Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad: Cruz delenda est; Update: Establishment Republicans are reaching out to me, says Trump

posted at 6:41 pm on January 19, 2016 by Allahpundit

His kid’s an ethanol lobbyist and Cruz famously wants to phase out ethanol subsidies. Anything else we need to talk about here?

All right, let’s talk a little more.

“Ted Cruz is ahead right now. What we’re trying to do is educate the people in the state of Iowa. He is the biggest opponent of renewable fuels. He actually introduced a bill in 2013 to immediately eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard. He’s heavily financed by Big Oil. So we think once Iowans realize that fact, they might find other things attractive but he could be very damaging to our state,” Branstad said.

Branstad added that Cruz “hasn’t supported renewable fuels, and I think it would be a big mistake for Iowa to support him.”

Asked if he would want to see Cruz defeated, Branstad said “yes.”

I admire Branstad for not even making a pretense of opposing Cruz for any reason beyond sweet sugary federal welfare. He could have dressed this up in a million principled ways — Cruz is divisive, he doesn’t work well with Congress, he has no executive experience, and on and on — but he’s right in your face about what the problem is. Will Trump, for all his flaws, keep the crony money flowing to Iowa? Well, then Trump is obviously acceptable. And to think, this guy’s approval rating is only 38/50.

Trump is greeting this plea for palm-greasing with predictable enthusiasm:

Not so shoking, really, given the economic interests at stake. Cruz fans, meanwhile, are greeting this with the usual “this only helps (or at least doesn’t hurt) Cruz!” spin:

Branstad is a Christie pal and he’s going to bat here for federal lucre. If you wanted a smoking gun that the establishment prefers Trump to Cruz, this is it! That’s the smart way to play this, but I think Cruz fans are getting increasingly glib about the amount of damage he’s taken. He’s got the eligibility thing hanging over his head; Trump is calling him a fake populist by focusing on his Goldman Sachs connection; Rubio keeps hammering him as dangerously weak on national security; Branstad’s accusing him of being an economic threat to Iowa; and, as best anyone can tell, tea-party/evangelical mega-star Sarah Palin’s making the case that Trump is preferable to Cruz. That’s a lot of fire from a lot of different directions. Cruz fans laugh all of this off as meaningless, partly because they have supreme faith in Cruz’s competence (for good reason) and partly, I think, because as true-believing conservatives themselves, they find it unfathomable that socially conservative Iowa could possibly back a poseur like Trump over Cruz. Essentially they’re betting that there are just too many discerning tea-party conservatives among the Republican electorate, particularly in Iowa, for Cruz to lose this race. I’m … less confident than they are. He might very well win the caucuses. I hope he does. If I had to bet today, though, I’d bet on Trump.

One other thing: I think it’s silly to crow that Branstad is establishment and unpopular and therefore, if anything, he’s likely to turn votes towards Cruz by coming out against him. How many Iowans who are undecided right now, trying to choose between Trump and Cruz, are going to say, “Wait, Branstad’s opposing him? That’s all I need to know!” If anything, I’d bet there are voters who don’t like Cruz but are tentatively in his camp because they’re worried Trump can’t be trusted with power. Hearing Branstad say that Cruz is the dangerous one, not Trump, might give them pause. And when push comes to shove, the news here isn’t that Branstad’s opposing Cruz; the news is that Branstad fears that Cruz will take away Iowa’s ethanol money. He may be unpopular as governor but special favors for ethanol aren’t. Any undecideds who haven’t been keeping up on the candidates’ ethanol stances just got a wake-up call.

Deace is right, though, that this does point to centrist GOPers being more comfortable with Trump as nominee than with Cruz. A friend messaged me today to say that the primaries increasingly feel like a courtroom saga in which the entire conservative movement is on trial for its life. If Trump wins, the vote is to execute. I guess Branstad’s cast his vote.

Update: Annnnnd scene.

Donald Trump said Tuesday that federal regulators should increase the amount of ethanol blended into the nation’s gasoline supply.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Trump, a real estate mogul and the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ought to follow the ethanol volumes Congress set in 2007.

“The EPA should ensure that biofuel … blend levels match the statutory level set by Congress under the [renewable fuel standard],” Trump said.

Update: Via the Right Scoop, I don’t know why Trump would want to hand Cruz a soundbite like the one below. Probably it’s a combination of pure ego — he’s very big with the donor class, you know — and, like I said up top, Trump wanting to reassure people that he’s not a loose cannon but rather someone who can play nice with the powers that be. He’s not necessarily making this up, though. WaPo had this the other day:

Spencer Zwick, the national finance chairman for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, said power brokers and financiers are now trying to cozy up to Trump in various ways, such as reaching out through mutual friends in New York’s business community.

“A lot of donors are trying to figure their way into Trump’s orbit. There is a growing feeling among many that he may be the guy, so people are certainly seeing if they can find a home over there,” he said.

Cruz is going around telling reporters “it’s no surprise that more and more of the establishment is beginning to support Donald Trump” and meanwhile here’s Trump saying, yep, that’s correct. That’s a weird move to make in a season of populism.


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justltl on January 20, 2016 at 6:31 AM

good point

cmsinaz on January 20, 2016 at 6:42 AM

Now Obama is neither a good CEO nor a good micromanager. He is basically just a congealed lump of malevolence and incompetence.

