Executive Power

Cruz's Constitutionalism Trumps Trump's Trumpism

Why the Texas senator is the least scary of the remaining major-party candidates

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"If you want someone to grab a beer with," Ted Cruz said during the third Republican presidential debate last October, "I may not be that guy. But if you want someone to drive you home, I will get the job done."

The president as Uber driver is a refreshingly modest view of the job, especially compared to the grandiose dreams of Donald Trump. The boastful billionaire probably would not drive you home, and he definitely would not have a beer with you. Although he once had a vodka named after him, Trump does not drink, which may be just as well, given the appalling things he says when he's sober.

Trump's impromptu approach to public policy suggests that if he were in the driver's seat, he would be guided by nothing but his own whims. Cruz, by contrast, assures us that his map would be the Constitution, and that difference alone makes him clearly preferable to the Republican front-runner.

"I've been passionate my whole life about the Constitution," the Texas senator says, and he seems to mean it. Cruz's campaign website mentions the Constitution more than 1,300 times, compared to the Trump site's paltry 35.

The difference is qualitative as well as quantitative. Given the blatantly unconstitutional policies Trump has endorsed, such as censoring the Internet, closing down mosques, and barring Muslims from entering the country, I doubt he has read the Constitution. If he did, it did not make much of an impression.  

Cruz, by contrast, is a Harvard Law School graduate who clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and argued nine cases before the Supreme Court as the solicitor general of Texas. "We will defend the Constitution, every single word of it," he said during the September 16 GOP debate, and he has shown a broader interest in that task than most politicians.

In addition to defending the Second Amendment, as every Republican candidate is expected to do, Cruz has opposed the federal government's mass collection of our phone records, the indefinite detention of Americans deemed threats to national security, and a presidential license to kill suspected terrorists on U.S. soil. He has castigated Democrats for trying to suppress political speech in the name of fighting corruption and criticized Republicans as well as Democrats for abusing executive power (although with considerably less specificity).

Cruz, who promises to "carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion," concedes that he would need congressional authorization for such a war. "It should absolutely take congressional approval," he told ABC News in 2014.

Cruz understands that what the Constitution omits is at least as important as what it says. Declaring that he wants to "protect the people by rolling back the federal government to the functions the Constitution sets out," he lists four federal departments, one agency, and 25 programs that he would eliminate. Consistent with Cruz's admirable opposition to crony capitalism, the programs include sugar subsidies and the federal ethanol mandate.

I doubt Cruz would get far with his list, which in any case would hardly restore the federal government to its constitutional limits. But at least he aspires to that goal, even if he does forget his fiscal conservatism and his determination to shrink government when he talks about the military.

Cruz's dedication to the Constitution is by no means completely consistent. Among other things, he supports the constitutionally unauthorized war on drugs (although he says states should be free to legalize marijuana); touts his defense of the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, which is grounded in an absurdly broad reading of the federal power to regulate interstate commerce; and brags about sponsoring the Expatriate Terrorist Act, which would strip Americans of their citizenship without due process.

Despite such exceptions, Cruz is clearly more inclined to recognize and respect limits on the federal government's power than Trump or either of the two remaining Democrats. For libertarians and constitutionalists, he is the least scary of the bunch.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. You cite Cruz’s defence of a law banning the barbaric and gruesome murder of helpless human life as a downside to his candidacy because he didn’t ground it in some words written on a document which authorised a powerful central state and thus betrayed the Revolution?

    Go fuck yourself.

    You shouldn’t need any rationale for banning partial-birth (or any other type of) abortion other than the fact that it is blindingly, manifestly clear that it is MURDER.

    libertarianism = inviolate, inalienable negative liberty. Without life, there can be no other liberties. You infanticides get the fuck out of the libertarian movement, and join your friends among the Nazis and the Communists

    *Not a Cruz voter (though he is the least sociopathic of the remaining TEAM candidates, by a slim margin)

    1. Oh hogwash. If it were blindingly manifestly clear that abortion is murder, it wouldn’t be so contentious. Anytime half the population disagrees with something, blindingly and manifestly go out the window.

      Go poop in a flower bed somewhere. Your command of basic English words is pissingly poorly pathetic.

      1. Touch?. You are the voice of reason and sanity. Thank you.

        1. You are the voice of reason and sanity.

          How would you know what either of those things look like?

      2. I suspect that a number approaching half the population once agreed with slavery and, later, segregation.

        It didn’t make them any less morally repugnant or antithetical to basic human rights. Abortion is no different in this regard — especially late term abortion.

        1. Do you want vagina police? Women don’t.

          Yes we now have something like 80% against abortion. When you ask that question as “do you want government involved” the support goes down. A LOT.

          What about continuing what works? Persuasion.

          And most antis think of it as misdemeanor murder and the woman (the initiator) goes free. I don’t think government involvement will reach the ends you desire. There will be side effects. Not all of them favorable. Not all of them predictable in the current technological environment.

          1. And then there will be zealots. Think of the drug war zealotry we have experienced – now in decline.

            At one time life in prison (or was it the death penalty) was mooted for 2oz.of pot. Think of that kind of zealotry applied to abortion.

            Best to keep government out of he question.

            What happens when we get cheap robot surgeons? Who do you punish?

            1. What are you even talking about? Cheap robot surgeons? Vagina police?

              This kind of mush-mouthed nonsense is a big part why libertarians are generally ignored.

              The abortion issue isn’t about punishing anyone, you fucking idiot. It’s about protecting the civil rights of human beings. Even the smallest and most libertarian government you can imagine has a basic responsibility to protect the lives and rights of its citizens, if nothing else.

