This morning Martin Longman made what I think is the first correct interpretation of what happened with Ted Cruz last night. Yes, the Trump campaign had Ted Cruz’s speech in advance. I am sure that they read it. They almost certainly discussed it with Cruz. So how could such a disaster happen with their eyes open?
The answer is that it all happened just like Trump wanted. In wrestling terms Trump lured Cruz on stage and surprised him with a heel turn.
A sensible person would tell me that could not possibly be true. That speech blew apart the Republican party. The crowd screamed for Ted’s head and the donor class almost killed him. The whole idea of party unity is dead like Chef in South Park. If Trump had a breath of hope in November this screwup put the last nail in that coffin, epoxied the lid, welded the seams, encased it in reinforced concrete and dropped it off a cargo ship with the GPS turned off.
That leads us to 2020. Ted Cruz just saw his stature go up a hundred times with the faction of Republicans who would normally fill all those empty seats. And that convention is missing a lot of Republicans (NSFW article title). Erick Erickson should start talking about Cruz 2020 any day now. The No
Homers Trumps Club will have the driver’s seat in four years, so Cruz just became the de facto leader of post-2016 Republicans.
From a strategic perspective that makes last night an unmitigated catastrophe. The only thing worse than the Cruz meltdown was the raging insanity that Trump said about NATO to the NYT, which is almost too big a deal to blog. I want to leave that to Adam Silverman if he’s still with us. It is hard to process how dumb Trump would have to be not only to allow the Cruz thing to happen but make it worse by orchestrating a crowd riot. But never forget Josh Marshall’s guiding maxim about Trump.
“Trump’s Razor: Ascertain the stupidest possible scenario that can be reconciled with the available facts”.
So I have to disagree with everyone but Longman about this. The stupidest possible scenario is not Trump blindly stumbling into an ambush by Cruz. Laziness maxes the stupid meter at maybe a six or seven. It’s a sin of omission. The stupidest possible thing Trump could do is set the trap for essentially selfish/malicious reasons and then congratulate himself like Hannibal from the A-Team when the disaster sets his campaign on fire just like he planned.
Consider a few things.