No, I'm not talking about how the rest of the Republican field didn't shuck their vanity campaigns and get out of the race months ago, or how they ripped each other to shreds for the right to face Trump one on one instead of single-mindedly dogpiling the real estate huckster, allowing him to run away with the nomination functionally unopposed (almost as if Trump were the...."establishment" candidate. Hmmmm.....). I'm reacting to Allan Bourdius's prescription for how Cruz can come back and win the Republican nomination, and how it's predicated on the antitheses of who the Texas senator is and the very things he's incapable of doing.
Let's go down the list.
Reinvent his stump speech:
It’s great material for firing up conservatives. Cruz doesn’t need to fire up conservatives.
I don't know about that. I think he does. The problem is that (1) he needed to do so a long time ago, (2) he doesn't know how to do that (as Marco Rubio finally did, way too late to make any difference), and (3) he doesn't know WHAT will do that, given that so many so-called conservatives have betrayed "true conservatism" and defected to Trump. Cruz linked conservatism and anger; his target demographic has thrown away the former and lost itself in the latter.
One of the most common complaints I hear of Cruz’s delivery is that he comes across like a Baptist preacher. I’m a little more charitable and say Cruz always thinks he’s delivering a closing argument to a jury, rather than speaking to an electorate.
Yes. And? This has been common knowledge about Ted Cruz ever since he arrived in the U.S. Senate. It's why nobody there, or pretty much anywhere else in the Republican Party, can stand him. I've said for the past three years how curious it is that a man who has worn his presidential ambitions on his sleeve has gone so conspicuously out of his way to piss off so many allies and burn so many bridges in a party whose support he needed to ascend to its presidential nomination. Those chickens haven't come home to roost in quite the way anybody foresaw, but they have come home, nonetheless.
He needs to inspire and attract persuadable Republican voters currently leaning towards or in other candidates’ camps. As important, he needs to start inspiring and attracting voters in whole, looking forward to the general election in November....Take a page from Marco Rubio and be visionary first, adversarial a distant second.
To invoke an old saying, "If he was gonna, he already woulda". Frankly, I don't think Cruz is psychologically capable of not being an insufferable scold. Besides, where did "the vision thing" and sunny, optimistic Reaganism get rightwing Dezi?
Make peace with the “establishment”
Sure, even Lindsey Graham has publicly expressed a willingness to bury the hatchet with the Texas firebrand in a classic example of another axiom, "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's OUR son of a bitch, while Trump is their son of a bitch". But being anti-"establishment" is Ted Cruz's political "brand"; he can't make peace with the same people he's been vilifying as the "Washington Cartel" for years. You know why? Because Trump has already stolen that "brand," and cast Cruz as a member of that same "cartel" simply by virtue of his being in the U.S. Senate - the very "cockroaches in Washington" "logic" in which somebody around here loves to indulge, "Only outsiders are legitimate," a nonsensical fallacy to which only Trump (should he attain the White House) and not Cruz or anybody else, will be irrationally immune.
In short, TrusTed has already been mugged, and following this advice would confirm it.
Wake up to a “big tent” strategy
This isn't Senator Cruz's "brand," either. He has stubbornly insisted - much like the pre-Trumpized Rush Limbaugh used to, and somebody around here still does - that America is "still a conservative country" and all that has to be done for the Right to regain everything and "turn the country around" and "restore the Republic" easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy is to not compromise, not "expand the tent," stick rigidly to conservative principles, and bring all those disaffected conservative voters - you know, the ex-conservatives that have flocked to Trump - back into the fold and turn them out on Election Day.
You might say, in this instance, that "if he was gonna, he already woulda, if he even coulda". Again, this is one more thing of which Cruz is not psychologically capable, and which never would have worked for him. If he'd done it months ago, it would have undermined his "brand," and for him to do it now would look every bit as desperate as many think Marco Rubio was for jumping into Trump's mudpit and talking about making Trump piss himself and laughing at his "small fingers". Also something of which Cruz would have been incapable, and for the same reasons.
Besides, the example Bourdius suggests of taking up Bruce Jenner's borderline endorsement and playing it up, complete with joint campaign appearances, wherein the Texan would have to indulge the fiction of Jenner being a "woman," complete with mangling personal pronouns, to lungingly and flailingly pander to millennials, something he's never, ever done before, would probably make Cruz piss himself.
In essence, Allan Bourdius is advising Ted Cruz to not just be a professional politician, which he is, but a "Cartel" politician - and stop being himself - in order to stop Trump. But it wouldn't stop Trump; it would just be the difference between Cruz losing with dignity and losing with a clown nose and pooped, as well as pissed, pants.
Because the fact is that as a national political paradigm and philosophy, "true conservatism" is dead, knifed in the back not by the GOP "establishment," but by the GOP grassroots itself. Which makes it beyond bitterly ironic that Ted Cruz helped guide the killing blade, even if it is the New York liberal Democrat conman who is plunging it to the hilt.