              The question comes down to whether you consider a human who hasn’t been born yet to be a person. If the answer is no, you have to explain why. If the answer is yes, then it’s clearly imperative their rights be protected under the law.

              1. If the answer is no, you have to explain why. If the answer is yes, then it’s clearly imperative their rights be protected under the law.

                Shouldn’t you also explain why if the answer is yes?

                1. Because it’s self-evident that a human being possesses rights.

                  If you’re arguing that an unborn baby is not a human being, then the burden is on you to explain why.

              2. The question comes down to whether you consider a human who hasn’t been born yet to be a person. If the answer is no, you have to explain why. If the answer is yes, then it’s clearly imperative their rights be protected under the law.

                If the answer is yes, I think you still have to explain why.

                1. Because it’s a matter of scientific fact that an unborn baby is a human organism. And if we accept the concept of natural rights, then the law is obligated to protect those rights.

                  If you’re arguing that an unborn baby is not, in fact, a human being, then the burden is on you to explain how and why you’ve reached that conclusion.

                  Most pro-abortion advocates tend to bestow some magical power on the mother, in which the baby only becomes a human person upon her whim. If she decides she wants the baby, then poof, it’s a baby. If not, then it is fair game to be treated as a tumor or parasite. This is of course progressive emotional logic at it’s worst, but it really is the crux of the so-called ‘choice’ position.

                  I have yet to hear anyone argue the matter in any other way.

                  1. In other words, you believe that the baby’s rights override the mother’s rights. I’m not saying I have the answer, but I think any concept of rights has to be able to clearly delineate rights and not have overlapping, conflicting rights.

                    1. What rights though? As I said, the primary argument seems to be that a baby is only a human person based on the whim of the mother, and that is simply unacceptable from both a scientific and legal standpoint.

                      The only possible rationale that isn’t based entirely on emotional magic would be that the unborn baby is totally dependent upon it’s mother, therefore it is the mothers decision whether or not to participate in that relationship.

                      But you can easily say that about a child right up until it’s a four or five years old — and certainly about an infant. In fact, there have been several deep thinkers on the progressive left who’ve already begun to make arguments that maternal infanticide should not be viewed as a crime, for the exact rationalizations that are regularly put forth to justify abortion.

                      So again, the only position once can realistically take under the guidance of natural rights would be that babies, regardless of age, are persons protected by the constitution.

                    2. There’s one big difference between a fetus and a toddler, though. The fetus is still *physically* attached to the mother. So it’s not merely a question of dependence, and that dividing line is pretty clear. Once the child is born, it is dependent on others to take care of it, but *anyone* could take care of it – it doesn’t have to be the mother. It just seems like the pro-life position is saying that a woman’s rights to control her body are null and void once she’s pregnant. Her body and rights must be limited or controlled in order to ensure the “rights” of the unborn growing in her. And there’s certainly been a growing trend in the law towards that idea. Are women who miscarry guilty of murder? Indiana seems to think so:
                      http://thinkprogress.org/healt…..entencing/

                      And while I lean towards pro-choice, I’ve toyed with this idea involving responsibilities, and something of an implied contract, where by having sex, one is accepting the responsibility for the consequences of it, such as getting pregnant. Even going with this idea, however, it only goes part-way, and not fully towards the pro-life view. If a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, must she be forced to carry the child to birth, even though she did not willingly have sex?

              3. The question comes down to whether you consider a human who hasn’t been born yet to be a person.

                No, it comes down to what living things it’s OK to kill, & under what circumstances, whether those living things be persons or not.

          2. Technically, we already have vagina police, since prostitution is illegal.

            1. Technically, we already have vagina police, since prostitution is illegal.

              And that is working so well isn’t it?

              1. I made no judgment.

          3. Do you want vagina police? Women don’t.

            This vast oversimplification over the contentious issue of when person-hood begins isn’t changing anyone’s mind

            1. This vast oversimplification over the contentious issue of when person-hood begins isn’t changing anyone’s mind

              I’m not here to change your mind. I’m here to talk you out of another government agency. You know. libertarian. Can you imagine a way to get what you want WITHOUT government? Work on it.

              1. Can you imagine a way to get what you want WITHOUT government? Work on it.

                Protecting the rights of person-hood is a legitimate government function. Sure it would be nice to convince everyone to agree, but then again gay marriage isn’t something everyone that isn’t gay might understand.

              2. What the ever-loving fuck are you talking about here? What additional government agency are you imagining here? The Department of Abortion Prevention? Grow the fuck up.

                Libertarianism doesn’t mean anarchy. And the most libertarian government you can imagine STILL has the basic responsibility to ensure the right of it’s people to exist.

                If you think that an unborn baby isn’t a person, then please explain how and why you’ve reached that conclusion.

                1. If you think that the mother suddenly loses her rights because she became pregnant, then please explain why the fetus’ rights override the mother’s rights.

                  1. They both have rights, but only one of them made a decision that directly led to their pregnancy. I suppose personal responsibility doesn’t really enter into the equation. Regardless of which person you think has the most rights in said situation, one of them is blameless for the scenario they find themselves in.

                  2. But rights to what? Convenience?

                    1. One has the right to do as they will with their own personal body, which is very libertarian, the other has the right to live which is also very libertarian.

                      The only rational libertarian argument for being pro-choice, in my opinion, is if you believe a fetus isn’t a person.

                      That’s a fair enough argument, but you are by definition initiating force upon a person when you abort them in my view. That’s because I view a fetus as a person with the same rights you could grant a newborn baby. I completely understand that other people probably don’t hold this view, and thus we end up with Roe Vs. Wade, which did the job of saying exactly when a person becomes a legal person.

