Late Night Open Thread: Schadenfreude Strikes Again

As though anyone with a historical memory extending back more than six months ever expected Donald Trump to stand by a signed pledge, once it became inconvenient.

For fairness (and because I enjoyed it), Jim Newell raises the question “Why Did Ted Cruz Spend Seven Months Sucking Up to Donald Trump?”:

“If you look at a number of the candidates that took on Donald Trump early on,” Sen. Ted Cruz told Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes on Wednesday, “they ended up as roadkill.”

These comments mark the first public occasion of Cruz describing the rationale behind his roughly seven-month strategy of kissing Donald Trump’s ass. Seven months ago seems like a quaint and gentler time in American politics, considering that Trump and his allies are now, for example, pushing the message that Heidi Cruz is Thomas Eagleton without the looks. These garbage attacks, which are really happening, worked the usually self-possessed Cruz into a lather on Thursday, culminating in Cruz calling Trump a “sniveling coward.” (He was not so enraged, however, as to rule out supporting Trump should he become the nominee. Country comes first.)…

Cruz is a smart, calculating politician, and surely from the beginning he recognized that Trump was a nightmarish fraud. The reasoning here that he didn’t go after his principal rival for the nomination because he was worried about Trump trouncing him confirms cowardice on his part. It also promotes a causal myth about why those other candidates who did go after Trump became “roadkill.” Worst of all, it portrays the relationship that Cruz sought with Trump too innocently. He wasn’t making an end-run around Trump so much as he was using Trump as a tackle to clear his own lane through the field…

What’s most inexcusable and morally shameful about Cruz during this time—and he would probably agree—is the way he stood down during some of Trump’s vilest moments…

I agree with Cole that Cruz would be an even worse president than Trump, if only because Cruz has actual plans and goals were he to reach the Oval Office. On the other hand, I also think Ted Cruz is such a repellant excuse for a human being, even by Repub standards, that if a coup is attempted at the Cleveland convention the stalking horse will be “Anyone But Ted Cruz.” (Probably Paul Ryan, if he’ll offer Kasich the VP slot, although Willard Romney can never be ruled out of fruitless contention). Someone at TNR said Cruz seemed to be “fetal pig tissue grown in an old cowboy boot”, which sums up his affect nicely.

61 replies
  1. 1
    Nate Dawg says:

    That video is priceless, but cuts off at a key moment.

    Trump actually mocks the audience, dismisses them as Cruz people, all the while reasserting that he’s been ‘treated very badly’.

    Is there any discussion, ANY, that doesn’t come back to a) how much he is winning by and b) how much a victim he is.

    The narcissism on this guy is so apparent, it’s mind-boggling anyone at all takes him seriously.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    “When your opponent is making a mistake, let them.”

  3. 3
    mclaren says:

    Good times.

    I really love this election.

    Record high enthusiasm for both the Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, the two Republican frontrunners are so untrustworthy and so slippery and so viscerally repellant that more and more Repubs talk about voting for the Democrat in the upcoming election.

    More of this, please!

  4. 4
    RaflW says:

    @Anne: A Ryan-Kasich ticket assembled in the wreckage of the GOP convention!
    Stop it, that’s just too funny for bedtime. Hahahahahahaha

    Edit: also, too, two white midwestern guys who bore the crap out of everyone. And not in an “I’m serious” way, but like “I’m less charismatic than a homemade VHS yule log video.”

  5. 5
    amk says:

    go, donald dreck. do to gopee what you did to lil jebbie.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    Schadenfreude!

    (Who knew there was an Australian tour of Avenue Q?)

  7. 7
    amk says:

    An insult to 5-year olds

  8. 8
    Suzanne says:

    I am far more afraid of Cruz than I am of Trump. And Trump sucks, HARD, so that is saying something.

  9. 9
    mclaren says:

    And now the site xojane has an article by a former Trump political strategist urging people not to vote for Trump:

    An Open Letter to Trump Voters from His Top Strategist-Turned-Defector.

    At this rate, will the Democratic nominee even need any negative campaign ads against Trump by September?

  10. 10
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    What do TNR and you Anne.have against fetal pigs?

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @Suzanne: I’m not. The eligibility question is gonna keep haunting him until the Supreme Court has to rule on it. Not to mention his party also HATES him. Beyond the Jeebus humpers Rafael gets zero votes. And once the DNC starts showing clips of his dad he’s done.

  12. 12
    Suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: If Cruz won the presidency, he would bring the fucking apocalypse. Trump would just continue act like a narcissistic tool.

  13. 13
    mclaren says:

    David Brooks says “I Have Spent The Last Week So Repulsed By Donald Trump, I Had Forgotten How Ugly Ted Cruz Could Be.”

    Gotta love this election.

