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Progressive: “Cruz’s odds of winning the nomination are steadily increasing, and we should be very, very afraid”

Progressive: “Cruz’s odds of winning the nomination are steadily increasing, and we should be very, very afraid”

The Overton Window opens for Cruz, thanks to Donald Trump.

Last December I noted the fear I’ve seen voiced among progressives, particularly on Facebook, that Donald Trump was making Ted Cruz acceptable, Is Overton Window wide open for Ted Cruz?:

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.

As Republicans move toward a contested convention, at which Cruz has a strong likelihood of prevailing, I’m noticing more progressive concern.

Heather Digby Parton at Salon writes, Ted Cruz’s terrifying reinvention: How America’s most detestable senator is repackaging himself for November:

On the occasion of longshot presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s campaign launch back in March, The Onion published a satirical piece about subscribers to TIME magazine bracing themselves for the awful, “inevitable” day when they would open their mailboxes to find themselves staring at a picture of Cruz on the cover under a headline like “The Game Changer” or “The Firebrand.” It was an absurd joke that went so meta that this week when TIME actually put Cruz on the cover, they also ran a story about The Onion’s piece from a year ago. Our politics have become very, very surreal.

TIME’s cover story is headlined, “Likable Enough?,” accompanied by a fetching portrait of Cruz with a mischievous look on his face and a lovely ice blue tie. He looks exceedingly likable and once you read the stories within, you’ll have to conclude that the man whom virtually everyone with the misfortune of knowing him finds repulsive is terribly misunderstood. Where you might have thought the man was a doctrinaire rightwinger, steeped in religious fanaticism and radical free market extremism, you will find out that he’s actually a good old boy, a salt of the earth populist….

Ted Cruz is a very smart guy and has been underrated throughout this campaign. But ultra conservative Republicans aren’t voting for him because of his winning personality or “populist” economics. They’re voting for him because he a far right fanatic just like they are. Just because he isn’t Donald Trump it doesn’t mean he isn’t also a demagogue.  He’s just a different kind.

Time Magazine Cover Ted Cruz Likable Enough

Callum Borchers at WaPo worries:

A year ago, when Cruz was just setting out on his presidential run, it was hard to imagine that media coverage would ever depict him as not only a real threat to win the Republican nomination but also as far more genteel and sensible than his top rival. Yet that’s exactly what has happened.

Ed Kilgore at NY Mag is equally indignant that Cruz was not skewered by Time:

There are few words in the political lexicon more frequently misused and abused than populist, particularly in times of strong public hostility toward elites, like the present. Still, Time magazine has truly jumped the shark in publishing an interview with Ted Cruz in which he is encouraged without contradiction to call himself an “economic populist.” If Cruz is an “economic populist,” then the term has truly lost all meaning beyond the pixie dust of rhetorical enchantment….

Get a grip, gabbers and scribblers: Call Ted Cruz a “constitutional conservative,” as he would have it, or the reincarnation of Barry Goldwater, as many of us regard him. But he’s no economic populist.

The thing is, progressives are right to be afraid of Cruz. More afraid than they should be about Trump.

It certainly appears the Trump is moving the Overton Window, so that Cruz looks “normal” in comparison to Trump, as Newt recently put it:

Newt Gingrich on Wednesday marveled at one of Donald Trump’s biggest accomplishments in the 2016 race — making Ted Cruz appear normal.

The former House speaker predicted that Cruz could be boosted at a contested convention by establishment support, something that would be unthinkable without an even more polarizing figure like Trump in the race.

“The challenge is entirely on Trump,” said Gingrich, who has been supportive of Trump. “He is not gonna get any help out of the establishment. They have reluctantly concluded that if, you know — Trump in a funny way has normalized Ted Cruz because without Trump, the establishment would be totally opposed to Cruz.”


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Destestable? No, no, just exactly what is needed after 7+ loooong years of complete, abject failure.

We may not have Reagan, but Cruz is what we need. Cruz is the conservative’s best hope to “make America great again”

Henry Hawkins | April 9, 2016 at 10:13 pm

Another contributing factor in the Humanization Of Ted Cruz is that the fewer candidates, the more media attention to the remaining candidates. Until this year, most of what has identified Cruz to the public came from establishment senators very unhappy with his Jesse Helmsian “Senator No” manner of senate service. The public is now hearing more fleshed out descriptions and less one-sided accounts of his work in the senate.

Nice picture. Makes him look like Andrew Robinson.
How very apppropriate.