                      The fact that ruling, which I consider to be as rational as such a contentious issue can be, was overthrown by the progressive left as not going far enough. This is, in my view, because they can’t afford one of their dividing issues to be left alone since they necessarily require these issues to maintain their grip.

          4. Do you want vagina police?

            Anatomy lesson: the organ in question here is the uterus.

            1. the organ in question here is the uterus.

              Which I 100% guarantee you MC Guru doesn’t have.

              1. That’s OK, I have two of them in the house.

                1. The jars look great on the mantle.

              2. Which matters why?

          5. “Do you want vagina police? ”

            Hyperbolic much?

            How about we just stop treating people who perform the deed as respectable medical professionals?

            And stop funding the whole gruesome industry?

            No vagina policing required.

          6. I’m on the fence when it comes to abortion. But one thing that bothers me is how those in favor of legal abortion misportray those who are against.

            Those who favoring banning abortion don’t want to be vagina or uterus police. It is not, contrary to pro-abortion portrayals, about the woman: it’s about the fetus, which they view as a child. You may disagree with them, and claim that a fetus is not a child, and that’s fine; spend your effort arguing that point rather than arguing against a position they don’t even hold. That’s advice you should follow if you hope to change any minds and, therefor, policy.

            On the other hand, you can argue all day that anti-abortion campaigners are waging a “war on women” and how a woman’s uterus is none of their business, and while you’ll keep the friends already in your circle, you’ll achieve little in terms in the way of swaying opinions because you are arguing against opinions they do not hold.

            I suspect this intellectual dishonesty is partially intentional (or at least was, before it became the rote campaign), because it’s much more appealing to argue that a woman has the right to her own body than it is to argue a woman has the right to end another life.

            As such, I don’t think I’ll ever get my wish for honest debate, because that would require one side to take an honest and uncomfortable look at themselves and their morals. So we’re left with an intractable case of zealots yelling at each other, swaying no one, and learning nothing.

            1. This pretty much nails it. I am pro-life because to me, the only difference between the twins my friend is currently carrying and my own 3 year old that stands beside me is where the child currently lives. To someone like me, justifying why it’s OK to kill a child in the womb is as repulsive as suggesting that it’s OK to kill children because they live in the ghetto, or anywhere else. I have no desire to regulate anyone’s uterus, but murder is already against the law and abortion is murder. If a pro-abortion person wants to explain to me why a baby in the womb is somehow not a human, then OK I guess. Otherwise, try and recognize the honest and sincere beliefs of pro-life people.

            2. There have been a couple of honest discussions/debates on abortion here on the Reason boards from some of the regulars, and it’s the only place I’ve ever seen either IRL or on the internet that that’s happen. Both sides laying out their positions reasonably and in good faith. One side arguing that a fetus = a person and deserving of non aggression, and the other arguing that a fetus does not equal a person and it’s simply a woman’s medical decision,

              OR that a fetus may even be a human, but that there’s no moral onus for a person to support another person with their body, even if that person were a full adult. The counter to that being that if your willful actions made that person dependent on your body in the first place, yeah there is a moral onus to take responsibility for it.

              Basically there’s an impasse among libertarians about abortion, and there’s no solution. The closest thing to a practical solution I think would be to repeal it as a federal issue and let the States decide, so that individuals could avoid giving their taxes governments that they believe are complicit in murder. But morally or philosophically, the Reason boards has convinced me that there’s not a “libertarian” solution to it.

              1. Those are not the only 2 sides? What about my side, which says it’s OK to kill something if it doesn’t mind dying & isn’t owned by someone who cares whether it dies?

                This business about “person” is a distraction from the more fundamental question about killing living things. And if you want to say there’s objective value to life, which value should be incorporated into law, then what’s to stop you from incorporating into law all other things that you think are objectively good, like sobriety or health care or NY-NJ pizza? I say all value is subjective, that being an important prop of libertarianism.

          7. You want to kill yer unborn baby? Have at it, just keep yer fucking dick beaters outta my pockets to pay for the abortion.

        2. Scarecrow said nothing about morality. He said if half the people disagree, it’s not blindingly clear. He niggle was with the command of the English language, not ethics.

          1. Sometimes government imposed ethics don’t work well. Ever hear of Alcohol Prohibition?

            1. Was anyone arguing government is ethical, ever?

          2. Thanks 🙂 I knew that message would be lost in the kerfuffle, but had to say it anyway.

        3. /slowly ducks behind bar counter.

          1. Why, did somebody try to claim deep dish is actually pizza?

            1. If Trump was still in Chicago he would agree, “It IS pizza.”

              The man is unscrupulous.

              1. That right there would enough to hate Trump. Especially since he is a New Yorker.

                1. He is a politician first. They are ALL like that. If New Yorkers complained he could say. “When I’m in Chicago I LOVE Deep Dish.”

                  1. That too is a crime which is unforgiveable.

            2. “Why, did somebody try to claim deep dish is actually pizza?”

              At that point, it’s literally a pie, although mostly non-sweet.

              You do know “pizza” is the Italian word for “pie”, right?

        4. But it didn’t make them obviously wrong, either. If a large # of people think something, that’s a good reason to take it seriously. They may be wrong, but they may be right.

      3. When it comes to partial birth abortion, 68% say think it should stay illegal, 25% think it should be legal. I think that could be described as “blindingly manifestly clear”.

      4. So slavery was okay as long as half of the population (or more) agreed with it? And if half of the population (or more) agreed that it was okay to bring it back, would that be okay, too?

        1. Well, you’re a little late to the game, but I’ll humor your lack of reading comprehension anyway.

          He said it was blindingly manifestly clear. I said anything which divides the population so much is not blindingly manifestly clear.

