Yesterday, Senator Ted Cruz appeared on the Michael Berry show, the full interview is below.
But the critical part was covered by my colleague, Susan Wright:
“There’s time for recriminations and you know everyone who is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump, they will bear that responsibility going forward,” Cruz said. “But there were more than a few players who played a disproportionate role in that rise.”
Keep this in mind for a moment.
Yesterday, former House Speaker, John Boehner, was at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas and opined about the current GOP primary race, such as it is.
“Donald Trump is the nominee, whether people like it or not,” the former House speaker, during a question-and-answer session at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas, told attendees Thursday. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, made clear he would support the nominee.
But that doesn¹t mean Boehner supports what Trump is pitching on the campaign trail. Asked, rapid fire, whether he supported Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., his proposal to build a wall on the border of Mexico and the New York billionaire¹s plan to aggressively use tariffs to attack foreign trade competitors, Boehner repeatedly answered with one word: “No.”
He also said Trump¹s foreign policy stance, laid out in a speech two weeks ago, didn’t align with his views. Still, Boehner said, “Anybody who doesn’t think Donald Trump can win, just watch.”
So, cut to the essence, Boehner doesn’t agree with anything Trump is proposing but he supports him wholeheartedly. And he had this to toss into the mix:
“Thank God the guy from Texas didn’t win,” he said.
Why would that be? Why would a guy who worked pretty hard to achieve and maintain a House majority put that majority at risk simply for the sake of spiting someone with whom he has many more policy agreements than he does with Donald Trump? Why would the former Speaker support a manifestly corrupt and amoral man against someone who had conducted his affairs with dignity?
Then as it became clear that the most establishment-friendly candidates (Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, even the more right-wing Rubio) weren’t going to hack it, it was the establishmentarians and self-conscious moderates who decided that Trump was a man they could do business with, not like that crazy Tea Partier Senator Cruz.
Which is how Trump ended up as the candidate of Sean Hannity and John Boehner, Ann Coulter and Jon Huntsman, with Rush Limbaugh running interference for him with the grass roots, and various lobbyists doing the same on Capitol Hill.
Of course many converts to Trumpism were motivated simply by expediency, ambition, power worship. But many were clearly motivated by grudges and fears instilled by the party’s civil war, and by a sense that even though Trump might represent a grave threat to their vision of Republicanism, it would still be better to serve under his rule for a season than to risk putting their hated intraparty rivals in the catbird seat. The narcissism of small differences, in other words, led both the professional establishment and the professional base to surrender to a force that they had countless ideological and pragmatic reasons to oppose.
In short, Boehner, and guys like him, decided that losing with Trump was less of a danger to la dolce vita of the status quo, even it that entailed a blow out that eliminated all gains by the GOP over the past six years, if it prevented a man like Ted Cruz, who actually believes is something, from becoming president. And Boehner may very well be right. Trump could easily prevail in this contest and become president. I think Hillary is a sick old woman who should be sitting at home worrying about a timely delivery of Depends rather than running for president and I think a lot of Sanders people will go to Trump because they, too, want to burn stuff down. Even so, Boehner clearly hasn’t considered that the disaster of winning with Trump and being stuck with his stench for a couple of decades could be worse than losing.
Coming back to Senator Cruz’s statement. Boehner and his ilk are going to have a lot to answer for whether Trump wins or not. They could have come out in opposition to Trump and supported someone else in the race. They could have got behind the push to have a credential fight at the convention. But they took the road of cheap political and moral expediency and got behind a man who will do incalculable damage to the GOP.
But keeping the “guy from Texas” from winning was all that was important. Screw the country and to hell with our kids.