This is my facebook post for today:
10 Days left until the NY primary. A little human interest story on Trump. His NY daughters cannot vote for him in the NY primary. Turns out they’re not Republicans, and NY is a closed primary state. Of course, Trump as Republican is also questionable. Since 1987, he’s been registered as Republican, Independence Party, Democrat, Republican, no party (independent), and Republican. And remember, he has made public statements that he believes Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife would make a good President. 10 days left to educate yourself on the candidates if you’re registered as a REP or DEM.

Been running a different educational post each day. And recommend everyone else in NY who’s a serious Republican do the same. I am also running the occasional education post for Democrat voters:

Primary Day NY April 19 2016, 11 days away. For those Democratic voters needing to educate themselves, this is the link to Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfrind’s wife official website: Don’t think there’s anything on there about unlawfully using a private server kept in her bathroom to use for official state department business in violation of multiple laws. And the following is the link for the communist in the race for the Democrat nomination:

I’m thinking of running quotes from the Communist Party USA, Socialist Party USA, Green Party, and Democratic Party official websites and seeing if anyone can guess which is which. Be a tough call on most issues.

    gospace in reply to gospace. | April 10, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Two down votes. I see the Trumpsters are out. Note- there’s no challenge to the facts. Tough to argue with facts. I will vote for Trump rather then Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife, but I’d rather vote for an actual conservative Republican. Which is why I’ll vote for Cruz in the NY primary in 9 days.

Time ‘Magazine’ has an leftist ulterior motive for everything they publish.

They do not fear Cruz – they fear Trump. Figure out the rest.

Cruz or Trump — Trump or Cruz

Don’t let the GOPe knock them both off, and quit pretending that that can’t happen

    conservative tarheel in reply to DaMav. | April 10, 2016 at 3:27 am

    this is the GOPe dream … Hillary is part of the uni party team ….

    Henry Hawkins in reply to DaMav. | April 10, 2016 at 10:29 am

    DaMav, the canary in the coal mine to watch out for is if the GOP changes Rule 40, the pertinent clause being that a candidate must earn a majority of delegates from each of eight states to have their name placed on the ballot at convention. At present only Trump and Cruz have met this requirement. Kasich nor any dark horse have or can eet this prior to the convention. There is no reason to change Rule 40 unless the GOP plans to ditch Trump and Cruz.

    I’d repeat at this point that the GOP, being a private entity, has every right to make such a plan and make such a rule change to enable it. It would have enormous political risk involved, but if the GOP is prepared to take that risk, they’ll reap what they sow. It would be stupid in my opinion, but it would not be ‘theft’.

      Estragon in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 11, 2016 at 12:17 am

      The delegates make the rules, which are changed in some substantive way at every convention. The difference this year is that no candidate will go in with a majority & thereby full control.

      But to insinuate some shadow entity is pulling their strings behind the scenes is insulting and false, playing into the conspiracy nuts who’ve been incited for years now by fake conservative talk radio seeking ratings & pundits trying to sell books.

      – –

      Trump had the same opportunity as Cruz, Kasich, and every other candidate to influence delegate selection. His failure to do so in a meaningful way just underlines the incompetence that led him into bankruptcy four times, and distress sales of failing projects a dozen more.

      Why would the Great Dealmaker be afraid of an open convention anyway? Couldn’t he just negotiate into victory? Or is that as much a myth as his alleged (but never evident) business prowess.

        Barry in reply to Estragon. | April 11, 2016 at 11:19 am

        The GOPisser speaks:

        Everything is fine. Move along now. Your taking time off from work to vote in OUR primary, well, sucker.

        Thanks for the confirmation.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 11, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Henry Hawkins:

      “Rule 40, the pertinent clause being that a candidate must earn a majority of delegates from each of eight states to have their name placed on the ballot at convention.” And nobody else can be voted for.

      This nonsense – this nonsense – it’s really outright lying – seems to be coming from Ted Cruz himself:

      CRUZ: Look, I understand, except that it’s against the rules for John Kasich to be on the ballot. The rules provide that in order to be even on the ballot, if no one has 1,237, you have to have won at least 8 states…And if that happens, then it becomes a battle for the delegates, but the only two names on the ballot are going to be Donald Trump and me. On the rules, those are the only two people that can be voted on. On the rules, those are the only two people that can be voted on.

      Rule 40, included here:

      …says no such thing.

      Rule 40 only has to do with nominating speeches and announcing the votes at the podium. You need 8 states (now) to gte a nominating spech and only a candidate whose name was presented in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of Rule 40 has his votes repeated at the podium after they are announced by the chairman of each state delegation.

