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Is Overton Window wide open for Ted Cruz?

Is Overton Window wide open for Ted Cruz?

If Cruz is the only Republican who can stop Trump, will the establishment embrace him?

I noticed this Facebook comment on the page of a local Ithaca liberal Democrat, on a post criticizing Donald Trump:

Donald Trump looks like the warm-up act. Whoever follows him from the Republican party looks reasonable (and sane) by comparison.

The commenter didn’t use the term, but she was describing how Trump has moved The Overton Window. The Overton Window has been described as follows:

The Overton window is a political theory that refers to the range (or window) of policies that the public will accept.

The idea is that any policy falling outside the Overton window is out of step with public opinion and the current political climate, and formulated to try and shift the Overton window in a different direction, or to expand it to be wider.

Has Trump moved the Overton Window? That’s a theory advanced the other day by David French at National Review (h/t Instapundit):

Developed by the late Joseph Overton, a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the “window” refers to the range of acceptable political discourse on any given topic. As the Mackinac Center explains, “the ‘window’ of politically acceptable options is primarily defined not by what politicians prefer, but rather by what they believe they can support and still win re-election.”

The key to shifting policy lies not so much in changing politicians but in changing the terms of the debate. In other words, “The window shifts to include different policy options not when ideas change among politicians, but when ideas change in the society that elects them.” ….

The leftward pressure on the Overton Window has been relentless, with conservatives reduced to applying herculean effort to simply maintain the cultural and political status quo. Yes, the Tea Party has nudged Republicans just a bit to the right, but it’s a sign of the success of the Left that a relatively unchanged GOP can be labeled as ever more extreme and “reactionary.” And few realities show this leftist success better than the fact that the Window now enables expressions of overt leftist hatred and bigotry — against Christians, against conservatives, against whites, and often against Jews.

Then along came Donald Trump. On key issues, he didn’t just move the Overton Window, he smashed it, scattered the shards, and rolled over them with a steamroller. On issues like immigration, national security, and even the manner of political debate itself, there’s no window left. Registration of Muslims? On the table. Bans on Muslims entering the country? On the table. Mass deportation? On the table. Walling off our southern border at Mexico’s expense? On the table. The current GOP front-runner is advocating policies that represent the mirror-image extremism to the Left’s race and identity-soaked politics.

Ace commented

I can’t express how unsuited Trump is for the presidency — are we going to have a president so impulsive as to change his mind from “Let Putin handle ISIS, what has it got to do with us?” to “Let’s bomb the shit out of ISIS” and “I’ll handle terrorism so hard it’ll make your head spin” based on a single thing he saw on TV (San Bernardino) which completely changed all of his thoughts?

But he is useful for plowing through the colossal, coralled-over shipwrecks and dead hulks of leftist thought that clog the trade-routes of political expression and debate.

So getting back to that Facebook commenter, she’s in essence arguing that Trump has moved the Overton Window so far, that it opens up space for candidates previously viewed as unacceptable to everyone except actual conservatives.

And that candidate may be Ted Cruz, at least according to liberal New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait, How Donald Trump Has Opened the Door for Ted Cruz to Win:

At the beginning of this year — back when the notion that Donald Trump might dominate the presidential race was a dystopian scenario as unimaginably remote as The Man in the High Castle — the most horrifying thing Republican insiders could imagine was a Ted Cruz nomination. In much the same way that Trump has set the terms of the presidential debate in ways that discomfited the party’s leadership and fired up the base, Cruz did the same in Washington. The intense loathing Cruz inspired among every professional Republican politician not named Ted Cruz made his nomination difficult to fathom. But the rise of Trump has changed many things, and one of them may be to grant Republican insiders a new perspective on just what unacceptable means.

Has the Overton Window opened for Cruz? Is he now the best hope of conservatives AND the savior of the Nation from Trump for establishment Republicans and Democrats?