It’s as if Satan somehow managed to get one of his anti-Christs in as president, but instead of getting one that is shrewd and cunning, he picked the one who finished last in the anti-Christ class.

justltl on January 20, 2016 at 6:47 AM

good point

cmsinaz on January 20, 2016 at 6:42 AM

Thank you.
*takes a slight and humble bow*.

justltl on January 20, 2016 at 6:50 AM

Trump supports ethanol subsidies, Cruz supporters point this out, Trump supporters say “shut up,” we need to make America Great Again (presumably while keeping crony capitalist subsidies).

WordsMatter on January 20, 2016 at 6:56 AM

Maybe Trump/Cruz wouldn’t be a bad ticket

justltl on January 20, 2016 at 6:23 AM

I think that ship has sailed. Cruz will likely decide to stay in the Senate, to block Trump’s liberal agenda.

WordsMatter on January 20, 2016 at 6:58 AM

Donald Trump said Tuesday that federal regulators should increase the amount of ethanol blended into the nation’s gasoline supply.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Trump, a real estate mogul and the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ought to follow the ethanol volumes Congress set in 2007.

“The EPA should ensure that biofuel … blend levels match the statutory level set by Congress under the [renewable fuel standard],” Trump said.

“Yay, ethanol!!!!”
/Schad, another Joe, oscarwilde, Constantine, etc.

Bitter Clinger on January 20, 2016 at 7:08 AM

Trump supports ethanol subsidies, Cruz supporters point this out, Trump supporters say “shut up,” we need to make America Great Again (presumably while keeping crony capitalist subsidies).

WordsMatter on January 20, 2016 at 6:56 AM

The irony is that now that conservatism has a champion to carry it forward, it’s going to get squashed like a bug by a crony captialist/populist/quasi-statist while so-called conservatives cheer him on.

Bitter Clinger on January 20, 2016 at 7:11 AM

The establishment has been with Trump since damn near the beginning of his campaign.
Jeb Bush had so-so poll numbers from the outset, because they were split between Trump and Bush. When Bush’s went down, It was Trumps numbers that jumped up, because all the establishment voters abandoned Jeb and flocked to Trump. He likes to make deals, he has proven he has no problem crawling into bed with liberals.
Sure the (R) establishment types protest Trump here and there, when its the PC thing to do. Even Lindsey Graham has said Trump is trainable. IE: They can work with a guy that likes to make deals.
It only now when Trump feels he is inevitable that he openly admits the establishment (R)s are colluding with him behind the scenes.

Trump is not an outsider candidate. He is the ultimate insider. He has used his money to buy influence from both sides for years. They all know Trump will go along to get along if elected.
Why do so many Trump supporters HATE Cruz, Carson, and Paul? They are the 3 anti-establishment candidates in this race. There is no conservative that hates Cruz, Carson, or Paul. They might not support this one or that one at the moment. They might not like where they stand on this issue or that one, but they do not hate them. Only (R) establishment voters, and establishment politicians do.
i don’t see why the conservative pundits are not picking up on this and sounding the alarms.

SloMo_Joe on January 20, 2016 at 7:13 AM

The irony is that now that conservatism has a champion to carry it forward, it’s going to get squashed like a bug by a crony captialist/populist/quasi-statist while so-called conservatives cheer him on.

Bitter Clinger on January 20, 2016 at 7:11 AM

It’s getting harder to believe that the truth can actually prevail, at least some of the time.

WordsMatter on January 20, 2016 at 7:22 AM

Just an interesting observation that I am sharing with all Trump supporters on this forum.

After the GOPe, its media columnists, and paid blogger “trolls”… spent millions of dollars and hundreds of articles to bring Trump down, they are now waking up to the fact that they have failed and Trump is going to carry the nomination barring any unforeseen event.

Enter the Concern Troll.

This is the new strategy of the Anti-Trumpers. Paint Trump as beholden to the GOPe and therefore unable to deliver on his promises. They are hoping this undercuts his support from those mad at the GOPe for its betrayal and outright insults of the base.

The question I would ask such a troll is: “Who is your candidate?”

If Rubio/Jeb/Kasich/Christie/etc…, they must be kidding right? And most often they are supporters of these candidates.

If they play an AYNBLAND and claim to support Cruz, then I ask: “While Cruz’s record in the Senate has been quite okay, how will Cruz beat Rubio etc… in states like NH, Florida? Also with respect to immigration, what is Cruz promising his big money donors who will certainly not appreciate a Trump-style solution to our immigration problems?”

Any conservative supporting Cruz in other to take down Trump is engaging in a myopic and quixotic quest. In a one-on-one with Rubio or even Jeb, Cruz will lose YUGELY!

I vote TRUMP 2016.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 7:41 AM

Maybe Trump/Cruz wouldn’t be a bad ticket

justltl on January 20, 2016 at 6:23 AM

I think that ship has sailed. Cruz will likely decide to stay in the Senate, to block Trump’s liberal agenda.

WordsMatter on January 20, 2016 at 6:58 AM

Yep, you’re probably right. I doubt that Trump would have much tolerance for Cruz’s style.
I could maybe see him picking Rubio or Kasich as being less threatening to him and also drawing in Florida or Ohio. But I’m just talking out of my a$$. Who,after all, knows who Trump would pick?

justltl on January 20, 2016 at 7:44 AM

Ignore that line, “But….a$$.”
Crude.
And Words do indeed Matter.

justltl on January 20, 2016 at 7:47 AM

Yep, you’re probably right. I doubt that Trump would have much tolerance for Cruz’s style.
I could maybe see him picking Rubio or Kasich as being less threatening to him and also drawing in Florida or Ohio. But I’m just talking out of my a$$. Who,after all, knows who Trump would pick?

justltl on January 20, 2016 at 7:44 AM

Sure… because after running a campaign based on putting a stop to donor-funded amnesty and unlimited illegal immigration, the best VP choice Trump can make is of a loser GOPe candidate that is the poster boy for amnesty./sarc

You are indeed talking out of your a$$.