        2. So you are against slavery, are you? Cause forcing a woman to carry a fetus in her womb against her will sure sounds like slavery to me.

          1. Wait, I thought you were against abortion…or was that Morning Woodchipper? Chip Morewood? I can’t keep all these derivative names straight.

    2. Oh FFS, its too early for an abortion thread.

      *takes a bite of leftover deep dish*

      1. What, you don’t have any pizza?

        1. Deep dish IS pizza, bro. It’s the best pizza.

          1. No, it’s some kind of bastard casserole. And not even close to the best.

            1. Your pizza, in some of it’s ‘finest’ iterations, doesn’t even rise to the level of ‘good sandwich’.

              It’s like the entire state is trying to fool people into eating “wraps” by pretending it’s New York/Italian.

          2. I’ve had some pretty good deep dish pies. I’d happily eat them again. With a fork and knife. Because it’s not pizza.

    3. You infanticides get the fuck out of the libertarian movement, and join your friends among the Nazis and the Communists

      Infanticide is the act, not the perpetrator.

      And “infanticide-enabler” would be more appropriate, anyway.

      Keep trying, though, I’m pretty close to getting logical fallacy bingo.

      1. He’s using the word in the same way that people used to refer to people who committed suicide as “suicides”. Maybe he’s trying to be antique.

        1. If I were to say that John Doe was a homicide, then you would not think he was the perpetrator of the act.

          1. I would. It’s a dated but valid usage.

            1. Hmm, Webster’s 1913 agrees.

              Learn something new every day!

    4. Murder is typically not a federal crime. Except for a few corner cases (such as killing a federal official or using the Postal Service to commit your crime) it is handled by the states. That doesn’t mean the federal government in any way condones murder. It means the federal and state governments share responsibility in maintaining society.

      1. Murder is typically not a federal crime.

        I suspect Cruz would be happy to turn the regulation of abortion back to the states, where it belongs constitutionally.

        But given that the Supremes have usurped State power to the federal level, it hardly seems fair to criticize Cruz for then playing at that level.

    5. I find it interesting that the left, not the right, decided to do away with the common sense landmark case of Roe Vs. Wade. The left cannibalizes it’s own victories because, in their view, any limitations to abortion at all is restricting access. They won this battle, only to decide that if they could take an inch why not take the entire mile?

    6. Well you know, there used to be a common sense measure in place called Roe Vs. Wade but the left decided that it didn’t go far enough. It would appear that while their justification for Roe Vs. Wade was safe spaces for abortion, they themselves don’t feel there should be any restrictions at all. Ergo we need to make a legal or people will use coat hangers, but then after the fact they say that people should be allowed to use coat hangers or it’s restricting access. It’s ludicrous. (Please excuse the hyperbole.)

      1. Damn it, sorry for double posting. I thought it deleted this .

    7. You shouldn’t need any rationale for banning partial-birth (or any other type of) abortion other than the fact that it is blindingly, manifestly clear that it is MURDER.

      McGuru, I don’t intend to change your mind, but let me show you how comments like yours come across to me, a person who supports the legality of abortion up to around the point where it is now legal in the U.S. It’s along the lines of “You shouldn’t need any rational for banning pulling the plug on brain-dead patients other than the fact that it is blindingly, manifestly clear that it is MURDER.”

      You see, I agree aborting a zygote, embryo, fetus is killing a living collection of cells with human DNA, but without a functioning cerebral cortex, they’re like brain-dead adults whose next of kin can decide to pull the plug. I know there are objections to this about “coming out of the coma” and so forth, but I’m not interested in debating those points. I only wanted you to realize that your point of view isn’t shared by everyone else, and not because people are bloodthirsty “baby killers”.

      1. You know the difference between a vegetable and a fetus? One of them will eventually become sentient. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which one.

        1. So? Somehow, the bank is not impressed when I say that I will eventually get around to paying my loan.

          1. So you’ve never had a mortgage.

    8. AGREED

    9. Dude, chill the fuck out. Reasonable people can disagree about when life begins without being devilspawn.

  2. Cruz is the Manitobian candidate. He will stage a terrorist attack and then impose a Christian Caliphate named “Gilead”. This has long been the Canadian dream – see Margaret Atwood / Handmaid’s Tale. He is a scary person and I don’t trust a word he says and I would vote for Kasich or Hilary over him. But aren’t there any Libertarian candidates we can discuss wistfully?

    1. Cruz is a Mexican-Canadian and his plans centers on this pincer attack on the US. A double-flanking attack if you will.

      I have sometimes thought his weird facial expression is some sign that he’s also got Atlantic blood in his ancestry and the mask sometimes slips, which would make it a three-sided flanking attack, with the goal being to push all the population onto the left coast, where the excess weight will tip it over, causing a tidal wave which will inundate Asia and eliminate any need to worry about trade with China.

      1. Damn. s/Atlantic/Atlantis. Fuck.

        1. He does slightly resemble submariner

      2. Basically, but you forgot the part where it shuts down off-coast oil production thereby increasing prices in their shale fields. And where he bombs ISIS oil production because they are using the proceeds to create high quality production videos that are radicalizing the chillens over the youtubes, with their promises of eternal glory under Allah.

      3. “where the excess weight will tip it over,”

        So, he’s in cahoots with Congressman Hank Johnson then.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7XXVLKWd3Q

        (That is one of the funniest videos of all time.)

        1. Yes, his loose lips nearly sank the operation.

    2. Seriously, people? How can a guy who reveres the Constitution actually instigate a theocracy? If he goes by the 225-year-old book, he won’t go the theocracy route, because Establishment Clause.

