Earlier today, Ed cracked into the curious story of how Ted Cruz is going to wind up addressing the Republican National Convention tonight, supposedly without endorsing the party’s nominee. This has elicited all sorts of comparisons, specifically to Reagan in 76. While Ed deflated that analogy rather handily, it’s still the one which Eliana Johnson at National Review previously wrote about. Her colleague Jim Geraghty jumped into the same debate in today’s edition of the Morning Jolt, posing another of these #NeverTrump style questions in terms of why Cruz would deign to show up at Trump’s party to begin with.
Everybody understands the argument, “You have to vote for Trump to stop Clinton.” The consequences of a Clinton presidency are vivid and abominable, staring with a national stamp of approval for her history of lies, arrogance, and disregard for the law. But “stop Hillary” is a strange rallying cry for anyone who otherwise argues that conservatives are always on defense. Is there a positive case for Trump that can persuade the likes of Ted Cruz and his most dedicated fans?
Are we absolutely certain Trump’s judicial picks will be good ones? Can he really secure the border, or will Trump water down his wall promises? Notice Rick Perry, who also spoke at the convention but who did not endorse or mention Trump from the stage, recently said it’s going to be a “digital wall.”
I want to circle back to the original queries in a moment, but since we’re apparently going to keep hearing these nagging salvos from the #NeverTrumpers even after the issue has been finally settled once and for all, I’d like to take a moment to answer Jim’s questions first.
Are we absolutely certain Trump’s judicial picks will be good ones?
No, Jim. We’re not. But I know with an absolute certainty what sort of picks Hillary Clinton will make. And this isn’t your first rodeo. You know it just as well without being told.
Can he really secure the border?
Beats me, Jim. It will be one heck of a trick if he does get that wall built. But even if it’s a scaled back wall, a “virtual” wall, or a wall which remains strictly in his own imagination because he’s stuck fighting with the Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans in Congress over the funding for it for four years, he’s at least going to try. On the other hand, shall I play a few hundred YouTube clips of Hillary Clinton and her promises of how we will stop rejecting the “politics of hate” when it comes to all of the Americans in Waiting in Mexico and elsewhere? No… I don’t need to do that because you’ve seen them all yourself.
For that matter, you can ask any number of other questions along those lines to keep casting doubt on the party’s nominee. Will he be good enough on guns? We can’t be sure, but the man has a concealed carry permit while Hillary is a proud fan of the Australian system of gun confiscation. Pick your poison, Jim. Will Trump raise taxes? You never know, I guess. He is from New York after all. But Hillary has promised to. We can play this game all the live long day and your argument doesn’t get any better.
But let’s swing back to the original question. Why would Ted Cruz want to show up and speak at Trump’s convention without nominating him? I’ve got a better question for all of you: Who invited him? Lest we forget, I was one of Cruz’s backers who endorsed him well before my state voted. That was the guy I settled on when the field finally thinned down. I’m sad that my guy didn’t win, but I’m also not going to throw a tantrum like a toddler because… my guy didn’t win. Trump did. And this is Trump’s big shindig.
Since he’s already in Cleveland, perhaps Cruz will chat with Trump and agree to endorse him at the convention and rally the troops. If so, then fine. Welcome aboard. But if Ted Cruz doesn’t want to endorse the party’s candidate then I see no reason to have him show up and make a speech. It will just be yet another excuse for the media to spend the rest of the week talking about “how divided the Republican Party is” and oh, isn’t everything just terrible. Not coincidentally, this serves their purpose in trying to bail out Hillary Clinton’s flailing campaign quite nicely. If he’s not showing up to endorse the nominee and encourage those who followed him to get out there and help Trump win in November, he’s not showing up to help. Beyond that, what purpose does the speech serve? Do you seriously think he has some top secret information destined to save the GOP, conservatism and the nation which he’s been holding in reserve so he can reveal it to the world now?
If you’re not going to help us win, at least don’t be an anchor dragging the boat down. And as much as I like him, that applies to Ted Cruz as well. Get on board or get out of the way. As I put it on Twitter last night, the rest of us are busy trying to stop Sauron from taking back her Ring of Power and it’s going to take everything we’ve got at this point.