A few bullet points on Ted Cruz’s announcement this morning.
1. One would get the impression from listening to the issues he’s putting front and center to announce his campaign that Republican Presidential candidates have a lot of trouble winning Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee in recent cycles. “Stand With Israel?” Why? So you can get even more votes in states that are foregone red conclusions anyway? Most of the white South will vote for any Republican, even the most milquetoast and uninspiring ones, over any Democrat. To wit: 2008 and 2012.
Electoral College leverage comes from Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania. And their crucial swing white voters don’t much care about Israel either way.
2. This point is a segue from the first point. Cruz noted the tens of millions of evangelical Christians that vote and the tens of millions that don’t. Yes, that’s true. The inconvenient truth is that they, both the voters and non-voters, are mostly in states that would be red states anyway. In a way, it’s like the ZOMG GREAT HISPANIC VOTER TIDAL WAVE LOL~!!!!!!1 that the Republican establishment fawns over. First off, it’s more like a pebble pond ripple than a tidal wave. Second, most Hispanic voters live in states that are already foregone red or foregone blue for reasons other than Hispanics; in contrast, the red states evangelical Christian voters live in are red states largely because of their political energy. If, as Cruz intimates, the 50% of evangelical Christians that don’t vote actually did vote, all it would mean is that the Republican would win Alabama by a bigger margin. The point remains; the prize is Electoral College leverage, the crucial swing voters in crucial swing states. And those aren’t Hispanics in California or white evangelical Christians in Alabama. They’re people who aren’t swayed by a better more eloquent more articulate version of lamestream conservatism, nor are they interested in Rah Rah Reagan more than 30 years removed from his last campaign, even though the crucial swing voters either were actually Reagan Democrats or one generation removed from Reagan Democrats.
3. Cruz will win every debate he’s in. He’ll outargue and outdebate everyone on the stage and everyone not on the stage all day long until the cows come home. And the ultimate political relevance of that will be? Virtually nothing. He’s going to do great debating on behalf of an agenda that is increasingly irrelevant and obsolete, and not that important to the voters that ultimately matter. On a national scale, debates are overrated; all one has to do is to perform competently in them but do so on an agenda that connects with people and connects with the right kind of people.
4. The problem with Ted Cruz and immigration in his campaign is that he’s going to try to thread the needle between being Jeff Sessions and being the donors. That’s been his problem on immigration even before now. He could get himself on the right side 100% of the time, Jeff Sessions’s side, and that’s how he could make real inroads with the swing voters that matter, working middle class whites outside the South. But then, the money and the donors.
5. I wonder why the Republican establishment despises him so much. After all, Harvard Law is on his resume and his wife works for Goldman Sachs. Plus, his Spanish surname, and his full legal name is Rafael Edward Cruz, so both his first and last name are Spanish, though for assimilation purposes, he professionally goes by the common nickname of his middle name as his first name. That’s like a Republican establishmentarian wet dream come true.
6. This goes to show you how vacuous modern news media are: Their big grind with Cruz’s announcement is that he did not use a teleprompter.
7. Ted Cruz is now America’s second official “white Hispanic.”