It Was a 'Dark and Stormy Night' (for Cruz, the Media, and Hillary)

Cruz’s “Conscience”

Cruz played dog in the manger at the Republican convention. Someone should have whispered in his ear these words from Omar Khayyam:

" “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

Some say his phrase “vote your conscience” was just a call to support the entire ticket. I don’t. I think the delegates who booed him had it right. As my friend JM Hanes observed:

"Vote your conscience" is a veritable NeverTrump theme song, so it seems entirely fair to construe it is asking folks not to vote for Trump, even if not actively soliciting votes for Hillary. Hence the need to remind folks of down ticket races, so the folks who abstain from the presidential vote won't just stay home.”

I think Charles Krauthammer had it right.

Charles Krauthammer said that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) "blew it" at the Republican National Convention with his address in which he did not endorse Donald Trump.

"What Cruz delivered was the longest suicide note in American political history and this morning he added an addendum," said Krauthammer. 

Krauthammer weighed in on America's Newsroom this morning after Cruz spoke to Texas delegates (some of them angry), doubling down on his message from last night and going even further.

Cruz explained that he is "not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father."

Krauthammer said Cruz "undid the great political, philosophical reasons he offered last night" for not endorsing Trump by making it personal. 

"As of this morning, I think he's destroyed his political career right there," said Krauthammer.

The notion that he refused to endorse Trump because of personal pique, his explanation the following morning, does evince that his move was not out of principle as his still ardent supporters claim. In any event it distorts the genesis of the attacks which in both cases were started by Cruz supporters. In the case of Heidi Cruz supporters instigated the kerfuffle when a pro-Cruz Utah PAC circulated a nude picture of Melania and in the case of his father, in an interview Trump responded to a National Enquirer article only after the senior Cruz attacked Trump.

And then there’s the issue of the pledge. In order to receive valuable mailing lists and support from the RNC all the candidates pledged to support the eventual nominee. If my reading of Cruz’ speech which matches that of the audience is correct, Cruz violated that pledge. So much for his “principles”.

One of my favorite posters (Ignatz Ratzkywatzky) commented, tongue in cheek, on the pledge and the ginned up media claim that Melania had cribbed some banal offerings from Michelle Obama:

“Somebody linked to an article "Did Ted Cruz sign the pledge?"

Cruz: "Well, listen, I pledged at the outset I will support the Republican nominee, whoever it is... when I give my word for something, I follow through and do what I said."

Thank goodness he didn't say his word is his bond because;

1. It isn't and;

2. It would have been obvious plagiarism since the last half of the sentence is word for word Michelle.”

Further evidence that his intent was self-promotion, not a tardy defense of family honor, is that the morning after his nonendorsement he circulated a fundraising letter. He thought he was paving the way for a 2020 run in the assumption that Trump would either lose or have only one term. I believe that speech will be his epitaph, not a ticket to the White House.”

And to those who continue to claim he was the only true constitutionalist in the pack, history shows his adherence to the Constitution is less true than his self-serving:

When thugs prevented a Trump appearance in Chicago, the “constitutionalist” took the side of self-promotion over the right to free speech and assembly:

Mr. Trump’s opponents, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich, condemned the disruptions, but said Mr. Trump was responsible for the tenor of his rallies. Mr. Cruz said Mr. Trump “affirmatively encourages violence.”

I think he’s a perfect example of why no father should raise his son to believe he is “the anointed one”.

Trump’s handling of Cruz at the convention was strategically brilliant, something rarely seen in Republican ranks.

Cruz offered up a draft of his speech two hours before and Trump knew what Cruz planned to say. He could have withdrawn the invitation but let Ted self-immolate instead, and entered the auditorium to boos for Cruz and cheers for him.

Quoting Politico, James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal described the scene:

At least some of the booing that capped Cruz’s speech was the result of a concerted whip effort by the Trump campaign, Cruz’s campaign manager Jeff Roe told the Chris Stigall Show in an interview on Philadelphia radio. Roe said the Trump campaign was in talks with Cruz about the contents of the speech up until the senator walked out onto the stage. Once it became clear that Cruz would not be offering an endorsement to Trump and would not be praising him, Roe said, the “active whip operation got active.”

“There were certainly people being ginned up to boo,” Roe said, according to a BuzzFeed report that detailed his interview. “But this isn’t a whining moment at all. This isn’t a whining moment at all. It was their convention.”

Trump also stole some of Cruz’s thunder by entering the convention hall while Cruz was speaking and not long after the booing began. We were watching CNN, which showed a split screen of the nonendorser and the nominee. It seems as if the Trump campaign scripted the whole production, like a professional wrestling match -- a sport, or rather “sport,” with which Trump has some experience.

