Over at FiveThirtyEight.com David Wasserman says that if the GOP wants to win the White House this time around it’s “Rubio or bust.”I would argue that if the GOP wants to cut out the self-inflicted cancer that is the Tea Party so they can once again become a viable national party, they should nominate Ted Cruz this year and use his defeat in the fall to marginalize him and his ilk on Capitol Hill. Rubio may well be the most electable Republican this year, but the deck is clearly stacked against the Republican Oval Office aspirant in 2016 no matter who it is. Losing another election with a supposedly acceptable mainstream candidate will only increase Ted Cruz’s power on Capitol Hill and help sustain the Tea Party’s leverage over the party’s sane (though too often silent) majority.
Hate Ted Cruz? Serving him up in an election he will lose to Hillary Clinton would be delicious punishment and would have the additional benefit of helping restore the credibility of the national GOP.If the alternative is Trump, whose nomination would spell very serious trouble for down ballot Republicans, this seemingly bitter pill might be more palatable to national Republican insiders.
In a frightening way, the GOP’s long term interests in Washington might be best served by losing this year’s presidential election. If they won, regardless of who they put up, it would be very difficult to resist Tea Party pressure to repeal the 20th Century.If they lose with a so-called “establishment-friendly” nominee, the leverage of the “wacko birds” only increases in the GOP.
I think Ted Cruz may make a pretty good fall guy at this point. He’s a doctrinaire wing nut whose behavior on the campaign trail would create less difficulty for down ballot Republicans than Trump’s would, and he’s an asshole whose diminished stature in Washington would be both personally satisfying and politically useful to his GOP colleagues.