Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Today’s Primary

Indiana gets its turn in the spotlight today, and it’s probably the end of the road for Ted Cruz.

The coalition of Republicans opposed to Donald J. Trump’s candidacy braced Monday for a debilitating setback as he appeared poised for a victory in Indiana that would put him on track to seal the Republican nomination by the time primary voting ends next month.

The Indiana vote has emerged as a decisive and perhaps final test for Senator Ted Cruz, who has abandoned hope of overtaking Mr. Trump in the race but still aims to throw the Republican nominating fight to a contested convention in July. Mr. Cruz, of Texas, has pleaded with Indiana voters in recent days not to anoint Mr. Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, and has devised a series of long-shot tactics to derail him in the state.

On Monday, that mission of persuasion took on a vividly literal form for Mr. Cruz during a campaign stop in Marion, Ind. Confronted there by determined hecklers bearing Trump campaign signs, Mr. Cruz insisted to one that he was making a mistake.

“Donald Trump is deceiving you,” he said. “He is playing you for a chump.”

Yeah, like Mr. Cruz hasn’t been plucking a few pigeons of his own.

Anyone who’s run a successful con will tell you that fear and greed are your greatest allies in getting the mark to go along with your scam.  Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have exploited both of those in the Republican base where they already have a hefty bagful of pissed-off because the country isn’t being run to their way of liking: by old white guys with guns and Jesus.  And that’s no way to win over converts or suckers.  As I noted last week, the GOP’s popularity is sinking to new depths.  Or as one wag put it, they’re the height of the pits.

Oh, by the way, the Democrats have a primary in Indiana, too.