It was a dark night for the media

The strategy Trump used to defuse the NeverTrump Cruz backers was not the only sign of strategic genius he displayed.

Conventions are designed to rev up the base. He did that by emphasizing he had better economic policies and was determined to provide law and order, end open borders, and stamp out terrorism. Then he reached out with effective messaging to those tranches of the Democratic base, which might be persuaded to jump ship.

I thought it was brilliant to appeal to the LGBTQ community by highlighting Peter Thiel saying that we need to regard these cultural wars as distractions from the main issues, and then noting jihadists want to and do kill them and therefore it is in their interest to support the Republican immigration policy. He reached out to blacks and Hispanics by arguing that they are hurt most by the lack of jobs due to immigration and bad economic policies and the Democrats’ embrace of the teachers unions at great cost to their children.  Ivanka emphasized that mothers need help and Trump suggested by implication that single mothers (a major Democratic constituency) have more to gain with a vibrant than a stagnant economy. He appealed to evangelicals -- that they are entitled to speak freely in their churches without losing their tax exemptions -- and to Jews who support Israel that they have more to gain with him as president than with Hillary. The Republicans cannot win without a big tent and he selected issues on which these voters should be in agreement with him if the facts are known.

He appealed to national pride and the rising and substantial distaste for political correctness, derided political corruption (of which Hillary is the avatar) and the downside of the globalist bent of his opponent. “We must break free of the petty politics of the past. America is a land of believers, dreamers, and strivers that is being led by a group of censors, critics, and cynics… they will say anything to keep our rigged system in place.”

To Chuck Todd’s endorsement, the flakey Democratic flak operating as a journalist, Chris Matthews, even suggested Trump’s mentioning the names of American cities beset by rising crime was another dog whistle to racists. It’s apparently now not politically correct to name Chicago or Baltimore or Washington, D.C. in polite company. (Stick with Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe even if they are not crime-ridden.)

It’s obvious that not only has Trump soundly defeated his party opponents but as well he’s rocked the media on its heels. They are, despite their best efforts, unable to deal with this Republican candidate as they’ve dealt with others in recent contests. He is a hardball, offensive player and McCain and Romney were like kids staring blankly as their candy was stolen from them.

To the media, as if by uniform decree from Hillary operative John Podesta (A “dark and frightening speech") they regarded the speech as – well -- dark and frightening. Bryon York nailed it in a tweet: “To journalists noting 'dark' speech: Trump must have been reading your recent nation-on-edge, violence-leaves-Americans-anxious headlines.”

James D posted along the same lines:

“The Democrat message is:

America is an evil racist society. And also homophobic. And Islamophobic. Basically, we are intolerant, bigoted monsters who hate everyone, everywhere.

Police regularly murder upstanding young black men for no reason at all.

Wealth inequality has created a new feudal order of greedy, inhuman capitalist overlords.

Student loan debt is destroying the lives of an entire generation.

All young men are rapists; most young women who to college will be raped.

This is what Hillary and Bernie (and Obama, and the MSM) regularly tell us.

But, yeah, it's Trump and the GOP who are the dark and gloomy ones. Sure thing.”

So did jimmy k:

“The hysteria of the NYT and MSM over the speech just shows how wild their agenda is, and their realization that Trump can win. I didn't find the speech dark at all. It pointed out obvious problems with terrorism and lawlessness, but was optimistic about being able to get the country back on the right track.

But instead of addressing the substance of Trump's candidacy, the left/MSM has to make him out to be a Hitler monster, because he's got them beaten.”

Hillary has to be scared.

This is not the campaign cakewalk to the White House she imagined.

Late this week, Wikileaks made public thousands of DNC internal emails it had hacked, which proved Trump’s point to Sanders’ supporters that she had rigged the election. They show that the DNC was doing everything in its power to glide her path to the nomination. If she were such a strong candidate, why did the DNC have to deploy so much effort to defeat a man who was essentially a kooky nonentity when the race began?

Sanders supporters are already planning a challenge to the super delegate rule, and the DNC convention may not be the giant show of unity that they and the presumptive candidate had choreographed.

In his acceptance speech Trump said Hillary’s legacy as Secretary of State was, “Death, destruction and terrorism and weakness.” He attacked her lawlessness:

“In fact, her single greatest accomplishment may be committing such an egregious crime and getting away with it, especially when others who have been far less have paid so dearly.

When that same Secretary of State rakes in millions of dollars trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers, I know the time for action has come.”

It’s hard to see, even with an almost uniformly toadying media, she can overcome these charges. Nor evade public distaste for her promise to increase immigration from Islamic countries as terrorist incidents here and abroad increase.

You can be for security, law and order, and the rule of law, or you can be for Hillary.

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