So – NOW WHAT?

So, Now What?

We want to clarify for our readers and listeners that all political calls herein are our own. Which is to say, if we write that So-and-so is a creep, it is only our opinion. We have no intention of libeling or slandering anyone, living and/or dead.

That said, here goes.

New Hampshire is over at last. The results were certainly startling. For the Democrats, the party has put itself into a deep, deep hole.
Hillary Clinton, even as she conceded, knew she had to stop yelling. She did try. But the excitement and disappointment of the moment overcame her and she wound up sounding as she usually does, like a fishwife. This is something of a homegrown tragedy, because she is easily the most qualified candidate in either party to run for president. Alas, she is also the candidate we know best, and of whom we may have grown tired. Exit polls have demonstrated that her support, earlier solid among women and younger voters, older women, seniors, blacks and Hispanics, has been whittled away and that Bernie Sanders now counts them in his camp.

Which would be swell, but for the fact that there is no clear or direct understanding on his part, and consequently on our own, of how exactly he plans to fund his “political revolution” – a term we wish he would stomp on until it’s flat and muddy and forgotten.

What this means for the Democrats is that their millions of eager voters have to make a choice they don’t want to make, between idealism and pragmatism. And Democrats will be compelled to choose if they remember the Supreme Court that would greet them should the Republicans take the White House. This means that Democrats are not free to make an actual choice between Bernie and Hillary without giving up constitutional freedoms and guarantees sooner or later. Many will feel compelled to vote for Democratic candidates no matter what – i.e., straight-ticket voting of old lest members of the Court decide to retire at a time in which Republicans may hold both houses of Congress and the presidency.

This state of affairs is a downer for Democrats because they cannot vote FOR anyone. They’re pushed into a corner where their votes are nearly abstract, cast to prevent rather than to forward progress.

This is not a happy state of affairs.

As for the Republicans,

life became even more complicated than it had been earlier. Just as Chris Christie carpet-bombed Marco Rubio, he himself fell back into obscurity (such as it could be for a man his size and with his current job). Rubio is now we think among the also-rans, ready to run again but his sprint for 2016 may be ended. Carly Fiorina has folded, a good thing. Bright and blazingly articulate, she also bought the party’s line about selling human embryonic flesh by Planned Parenthood. From that moment on, she never stopped lying. Rand Paul has decided to stick to his Senate seat in Kentucky if he can. Huckabee and Santorum are lying down with dreamers. Ben Carson is a mystery candidate even as we write, hanging in for whatever reason his supporters, wife, and he himself find rational. We can’t imagine what that reason could be, unless it’s as a spoiler nudging the evangelical vote away from Ted Cruz and into his own camp. This is called revenge.

Donald Trump finally earned his spurs.

John Kasich – still the most qualified candidate on the Republican list – made the front pages at last.

Jeb Bush showed life, believe it or not, and may have more to show us in South Carolina. We hope so.

And so we come to Ted Cruz.

As one famous woman writer said of another on television years ago, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’ ”

His piety is bogus. His approach to ISIS is undefined and dangerous. His judgment is flawed and his instincts feral.

He sabotaged Ben Carson and is getting away with it because he knew in advance he could – we, as an audience, have had our attention too divided for too long and are unable to react as we know we should, with outrage and scorn.

Listen carefully to him on the stump and hear echoes of past history. Many of our readers and listeners are World War I buffs, and from Cruz they hear echoes of that era. Nazi Germany after World War I complained (rightfully, in this case) that the peace terms they were forced to sign were ruinous. Hitler may have been mad but he knew how to rev up his nation: money was worthless, food was scarce, jobs were non-existent. Ted Cruz on the night he won his first (and only, so far, campaign for the Senate), pulled out all these stops.

Ted Cruz is a smart cookie. People trust him because he presents himself as a constitutional scholar. He’s glib and gifted and lies automatically.

His shenanigans vis-à-vis Ben Carson tell you he’s deeply untrustworthy and devious. They tell our allies and the international crowd the same thing.

He doesn’t care whether he’s liked in the Senate but we do. As president he would have to work with people who despise him. Gridlock is this man’s middle name, having ginned up Congress only to shut it down.

Looking into the future, God forbid, this is a man who expects to rule, not govern. How? By the same executive orders he purports to find unconstitutional in President Obama.

He is not a friend of the poor or needy. He has no military experience and is not on the forefront of fighting for better care for our veterans. He has no plan to rebuild Obamacare into a system that works for millions. Best of all, he – a Canadian/Cuban – is anti-immigrant, regardless of his own background.

If Senator Joseph McCarthy were not vilified historically, we’d have to witness Ted Cruz making the same unfounded and incendiary accusations as the late Senator from Wisconsin.

As a Republican one would have to hope and trust that Donald Trump could learn to be civilized and eventually statesman-like. Or pray that John Kasich has the guts and gall to shoot back when necessary at his opponents. Or that Jeb Bush could get it together, regardless of the horrific damage caused by his brother’s administration.

As a Democrat one would have to hope and trust in the power of numbers to safeguard our constitutional freedoms as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

Life is not going to be trouble-free between now and November.

And we haven’t begun to discuss economics.

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