On the one hand, this is a huge sign of progress on the Republican electorate finally shaking off its "We need an outsider who has no idea what he's doing!" mantra; on the other hand, it's shooting down the only candidate in the field that had actually surpassed the lone Democrat mole candidate. So is this truly progress, or is this the conservative electorate - in Iowa, in this instance - splintering again while Donald Trump cruises to the GOP nomination?:
The Paris attacks and several recent foreign-policy fumbles are leading conservatives in Iowa to abandon Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson for rival Ted Cruz.
"He’s a great guy, he’s fun to listen to, but I didn’t hear anything substantive," Alan Hilgerson, a physician in Des Moines, told Politico. He said that national security was an "extremely high" priority for him as he pores over the candidates.
"I don’t know that I’d want him as my president," Hilgerson said.
Marilu Erdahl said that she was leaning more toward Cruz because of his strong positions on national security.
That's curious, as Marco Rubio's positions on national security are stronger than those of Ted Cruz, and Lindsey Graham's are stronger than Rubio's. So clearly there's more at play with Miss Erdahl's ruminations than just national security.
"He has experience, he’s shown what he can do," she told Politico at the Family Leader Forum in Des Moines. "With the state of affairs we’re in right now, I think it is very important. It’s vital.
Excuse me, but how has Ted Cruz "shown what he can do" in this context? He's a freshman senator halfway through his first term; all he's done is talk, which is a senator's core job description. He's never been a political executive in command of military forces (e.g. National Guard troops). It's true that he's more knowledgeable about every area of public policy than Dr. Carson, but when it comes to national security and the 3AM phone call, Cruz is as much a "virgin" as Gentle Ben.
Which is a circuitous way of asking the question of why State governors have gone nowhere in the 2016 cycle. Why is Carson's support not hemorrhaging to Chris Christie? Why did Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker not even draw flies? Again, this movement is clearly about more than national security.
"We need someone who knows the ropes, who’s not the establishment but who doesn’t need on-the-job training.
"I guess I’ve maybe made up my mind," she said.
Cruz is certainly not the "establishment," but he doesn't "know the ropes" and needs every bit as much "on-the-job training" as Ben Carson does.
All of which begs the question of why Donald Trump is still at the top of the Republican primary polls. Everything that is being said about Ben Carson's utter lack of foreign policy cred is every bit as true of Trump, and yet he appears to be surging, not slumping. Which is a dismaying indication of what GOP voters consider to be foreign policy cred. Having a big mouth does not, in reality, fit that description, but rather what President Theodore Roosevelt once called, "Speak softly, and carry a big stick". Barack Obama speaks softly and is stickless. It's going to be a long, perilous journey back to the point where America does possess a "big stick" again, and the last thing we need in the White House is somebody who speaks LOUDLY without the knowledge, temperment, or ability to back it up. And yet that is precisely what far too many Republican voters are determined to inflict upon our party and our country. And that will get is all killed just as certainly as the Obama Doctrine will.
However, if Hairboy is as confident as he likes to portray himself, why is he making noises about reneging on the pledge he signed with the RNC to not go Ross Perot next year?:
Donald Trump says he might run as an independent candidate for president in 2016.
The billionaire and former reality show star is leading the race for the GOP nomination for the fourth straight month. But he says that if the Republican Party does not "treat him fairly," he'll "see what happens" and consider running as an independent.
I don't get it. He's back on top (which is Trump's definition of being "treated fairly"). The longer he is, the more people start talking about him actually winning the GOP nomination next year. Sure, there's this rumored "establishment" "guerrilla" campaign to "take him out," but the nature and dynamic of the Trump campaign has been to make such assaults boomerang on his attackers, and I can't imagine this one being any different - everybody knows about his personal "foibles" and peccadilloes, after all. So what gives?
Maybe the one candidate in the GOP race that Trump truly fears is Senator Cruz. And you'll notice that Cruz is the one candidate in the GOP race that Trump hasn't shat upon. That could be the mano-e-mano showdown.
Ironic it would be, since Trump and Cruz are the two least electable Republicans on the candidate roster. But rationality never showed up for this cycle to begin with, so why should it make a belated appearance now?
UPDATE: You know who would not just beat Trump, but stomp a mudhole in him, at least in New Hampshire?
Food for thought? I think I could hold my nose hard enough, if it came down to it.