    3. “Cruz is the Manitobian candidate.”

      Yep, he’s going to assume complete control and force us all to extend our hand before crossing the street.

      That, and poutine. Lots and lots of poutine.

  3. And if Kasich and Rubio had gotten out of his way around the time Carson dropped out, he might actually have a shot at the nomination without resorting to parliamentary sleight of hand at the convention. But now we’re guaranteed to have a split convention that results in either Trump getting the nomination anyway, or Trump being shut out and his supporters going thermonuclear.

    1. That’s absolutely correct, although Cruz himself has said a brokered convention is a bad idea. Rubio is a worm who absolutely knew he wasn’t going to win Florida but, I’m convinced, the Rep establishment encouraged him to stay in the race because they find Trump more palatable then Cruz. Whatever the case may be, we’re likely going to see Trump vs Hillary and I won’t vote for either but, unfortunately, I will have to put up with one of them for at least four years as will you.

      1. the Rep establishment encouraged him to stay in the race because they find Trump more palatable then Cruz

        ^This^

        1. Yes – Kasich is still in. The only logical reason can be that he’s there to peel off Cruz votes and ensure a Trump win.

          1. If only the GOP voters were smart enought to realize that. Every person who voted for Kasich in Ohio yesterday was actually voting for Trump.

            1. I would argue those who voted for Kasich anywhere else BUT Ohio were voting for Trump. And unfortunately, that argument will continue into the near future.

          2. “The only logical reason can be that he’s there to peel off Cruz votes and ensure a Trump win.”

            I agree and I don’t understand it.

            1. Trump, like Kasich and the GOP money men isn’t a conservative – Cruz actually is. They really don’t like conservatives and have not nominated one since Reagan – after resisting him all they could.

            2. Agree. Totally.

      2. “That’s absolutely correct, although Cruz himself has said a brokered convention is a bad idea. ”

        A brokered convention is not the same as a contested convention. A brokered convention is when the “brokers” make the decision. A contested convention is when the delegates vote.

        1. Well and I thought 4 years ago the GOP passed a rule that you had to win 8 states to be a candidate in the event of a contested or brokered convention. At that time they were afraid the delegates were going to reject Mittens on the floor.

    2. I don’t get this. The brokered convention seems inevitable, and I just don’t see how Trump or Cruz gets the nomination in a brokered convention, filled with loyal party hacks, who seem to all hate Trump and Cruz. For most of the delegates who hate those guys but are bound to them on the first ballot – once the first ballot is over I don’t see how they continue to vote for them…Trump and Cruz only seem to have a chance on that first ballot.

      1. It’s difficult to see exactly what the Rep establishment is trying to do here. Are they encouraging Kasich to stay in the race so they have someone to hand the nomination to on a silver platter when the convention slides into the abyss or are they trying to sabotage Cruz because they secretly prefer the deal making Trump? Whatever the case, it’s the epitome of semi-unethical shenanigans from the political parties that people are sick of.

        1. Assuming the first ballot results in no nomination, at this point I think you’d have to consider Kasich to be the front-runner. Should be good TV.

        2. it’s the epitome of semi-unethical shenanigans from the political parties that people are sick of

          Exactly right. If the GOPe goes through with that, it will be their downfall – so maybe we should hope for it?

    3. Trump and his supporters are going thermonuclear one way or another.

      1. I disagree to some extent. I think that a sizable portion of his supporters would accept Cruz getting the nomination if he won it fair and square through the primaries. But handing the nomination to Cruz (or, ugh, Kasich) through a brokered convention would make them go apeshit.

        1. There is actually a negative percent chance they would ever, in a billion years, hand the nomination to Cruz. The very exact last thing the GOP wants is a conservative. They might shut down the money train!

        2. You and I agree on most things. This however…

          I wish I could say that Trump supporters would behave rationally with a Cruz nomination but I have seen little evidence for this.

      2. Some of his supporters are already thermonuclear. On another site, I was attacked during a discussion of the possibility of a brokered convention. I said it was a horrible idea (actually agreeing with the S-Trumpets). However, at the end of it, I mentioned I would be voting for Cruz in the primary but my basic thought is still ‘anybody but Hillary’. It took less than 30 minutes until someone sent an ad hominem attack my way concerning an aside to my main comment.

        The Strumpets are starting to frighten me.

    4. I disagree, if the trumpkins detonate it’ll be a fizzle, not a high order detonation. Not enough intellectual firepower there for a thermo-nucular detonation.

    5. But now we’re guaranteed to have a split convention that results in either Trump getting the nomination anyway, or Trump being shut out and his supporters going thermonuclear.

      Trump only needs 564 of the remaining 1061 delegates left. ~53%. I think Cruz has largely shot his wad with Texas and neighboring states. Trumps wins outright.

  4. My wife voted for Trump because he is scary.

    1. As good a reason as I’ve heard to vote for him.

    2. I’m looking forward to the Trump v. Hillary debates. I don’t think even biased left-wing moderators will be able to protect her from the Donald’s savaging.

      1. As much as I don’t want President Donald Trump, I have to admit I am looking forward to him getting Clinton one on one.

          1. bow chika wow wow

      2. No, immediately after Trump gets the nomination every rule will change. It will be more than just the usual DNC/MSM lining up against the establishment Republican nominee, who gamely plays along. Now the entire establishment of both parties will be in on the act of ganging up on Trump.

        I would not be surprised if the ‘debates’ involve neither nominee appearing in the same room, much less addressing the same issues.

      3. He has to be very careful with this. The majority of the women I know don’t like her, but if he attempts any mansplaining or sexist shit (as are his instincts), she’ll instantly become a sympathetic character to them.