Another exhibit of concern trolling – my comment @7:41am.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 8:01 AM

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 8:01 AM

Hmmph!

justltl on January 20, 2016 at 8:11 AM

…then I ask: “While Cruz’s record in the Senate has been quite okay, how will Cruz beat Rubio etc… in states like NH, Florida?

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 7:41 AM

He doesn’t have to beat Rubio head to head in any of those states. And Cruz is very strong in the Southern states on Super Tuesday. But it’s Cruz’s ground game, probably the strongest among the candidates, that will help him win.

WordsMatter on January 20, 2016 at 8:13 AM

Sure… because after running a campaign based on putting a stop to donor-funded amnesty and unlimited illegal immigration, the best VP choice Trump can make is of a loser GOPe candidate that is the poster boy for amnesty./sarc

You are indeed talking out of your a$$.

Another exhibit of concern trolling – my comment @7:41am.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 8:01 AM

Knowing the ego of Trump, he won’t bother with such trivialities as having a VP. He’s going to live forever and nobody can hold a candle to him in the executive sphere.

Trump/Trump ’16!!!

Bitter Clinger on January 20, 2016 at 8:16 AM

Hmmph!

justltl on January 20, 2016 at 8:11 AM

:)

You are welcome.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 8:20 AM

Knowing the ego of Trump, he won’t bother with such trivialities as having a VP. He’s going to live forever and nobody can hold a candle to him in the executive sphere.

Trump/Trump ’16!!!

Bitter Clinger on January 20, 2016 at 8:16 AM

I prefer the ego of Trump to the stupidity and elitist smugness of the GOPe.

We gave the GOPe power. Without us, they are non-entities. And yet, they betrayed us over and over again and insulted us because we told them to do the jobs they were elected to do.

The GOPe ceased being a party for WE the people and has become a party sold to the highest bidder/donor.

Trump, at least, demonstrated that he understands the frustrations of the base and our absolute opposition to amnesty and unlimited illegal immigration, something the donors badly want.

We are voting Trump. So deal with it. We were told to hold our noses to vote for McCain and Romney. It’s now time for the GOPe to also hold their noses and vote for Trump.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 8:26 AM

He’s heavily financed by Big Oil.

Someone who’s family is receiving graft from the Ethanol Industry must think his voters are every bit as stupid as Hillary voters, to float such a line.

Corruption + Arrogance is such a delightful package.

MNHawk on January 20, 2016 at 8:56 AM

Big shucker!

Republican Yogi on January 20, 2016 at 9:01 AM

MNHawk on January

20, 2016 at 8:56 AM

I know. It’s like watching 2008 all over again except worse.

Eren on January 20, 2016 at 9:09 AM

Enter the Concern Troll.

This is the new strategy of the Anti-Trumpers. Paint Trump as beholden to the GOPe and therefore unable to deliver on his promises. They are hoping this undercuts his support from those mad at the GOPe for its betrayal and outright insults of the base.

I vote TRUMP 2016.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 7:41 AM

This isn’t some case of arcane calculus being used to accuse Trump of violating some barely-known case of conservative doctrine. This is Trump saying in plain language that he is proud to support crony capitalism in Iowa. He isn’t saying “we’re going to wean you off the government teat.” He’s saying, I like the corruption and embrace it.

He’s not the first, and catering to Iowa farmers is not disqualifying for me, but if this doesn’t arouse concerns in you on what might be the limits of Trump’s willingness to play ball with the powers and corrupt institutions that exist, then what the hell is your rationale for supporting him in the first place? This Trump we’re seeing now, he’s not going to wreck the GOP. He’s going to work with them and the Democrats to consolidate his power and keep it.

I’ve heard person after person here explain that they’re supporting Trump because he’s going to “burn it down”. Being confronted with evidence that burning it down might not be in his plans should be sobering for you. If it’s not, then your support of Trump is more cult of personality than any kind of principled stance.

We’ve met these “mixed bag” politicians before, even if Trump is a unique version of that. They promise some things that we like, and they promise some things that we don’t like. We forgive them the latter in the interest of the former. What we actually get, and this is a phenomenon that happens pretty much every single time, is that they are faithful to deliver the bitter pill, but the good things we were hoping for all fall by the wayside.

I’ll tell you the difference between a rational person and a cultist. A rational person, when confronted with credible evidence of problematic behavior by their candidate, will be troubled by it and either speak out against it, or stay silent and reevaluate. A cultist is caught up in the meta-narrative to the point that, even if all of the pillars that support it are knocked down, they will continue to cling to the narrative. Cultists turn negatives into positives by sheer magic thinking.

Think independently.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

The bedwetters at Dead Hate are going to run out of diapers this morning.

corona79 on January 20, 2016 at 9:21 AM

This bad. Really bad for Palin

ConservativePartyNow on January 20, 2016 at 9:23 AM

“Iowans should shutup and accept massive loss of federal tax money because conservatism.”

