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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

 
He may be more unpleasant than Richard Nixon but he's our Richard Nixon


by digby



















Here's a conservative movement Cruz supporter explaining why his candidate being really creepy is actually such an awesome thing:
Ted Cruz won in impressive fashion. Not only did he beat Donald Trump by 4 points, but he outperformed the polls by 5 points and won more votes in the Iowa caucus than any GOP candidate ever. Everyone thought Trump was energizing the GOP base, but it turns out the folks in Iowa were much more excited about Cruz. This is particularly impressive when you consider the fact that Cruz is running as a small government, issues-oriented conservative. For God’s sake, he vigorously opposed ethanol subsidies in Iowa and still won — not only that, he won Iowa’s heaviest corn-producing counties. In an election cycle dominated by a pandering, big-government circus clown, Cruz stayed boring, stayed on message, and managed the most massive Republican win in the history of the state.

What does that tell us? Well, as pessimistic as I tend to be, it tells us there may be reason for optimism. Whether you support Cruz or not, you should be encouraged that someone like Cruz can win so handily, even while the media does everything in its power to hand the election to the guy from “The Apprentice.” Whatever else you might say about him, Cruz is radically conservative — he’s “so extreme,” as Viagra pitchman Bob Dole put it — and he runs on his ideas and his principles, not his personality.

As for his personality, I admit it leaves plenty to be desired. It’s even kind of off-putting at times. He has no style. He’s not much of a charmer. He tells bad jokes. He has a weird face. He’s not entertaining at all. He’s not the type of dude you’d necessarily want to get a beer with. I bet he’d order a Stella Artois and spend the whole time giving his list of the most outrageous 20th century Supreme Court decisions, which I actually think would be pretty interesting, but I’m guessing a lot of people would find it lame and head over to the other end of the bar where Chris Christie is shotgunning Miller Lite.

The point is, the people who support Cruz support him because they like his ideas, they think he’s competent, and they trust him to stick to his principles once he’s in office. You might think there’s someone in the race who better fits this bill (Rand Paul at least equals Cruz in this regard, but unfortunately he’s not going to win), but you should still be happy that so many GOP voters are voting based on the right things and for the right reasons. It would be a sign of national health if a wonkish nerd with no swag won the presidency.

Cruz is a long way from winning, but last night was a good start for anyone who values substance over style.

Actually it wasn't that many GOP voters who went for his "substance. He got 27% of the vote. You do the math. He did outperform expectations but expectations are a parlor game when it comes to Iowa. The fact is that Cruz won because he organized in a very smart, modern, data driven way. Nobody ever said the guy was dumb.Whether he can pull of that kind of meticulous organizing anywhere else or if it would produce the same results remains to be seen. But he had the best ground game in the race for the Iowa caucus. And it produced results for him.

I have been told forever that all people care about in a politician is authenticity. Cruz is the most authentic conservative in the race, by far. Nobody can out-conservative him. And yet he's not popular with most Republicans, not even close. Many of the hardcore evangelicals and movement conservatives in Iowa, a very pious and conservative state rewarded him with 27% of the GOP vote. If this country wants Cruz-style conservatism, shouldn't it have been more?


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