Gamblin' Ted Risks It All

Ted Cruz has bet everything on a win for Hillary.

The conservative bastions of the Internet are still roiling with controversy over Sen. Cruz' somewhat churlish convention speech.

True, the Senator did not actually insult The Donald, and he did make gentle hints that Trump would be preferable to the alternative.  But he most certainly didn't endorse him; he didn't even say he'll vote for him, though odds are he will.

Thus, the current flamewar between Trumpistas who are aghast at Cruz' apparent betrayal of the promise he made months ago to "support the nominee", vs. social conservatives who admire Cruz' defense of his wife, whom Trump insulted and declined to apologize to, even after he had the nomination in the bag.

So, Ted Cruz has ensured that there will be lasting resentments across the GOP - and has given those who dislike him yet another reason.

And in so doing, he has placed all his chips on the number marked "President Hillary."

Winning By Losing, and The Opposite

The risk Sen. Cruz is running is obvious: He is not going to be awarded any position in a Trump administration, nor can he expect any RNC support for any future campaigns he may wish to run so long as President Trump sits in the Oval Office.

This may not seem to matter so much: the obvious next step for Sen. Cruz is Governor of Texas, where he is still immensely popular and where Washington power-brokers are more unhelpful than anything else.  Not only can Ted Cruz win without national help, he can probably win against national opposition - indeed, because of opposition from the elites.  That's just the way Texas rolls.

Governor of the state of Texas is not too shabby an accomplishment.  It seems pretty clear that Ted Cruz' sights are set rather higher and have been for most of his life.  But with his refusal to kiss the ring of The Donald, Cruz will never, never be granted another shot at the big prize.

If, that is, Donald Trump wins this November.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Trump goes down to defeat, Sen. Cruz will spend four years trumpeting the mother of all I-told-you-sos.  He certainly did warn the Republican Party of their foolishness in falling for Trump in no uncertain terms - and every time a fawning media drools over President Hillary's latest fatuous blunder, every conservative voter will be reminded of that fact.

In 2020, Ted Cruz will still be a fairly young man, hale and hearty and ready for his own crack at Crooked Hillary, and the Republican party has a long tradition of giving next time's slot to last time's runner-up.

So, in short, it seems that Ted Cruz really does believe the arguments he made all along the campaign trail: Donald Trump cannot beat Hillary Clinton, and a Trump candidacy will doom the Republican party for the next four years.

Is he right?  Only time will tell - but there's another deeply disturbing aspect he may not have considered.

Betting On The Enemy?

In the late 1980s, Pete Rose was on top of  the world.  He had had a stellar career in major-league baseball, breaking the legendary Ty Cobb's all-time hits record.  Then he followed up with a very respectable term as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.  Pete Rose seemed a sure shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.

But an investigation determined that Pete Rose had been betting on baseball for many years - indeed, on his own games.  He always maintained that he never bet against his own team, but even that is open to doubt.  As punishment, Pete Rose was banned for life from baseball, and from the Hall of Fame, even though his hitting record should have ensured him permanent enshrinement there.

In maintaining the gulf between himself and the Republican Party nominee, Sen. Cruz has bet on the enemy.  Is this an act of bold truth-telling, or vile betrayal?

Maybe, in his own way, he's just as much of a risk-taker as Donald Trump.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

Here again, the Trumpsters put way too much value and meaning behind what Trump does/think/says (and what opposing him must mean). Both Cruz and Rubio will do just fine, both at the local and national level, regardless of them having opposed the The Orange One. If there is any one main flaw of Trumpsters, it's the inability to see the forest for the orange glittery trees right in front of them.

July 25, 2016 12:37 PM

Being the renegade seems to have been Cruz's MO from the outset. He wasn't the Texas Republican Party's first choice to be Senator. But he bulled his way in. He has been that nagging voice in the clubby Senate. And it is said that he is quite unpopular on both sides of the aisle. Not sure if he has brought home the bacon for Texas, tho.
No doubt he would be a popular choice for governor... conservative, Hispanic name, and a ornery " Texas First" streak. Not sure if the present Republican occupant wants to leave anytime soon.
It seems like Cruz may not only be betting on the enemy but a real political disaster for the country. That's when a voice that's " sticks to his principles" seems to do the best. That was one of the appeals of Reagan after the security and economic disasters of the Carter era.

July 25, 2016 12:59 PM

Guess it's a matter of perspective but from where I sit, Senator Cruz is about the only viable actual Republican candidate (the erstwhile "nominee," Mr Thirty-Seven Per Cent, included) who came through the 2016 primaries and caucuses with his character courage morality and integrity intact and unsoiled from having rubbed against the orange thug!

Trump cannot and will not win -- But Senator Cruz will continue to do very well indeed.

And as will very many others, come November 8, I shall 'Right' him in!


July 26, 2016 2:44 AM

Petrarch, my guess is you don't understand what it is for a principled man to act consistent with his principles. Principled men (and women) don't "gamble", as unprincipled people do. They simply do what they think is right.