    It’s just mind-boggling. And we have sort of become acculturated, because this campaign has been so ugly. We have become acculturated to sleaze and unhappiness that you just want to shower from every 15 minutes.

    The Trump comparison of the looks of the wives, he does have, over the course of his life, a consistent misogynistic view of women as arm candy, as pieces of meat. It’s a consistent attitude toward women which is the stuff of a diseased adolescent.

    And so we have seen a bit of that show up again. But if you go back over his past, calling into radio shows bragging about his affairs, talking about his sex life in public, he is childish in his immaturity. And his — even his misogyny is a childish misogyny.

    And that’s why I do not think Republicans, standard Republicans, can say, yes, I’m going to vote for this guy because he’s our nominee. He’s of a different order than your normal candidate. And this whole week is just another reminder of that.

    Source: “David Brooks: I Have Spent The Last Week So Repulsed By Donald Trump, I Had Forgotten How Ugly Ted Cruz Could Be,” RealClearPolitics, 26 March 2016.

  14. 14
    mclaren says:

    @Suzanne:

    Cruz has as much chance of winning the presidency as the corpse of L. Ron Hubbard has of winning the Nobel prize for medicine.

  15. 15

    Shameless self-promotion! Part 2.17 is up, In Which The Hummus Is Completed.

    In unrelated news, I’m going to read the post and thread now and then write a more productive comment.

  16. 16

    @amk: hahahaaaahahahaha that is perfect.

    still glad i skipped the town hall though.

  17. 17
    AnotherBruce says:

    Look, the GOP roller coaster is broken, but the car is rolling downhill anyway so there is no way to stop it. The ride is going to be exhilarating and terrifying. The Republicans can ride this strange missile all the way home with Trump or they can try to leap out of the car before the final destination. Either way it’s going to end in blood and screams and gore. And hopefully many dead Republican careers.

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    I suspect that an entire division of political reporters is currently writing “The Rise And Fall of the Republican Party.” Subtitled: “From Lincoln to Trump”. Right now.

    The book practically writes itself. The business with Trump and Cruz wives provided a climax to Chapter 22, and Der Trump now announcing that he may not support the Republican nominee is the opening for Chapter 23, I reckon.

  19. 19
    AnotherBruce says:

    @MattF: “From Lincoln to Trump” Both of these is not like the other.

  20. 20
    mclaren says:

    @MattF:

    Yes indeedy.

    The pertinent question then becomes: what happens after the Republican party implodes?

    Any guesses?

    The problem isn’t just personalities or individual policies — Reaganism was always unsustainable. Tax cuts for the rich + endless military buildup runs into a brick wall as soon as the middle class gets impoverished and becomes unable to pay for the endless military buildup. Reagan, a very old senile sociopath, was too stupid and too ignorant to recognize this inherent contradiction…but it has now become unmistakably clear. The disappearance of the Soviet Union also removed all need for America’s vast military. But the American people are too stupid and too ignorant to realize that we don’t need anything like our gigantic bloated military today, since for all practical purposes America has no enemies capable of doing us harm in 2016. (As compared to, oh, 1962, when the USSR has 3500 nuclear warheads aimed at us. That’s an existential threat. ISIS or North Korea? Not so much…)

  21. 21
    seaboogie says:

    Kind of perfect that Luntz is the one calling out the death-knell of the GOP at the hands of Trump, after his dog-whistle whoring on their behalf, ‘lo these many years. As if he didn’t know what he was up to all along. Just another GOP grifter.

  22. 22
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @srv:

    Apparently no one has read The Art Of The Deal.

    Hell, even Trump didn’t bother to read it.

  23. 23
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @mclaren:
    Brooks’ column reads better with moar line-breaks.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You could tell back when Drumpf signed the “pledge” that he saw it pretty much the way another fascist saw a treaty with the Soviet Union…”a scrap of paper.”

  25. 25
    Balconesfault says:

    Why would Trump feel compelled to honor his pledge… When GOP brass is openly talking about re-writing nomination rules at the Convention in order to block him from winning?

    I knew Trump would announce this as soon as I heard talk of the GOP scrapping their 8 state rule so they could nominate someone other than the Donald or detes-Ted

  26. 26
    Jordan Rules says:

    Where will this crazy train go next? My goodness!

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Just about everyone was expecting the Donald to abandon that pledge if and when it suited him. And so it has come to pass.

  28. 28
    Kropadope says:

    @Nate Dawg:

    Is there any discussion, ANY, that doesn’t come back to a) how much he is winning by and b) how much a victim he is.

    This encapsulates perfectly what makes him the ideal representative for white Republican America.

  29. 29
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @efgoldman: Exactly what I was going to say. Srv and other poorly educated dimwits may support a Trump but his ceiling is quite severe. He will not win in November.

