19 January 2016

Rafael Edward Cruz

As much as the mainline GOP loathes Trump, it may detest Ted Cruz even more. Cruz led the pointless and counterproductive shutdown, hurting the bottom line of the party’s business wing, and then got the last laugh when Republicans, despite dire warnings to the contrary, still won the next election going away. He has called Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, a liar on the floor of the Senate. Big-business lobbies like the Chamber of Commerce find him “totally unacceptable,” and he wears their revulsion as a badge of honor—a credential that proves he may be in Washington, but he is not of it.

Some Republicans who have moved through the stages of grief from denial to bargaining, if not yet acceptance, have begun to suggest that Trump might be preferable to Cruz. Trump is, if you squint, a sort of moderate Republican; he’s a dealmaker; and surely he’s craven enough to reverse his most alienating positions and say what people want to hear if he gets to the general election. Cruz, on the other hand, is an ideologue. The scariest prospect of all is that he really means what he says, and might, if elected, take it upon himself to actually upend the establishment’s cherished status quo.

- Molly Ball, 'Portrait of a Party on the Verge of Coming Apart', The Atlantic, 18 January 2016 

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