The Bloomberg/Des Moines Register Poll of Iowa Caucus goers just released continues a series of polls showing Cruz surging into first place in Iowa:

Seven weeks from the caucuses, Ted Cruz is crushing it in Iowa.

The anti-establishment congressional agitator has made a rapid ascent into the lead in the GOP presidential race here, with a 21 percentage-point leap that smashes records for upsurges in recent Iowa caucuses history.

Donald Trump, now 10 points below Cruz, was in a pique about not being front-runner even before the Iowa Poll results were announced Saturday evening….

“Big shakeup,” said J. Ann Selzer, pollster for The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll. “This is a sudden move into a commanding position for Cruz.”

Cruz, a Texas U.S. senator famous for defying party leaders and using government shutdown tactics to hold up funding for the Obamacare health care law and abortion provider Planned Parenthood, was the favorite of 10 percent of likely Republican caucusgoers in the last Iowa Poll in October. He’s now at 31 percent….

And there are signs Cruz may not have peaked in Iowa yet. Another 20 percent of likely caucusgoers say he’s their current second choice for president. Cruz hits 51 percent support when first- and second-choice interest is combined, again leading the field.

These charts are via Bloomberg Politics:

Iowa may not represent the entire Republican electorate, but with the Overton Window having been shifted or smashed by Trump, it may be wide open for Cruz to “save the nation.”

If Cruz is the only Republican who can stop Trump, will the establishment embrace him?


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“If Cruz is the only Republican who can stop Trump, will the establishment embrace him?”

No, the establishment would much rather lose with Trump than win with Cruz.

cantor4massat4 | December 12, 2015 at 7:58 pm

“But he is useful for plowing through the colossal, coralled-over shipwrecks and dead hulks of leftist thought that clog the trade-routes of political expression and debate.”

He’s also managed to do that to the Establishment because they’re no different. Trump is a loose cannon; a ten year-old boy in a 70 year-old body. He never grew up. Why? Because he never had to. He’s also a flaming liberal. I really think that the Establishment would rather Hillary win than Trump and maybe even Cruz. They’re rotten to the core. No better than the Democrats. If they try any shenanigans, hopefully, the party will fold. It’s good for nothing party at this point. I truly believe that only Cruz could save it and, more importantly, save our country.

Stopping Trump? Pray tell, why?

Will 2016 be another year where the GOP earns the label “the stupid party?” No wonder the dems don’t have to come up with anything better than Hillary.

“If Cruz is the only Republican who can stop Trump, will the establishment embrace him?”

No. They will try to engineer a brokered convention with Jeb! or Rubio as their nominee. I mean, who really cares what the little people think?

(I say that, though, sincerely hoping that Sen. Cruz wins and by a sufficient margin to prevent any meddling. Because I firmly believe that the GOPe hates him slightly less-and for far less reason-than they do Mr. Trump.)

The news of the ascent of Cruz could not be better! 🙂 🙂 Now let’s see some solid confirmation.

This is the same poll that last tike had Carson in lead by about the same margin. No other poll confirmed accuracy of tgat poll. Will have to see what happens in next polls from others next. This polls internals seem to show an ocersampling of evangelicals. It also doesnt jive with how this same poll shows Trump way ahead on issues of economy, ability to get things done, immigration, and ISIS.

Next 30 days will tell if this is real and sustainable.

    Fox Iowa poll out today has Cruz and Trump essentially tied. So doesn’t confirm Bloomberg poll which I said appeared to oversample evangelicals.

    So we have one poll showing Trump up big and one poll showing Cruz up big and two polls showing them within margin of error. The Iowa polls that come out after next weeks debate may provide some clarity.

The comments quoted by Prof are made by ACE are nonsensical they have Trumps statements made well before Paris some months ago all being made after San Barnadino and show ACE doesn’t know diff between letting Putin bomb ISIS in Syria without complaint as other repubs were doing and Trump before Paris saying he would bomb shit out if ISIS in Iraq.