    This election has turned out to be very interesting given how the Republicans have gotten the candidate they so richly deserve and he’s about to take them all the way down.

    Love it!

  30. 30
    Mike J says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    This election has turned out to be very interesting given how the Republicans have gotten the candidate they so richly deserve and he’s about to take them all the way down.

    For some reason many Republicans get angry when you say that the front runner for their nomination is the perfect embodiment of their party.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Or, as H.L. Mencken might have put it (right?), the Republicans are getting the nominee they deserve, and they’re getting him good and hard.

  32. 32
    JGabriel says:

    Jim Newell via Anne Laurie @ Top:

    Cruz is a smart, calculating politician, and surely from the beginning he recognized that Trump was a nightmarish fraud …

    … just like himself.

  33. 33
    JGabriel says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Or, as H.L. Mencken might have put it (right?), the Republicans are getting the nominee they deserve, and they’re getting him good and hard.

    Not that any of them would notice, what with the smallness of those fingers.

  34. 34
    Mike in DC says:

    Let’s get real. Even if Cruz ran the table and came to the convention with 20 more delegates than Trump, Der Drumpf was never going to support any Republican nominee not named Donald Trump. This is just Trump acknowledging that reality. Now, if Cruz follows suit, the meltdown in Cleveland will be glorious.

  35. 35
    sukabi says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: or the he same way he views any of his other deals… if signing the paper gets him his short term goal, sign. When things start to turn, sue or go bankrupt. Win, win.

  36. 36
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    I recently read that the GOP central committee meets prior to the convention and establishes the number of votes a candidate needs in order to be able to get the nomination. The implication was that while 1237 would be normal and expected they could simply change the rules and pick a number that neither the Curdz or the Drumpfenfuhrer could reach. Pasta how I hope that is true and that those two clowns are close to 1237 but the powers that run the party decide they would rather die with Ryan than be sacrificed on the alter of stupendous ego that wold follow those two. It would be fun to see the two main factions of the GOP unite in an effort to set fire to the party that has curried their favor for 80 years. It would be a joy to see the splinters of hate and ignorace shattered and powerless finally.

  37. 37
    sukabi says:

    @Schlemazel (parmesan rancor): and lo out of the fire rose Satan and spaketh “Fuck! can’t you clowns do ANYTHING right?”

  38. 38

    Guess who said this:

    …I also think that those in politics have an obligation not to wear their faith on their sleeve. There have been far too many politicians that run around behaving like they’re holier than though [sic]. And I’ll tell you, my attitude as a voter if some politician stands up and says “I’m running because God told me to run,” my reaction is as a voter is “Great. When God tells me to vote for you we’ll be on the same page.”

    Ted Cruz. The same guy who said no atheist is fit to be president, nor is anyone who doesn’t start their day “on their knees,” (in prayer, I assume, but with him you never know).

    Anyone know where I can get my irony meter fixed? It just blew out.

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel (parmesan rancor): I don’t see Ryan taking part. The Tea party is trying to primary him as is (for the sin of crafting a budget that Obama would sign). To take an active part in such evil backstabbing maneuverings would be the death of his political life. He’d have to go out and get a real job

  40. 40
    raven says:

    ou’d think state Sen. Josh McKoon would have a big enough fight on his hands as one of the most vocal supporters of the just-vetoed “religious liberty” legislation.

    But now the Columbus Republican is in an escalating war of words with a fellow west Georgia GOPer and his hometown newspaper over comments that his advocacy for that controversial legislation cost Columbus State University and the nearby National Infantry Museum millions of dollars in funding.

    The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer led their must-read story on the fall-out this week with this explosive quote from state Rep. Richard Smith:

    “You can only stick a stick in somebody’s eye so long before enough is enough,” Smith told the newspaper. “They are going to give it to somebody who has been supportive.”

    He added: “The governor and his chief of staff made it clear they were not giving any money and the reason was Sen. McKoon.”

    Deal spokeswoman Jen Talaber Ryan declined comment Tuesday on Smith’s assertion. McKoon, meanwhile, had a more fiery response, saying it “sounds to me like Richard feels like he got thrown under the bus last week and now he thinks it’s my turn.”

    He kicked it up a notch Tuesday night in remarks to our AJC colleague Laura Diaz. McKoon said that Smith should ask the U.S. Attorney’s Office to open an investigation into Deal if his comments are true.

    “Anyone who is suggesting budgeting decisions are being made to punish a legislator who wouldn’t do what they’re told – I’d be very disturbed by that,” he said.

  41. 41
    raven says:

    @raven: Edit button be’s gone.