    3. Same reason she married you?

      1. As a matter of fact – yes. She conflates “scary” with “good protector”. In my case she still claims it was a good call.

        1. 42 years and counting.

          1. Wow that’s great, congrats. We’re at 27 this year.

            1. Just celebrated our 13th yesterday. Marital bliss.

              1. But you guys hate your wives, right? 😉

            1. Shoot. I need more coffee. I didn’t sleep well last night after seeing Trump took 45% of FL.

          2. Q: At your shul, do the men and women have to smoke weed separately?

            1. Reform. Nothing done on premises. Look up “Rabbi Kahn Tacoma Wellness Center” for a former Rabbi.

    4. if it scares the people we don’t trust, Republican, democrats and foreign leaders then that is a valid reason to vote for Trump.

  5. No shit. This was true the instant Rand Paul quit the race.

    1. Most of the voters do not want a President like Rand .He’s not in the business of ‘doing things for me’.He doesn’t want to be your daddy and take care of’you’.

      1. Sadly you are correct.

      2. Only the Republicans want the President to be Daddy. The Democrats want the President to be Mommy.

      3. The usual response I got when I talked about Paul to coworkers was “That guy’s too whiny”.

        They really never heard a word he said about their liberties. They really are looking for a President Camacho.

    2. Rand was my preferred, now it’s Cruz. I wish Nick and the Jacket would have been a little less of a Cruz hater but nothing about this election has been normal.

  6. No amount of Trump ‘scary’ articles was enough to knock him out.

    You owe us a Lou Reed article!

    /throws scary blanket at Reason.

    1. Abe Vigoda agrees.

      1. Paul Kantner will contribute “Blows Against the Empire”.

  7. I would not be one bit surprised if the establishment Repubs try to push Jeb down our throats in a brokered convention.

    The pretense would sound something like “we have to save the party from a divisive candidate”. It is so bonecrushingly stupid that they would probably do it.

    1. So,we’d be forced to eat Bush? And not in a good way?

    2. If Trump went 3rd Party I’d vote for him – to destroy the Rs.

      1. I hope Bernie gets drafted into an independent run for the White House at the same time. Everybody gets all Panicky Pete over a three-way race – the usual ZOMG SPLIT THE VOTEZ!!!!eleventy!! shit – but a FOUR-way race, where there’s the possibility of a split on BOTH sides – would be interesting as hell.

        1. I think that would be a very good thing for the country, long-term, to knock over the “big tents” and let people support candidates based on ideas and plans rather than what letter follows their name in office. Eventually there would be a shake-out back to two parties, since that’s what our system tends toward, but at least they might actually represent a proper breakdown between statist authoritarians and libertarians. Or we could just end up with “Trump/Sanders: Why Bother To Vote?”

    3. It would be fun to watch a Romney / Bush ticket sink like a lead balloon.

    4. The GOP “establishment” might like to try that, but I doubt Jeb Bush wants to go down like that. It’d be worse fate than being Walter Mondale

      1. Bob Dole agrees.

        /Bob Dole

        1. I got that! Your good works are appreciated!

    5. The King of the Rednecks said exactly that:

      “I’m here to tell you Jeb Bush is gonna be the nominee,” Limbaugh warned, according to a transcript of his radio show. “That’s what they’re gonna do. That’s what they’ve always wanted.”

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/…..z434Dkhfiy
      Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

      1. Pay your bet, you welshing shitstain.

        1. He will just as soon as his gold shorts pay off. Gold will hit $600 any day now!

      2. That quote is a fragment of a sentence. The full sentence, for anyone not crazy enough to follow the links to the transcript is:

        “So I’m just telling you, if they succeed in this, if they sucked in denying Trump or Ted Cruz 1,237 delegates by the end of the primary process, I’m here to tell you Jeb Bush is gonna be the nominee.”

        Rush isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he rarely says something too absolute — he usually leaves himself an out.

  8. My disappointment with the American voter and election system is … “yuuuge!”.

    The fact that all we have left is an egotistical crony capitalist, a decent, but sneaky Canadian, an elitist felon (other descriptions too long) and an antique socialist running for the President of the United States is downright appalling.

    What has become of the once great nation of the USA? Where are all the people who would be a GOOD President? Where are the good Americans who would VOTE for him/her?

    *shakes head… has a sad*

    1. Yeah. I remember when we had an entertainer as President. That worked out tolerably well.

    2. I tried to tell this place that 2012 was as good as it will ever get. Romney was a good GOP candidate and Obama was miles better than Hil-dog and the BernieBro.

      1. Pay your bet, you welshing shitstain.

      2. If memory serves, in 2012 you were lamenting how the GOP could nominate an extremist like Romney and were wondering what happened to the party of Bill Weld.

    3. The guy was a GE crony to boot.

      And he presided over a BIG military build up. Not very libertarian.

    4. You point up an irony that has me puzzled. Someone needs to write about this situation where the choices are so poor in a time that the President’s power has never been greater. The country looks on the Pres as some kind of father who walks around after a tornado and hugs people. The Constitution is in tatters as signing statements try to act as law, as the Pres orders the killing of an American citizen, as the DoD bombs country after country with no declaration of war and hardly any understandable rationale or strategy is presented to American citizens (my god, there are two American-backed factions fighting each other in Syria!). And Congress has willingly thrown out it’s very necessary role of keeping the Pres in check. Seems to me that in this sort of era that the slates of both parties should be huge and deep and anything but what they are today. Why?