“Has the Overton Window opened for Cruz? Is he now the best hope of conservatives AND the savior of the Nation from Trump for establishment Republicans and Democrats?”


And he always has been since Perry had to leave the race. Maybe just always.

    janitor in reply to Ragspierre. | December 13, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Yes, Rags, buddy. And Cruz would have been able to get nowhere without Trump. And Trump needs to keep at it a while longer. I said this months ago and all I got were insults from you and Amyfla. (Sure glad that Cruz hasn’t been insulting “T-rump” and is a better strategist than you two.)

      Ragspierre in reply to janitor. | December 13, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Um…continuing bullshit, ol’ buddy.

      I am not a presidential candidate. My role is very different from Mr. Cruz’s.

      And that’s been…and still is…to simply tell the truth about a fraud and liar named Trump.

      All this “Overton Window” stuff suggests that T-rump’s running has been a net “good”. I am not at all sure that’s the case. Though it does suggest that nothing is perfect. Including perfectly bad. But we all knew that already.

      On a more positive note, I will be voting for Cruz in the coming primary, as I planned long ago. So will several people I have successfully persuaded away from Duh Donald.



Cruz is an opportunistic grandstander who has changed his positions to better fit the voters he’s seeking, with no actual accomplishments to his credit.

But he has the advantage of actually being both a Republican and a conservative, so real Republicans and conservatives would gladly support him as the nominee.

    “Cruz is an opportunistic grandstander, . . ., with no actual accomplishments to his credit.”

    I often read this criticism of Cruz. This assessment does not take into consideration where the Pub Establishment is entrenched in the Senate and House. Who else had the stones to stand up in the well of the Senate and filibuster what was essentially a lost cause? Who else called out the Pub leaders in public as “liars.”

    You assessment does not reflect the kind of fight Cruz is waging in the Senate: Guerrilla warfare against the Democrats, as well as most members of his own party, who see the Constitution as an anachronistic inconvenience.

    Give me a fighter first, and a Constitutionist second. Although Trump’s bluster makes him look like a fighter, he is neither a constitutionist nor a conservative.

    You might want to look at his efforts at the FTC, where he change POLICY by converting democrats to his side by PERSUASION.

I mentioned a while back that I would vote for Scott Walker because he shares my Midwestern values. I also said at one point that Ted Cruz shares my values but I didn’t think he would be electable because the left hates those values and coming from such a polemical figure.

We need an adroit polemical figure right now so as to remind the country of its core values and to unite the grounded element of society and to move the window to the right far away from the blowing-in-the-wind Hillary.

No if the GOPe embrace Cruz it will be his walking papers from most of the grassroots. Nobody trusts the GOPe anymore. They are so out of touch with their supposed party that they did even realize Trump was possible. Make no mistake if they freeze out Trump through underhanded smoke filled room deals they will not freeze out the next challenger.

What do they think will happen if they don’t give people the chance to peacefully choose the candidate? What comes next?

    Evan3457 in reply to forksdad. | December 13, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Depends how and when. If they embrace him early to stop Trump, then the grassroots will think they’ve been set-up and disappear. If he beats Trump fair and square, most of the grassroots will jump back in. At this point, it doesn’t look like he can beat Trump on his own, though.

      forksdad in reply to Evan3457. | December 13, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      We have the same situation here as in France. It’s just not as blatant yet. The ruling parties colluded to throw the election to one of their wings rather than let in Le Pen.

      The elites will do anything to stop the will of the people. If they collude to steal the nom from Trump it will mean the end of the Republican party for this election. They know that. What they don’t seem to realize is that it could mean the end of Republican party period. Someday the history of the Republican party could be a side note like the Whigs.

Cruz donors and endorsers are for TPP, globalism, open borders/amnesty and cheap labor. This is an affront to many Americans who need jobs.