-Person trying to win popularity contest

spec_ops_mateo on January 20, 2016 at 9:23 AM

“Renewable fuels??” Code for turning foodstuffs into subpar fuel.

What a crock!

Keep it up, Cruz!

Sherman1864 on January 20, 2016 at 9:29 AM

This bad. Really bad for Palin

ConservativePartyNow on January 20, 2016 at 9:23 AM

Palin’s family problems are irrelevant to the weapons-grade stupidity of her politics. Her family lives under a microscope, scrutinized by the worst of the Democrats among whom the best of them are pretty awful. They get no leeway and no forgiveness. The people who haunt them are simply stalkers. Let’s not join them.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 9:31 AM

“Iowans should shutup and accept massive loss of federal tax money because conservatism.”

-Person trying to win popularity contest

spec_ops_mateo on January 20, 2016 at 9:23 AM

And also: “It’s okay if my candidate panders to the ethanol lobby, because I know he’s trustworthy. Not your candidate though, it proves he’s a socialist.”

Doomberg on January 20, 2016 at 9:31 AM

Im

molate on January 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Good point. This has also bothered me. What does burn it down mean if the candidate is also supporting market subsidies for a concept which enriches few at a cost to many. How is this different than the old politics? Seems to me that same thing will just be repeated when the candidate can gain advantage from it.

butch on January 20, 2016 at 9:33 AM

So PALIN spread her legs wide and declared, “the ETHANOL LOBBY IS ALL IN”!!!!

Realdemocrat1 on January 20, 2016 at 9:37 AM

I think that ship has sailed. Cruz will likely decide to stay in the Senate, to block Trump’s liberal agenda.

WordsMatter on January 20, 2016 at 6:58 AM

I really like Cruz, but he hasn’t had much success in blocking the liberal agendas of Mitch McConnell and John-Paul Boehner-Ryan. Sadly, the only way he could manage it would be from the oval office with a pen and a phone.

….and the Republican party will fight like Spartans to elect a Democrat before they allow that to happen.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2016 at 9:40 AM

Gee, what is making people finally realize that Trump IS an establishment shill? Was it being for socialized medicine, being against personal property rights. being for an assault weapons ban, being for funding Planned Parenthood., being for ethanol subsidies, being for raising taxes, being for touchback amnesty, and supporting every democrat liberal and RiNO? Maybe it was Trump, in his own words, saying that he was the establishment choice? Maybe it was Trump saying that Cruz can not get along and make deals with the establishment like he can? Whatever the reason…What the he!! took you so long? And to those still defending this man, you are the establishment too. Stop pretending not to be.

fight like a girl on January 20, 2016 at 9:41 AM

This isn’t some case of arcane calculus being used to accuse Trump of violating some barely-known case of conservative doctrine. This is Trump saying in plain language that he is proud to support crony capitalism in Iowa. He isn’t saying “we’re going to wean you off the government teat.” He’s saying, I like the corruption and embrace it.

He’s not the first, and catering to Iowa farmers is not disqualifying for me, but if this doesn’t arouse concerns in you on what might be the limits of Trump’s willingness to play ball with the powers and corrupt institutions that exist, then what the hell is your rationale for supporting him in the first place? This Trump we’re seeing now, he’s not going to wreck the GOP. He’s going to work with them and the Democrats to consolidate his power and keep it.

I’ve heard person after person here explain that they’re supporting Trump because he’s going to “burn it down”. Being confronted with evidence that burning it down might not be in his plans should be sobering for you. If it’s not, then your support of Trump is more cult of personality than any kind of principled stance.

We’ve met these “mixed bag” politicians before, even if Trump is a unique version of that. They promise some things that we like, and they promise some things that we don’t like. We forgive them the latter in the interest of the former. What we actually get, and this is a phenomenon that happens pretty much every single time, is that they are faithful to deliver the bitter pill, but the good things we were hoping for all fall by the wayside.

I’ll tell you the difference between a rational person and a cultist. A rational person, when confronted with credible evidence of problematic behavior by their candidate, will be troubled by it and either speak out against it, or stay silent and reevaluate. A cultist is caught up in the meta-narrative to the point that, even if all of the pillars that support it are knocked down, they will continue to cling to the narrative. Cultists turn negatives into positives by sheer magic thinking.

Think independently.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

+1

Bitter Clinger on January 20, 2016 at 9:43 AM

Just an interesting observation that I am sharing with all Trump supporters on this forum.

After the GOPe, its media columnists, and paid blogger “trolls”… spent millions of dollars and hundreds of articles to bring Trump down, they are now waking up to the fact that they have failed and Trump is going to carry the nomination barring any unforeseen event.

Enter the Concern Troll.

This is the new strategy of the Anti-Trumpers. Paint Trump as beholden to the GOPe and therefore unable to deliver on his promises. They are hoping this undercuts his support from those mad at the GOPe for its betrayal and outright insults of the base.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 7:41 AM

Or maybe, just maybe, a candidate who’s known for making deals — perhaps even wrote a book about how to make good deals that he’s very proud of — just might not be so bad for the people in Congress who love to make deals. After all, who’s more willing to make deals than RINOs, who are used to having to bargain with Democrats?

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 20, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Or maybe, just maybe, a candidate who’s known for making deals — perhaps even wrote a book about how to make good deals that he’s very proud of — just might not be so bad for the people in Congress who love to make deals. After all, who’s more willing to make deals than RINOs, who are used to having to bargain with Democrats?

