Decision 2016 data point: right now, making fun of Ted Cruz doesn't inspire all that many commenters to call you a butthurt libtard.
— Tom Scocca (@tomscocca) March 24, 2015
The title is a Yik-Yak comment Gawker helpfully collated after Monday’s Big Reveal at Liberty University. It’s to be expected that us Demon-crat lie-brals have treated Senator Cruz less than respectfully, but he doesn’t seem to have many friends on his side of the ideological aisle, either. Charles C.W. Cooke, at the stalwartly reactionary National Review, carps that “Ted Cruz Should Try Speaking to People Instead of at Them“:
… Striking a pose that lands somewhere between the oleaginousness of a Joel Osteen and the self-assuredness of a midwestern vacuum-cleaner salesman, Cruz delivers his speeches as might a mass-market motivational speaker in an Atlantic City Convention Center. The country, he tells his audiences rather obsequiously, will be saved by “people like you” — people, that is, who are willing to text the word “Constitution” to the number 33733, and to contribute generously to his political action committee…
If I am not alone in my reaction, this tendency will damage Cruz more than it will help him, for as The Weekly Standard’s Andrew Ferguson observed trenchantly in 2013, he is pretty much incapable of turning it off. Indeed, by most accounts, Cruz speaks in exactly the same way when he is addressing CPAC; when he is meeting with small, friendly, informed groups; and, by Ferguson’s testimony, when he is “at close quarters, only a few feet away, in the back seat of a car.”… Sure, the man is probably sincere. Certainly, he is one smart cookie. But to my skeptical ears, there is always a touch of condescension in the pitch — a small whiff of superciliousness that gives one the unlovely impression that Ted Cruz believes his listeners to be a little bit dim…
… Thus far, Ted Cruz has proven to be extraordinarily effective at corralling his own people, but far, far less persuasive attempting to convince the Senate to play ball. Is there any particular reason we should expect his campaign to play out differently?
For what it is worth, my prediction is that there is not. Rather, I expect that Cruz will push the Republican field a little to the right, but that he will ultimately fail to catch fire. Moreover, I’d guess that if Cruz does somehow end up as the nominee he will lose convincingly…
Not-insane conservative Daniel Larison, at the American Conservative, on “Ted Cruz’s Latest Stunt“:
… Like many other Republican would-be 2016 candidacies, a Cruz presidential bid doesn’t have a realistic chance of succeeding, but then Cruz has already shown during his very brief stint in office that success in achieving tangible results is not what interests him. Cruz likes to present himself as the most committed opponent of Obama’s agenda, and it makes no difference that his stunts and tactics have had absolutely no success in making a dent in that agenda. What counts for him is demonstrating the intensity of his opposition and pandering to voters that care a lot more about affect than they do about policy substance.
Cruz is a skillful demagogue, and he’ll be able to put on quite a show during candidate debates, but that will probably take the form of accusing the other candidates of being sell-outs and attributing views to them that they don’t hold. That is normally how he responds to criticism from within his own party. He also repeatedly misleads his followers about what can be achieved by following his lead, and then denounces people on his side for “failing” to defer to his bad leadership and blames them for the failure he orchestrated. Since he claims to believe that the party must nominate a “real” conservative in order to win, he will be at pains to portray all of his rivals as anything but that. All of this will remind the voters outside of his core supporters why so many people that have dealt with him viscerally dislike him. If his favorability numbers are any indication, Cruz annoys more people than he attracts...
Since the purpose of the campaign is just to raise Cruz’s profile at the expense of his ostensible political goals, it will be like every other Cruz effort of the last two years. I would say that a presidential campaign is self-defeating for Cruz, but it actually serves his own narrow political interests while undermining the interests of conservatives more broadly…
Even Politico’s panel of anonymous Insiders “Pump the Brakes on Cruz“:
… Not one of the 100 respondents believes that Cruz would win the Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire primary if they took place this week, though there is widespread agreement that he is much better positioned in the Hawkeye State than the Granite State. And nine out of 10 Republican insiders in the early states believe Ted Cruz couldn’t carry their state — both Iowa and New Hampshire are swing states, though relatively small electoral-vote prizes — against Hillary Clinton in the general….
“Announcing first is an advantage in that he was able to fill a news vacuum for a few days,” said an uncommitted New Hampshire Republican, who — like everyone else — completed the questionnaire anonymously in order to speak candidly. “He’s a tremendous orator with great stage presence … However, he’s still Ted Cruz — a polarizing person who is more interested in making headlines than making policy.”…
One can only hope Cruz’s flame-out will be swift, conclusive, and as damaging to the GOP “brand” as his conservative critics fear.
And for those of you who are so over Ted Cruz, get ready for further insults to your sensibilities. Paul Rand is expected to officially announce his candidacy on April 7th; Hillary Clinton will probably make an announcement in April; and now Marco Rubio is supposed to announce his official candidacy on April 13th (so at least we know he’s not superstitious).
"America has never been stronger," Ted Cruz says, presidentially. "And yet hundreds of bullshit political memes pose an existential threat."
— David Roth (@david_j_roth) March 23, 2015
How sure are we that Ted Cruz isn’t just a Markov-chain chatbot that’s been fed a decade of RedState diaries and Drudge headlines?
— Chase Woodruff (@dcwoodruff) March 24, 2015
@dandrezner This deserves a Kickstarter.
— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) March 25, 2015