How Ted Cruz Screwed the Pooch: Going the way of Mike Huckabee

Prior to the Iowa caucuses I liked Ted Cruz; I thought he’d be a good running mate to Donald Trump.  But his strategy in winning there certainly raised my eyebrows.  When Donald Trump first started complaining about it, I thought he sounded like a sore loser—a second place runner-up.  But as more facts emerged regarding the Cruz campaign floating a CNN report about Ben Carson dropping out of the race after Iowa, and the look of the Cruz campaign literature, it was clear the supposedly honest Ted Cruz—the Christian conservative from Texas, was running a guerrilla warfare campaign designed to sway voters a few percentage points in his favor.  And it worked.  He needed to win Iowa and he managed to sway enough voters in his direction to pull it off.  But the way his campaign purposely misled voters in the final hours is something to take notice of.

In the end, it was his Mike Huckabee moment; Ted Cruz will be remembered for his win in Iowa then his sharp drop off in the subsequent primaries.  I can’t say I blame him for trying to win, but to even do so with a tinge toward deceit is not the way to do it.  He should have known better and his bad judgment makes me question him as a person.  I do not any longer see him as an honest option.  It has changed my opinion of him as a viable vice president.  The measure of a man—or a women—is how they behave under pressure.   Under pressure, Ted Cruz folded and compromised his ethics—clearly.  Would he have won without the little schemes—probably, but he should have trusted his ground game without the antics—his victory wouldn’t have been this tainted.

Should Trump have pointed all this out looking like a sore loser?  Actually, yes, he did have a point.  Republicans are too often way too conciliatory toward loss.  It is refreshing to see Trump get angry and to lash out at the proposed cheating.  Cruz either has scandalous characters running his campaign, or he personally knew what was happening. Either way, they are Cruz people and the boss is always responsible for the content of the people working for them—whether or not it’s fair.  Cruz because his people have shown a propensity to manipulate the facts, is guilty because of them.

There were several interesting issues that emerged after the Iowa caucus.  First was the overwhelming joy that the mainstream press and politicians had toward Donald Trump in “losing” in Iowa.  This was a pretty baffling sentiment to me; the presidential primaries are a lot like a NASCAR racing season.  You don’t always have to finish first; you just need to average consistently high marks to win the season with points.  Trump got a lot of delegates in Iowa, and he’ll get a lot more in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, and Arkansas.  He doesn’t have to win every one of those states outright.  He just needs to finish in the top three, and he could still win the nomination.  You’d think before everyone from the Cruz camp ran their mouth, they would have considered those elements.

But they didn’t, Trump gave a gracious speech congratulating Ted and he moved on to New Hampshire pretty fast.  But the media and other politicians decided it was time to swipe at Trump and he got pissed off.  Look, I understand Trump.  The more he talks the more I think he’s a long-lost brother of mine.  After a few hours of prodding, he blew up and started lashing out, and I would have done the same.  Cruz won under questionable circumstances—by his own doing, and he deserved to have some bombs thrown in his direction.  On the delegate count, Cruz is not poised to do well in the next couple states, so the small lead he gained from Iowa will evaporate quickly so his arrogant speech and actions after the victory were misplaced.  He should have played it much smarter.

I have a general policy, when I have a great victory; I tend to play it like I’ve been there before—because I have.  To get all animated over wins is to show the world that you don’t feel such things very often.  I believe in the adage, act like you’ve been there before.  On occasions when things don’t come out the way you want them to; don’t cry about it like a baby.  Just move on.  If someone gloats in your face, knock them on their ass.  In my assessment, Trump was willing to be gracious.  He congratulated Ted and was moving on.  But Ted and his supporters gloated about their victory and it pissed off Trump.  So he knocked Ted on his ass, and Cruz deserves it.

Then of course came the revelations of impropriety the following day, and many who hoped that Trump had been humanized into compliance for the first time in his life were shattered to learn that he was fighting hard at what had occurred.  They called his behavior a Trumpetantrum.  Cruz went so far as to call Trump more immature than his young girls.  Actually, he used the words, “well-behaved.”  Well, we all know what that means to a politician.  Well behaved is an insult, it’s an assumption that people will do as they are told and act in accordance to the laws of orthodox.  I don’t want a well-behaved president in the White House.  I want an ass kicker and a rugged individualist.  I’m not looking for a king to tell me what to do; I’m looking for someone who is capable of thinking like me in the Oval Office.  Someone who won’t get pushed around and someone who is willing to call out misconduct.  I’m not looking for even temperament in a president.  Ted Cruz attempted to paint Trump as a reckless maniac who should not have his hands near a nuclear option—from what reference is the Texas senator representing?  What experience does he have under duress, to stand in front of the senate and read Doctor Seuss books?  Trump has actually built structures worth many hundreds of millions of dollars and he navigated a delicate minefield of politics to perform the task.   In several decades of being a top dog in the real estate world, Trump never “lost it” over anything.  Sure he has a temper, but he’s always in “control.”  What stress has Ted Cruz experienced that dictates that he has the temperament to handle a nuclear option?  Who between the two, Trump and Cruz has the best ability to out-wit a potential enemy country?  Trump is a LOT more qualified if we are comparing apples to apples.

The established order loves conquered people.   They like people who have faults and are aware of those follies.  They are failed people themselves and it hurts them to write about and consider a person who is not a guilt riddled idiot.  The world was praying for a beaten Trump, a person who had fallen on his sword and was willing to yield.  Well, he was gracious, but he’s not a beaten man.  And because of that, he has the authority to call out Cruz for misconduct—because he plays things straight and aggressive.  Cruz should have seen the terrain and stuck to it, but instead he got power-hungry and showed his cards too early.  Now he has ruined himself.  Yes, he got the win, but he lost the war.  He should have been loyal to a winner by acting like one himself, instead of a school kid who scored his first hockey goal.  In the process of his celebration he cheapened himself in ways that are irreparable.  Now he’s worthless to the freedom movement—and that is something I didn’t want to see.  Yet, for all the embarrassment that is coming his way, he should have known better.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


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