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 20, 2016 at 9:44 AM

As I said elsewhere, compromise has become a dirty word because it’s become a code word for “surrender.”

It’s pretty ridiculous to accuse Trump of surrendering before he’s ever had a chance to govern. How many commenters here were demanding that Paul Ryan be given a fair shot when he was selected to be Boehner’s successor, after all?

Doomberg on January 20, 2016 at 9:52 AM

We’ve met these “mixed bag” politicians before[…]

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Indeed we have. John McCain, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie come to mind immediately. Jeb! and Kasich don’t make the list. They’re a bit more honest–they’re running as a Democrats.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2016 at 9:52 AM

This isn’t some case of arcane calculus being used to accuse Trump of violating some barely-known case of conservative doctrine. This is Trump saying in plain language that he is proud to support crony capitalism in Iowa. He isn’t saying “we’re going to wean you off the government teat.” He’s saying, I like the corruption and embrace it.

He’s not the first, and catering to Iowa farmers is not disqualifying for me, but if this doesn’t arouse concerns in you on what might be the limits of Trump’s willingness to play ball with the powers and corrupt institutions that exist, then what the hell is your rationale for supporting him in the first place? This Trump we’re seeing now, he’s not going to wreck the GOP. He’s going to work with them and the Democrats to consolidate his power and keep it.

I’ve heard person after person here explain that they’re supporting Trump because he’s going to “burn it down”. Being confronted with evidence that burning it down might not be in his plans should be sobering for you. If it’s not, then your support of Trump is more cult of personality than any kind of principled stance.

We’ve met these “mixed bag” politicians before, even if Trump is a unique version of that. They promise some things that we like, and they promise some things that we don’t like. We forgive them the latter in the interest of the former. What we actually get, and this is a phenomenon that happens pretty much every single time, is that they are faithful to deliver the bitter pill, but the good things we were hoping for all fall by the wayside.

I’ll tell you the difference between a rational person and a cultist. A rational person, when confronted with credible evidence of problematic behavior by their candidate, will be troubled by it and either speak out against it, or stay silent and reevaluate. A cultist is caught up in the meta-narrative to the point that, even if all of the pillars that support it are knocked down, they will continue to cling to the narrative. Cultists turn negatives into positives by sheer magic thinking.

Think independently.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

This is exactly what we accused(and rightfully so) Obama supporters back in ’08. People used Obama as a blank canvas to project their hopes and dreams onto, while the whole time he was telling them his quasi-socialist agenda.

I see the same thing with Trump and his supporters. Trump will say the opposite of what his supporters have vocally supported in the past but, will dismiss it or outright ignore it.

DontTreadOnM3 on January 20, 2016 at 9:55 AM

I’ll tell you the difference between a rational person and a cultist. A rational person, when confronted with credible evidence of problematic behavior by their candidate, will be troubled by it and either speak out against it, or stay silent and reevaluate. A cultist is caught up in the meta-narrative to the point that, even if all of the pillars that support it are knocked down, they will continue to cling to the narrative. Cultists turn negatives into positives by sheer magic thinking.

Think independently.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

But enough about Cruz supporters pretending he’s against amnesty.

Doomberg on January 20, 2016 at 9:57 AM

I really like Cruz, but he hasn’t had much success in blocking the liberal agendas of Mitch McConnell and John-Paul Boehner-Ryan. Sadly, the only way he could manage it would be from the oval office with a pen and a phone.

….and the Republican party will fight like Spartans to elect a Democrat before they allow that to happen.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2016 at 9:40 AM

Actually, the President gets to pick the leader of the RNC, and has a lot of sway over the direction of the entire party.
Under Cruz the RNC would be backing the conservative candidates and putting money in their campaigns. Leaving the establishment republicans to fend for themselves.
This is one of the reasons no Dems stand up to Obama, he controls the DNC and who will be getting money and backing in elections.

SloMo_Joe on January 20, 2016 at 9:59 AM

Face it, with that hair, trump would never be allowed to be part of the establishment, unless…well…he could be their Manchurian candidate to stop Cruz.

Don L on January 20, 2016 at 10:00 AM

DontTreadOnM3 on January 20, 2016 at 9:55 AM

Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m reminded of too.

shaloma on January 20, 2016 at 10:03 AM

Face it, with that hair, trump would never be allowed to be part of the establishment, unless…well…he could be their Manchurian candidate to stop Cruz.

Don L on January 20, 2016 at 10:00 AM

So Jeb is like a Casanova or something?

TBSchemer on January 20, 2016 at 10:04 AM

Indeed we have. John McCain, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie come to mind immediately. Jeb! and Kasich don’t make the list. They’re a bit more honest–they’re running as a Democrats.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2016 at 9:52 AM

Marco Rubio is a good analogy for me, as he is my Senator, and I voted for him. But unlike Trump, he didn’t signal his intent to play ball with the corruptocrats, so his betrayals were of the unexpected variety. Trump is signalling “hell yeah, I speak crony!”

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM

Trump is signalling “hell yeah, I speak crony!”

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM

Can’t be, Sarah loves him and she’s the main voice against cronyism….isn’t she?

Don L on January 20, 2016 at 10:08 AM

But enough about Cruz supporters pretending he’s against amnesty.

Doomberg on January 20, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Thank you for your fresh and inspiring opinion. I heard a rumor the other day that Cruz is going to evaluate people who get deported, and if they are crime-free, he is going to let them come back with legal status! Who does he think he is, putting law breakers ahead of those who follow the rules? Amnestizing bastard!

