As Donald Trump ramps up his attacks on Ted Cruz, the Washington Post is reporting that “The Republican establishment really, really doesn’t like Ted Cruz.”  This premise is nothing new to those of us who have been following Ted Cruz’s career in the Senate and his presidential campaign, and to many serves as a feather in Cruz’s cap.  The vitriol against him, though, is becoming quite pronounced . . . and not just from Trump.

WaPo writes:

There’s an assumption among casual consumers of politics that establishment Republicans loathe Donald Trump. Not really true.  Yes, they worry about what Trump might do downballot to the GOP if he is the nominee. But most view him with some mix of puzzlement and fascination. The Republican establishment saves its actual hatred for one man and one man only: Ted Cruz.

The evidence WaPo trots out is Iowa governor Terry “ethanol” Branstad.

Witness Terry Branstad, the four-term governor of Iowa and, without question, the face of the Republican establishment in the state. On Tuesday, he told reporters that he wants to see Cruz beaten in the Iowa caucuses in 13 days — a remarkable admission by a sitting incumbent of such long standing.

Remarkable?  Hardly.  Read on:

Yes, I know that Branstad’s reason for opposing Cruz is that the Texas senator opposes the Renewable Fuel Standard — a key provision for Iowa’s ethanol industry. (Cruz says he supports ethanol and biofuels generally but opposes all subsidies and mandates for the energy industry.) And yes, I know that Branstad’s son is spearheading a group promoting biofuels and making sure the presidential candidates address the issue.

Even so, it is an amazing testament to how widely disliked Cruz is by the party establishment that Branstad is willing to go on the record against him this close to the caucuses.

This example is exactly why the GOPe “really really doesn’t like” Cruz: he doesn’t walk in lock-step with them, including when they are feeding our tax dollars to their cronies.

WaPo gets it right at the end of the article:

What’s not debatable is the Republican establishment’s outright contempt for Cruz. What’s less clear — at least to me — is what effect, if any, it will have on Cruz’s chances in Iowa or anywhere else. Branstad is popular, no question. But  Cruz will paint him as simply part of the very establishment that has screwed things up — in Washington and in Iowa — for years.  Of course “they” don’t want me to win, Cruz will argue. They want to keep their hands on the levers of power.

Branstad coming out against Cruz  could  simply reaffirm his basic outsider message, which already has a demonstrated appeal in Iowa and elsewhere.

All this hand-wringing about the GOPe not liking Cruz or about Cruz being unable to work with Congress should he be elected strikes me as more than a bit silly.  Not only will the GOPe warmly embrace Cruz should he be the nominee and eventually win, but they will be bending over backwards to do so . . . for at least as long as he stays popular with the American people.

How do we know this?  Because that’s what happens.  Remember the horrible loathing that seethed between Obama and Hillary during the 2008 campaign?  It was almost surreal how each candidates’ supporters behaved and the things that each candidate said / implied about the other.  While there is no love lost between them, they managed to not only work together, but now Hillary, having served as Obama’s Secretary of State, is promising to protect and build on Obama’s legacy should she be elected.

We see this every single election cycle on both sides of the aisle, and the wagons always circle around the eventual candidate . . . no matter what was said during the primaries.  Indeed, both Trump and Rand Paul have already signaled that they will support the eventual GOP nominee.

It’s worth listening to Mark Levin remind us about the depth of hatred the GOPe had for Reagan and remembering how successful his presidency was.