That is why Christians went to the lions rather than burn incense to Caesar once a year, and why some Protestants remained in jail rather than celebrate one mass.

If you don't understand this, please don't write further about Cruz because it's impossible for you to get it right.

July 26, 2016 12:59 PM

@Brian Richard Allen


Well, I hope you and your conscience will be very happy together. I will be voting to salvage what's left of the United States.

July 27, 2016 12:24 AM

@Brian Richard Allen


Well, I hope you and your conscience will be very happy together. I will be voting to salvage what's left of the United States.

July 27, 2016 12:24 AM

Brother John, my "conscience" as you put it is sufficiently informed to have very little confidence in Trump's ability to "salvage" much of anything. He is a serial adulterer who has wandered all over the ideological map and has only recently started to make conservative noises.

John Calvin wrote that a wicked ruler is God's judgment. I hesitate to speak for the Almighty, so I'll simply say that as far as I can tell, both Trump and Hillary qualify in that area.

July 27, 2016 6:20 PM

@Calvin John - I certainly agree with you about the wickedness of not only the upper echelons of our government, but more or less top to bottom. As for who's wickeder, I'd voter for Hilary - she left our people to die in Benghazi - it's becoming clear that the military were told to stand down. That could be regarded as murder.

Mr. Trump told Mr. Putin that the MSM would pay a lot for his copy of Hillary's 30,000 deleted emails. Judicial Watch is suing to see Hillary's calendars - she seems to have met with Clinton Foundation donors while on State Department business and such meetings are supposed to be disclosed. I would not be surprised if her email trove included Ambassador Stephen's schedule so the bad guys knew he would be in Benghazi.

That's why she gets my vote.

Note that there were NO American flags at the Democrat convention until their absence received comment? There were Soviet and Palestinian flags being waved from the floor, but no US flags.

July 27, 2016 6:31 PM

Let the police state begin...

July 27, 2016 8:54 PM

Brother John said: .... @Brian Richard Allen

.... #NeverTrump?

.... Well, I hope you and your conscience will be very happy together. I will be voting to salvage what's left of (My) America ....

Conscience? Hmmmmm! Hmmmmm! Voting to salvage our beloved fraternal republic?

Me, too.

Hence: #NEVERtrump (Nor Missus Cli'ton - in case you're wondering)

July 28, 2016 7:05 AM

@Brian Richard Allen

I take it, then, that you're going third (or fourth) party? Or that you're staying home on election day?

Welcome, then, to the very pinnacle of self-indulgent voting. A vote not for Trump is a vote for Hillary. She is known to be the manifestly worst of all possible candidates available right now. She needs to be kept as far from the White House as possible. It may be unpleasant, but it needs to be done.

July 28, 2016 9:06 AM

@Calvin John

Police state begin? Haven't you been paying attention the last several years? Those that aren't being outfitted with military surplus -- tanks included -- are being "brought under federal guidelines" for their "racism." States and municipalities are effectively nothing more than administrative districts of the federal government already.

July 28, 2016 9:07 AM

@ Brian Richard Allen

Did we or did we not have a primary? (simple yes or no will suffice)
Did you participate in the primary process?
Was that Primary Process at all tampered with? (again, a simple yes or no will suffice)

Yet despite all this...You behave like a Sander's supporter...No wait, you are WORSE...because at least in the Sander's was clearly are just engaging in some weird sense of righteous indignation and ballyhooing- for the sake of...what...Your guy didn't win (in an non-tampered process)?

At the end of the day, you have 2 choices really...Trump or Clinton.
(context clue...if you participated in the GOP primary, you are not aligned with Clinton)

July 28, 2016 2:14 PM

Don't put words in my mouth, ildraz.

My choice is to vote for neither, because they are both enemies of the Constutution that I swore to uphold, even if it cost me my life. I cannot see myself voting for either without violating my Oath.

But I WILL be voting for others. More than that, I intend to work for a man running for State office to help get him elected.

This is my last comment on this thread.

July 28, 2016 7:48 PM

again did you or did you not participate in the primary process?

I put no words in your did that all on your own.

I only asked you a question...of which i see you still refuse to awnser.

What i think is funny about this never trump crowd...or the "whole no candidate is never good enough for me"...they whine the loudest...and then get amazingly sanctimonious in their stances.

Good day sir..have a nice time with your conscience

July 28, 2016 11:39 PM

@Calvin John:

I hate Trump as much as the next guy, but that link you posted is from a fake news site. Trump never said that or had any such interview with the NYT (about federalizing local police). If you google the story or that website, you'll see right away that it's bogus.

(It does ring pretty true though, from his earlier comments, and I would not be the slightest bit surprised if he actually did that, post win. Command & Control is right up his ally. Stop & Frisk was a great and wonderful thing to him. It's good to be rich and have body guards.)

July 29, 2016 1:17 PM
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