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:08 AM

Can’t be, Sarah loves him and she’s the main voice against cronyism….isn’t she?

Don L on January 20, 2016 at 10:08 AM

Eh… not so much.

She’s still smokin’ hawt though.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:09 AM

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM

Rubio will be Trump’s VP. The apprentice.

rik on January 20, 2016 at 10:11 AM

I thought everyone was angry at Cruz because he wasn’t against the ethanol subsidies being dropped immediately but now Trump wants to increase them and that’s just ducky? Explain please.

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:08 AM

I thought Rubio said that?

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2016 at 10:22 AM

This is exactly what we accused(and rightfully so) Obama supporters back in ’08. People used Obama as a blank canvas to project their hopes and dreams onto, while the whole time he was telling them his quasi-socialist agenda.

I see the same thing with Trump and his supporters. Trump will say the opposite of what his supporters have vocally supported in the past but, will dismiss it or outright ignore it.

DontTreadOnM3 on January 20, 2016 at 9:55 AM

Obama campaigned on clear ideas and policies, which we all understood and voted for….twice.

And he has accomplished most of them, and pursued all of them.

everdiso on January 20, 2016 at 10:25 AM

Actually, the President gets to pick the leader of the RNC, and has a lot of sway over the direction of the entire party.

SloMo_Joe on January 20, 2016 at 9:59 AM

Right–and the Republican’t party will never allow Cruz to be elected. If he were somehow nominated, they would go all out to sabotage him.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM

I thought Rubio said that?

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2016 at 10:22 AM

Well some major candidate said that, dang it.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM

Right–and the Republican’t party will never allow Cruz to be elected. If he were somehow nominated, they would go all out to sabotage him.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM

One does not capitulate because the enemy is fierce.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:35 AM

Obama campaigned on clear ideas and policies, which we all understood and voted for….twice.

And he has accomplished most of them, and pursued all of them.

everdiso on January 20, 2016 at 10:25 AM

By 2020, Zero’s legacy will be a fart in the wind, as Billy put it “a fairytale”. Even the two morons he put on SCOTUS will be neutralized. Oh, sorry, I forgot, Special OP Baracky killed UBL. What an overrated putz.

rik on January 20, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Actually, the President gets to pick the leader of the RNC, and has a lot of sway over the direction of the entire party.

SloMo_Joe on January 20, 2016 at 9:59 AM

When Trump wins, Rinsed Prius can KHAGB

rik on January 20, 2016 at 10:38 AM

For the Cruz supporters on here, if someone told you last year that Cruz would be in 2nd fighting w/ Donald Trump for the nomination, would you have taken that?

I think so.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Why is the dislike for Ted so palpable? Is it just because he’s a maverick who delights in tweaking the GOPe or is there something more to it? Likeability is a key factor in the election of Presidents. Sure hope voters find Ted likeable or his dreams as POTUS will go poof.

Dan333 on January 20, 2016 at 10:44 AM

Right–and the Republican’t party will never allow Cruz to be elected. If he were somehow nominated, they would go all out to sabotage him.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM

They will not have to. I give Cruz about 3% chance of becoming the nominee and if he did, he’s the one guy that would lose. Cruz is as saleable as a bad case of the clap and it’s all salesmanship. Cruz has never learned the first rule of persuasion ( to some, selling). It is “make someone your friend”

rik on January 20, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Thank you for your fresh and inspiring opinion. I heard a rumor the other day that Cruz is going to evaluate people who get deported, and if they are crime-free, he is going to let them come back with legal status! Who does he think he is, putting law breakers ahead of those who follow the rules? Amnestizing bastard!

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:08 AM

I’m just pointing out that you worked up a pretty lengthy post complaining about how Trump supporters are “cultists” who ignore problematic positions, while completely ignoring that Cruz supporters have been explaining away his positions on amnesty, TPP, and the Iran deal for months now. I guess maybe Cruz supporters are “brainwashed cultists” too.

The truth is that nearly every popular conservative that has come along in the last few years has been compared to Obama, gets called a cult leader, and his or her supporters are inevitably mocked as mindless drone cultists brainwashed and programmed by talk radio. I’m getting a little tired of hearing it.

“Why don’t these wingnuts listen to me and support my candidate? I am so much smarter than they are, and so intellectually and morally superior! I know… they must be brainwashed cultists!”

This is not a message which will win you any converts or friends.

Doomberg on January 20, 2016 at 10:50 AM

Why is the dislike for Ted so palpable? Is it just because he’s a maverick who delights in tweaking the GOPe or is there something more to it?

I think that and his intelligence are the best things going for him.

His problems are his annoying voice, the way he looks, etc., and a lack of authenticity and appearing to be far too calculating.

I don’t know if he can change those things, and his hardcore supporters like them.

But unlike Reagan, who was extremely likable, I don’t know if Cruz’s style can work outside of his hardcore fans.

It might be why he is best suited to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 10:54 AM

Dana Perino, who so scoffed at Sarah Palin yesterday, thought that the Iowa gov. is a “Democrat”.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 10:57 AM

For the Cruz supporters on here, if someone told you last year that Cruz would be in 2nd fighting w/ Donald Trump for the nomination, would you have taken that?

I think so.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Only after puking because anyone would consider Donald Trump a serious candidate.

Tater Salad on January 20, 2016 at 10:58 AM

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 10:54 AM

Agree. SCOTUS yes, POTUS no.

