DRAFTING ON THE DONALD
Even American Pharoah couldn’t run this race and win.
He wins the Derby. In real life, he waits a couple of weeks before the Preakness. In political life, he just has to keep running until he gets to Baltimore. He’s exhausted. Then he whizzes through Baltimore and heads for Belmont. He hasn’t stopped in five weeks. If he ekes out that race, he’s free – except for the Travers. He’s a shadow of himself.
Our politician starts with the primaries (Derby); no time off afterwards, and so onto the nominating convention (Preakness). He fights his way through that, and then has to run for the presidency (Belmont Stakes). He wins. And he still faces the Travers, by which time he’s so beat and battered he can’t remember his own name, let alone all the things and people he’s promised along the way. Before even taking the oath, he’s a basket case.
How can he make this incredible journey easier?
If we had any sympathy for the man or woman, he actually would disappear on a protracted honeymoon.
How can anyone become president and still walk?
Ted Cruz knows how. He lets the Donald take the first few steps, slides in behind him, and rides his wake all the way through the combat.
We do not admire Ted Cruz. A man of overweening ambition and little enough to show for it in accomplishments, although a lot of black ink in the press and time on the tube. Arrogant – even his old college roommate has said he’d rather have anyone else in the world become president; dishonest – how many Congressional battles has he sworn to fight but when sides are drawn up, Ted’s nowhere to be found; meddlesome, he wants to control the lives of women (and probably half the men in the country, as well), not to mention sticking his greedy fingers into what is rightfully the business of the House of Representatives.
This is one smart cookie who, giving his acceptance speech in 2012 when he was elected Senator from Texas, sounded too much like a fascistic echo of the 1930’s. He tipped his hand. He wants to be Il Duce, bluster but without accomplishment; trappings but without deeds; warlike but HIS boots are not on the ground. They never have been. He’s skirted actual duty on many fronts, including those he himself designed.
The achievements of which he’s proudest are destructive, combative, and dishonest. He’s “proud” of having helped to close the workings of day-to-day government – which incidentally made poor people poorer ; he’s “proud” of leading the fight against funding Planned Parenthood. He’s “proud” of fighting to make the Affordable Care Act less affordable and available to the millions who need it. He’s “proud of clamping down on Aid to Needy Families, i.e., food stamps, the need for which has sky-rocketed in the past two years.
Quite a record of accomplishment.
But he is one smart cookie. He has never criticized Donald Trump for any off-the-wall statement made, demurring gently to say he himself wouldn’t have chosen those same words. But he does not separate what Trump spouts from what he himself believes. Cruz understands Trump is a loose cannon, but one whose ammunition he wants to load and carry.
Cruz is perfectly content to let the Donald walk into the quick-sand and he is not going to throw him a rope.
Every step Trump takes, ill-advised or not, Cruz huddles in his shadow, watching, weighing, waiting to see the public reaction to what is being proposed. Then, and only then, if an idea has not torn the fabric of the nation, Cruz comes out for the exact same idea only phrased a little more politely. Trump is breaking the force of the wind; Cruz is sheltering behind, waiting, stalking, and staying as close as humanly possible.
What you’re getting with Ted Cruz is Donald Trump light.
Acknowledged as the most hated man in Washington, Cruz could care less. Being hated simply means he’s upset someone’s applecart in his mind deservedly.
Oddly, Cruz is no more smudged than his compatriot would-be candidates. No one wants to cross the Donald. And everyone wants the next president to be a Republican.
Cruz is simply this decade’s MacBeth.
With any luck, the US of A will discover MacBeth’s murderer is honest, smart, clean, and has the interests of his nation at heart. Whoever that may be – it ain’t Ted Cruz.