Open Thread: The Capitulation Continues…


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Open Thread: The Party Decides… That Ted Cruz Is A Creep

People just don’t like Ted Cruz! It seems that practically everyone who’s spent so much as a long weekend in his company can’t abide him. Even other Republicans…

Whether they first met him decades ago…

…. worked with him, per the NYTimes, as he first entered the DC establishment

… In Mr. Cruz’s time as a Supreme Court clerk, a coveted step in a legal career that he had meticulously plotted out, he showed his now familiar capacity to infuriate colleagues. He also worked hard to please his boss, delved into the nuances of constitutional law for long, grueling hours and sought to smooth over harsh feelings at clerk happy hours. But when he left, he was most remembered by his fellow clerks for his fervor for capital punishment cases, a cause that would define his legal career and help him break into politics…

During his clerkship, he presented his boss with a caricature of him and other clerks pulling a stagecoach driven by the judge. According to someone who saw the illustration, there was a graveyard behind them with headstones representing the number of people executed in their jurisdiction that year…

… Or have more recently been forced to deal with him…

The NYTimes reports, “Bob Dole Warns of ‘Cataclysmic’ Losses With Ted Cruz“:

“I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.”

“I don’t know how he’s going to deal with Congress,” he said. “Nobody likes him.”…

(CNN)It was no accident that two Iowa GOP icons — Chuck Grassley and Bob Dole — attacked Ted Cruz the day after Iowa’s Republican governor said a vote for the Texas senator would be bad for the lead-off caucus state.

It is part of a fascinating and once unthinkable calculation by leading establishment figures that Donald Trump is the lesser of two evils at the top of the Republican presidential pack — and defeating Cruz in Iowa is now part of this strategy…

One leading GOP strategist involved in the effort put it this way: “If Trump loses we wash our hands of him. Cruz will think we need to be more crazy and be a long-term nightmare.”…

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Open Thread: Real-World Impact!

National Review‘s latest standing athwart history yelling stop” effort has been a feast of gleeful schadenfreude across the political spectrum. But now Ye Editors can claim their fearfulsome efforts had an actual real-world effect, at least on their publication:

Curated selection of NR/Trump abuse below the break, because honestly, could you resist?

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Schadenfreude Open Thread: Jeb Now Setting Fire to Big Stacks of Cash

This would qualify as beating an effectively dead horse, except this is the Bush Crime Clan with its scion on the field, and there’s always the chance that they’ll bribe, steal, or threaten a spot onto the final ballot somehow. Maybe he’ll settle for the VP slot on a Trump ticket and hope the big guy gets indicted for some kind of financial fraud between Cleveland and November? Or agree to understudy Ted Cruz, and then “accidentally” beat him to death in a dark basement, after which every abused campaign volunteer & bored security staffer who witnesses the incident will swear Jeb honestly mistook Cruz for an unusually large poisonous reptile threatening them all?

The Right People are out there doing their best for him, per the Wall Street Journal:

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.—Since Jeb Bush signaled a likely presidential bid one year ago, his family’s decades-old network of former ambassadors, cabinet secretaries and Wall Street financiers has been doing what it does best: raising money.

But now, with Mr. Bush lagging behind in the final stretch before Republican votes are cast, hundreds of supporters from his Florida governorship and two family White Houses are trading their checkbooks for comfortable shoes to canvass neighborhoods in the early-balloting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina…

This past weekend, a group of more than 50 Bush alumni, mostly from Florida and Washington, D.C., paid their own way to knock on doors in South Carolina, where Mr. Bush is polling in fifth place with 8.5%, according to the Real Clear Politics average.

The group included longtime Republican operatives who worked for Mr. Bush’s father and had never used voter-targeting software on mobile phones, as well as the younger network of Hispanic professionals cultivated by Mr. Bush’s two sons, George P. and Jeb Jr. Bush. Many are more accustomed to hosting receptions and consulting on policy than the grind of campaign volunteer work…

.

… even though, per the Washington Post, “the biggest donor to Jeb Bush’s super PAC says Bush is ‘not living up to expectations’“. And they’re not sure his handlers, this time, really know what they’re doing…

A prominent donor to Jeb Bush pressed the chief strategist of the “super PAC” supporting Mr. Bush over the group’s negative ads about Senator Marco Rubio during a closed-door meeting in Manhattan on Friday, according to three people familiar with the encounter.

The exchange took place between Barry Volpert of the private equity firm Crestview Partners and the strategist Mike Murphy at a meeting of about 35 donors at the Palace Hotel in Midtown, according to one attendee…

Some donors to the group have questioned the decision to produce and air a 15-minute documentary telling the “the Jeb Bush story” on the New England Sports Network and have privately mocked billboards featuring quotes by Mr. Bush that Right to Rise paid for in Des Moines.

Even Mr. Bush, on a swing through Iowa this week, seemed to question the billboards’ value. “What the hell is that?” Mr. Bush asked, driving past one of the large red billboards, according to a Des Moines Register reporter who was with him at the time. “Is that Right to Rise?”

Super PACs, which can accept unlimited donations, are not permitted to coordinate with candidates’ own campaign staff. (Mr. Volpert does not work for the Bush campaign.) Asked by reporters in Iowa if he thought the group was spending its money wisely, Mr. Bush said, “I don’t know.”…

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Thursday Evening Open Thread

Speaking of people who are almost certainly not going to be elected President this November… Here in the New Hampshire media market, the two most unavoidable tv commercials during the local news tell us that Marco Rubio is a flip-flopping weather vane (who loves illegals more than Real Americans) and John Kasich does not have ‘NH values’ (because he wants to gay-marry Obama & have his government-mandate Obamacare-suckled babies). Both are the product of Ripe to Rot Right to Rise. I understand that media buys are booked month in advance — presumably, at some point RtR thought their boy JEB! was a winner, and we still get at least one tired “I will disrupt the entrenched interests of DC” Bush-bio every half-hour — but right now it seems like the vast Bush machine is trying to kneecap the other “moderate” candidates rather than challenging either Il Trumpenfuhrer or the Texas God-King candidate.

Hope this new Snowpocalypse has not done / will not do worse than inconvenience all you Juicers from the panhandle to the mid-Atlantic region. (Sincerely hope the weathercasters are right that here north of Boston we’ll only get a couple inches from the ragged edge of the storm.)

Apart from scary noises over the airwaves, what’s on the agenda for the evening?