Dan333 on January 20, 2016 at 10:58 AM

Dana Perino, who so scoffed at Sarah Palin yesterday, thought that the Iowa gov. is a “Democrat”.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 10:57 AM

He acted like one asking for a government handout.

Tater Salad on January 20, 2016 at 10:59 AM

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM

LOL! It’s so hard to keep up.

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Tater Salad on January 20, 2016 at 10:59 AM

And apparently Trump is going to oblige and then some.

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2016 at 11:01 AM

Cruz is a weather vane on ethanol.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:12 AM

All are wrong on ethanol.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Cruz is a weather vane on ethanol.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:12 AM

And Trump is a complete ho on ethanol – the Obamaphones of 2016, only a lot more expensive and a lot more harmful.

shaloma on January 20, 2016 at 11:15 AM

I prefer the ego of Trump to the stupidity and elitist smugness of the GOPe.

We gave the GOPe power. Without us, they are non-entities. And yet, they betrayed us over and over again and insulted us because we told them to do the jobs they were elected to do.

The GOPe ceased being a party for WE the people and has become a party sold to the highest bidder/donor.

Trump, at least, demonstrated that he understands the frustrations of the base and our absolute opposition to amnesty and unlimited illegal immigration, something the donors badly want.

We are voting Trump. So deal with it. We were told to hold our noses to vote for McCain and Romney. It’s now time for the GOPe to also hold their noses and vote for Trump.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 8:26 AM

Very well stated!

dominigan on January 20, 2016 at 11:16 AM

All are wrong on ethanol.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Which part did you not get?

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:16 AM

All currently running from DC are the HOs of the NY millio- and billionaires, the ones who support:

open borders
slave labor
globalism
climate change b/s and robbing the taxpayers for it
common core, to reeducate your kids
abortion on demand
gay marriage
crony capitalism
cheered by the crony media

Some of you are funny.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:19 AM

But enough about Cruz supporters pretending he’s against amnesty.

Doomberg on January 20, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Or stopping the TPA, TPP, H1B visas, Muslim immigration, ethanol, etc.

NWConservative on January 20, 2016 at 11:20 AM

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 8:26 AM

Stocks in filters going up :)

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:20 AM

Think independently.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Best comment I’ve ever seen on Hotair.

SquireB on January 20, 2016 at 11:21 AM

And Trump is a complete ho on ethanol – the Obamaphones of 2016, only a lot more expensive and a lot more harmful.

shaloma on January 20, 2016 at 11:15 AM

And Cruz is a 100% whore on ethanol when he’s in Iowa, a 75% whore on ethanol when he’s in Kansas, and a 25% ethanol whore in front of his donors, unless he thinks Iowa voters are watching.

NWConservative on January 20, 2016 at 11:22 AM

I thought everyone was angry at Cruz because he wasn’t against the ethanol subsidies being dropped immediately but now Trump wants to increase them and that’s just ducky? Explain please.

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Glad to explain.

I am a proud Tmp supporter. Let me check my list to see where I have ranked the ethanol mandate… sorry, can’t find it.

Meaning… I don’t care. And I would daresay most Trump supporters share that sentiment.

The country is going down the drain and we are to care about ethanol? The UniParty (R/D) have sold themselves to the highest bidders/donors and we are to care about ethanol? When their main focus is amnesty and lots of illegal immigration.

Trump is our wrecking ball to smash the UniParty and to reverse the amnesty/illegal immigration train.

Call us in 8 yrs time and when the country has been returned to some sanity, we will discuss ethanol.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 11:25 AM

I’ll tell you the difference between a rational person and a cultist. A rational person, when confronted with credible evidence of problematic behavior by their candidate, will be troubled by it and either speak out against it, or stay silent and reevaluate. A cultist is caught up in the meta-narrative to the point that, even if all of the pillars that support it are knocked down, they will continue to cling to the narrative. Cultists turn negatives into positives by sheer magic thinking.

Think independently.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Best laugh on serious discussion at HA…for every clan thinks they are “the most rational”.

None of you Cruz “cultists” as you termed any of the others, do what you pretend.

This season is full of Christmas gifts, every day. Thank you for yours, and climb a few steps…down…before you fall.

Cruz fugged the pooch when he began to insult the people who were fully in the T/C camp. If Trump wouldn’t drive this train, Cruz would still be in the caboose, and y’all know it. Cruz said so over 100 times.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Should read… “I am a proud Trump supporter…” in my comment @11:25am. Bad keyboard.

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Oh, and you Cruz doggies, fugged the pooches even more so.

Cruz still retained some form of decorum or hypocrisy “I refuse to attack Donald Trump, I’ll just attack the issues…bla, bla…” Until now…like I said, Christmas and gifts, like never before.

The predicament the rightie/lefties are in is a gift from God. He has a great sense of irony and humor and the total demise is somewhat stalled, but not for long.

What The People Get and the Political Class Does Not

Or we can stop the stupidity. The people know exactly what is going on. If the Republican elite would stop attacking and fighting the solution; they might be able to keep their jobs as well as a nation. Or get run over in the process. The people get it, regardless if the political class ever does.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:29 AM

Krauthammer and Will hammered Trump, from day one.

Because they now say something like “he did better than such and such in the last debate” Faux and other ninnies “Trump is now fully embraced by the GOPe”.

Manna from above, by the hours.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:31 AM

<blockquoteTrump supports ethanol subsidies, Cruz supporters point this out, Trump supporters say “shut up,” we need to make America Great Again (presumably while keeping crony capitalist subsidies).

