Monday, March 28, 2016

Lose With Cruz

The latest plan from the GOP to keep Donald Trump from becoming anything more than just a narcissistic bullshitter is to replace him with Ted Cruz and let him lose the general election so that at the least they can say, “Hey, we put forth a comparatively reasonable candidate and next time we’ll put up someone who can actually win.”

The problem with that idea is that Ted Cruz is arguably just as off the rails as Donald Trump.  He just doesn’t have a hat to go with it.

For instance, Mr. Cruz has doubled down on his plan to basically bomb the shit out of Syria, Iraq, and parts of Turkey in order to wipe out ISIS.  He calls it “carpet bombing.”  The military calls it “ineffective,” and, more importantly, “genocide.”

He’s also in favor of turning the country into a Christian theocracy. (As if we’re not half-way there already; how many businesses and stock exchanges were closed last Friday?)  He’s singing out of the Christian dominionist hymnal.

When Cruz says he wants to “reclaim” or “restore” America, he does not only have the Obama administration in mind. This agenda takes him much deeper into the American past. Cruz wants to “restore” the United States to what he believes is its original identity: a Christian nation.

But before he can bring the country back to its Christian roots, Cruz needs to prove that Christian ideals were indeed important to the American founding. That is why he has David Barton on his side.

For several decades Barton has been a GOP activist with a political mission to make the United States a Christian nation again. He runs “Keep the Promise,” a multimillion-dollar Cruz super-PAC.  He’s one of Cruz’s most trusted advisers.

Barton is the founder and president of WallBuilders, a Christian ministry based in his hometown of Aledo, Texas. He writes books and hosts radio and television shows designed to convince evangelicals and anyone else who will listen that America was once a Christian nation and needs to be one again.

But his work on the history of the American founding has been discredited by historians, many of whom are his fellow evangelicals. This does not seem to stop him. His 2012 book, “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson,” was roundly condemned for its historical inaccuracies and its attempt to turn the third president of the United States into a member of the 20th-century Christian right.

Mr. Cruz has allied himself with preachers who call for executing gay people.  One in particular was Kevin Swanson.  When asked about this call by this particularly fiery minister of the Gospel, his campaign responded by saying essentially, “Well, he didn’t explicitly call for that.”  Yes, Pastor Swanson did.

So, it seems that Mr. Cruz has a side of him that is basically in favor of indiscriminately killing people he doesn’t like.  Sounds like he’d be no better than Donald Trump when it comes to foreign policy or dealing with minority rights.

It’s very strange — if not disturbing — that our country has gotten to the point where one of the major political parties has decided that the best way to retain any semblance of viability is to deliberately sabotage its own election chances by replacing a tyrannical racist sociopath front-running candidate with a theocratic sociopath with genocidal tendencies, then lose the election on purpose so that in four years they can come roaring back and win.  Sounds crazy, right?

I don’t know.  Look what happened in 1964.  They nominated Barry Goldwater, knew that they would lose in the LBJ landslide, but four years later we got Richard Nixon.  Times are different, to be sure, but as the saying goes, history may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.