. On the second point, let’s not quibble over who seduced whom.
I know that the conventional wisdom is that Cruz committed suicide. Good. Let’s check the scorecard of conventional wisdom.
Almost everyone thought it was crazy in the fall of 2013 to say Cruz’s Obamacare filibuster would actually help Republicans in 2014 and that it would help Cruz’s career. Those with egg on their faces would include the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, most elected Republicans – and perhaps you. Or perhaps not.
Time vindicated Cruz on that one. To be fair, Rush Limbaugh and some other conservatives were on board with that belief, too.
But heck, nobody was on board in 1992 as I warned about the cancer that was John McCain to the party and to conservatism. G. Gordon Liddy and I even had a contentious fight about it on his show in early 1993. You might remember the drill: hey, he’s a war hero and he’s pro-life and the media loves him! McCain can’t be a problem!
How did I know? Easy. McCain was out there claiming that George H.W. Bush was too extreme, so the media would adore him. Yes, H.W. Bush! How did almost all of humanity miss that?
Now everyone knows. In fact, Trump’s first big burst onto the scene was questioning McCain’s war hero status. I actually agree with Trump on that one, and it has worked to Trump’s advantage. Trump tapped into something with McCain that the elites still don’t fully understand, even the ones now working with Trump.
El Rushbo finally figured McCain out during the S.C. primary season in 2000. Welcome to the party. There’s still plenty of cake and punch left.
And everyone thought I was even crazier in 2001 when I warned about Karl Rove, and even secured the website www.firekarlrove.com. I combined it in early 2013 with www.tokyrorove.com to promote the book WTF? (I have non-renewed the URL now, as Rove is history as a major player anyway.)
Back then, especially after 2004, we heard that Rove was “the architect” and “the boy genius” and my favorite, “Rove, you magnificent bastard.” Now he’s just a dumb bastard to the people who said all that, which was almost everybody. This new anger at Rove helped me sell a lot of books in 2013 and ’14.
The point here is not my track record, although I do draw confidence from it. It’s that history is replete with examples of how the initial conventional wisdom is so often wrong. And not just wrong, but “180 degrees out of phase with reality” wrong.
There are specific reasons I am confident about this particular episode as well.
First, about this whole notion of political suicide: I thought what we were looking for was someone willing to put truth ahead of career expediency and the next election cycle. I obviously misjudged what some of you wanted.
Moreover, I’m hearing people rant on about how Cruz is being selfish and self-promoting – and also for being a fool who has committed political suicide. Well, which is it? In this narrow construct, those concepts are mutually exclusive.
Then again, so is the notion of a Reince Priebus Mitch McConnell John Boehner Chuck Schumer Nancy Pelosi TARP Stimulus bailout ethanol crony being some kind of “wrecking ball” to the establishment.
On this pledge issue, I would like a few questions answered. First, didn’t Trump threaten not only to break the pledge, but even to run third party multiple times? And didn’t his legions adore him for it? He did, and they did.
Are there no circumstances under which the honorable thing to do is to break a pledge, a promise, or a contract? We all know there certainly are. And by the way, breaking contracts and promises is a large part of Trump’s business career. Hell, it’s the art of the deal, after all. Declaring bankruptcy four times is indeed the breaking of four significant pledges!
I won’t even mention the multiple infidelities. That would be tacky.
And why do you supporters even want a Cruz endorsement? If he’s Lyin Ted, he did Trump a favor. Dittos if he is this tool of Goldman Sachs. Is it even necessary to bother with the detail that Trump is considering a Goldman appointee as Treasury secretary?
Then there’s the “well, Reagan endorsed Ford” thing. No, he did not. He did tiptoe a little closer to the line than did Cruz, but he didn’t cross it and endorse. This was on purpose, a point top Reagan biographer Craig Shirley made clear this week, speaking with Mark Levin on the 20th.
And no, I don’t think Cruz threaded the needle as deftly as Reagan did at the ’76 convention, but let’s be fair: Cruz’s language had to be a little different from Reagan’s for obvious reasons. Melania had already shown the folly of plagiarizing direct quotes. Ouch.
This brings me to Trump’s obvious and mindless strategy, which was to set Cruz up for public embarrassment. Why? What good could possibly come from that? Trump will not win the White House if he continues to insult Cruz and the 8 million people who voted for him. Period. Besides, he has already won that fight. Why pick at the scab?
And yet he does. And his keyboard cowboy battalions jump in at every instance. So what gives?
Perhaps two factors are in play here. First, Trump is above everything else vindictive and petty, and he’s inspired those traits and brought them mainstream in GOP politics. In other words, he just can’t help himself.
Second, and this is a little more pernicious, is that he’s doing the dirty work of the Republican establishment. Yes, you know, that group Trump was going to be a wrecking ball to? Yeah, right.
The Republican establishment hate Trump in general, but they hate Cruz more. Comments by many, including from John Boehner, make this perfectly clear. Moreover, they’ve signed onto the Trump train out of expedience and have apparently demanded some quid pro quo on two fronts.
Rush Limbaugh agrees, though he whitewashes it as simply a unity ploy. Then again, his show alone was worth $400 million to Trump from July 2015 through May 4, 2016.
POWER: On night one, we saw the Trump people orchestrate a power-grab by Reince Priebus and the RNC that is breathtaking and unprecedented – and the balance of power now between the party apparatus and the grassroots has never been wider.
Thank you, Mr. Wrecking Ball. These consequences will plague us for years.
KILL CRUZ: And on night three, Mr. Trump and his minions jumped in with the RNC to set up Cruz for what is supposed to be a career-ending nightmare. More than a Trump presidency, the establishment lust for an end to Cruz – and they think they have it now. But be warned: truth is the long game. These same people thought Ted had committed suicide as a result of the filibuster. Instead, Cruz became a leader in the anti-Washington cartel movement and a prominent conservative figure because he was right to take that stand. He’s not even on the radar without that stand.
He was right to take the stand he did this week as well, and time will vindicate him once again.
What will that look like? That’s not knowable. What is knowable, even as so many refuse to know it, is that Trump is almost certain to be a disaster for limited-government conservatism and liberty at some point. Maybe in the election, giving Hillary the White House. Or maybe in the White House, reverting to his 40-year big-government proclivities. It’s who Trump is, and it will happen.
And when it does, those Gideons who were watchmen on the wall will be vindicated. I am now on record.
C. Edmund Wright is contributor to StubbornThings, American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax TV, Talk Radio Network and author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again. • (926 views)