    “Why the champion of the ‘religious liberty’ bill may have cost Columbus millions”

  42. 42
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Your irony meter was a lot stronger than mine.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @mclaren: You have more faith in the voters than I do.

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Mine still here.

  45. 45
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It was only on my first post!

  46. 46
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Guess who said this:

    Was it Hitler?

  47. 47
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    So . . . Willard part II?

    BTW – I ran into Norm Coleman at the airport a couple of times. One result is I reject your quaint notion that Ryan would have to get a real job. There is plenty of money to be made for a political nob-jobber.

    We talked of throat cancer, my remission & his treatment. I told him he should be grateful he has health insurance – get got the shot but pretended he wasn’t one of those Republicans. (he would have been)

  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: I’m in agreement with mclaren on that score.

  49. 49
    Zinsky says:

    I swear that I have heard more words come out of Trump’s festering gob over the past few months than I have heard spoken by my own family. I am so sick of hearing this self-indulgent troglodyte talk about himself, I could puke! His so-called campaign has really highlighted how simple-minded and non-discerning the American media is. They give this cretin hours and hours of airtime and he has absolutely nothing to say. If by some horrible twist of fate, Trump becomes president, I am going to have to move somewhere like Borneo just to maintain my sanity!

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel (parmesan rancor): No. The GOP will never take that road again. This is going to be a failed attempted hijacking. Trump or Cruz (or both) with an outside possibility of Kasich (way outside) will be the nominee.

  51. 51
    satby says:

    @Schlemazel (parmesan rancor): Good for you. Hope it gave him a moment’s pause.

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    An attack by a terrorist in our country, could decide the election, no matter the nominee. I won’t be comfortable that it won’t be Trump or Cruz, until after November.

  53. 53
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Schlemazel (parmesan rancor): what a liar. as mayor of St. Paul Coleman he got rid of health insurance for retired city workers. In general, most of the people who develop an illness, whether major or minor, are older people, like Coleman. They’re the ones who needed the insurance.

  54. 54
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch:

    I also told him we had met before, while he was mayor of St. Paul. I added “Before you turned to the dark side” He didn’t laugh. I told my wife after that get together that Norm was a slimy guy & I hoped he didn’t get the DFL nod for Governor. Turned out he had other plans. He could have made as good a gov as Pawlenty but Rove knew of Norms dope-smokin past & knighted him Senator. He probably would have remained their fat, dumb and crooked if he had not pissed off Al by saying he was a better Senator than Wellstone. That also indicated to a lot of till sentient Minnesotans that Norm was scum. It was a close election but he lost as he should have

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: This is true, but I am leaning towards it helping Dems. Nobody (w/ half a brain) wants Trump anywhere near the button and Cruz is too close to a Knights Templar for most Americans.

  56. 56
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I like your thinking.

  57. 57

    @OzarkHillbilly: I thought that about Ryan too. How many kicks in the junk is he willing to take for the good of the team?

  58. 58
    Percysowner says:

    I HATE Donald Trump and agree Cruz would be worse in many ways. Although to be fair, at least Cruz is unlikely to decide a country has disrespected him and then threaten to bomb them our of existence and even less likely to go running to push THE button to launch a nuclear attack because some country dissed him. But on a day to day basis, he would be so, so much worse. The thing is, I would kind of agree with Trump. If he comes into the convention with more delegates than any other candidate and then a brokered convention give the nomination to Kasich, well then the party has treated him badly and unfairly and he has his out for supporting that nominee. The Republicans built this monster of xenophobia and hate and now they have to live with that, they can’t just say go away, we didn’t really mean it

  59. 59
    Paul in KY says:

    @mclaren: Don’t get overconfident.

  60. 60
    Ivan X says:

    @JPL: Agreed. I’m not unhappy with this mess, but I am hardly counting my chickens.

  61. 61
    Gian says:

    Trump’s pledge was conditional on being treated fairly. If the definition of “treated fairly” includes trying to get people to falsely promise to vote for you at the convention, and then break that promise in order to vote for someone else, then the GOP can argue e treated him fairly.

    Trump has just been repeating with a larger microphone what hate radio has spewed for 30 years on the a.m. dial His voters are the guys who think W wasn’t a conservative, that the civil rights act is an undue burden on business, that making a cake for a gay couple when it offends your bigotry is unconstitutional, that muslims should be profiled and tortured, that Mexican immigrants are a leech on good hard working americans. (and the Mexican criminals…)
    and that clean air is bad for job creators, and that lowering taxes to zero will increase revenue, and so on

    turn on a.m. radio, this is what you hear. this is what trump copies. this is the GOP base that turns out in primaries. this is who they are.
    2016 they’re taking a good look in the mirror and going “oh I look like shit” because they know there aren’t enough to carry a general election based on what’s above

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