      1. We have an AUMF. It is traditional. Barbary Wars.

        1. The Barbary Wars being rather well thought out and decisively resolved (at least, as far as American trade interests were concerned), the present manner of execution and the “traditional” one remain quite distinct.

      2. The strategy is rational for insurgency wars. In Burma it took the Brits 10 years to win. We have a much larger area to work in. It will take longer.

        1. The imperial Brits were also willing to tell people: your customs are shit, your culture is shit, and we’re going to string you up from a tall tree if you think we’ll look past rape and murder out of cultural sensitivity.

          The modern Americans (and Brits, and French, and …), not so much. You don’t like Gaddafi? We don’t like Gaddafi. Let’s work together! Oh, you’re a bunch of murderers and rapists who were being kept in check by Gaddafi? Oops, sucks to be your neighbors! Maybe we’ll send some SEALs. But we won’t get too carried away, after all you have a “right” to “self-determination” and we have Peace Prizes to win.

          1. The imperial Brits were also willing to tell people: your customs are shit, your culture is shit, and we’re going to string you up from a tall tree if you think we’ll look past rape and murder out of cultural sensitivity

            Yup. Touchey-feeley counter-insurgency doesn’t work, plus you have to be willing to stay indefinitely.

            1. You misspelled slay.

          2. If the US Government acted half as “imperialistic” as other countries claim, all of North and South America would be States, as well as half of Europe and a big chunk of Asia.

      3. Review the “Road to Serfdom.” One of Hayek’s points is that the rise of tyrants like Hitler and Stalin doesn’t result in the loss of liberty, but that instead it is the rejection of individualism and free markets that allows such terrible people to rise to power.

        In other words, if we had not allowed the U.S. govt to stray so far from the Constitution, our choices for chief executive would be far better, and Hillary and Trump would never have gotten past the starting block as viable candidates.

    5. Those Canuckistanians sure are sneaky, aren’t they?

      *Looks out the north window and scans the horizon*

  9. Even when Ted Cruz is saying something I agree with I have a strong urge to punch him in the face. He’s just that smarmy and grating of a speaker.

    He’s unquestionably the smartest person running for president at this point but he really can’t hide the fact that he’s talking down to his supporters and the public at large. I don’t think he could beat Hillary, especially if he insists on keeping company with theocratic nutjobs like that guy who wants to execute gays. That’s an oppo research dream.

    1. I don’t disagree with anything you wrote. I would merely add that the “public at large” has proven themselves worthy of any and all contempt they are shown.

  10. Fat Rush (Praise be unto Him), as de facto leader of the GOP, says Jeb Bush will be the eventual GOP nominee.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/…..z433nxJGLz

    One of you fucking Peanuts let Florida Man know this. Its not over yet.

    1. What’s not over? The bet was for this cycle. JEB! Crashed gloriously. Rubio came in 3rd. I was woefully wrong about Trump, but I think most people were 6 months ago.

      1. Are you Florida Man?

        Yes, it was for this cycle only.

        But Jeb Bush may walk out of the brokered convention as the nominee.

        1. How is your pet unicorn?

        2. You are insane if you think JEB! is getting the nomination out of a brokered convention in 2016.
          -Fmr. FM

          1. I’m quoting a supposed expert on the GOP.

            1. You’re quoting a fat clown that is a shock jock.

              1. He’s a fat clown shock jock who still seems to have sway in the GOP. Remember when he unleashed his ditto-minions on RNC Chairman Steele after he dared to speak ill of King Rush? Homeboy was kicked out even though the GOP retook the House in 2010.

            2. WHO GIVES A SHIT?

            3. Pay your bet, you welshing shitstain.

    2. I remember Rush, back around 1999, saying in show after show after show that there was no way Hillary Clinton was even going to RUN for Senate. Good times, good times.

  11. Cruz panders more to the NeoCon/Kristo/AIPAC/Adelson/interventionist crowd whereas DT tells them, “I don’t need your money.”

    1. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Rubio was their guy.

    2. My Mom thought Trump would be bad for Jews. Then I told her about this:

      My name is Donald Trump and I’m a BIG fan of Israel

      She change her mind. She is still voting for the Bern.

    3. I don’t think this is true at all–including the part about DT’s “self-funded” campaign.

  12. Well – past my bed time. Catch you in 4 hours or so.

    1. Pleasant dreams! That is, if that’s what “bed time” implies.

  13. The Republicans are fucked. I agree with others here that they waited too long and now it’s too late. Trump either gets the nomination or runs third party and Hillary wins.

    I figure even if Trump wins we’ll all survive and things will mostly go on like before.

  14. I agree with the premise. I think unlike Trump, Kasich, Clinton, or Sanders, Cruz will reduce overall spending even if he’s the shittiest remaining one on foreign policy.

    Unfortunately it’s too late; with Cruz taking zero states last night it’s almost certainly either Trump or Some Brokered Convention Party Hack. So, I think it’s time to stop fretting about Republicans and start plotting how to use the chaos to get enough Libertarian votes to boost Libertarian name recognition for the sake of future cycles.

    1. I have a strategy. First get 30 million libertarians to agree on a unifying issue…wait, nope that won’t work. Never mind.

      1. Yeah, first you’d have to find 30 million libertarians.

  15. If this Canadian Carpet-Bomber-in-Chief is so fluent with the Constitution, he would recognize that he is not a natural born citizen.

    1. That shtick’s getting old. Settled law says he’s a contender.

  16. Hey, Jake, how about the 12 million “illegals” that Cruz wants to run out of the country. Are you down with that?

    1. It’s not the “illegals” he is after. It is the actual, you know, illegals.

  17. “even if he does forget his fiscal conservatism and his determination to shrink government when he talks about the military.”