Just don’t like the idea of another first term Senator either.

    cantor4massat4 in reply to Uncle Samuel. | December 13, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Your joking, right? If you’re not, then you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.

      It is certainly true that Cruz supported TPP so much that he wrote a wall street journal op ed extolling its virtues and why he was going to vote for TPP. Cruz only changed his mind for pure political reasons (he saw how much Trump grass roots opposed it) and not because he thought TPP was a bad idea conceptually. This fact is established by Cruz’s stated reasons for voting against TPP he said he changed his mind because it was caught up in politics. What Cruz did NOT say about TPP is very important. Cruz did not say he was opposing TPP because it was a bad deal, left out important considerations, and was too big and too complicated to properly analyze. Cruz did not say he opposed TPP because it would cist usa jobs. Cruz did not say he opposed TPP because it was smarter to do smaller bilateral treaties. These are all the reasons, important reasons that Trump opposed TPP. But Cruz only voted against TPP because it was too caught up in politics. So as soon as it wasn’t caught up in politics Cruz is free to support TPP again because he never opposed it as a matter of principle.

      So to dismiss people commenting that Cruz supporters support TPP you need to consider that Cruz himself supports TPP as long as it isn’t too tied up in politics (i.e. the election is over)

      There are too things clear about Cruz. 1. He is a true philosophical conservative. 2. He is a crafty politician willing to tempirarily change and shade his positions during an election just like every other washington politician trying to win an election.

        cantor4massat4 in reply to Gary Britt. | December 13, 2015 at 3:19 pm

        Cruz is principled and he’s gonna do what he promises. Tell me, please, what other politician we can count on to keep his word? Trump is totally out of his depth. He is a child just like we have now in the White House.

          Cruz has not promissed to oppose TPP. He has only stated he won’t vote for it till election is over. Trump is a typical successful entrepreneur who is used to dealing with hard nosed colorful people in the real estate and cobstruction meta businesses. He k ows h I w to lead, manage and get things done. His campaign running 10’s of millions under all others while achieving maximum positive results is the perfect example of what a great leader and manager he is in fact. You merely repeat the claims about him made by people who couldn’t organize and run a for profit lemonade stand.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | December 13, 2015 at 4:02 pm

        Gary, since we know you don’t have the wit to gin up this talking-point bullshit, just tell us where this crap comes from you keep aping.

          Rags you ignorant sl*ut. Just because you do not have the intellectual capacity to post anything other than non-substantive name calling and vulgarity does not mean that others here are similarly handicapped.

          If you have some analytical reply to my post about Cruz’s support for TPP that contests the contents thereof in a suhstantive way then post it…Bitch.

          Attack the messenger, not the message, straight from the left’s handbook.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 13, 2015 at 6:12 pm

          No, Garry the liar and Barry the liar, I want to read it from the source, not some dumb fluck who just apes it here.

          That’s OK with you, right? I haven’t “attacked” a source, because you haven’t the balls to name your source.

          “not some dumb fluck who just apes it here”

          Says the dumb fluck hisself.

          The source for all my posts is clearly stated next to the date and time of each post. Do your mental disabilities also extend to your reading comprehension?

          If you have some analytical reply to my post about Cruz’s support for TPP that contests the contents thereof in a suhstantive way then post it…Bitch.

I like Cruz, I have nothing against him, but mistaking Iowa for the entire primary campaign is pretty silly, and would be in any year.

    The Iowa winner doesn’t get nomination if they don’t also win New Hampshire and probably SC.

    Santorum and Huckabee won Iowa then faltered for example.

    It is almost always true that a loser in Iowa becomes nominee.

Thanks to the obvious media blitz underway at the present reporting a Cruz “huge surge”, we now know what was really discussed at that ex parte meeting between RNC officials and big-money donors (i.e. The U.S. Chamber of Crypto-Fascist, Crony Commerce) since Cruz will not be able to win the general, support him now to ensure Trump doesn’t win the primary.