      This rule was designed only to prevent Ron Paul from getting a lot of attention at the 2012 Republican National convention, without doing anything to restrict choice at the 2016 Republican National Convention, in case it became the rules then, which it is by default.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to DaMav. | April 10, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Last week Trump effectively turned control of his campaign apparatus, such as it is, over to a notorious DC lobbyist with ties to the Russian mafia. This fixer’s greatest claim to political victory in this country was the nomination of Gerald Ford over Ronald Reagan in 1976. The partners in his political lobbying firm ran Dole ’96 and McCain ’08. Yet somehow Trump supporters see their candidate as anti-establishment while they consider Cruz, who has been at odds with the DC based party for years, part of the establishment.

    I am beginning to think that for many Trump supporters the term “establishment” means anyone who is smarter or more successful than they are.

pablo panadero | April 10, 2016 at 5:56 am

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. As I have commented many times previously, trump is the first mouse, and Cruz is the second mouse.

Yeah. Progressives may be scared of what Cruz does if he wins the Presidency, but there is no indication that they are scared of running against him. His “face of God” and “abnd White horse” stuff will be dredged up, plus his philandering and his “coparner” wife with her Goldman-Sachs machinations which make him look like a GOP version of Bill.

They also know if Trump runs, a lot of the stuff they throw at him won’t stick. Been there done that. Some of it will even make him go up in polls.

There is no indications that he will attract independents and Democrats. Especially those that are most attracted by Trump–the antillegal immigration crowd. Cruz supporters have been making fun of those who screw up their requirements for a closed primary. Not to mention Cruz calling them “low-information voters”.

In the meantime, while Trump draws a lot of crossover voters. He does have his base in the GOP of roughly 30-40%. As evidenced by this story:

Short break here to let Ragspierre rant on how Reuters is unreliable.

The majority of that base is still fuming over Mississippi, You think they are just accepting screwing Trump out of the nomination by the GOPe and Cruz? Think again.

And that won’t mean just a lost chance at the Presidency. That will mean problems all up and down the ticket. Possibly House majority and Senate majority for Hillary– maybe even a supermajority. They don’t care they don’t see much difference.

Now go ahead and make all the rationalizations you want. It’s not going to change anything, and you’re not going to change anyones mind.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to RodFC. | April 10, 2016 at 9:08 am

    “Now go ahead and make all the rationalizations you want. It’s not going to change anything, and you’re not going to change anyones mind.”

    Rod, meet irony.

    Ragspierre in reply to RodFC. | April 10, 2016 at 9:23 am

    You’re as math challenged (truth challenged) as Gari “H&R Blockhead” Britt.

    There’s the Reuters poll graphic, ya moron.

    66% would vote GOP, with 10% PLUS “don’t know”. That does NOT leave a remainder of “30 to 40%”, liar.

    Then we could get to your BS about “philandering”, his wife, the totally inapposite reference to Mississippi, the Puuuuur, Puuuur Donnie got “cheated” whine, etc.

    But really, why? You’re just another lying SOS T-rump sucker. None of this BS matters if people just look at the Collectivist, Der Donald, his record, his positions, his pathologies, and his lies.

They’re voting for him because he a far right fanatic just like they are.

She says that like it’s a bad thing.

The democrats have moved so far left that adhereance to the Constitution, free markets, Constitutionally limited gov’t, rule of law, balanaced gov’t budgets, religious and ecomomic freedom are considered “far right fanatical” And they don;t even see it.

Paul In Sweden | April 10, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Overton window is a terminology that I have never used but it seems to fit. Primary time is Big Tent time, a time for the party leaders and worker bees to go around the country see just what the party members want, don’t want and will make them go to the polls on election day.

It seems the GoP sees primary time as a time to go to the people and tell them whom they have selected and assure them that they will be victorious where the colors of the GoP and pass all the DNC legislation just as they have done so in the past. Cruz & the GoP leaders should be bringing the items that motivate Trump supporters closer to the podium.

Cruz win? Well when someone gives something you haven’t earned in anyway it’s not winning.

The GOPe has hit on the unique strategy of not allowing the voters to vote and simply giving Cruz the delegates.

Win? No. Not sure what you call the process going on now. Coronation? Anointing? Grifting?

    Arminius in reply to forksdad. | April 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I notice you don’t complain when Trump gets all the delegates in a winner-take-all state when he hasn’t earned them. When he only earned less than half. Then, as far as you brain-dead Trump cultists are concerned, getting what you haven’t earned is winning.

    When “GOPe” simply gives Trump those delegates it’s fine with you. It’s only when Cruz outsmarts and outworks Trump that you whine.

    You really are pathetic.