    I believe maintaining a military is one of those limits the constitution lays out. Do we spend too much on military? That is something that we can debate over. Is the percentage of the budget or even size of the military laid out in the constitution? No, so he isn’t violating his conservatism by having a strong military.

    1. Is the percentage of the budget or even size of the military laid out in the constitution?

      The term used was “fiscal conservatism” not “Constitutional conservatism”.

    2. From a Constitutional point of view, that’s actually one of the few literal things the Executive is supposed to do. Unsurprisingly, the amount that’s actually spent on the government isn’t a thing the Executive can do unilaterally. That won’t stop the Executive from ordering the entire navy on a one way trip, of course, but that’s another issue entirely.

  18. It’s about time I saw this here at Reason. While I disagree with Cruz on a whole lot of things, imperfect constitutionalism at least recognizes there are limits whereas no other candidate believes there should be limitations at all.

    Why it’s taken Reason so long to recognize this patently obvious fact is beyond me. One of these jerkwads is going to win, that much is clear. It might as well be the one guy that doesn’t think the Executive has the power of fiat. Cruz is also the only guy that actually has a record you can look at, which at this point in time is almost political suicide in and of itself.

    1. They’ve recognized it the whole time. But couldn’t risk acknowledging it until it was too late to possibly make a difference.

      Now their opposition to Trump will allow them to endorse Hillary with a clean conscience.

      Well, maybe not clean, they are icky slimy liberaltarians, but cleaner than it might otherwise have been.

    2. I’m not going to say that its wrong that a snakehandling Pentecostal who has aligned himself with preachers who want to bring back the death penalty for gays is the “least scary” major party candidate. But I am going to say: so what?

      1. Eh, the Obama administration, including Hillary, have given weapons and probably funds to groups that have actually executed people for being gay (and a host of other indefensible reasons) That is far worse than simply associating with someone with a questionable viewpoint. It would be awesome if the worst thing about Obama were his questionable associations.

      2. I’m fairly certain that the pastor wasn’t calling for the death penalty for gays, just that they deserve death. That’s not that significant a statement, “For the wages of sin is death…” and “For all have sinned…”

        So, basically, all people deserve death. That’s a lot different than calling for the death penalty for all people.

  19. You make mention of Cruz’s stance of partial abortion. I am pro life but I also believe abortion should be legal with some stipulations. What I find appalling is that with the many forms of birth control you still have a rediculous amount of abortions. What the hell is wrong with a 20 week ban. First they are to stupid to take the pill, then they think little Johnny is going to marry them because they spread their legs and finally they want to rush to the abortion clinic just before the kid pops out and kill it. Give me a break. Thank to the bleeding heart Left of this country no one takes any personal responsibility for their actions any more.

  20. Why the Texas senator is the least scary of the remaining major-party candidates

    Unless you’re gay. Then the fact he at best wants armed men to drag you out of your home in the middle of the night and lock you in a cage, and at worst may want to straight up murder you is probably a deal breaker in the “limited government conservative” department.

    1. Which alternative candidate would you prefer? At the moment, the only candidate that would seem to match up with your ideals would be Hillary am I right?

      1. Last election I actually voted it was a write in vote for Ron Paul in 2004. Since then I’ve been blank voting.

        1. So essentially you’re just going to sit on the sidelines and throw political grenades. Fair enough, it’s starting to look like the only reasonable thing to do. Lord knows the media is having a field day this time around doing the exact same thing.

    2. Then the fact he at best wants armed men to drag you out of your home in the middle of the night and lock you in a cage, and at worst may want to straight up murder you is probably a deal breaker in the “limited government conservative” department.

      Um, what?

      Ted Cruz has not said anything about sodomy laws that I can find, and he certainly hasn’t said anything about the death penalty for it.

      1. You haven’t been listening to the voices in his head have you now?

      2. There’s numerous classmates and professors from both Princeton and Havard, as well as coworkers from his court clerkship who are on record stating he was a vocal advocate of sodomy laws during that time period. He has never renounced those views, so I it’s hard to see his silence as anything more than biting his tongue on views he still holds but doesn’t thing he can afford to expose to the general public.

        There’s also recent video of him being introduced at a rally by a guy who calls for the execution of homosexuals during the introduction and which Cruz didn’t seem bothered by enough to comment on.

        1. And Obama is a secret Muslim/terrorist/communist.

          That’s pretty weak sauce. Maybe he’s “smart enough” not to talk about it (vs. Ben Carson and his interesting views on the use of the very limited interior volume of the Pyramids), but what he has said is pretty standard Republican fare (“marriage is a state issue”).

    3. Citations undoubtedly needed.

      1. And never forthcoming.

        1. I made the mistake of clicking on his name link… He’s a Stormfront ass.

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  22. “your are our only hope” Ted Cruz
    not because you are right for the job but you are the last one left . So

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  26. Trump Cruz….Trump Cruz

    if Cruz was a CONSTITUTIONALIST he would understand that he is INELLIGIBLE!

  27. At this point, I think it’s too late to go for a lesser evil like Cruz. It’s time to get out the popcorn and see how terrible and entertaining American politics can truly be. The only way to end the American Empire is to let it destroy itself, and hope it doesn’t do too much collateral damage on the way down.

    1. Burn your house down and maybe something great will replace it. #Nihilismworks!

      1. Historically speaking we already know the likely replacement: monarchy or straight to totalitarianism.

  28. Less scary. Still scary.

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  30. RE: Cruz’s Constitutionalism Trumps Trump’s Trumpism

    No candidate will get elected spouting the Constitution.
    Only a candidate that promises free shit taken from the producing class will get elected.
    Get it straight.

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