WordsMatter on January 20, 2016 at 6:56 AM

Blah Blah Blah Purity Test. Blah Blah Blah. Only Trump can win. Look at the polls

Brock Robamney on January 20, 2016 at 11:34 AM

Words do matter, but analyze your own too.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:37 AM

Only animals eat their young, and a few cannibals do too

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:42 AM

What represents the GOPe

Words matter.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:44 AM

TheRightMan on January 20, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Cronyism and government spending in the way of pork are high on my list and have been used here as a reason not to vote for Cruz. As with every issue it’s pot and kettle.

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2016 at 12:06 PM

The irony is that now that conservatism has a champion to carry it forward, it’s going to get squashed like a bug by a crony captialist/populist/quasi-statist while so-called conservatives cheer him on.

Bitter Clinger on January 20, 2016 at 7:11 AM

And this all could have been avoided if ANY of the other candidates would have had the balls to come out as strong against illegal immigration as Trump did.

It’s ALL about illegal immigration. Period.

Nineball on January 20, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Welp, yesterday we established what Sarah Palin is. Now we know what she charges.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 12:29 PM

Words do have meaning.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 12:34 PM

’m just pointing out that you worked up a pretty lengthy post complaining about how Trump supporters are “cultists” who ignore problematic positions, while completely ignoring that Cruz supporters have been explaining away his positions on amnesty, TPP, and the Iran deal for months now. I guess maybe Cruz supporters are “brainwashed cultists” too.

The truth is that nearly every popular conservative that has come along in the last few years has been compared to Obama, gets called a cult leader, and his or her supporters are inevitably mocked as mindless drone cultists brainwashed and programmed by talk radio. I’m getting a little tired of hearing it.

“Why don’t these wingnuts listen to me and support my candidate? I am so much smarter than they are, and so intellectually and morally superior! I know… they must be brainwashed cultists!”

This is not a message which will win you any converts or friends.

Doomberg on January 20, 2016 at 10:50 AM

I didn’t intend for my post to be a Rorschach test, DB. I intended it to be a warning to Trump supporters you’re supposed to support you candidate based on principle, if you’re a principled person, which I hope everyone here is. Whether that principle be his ability to break the GOPe deathgrip or his immigration policy, or any combination of things, there should be more than a thrill up your leg that is governing your support.

If there is, and again I assume there is, then you are obliged to be bothered when he says or does something that clearly flies in the face of why you support him. That doesn’t mean you have to condemn him, but it does mean that you should not rationalize or defend his action that you actually disapprove of due to your principles. It is one thing to accept a risk that your candidate might do something you don’t like. It’s another thing when he says he’ll do it, as it is no longer a risk but a certainty, and then change your position to match his.

I don’t think all Trump supporters are cranks and cultists. I think that any “burn-it-downers” who argue that Trump’s all-in support of ethanol subsidies and his cuteness about establishment support don’t matter or are somehow good things are cranks or cultists. They are direct refutations of a “burn-it-down” philosophy.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Glad to see that Trump is all for invalidating just about every car engine warranty in the country.

Only one GOP guy to vote for now.

And otherwise vote for Bernie in the general and truly watch it all burn down. Let’s get it over with.

Zomcon JEM on January 20, 2016 at 12:58 PM

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Awesome. I finally teased something other than a Instapundit link-style response out of you.

The next time you see me trying to turn Cruz’s water into wine, please call me out on it. Cruz is my choice because he’s better than Trump, not because he’s perfect. He’s said dumb things (NYC, while essentially true, was one of them). He’s made the wrong votes occasionally. He’s failed to completely flesh out his policy on every issue there is and as a result winds up having to back up, get educated, and then recast his position.

Like the rest of us, Ted Cruz lives in the real world, and in the real world you live and you learn, and if you’re teachable, you grow. The same real world where Donald Trump gave an early first-term Barack Obama a tongue bath, declined to oppose partial-birth abortion and cozied up to the Clintons. Time changes us, and it changes the world we live in. This is a post 9/11 world and Trump remembers that, so I give him the benefit of the doubt until he disabuses me of the notion.

To that point, his happy embrace of ethanol subsidies and his sly insinuations of coziness with the establishment players threatens my perception of him as a revolutionist and reformer. That is important to me because it’s the reason I’m willing to support him once he has the nomination. If he’s not going to reform the system, then he’s as bad or worse than Jeb Bush.

Notice I say threatens and not destroys. Trump is notoriously sloppy and thoughtless about what comes out of his mouth. When he says something exceptionally egregarious, he usually softens it and walks it back within a few days. But if he doubles down instead of walking back, you know it’s where his heart is. If his heart says he’s going to harness the whole awful, corrupt system that is the status quo for his own purposes, then I will not only not support him, I’ll actively support a third party candidate to keep him out. Like many here, I’m through pulling the lever for a rotten candidate.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 1:14 PM

Welp, yesterday we established what Sarah Palin is. Now we know what she charges.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 12:29 PM

Words do have meaning.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 12:34 PM

I always thought that was Limbaugh’s finest contribution to the lexicon, although I’m sure he didn’t invent it.

I have no idea what you mean by it.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 1:18 PM

Ethanol in gasoline is a farce. It damages engines and decreases performance. Leave ethanol for drinking, especially after listening to Trump.

Krupnikas on January 20, 2016 at 3:35 PM

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