Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Saturday, August 27, 2016

A coming Ted and Rick death match?

by digby

I wrote about the growing feud between Ted Cruz and Rick Perry and the Donald Trump connection for Salon this morning:

One of the most dramatic early moments during the primaries came from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry when he delivered a shocking, blistering speech about Donald Trump. It was only about a month into the race and the candidacy of Trump didn’t seem like a particular threat. But Trump was already hitting the immigration issue very hard and people were wondering how much damage he was going to do to the GOP.

Still fighting his battered image from 2008 when he blundered badly during a debate, Perry was polling only in the low single digits when he decided to confront Trump in July 2015. Until then, there had been a couple of tepid gestures from Sen. Lindsay Graham, who called Trump a “wrecking ball,” and former Sen. Rick Santorum, who mildly criticized “The Apprentice” star for his “verbiage.” And this was because of the dynamic that ended up making it possible for Trump to go all the way, namely that all the candidates assumed they needed to go easy on him because they hoped to inherit his voters when his ridiculous campaign inevitably blew up.

Perry decided to take a chance and separate himself from the pack by issuing a statement criticizing Trump’s border nonsense. He said, in part: “I have a message for my fellow Republicans and the independents who will be voting in the primary process: What Mr. Trump is offering is not conservatism, it is Trumpism – a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.”

Trump was not amused and tweeted a tart response: “GovernorPerry failed on the border. He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.”

They traded increasingly hostile barbs about border security for a while, with Perry defending his record and knowledge of the issue and Trump responding by calling him stupid: “I see Rick Perry the other day. . . . He’s doing very poorly in the polls. He put on glasses so people will think he’s smart. And it just doesn’t work! You know people can see through the glasses!”

Having had enough (and judging that it would be smart politics), Perry finally let fly with one of the most memorable speeches of the 2016 campaign. Appearing before the Opportunity and Freedom PAC conference, Perry said, “Let no one be mistaken: Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.”

Added Perry: I, for one, will not be silent when a candidate for the high office of president runs under the Republican banner by targeting millions of Hispanics and our veterans, with mean-spirited vitriol. I will not go quiet when this cancer on conservatism threatens to metastasize into a movement of mean-spirited politics that will send the Republican party to the same place it sent the Whig Party in 1854: the graveyard.”

It was a good try, but it didn’t help Perry’s campaign. Perry was the first to drop out of the race just two months later. But he left with his head held high, widely admired for having had the nerve to call Trump out early on. He was a stand-up guy.

Meanwhile, Perry’s fellow Texan Ted Cruz had gone with the conventional wisdom and was keeping his enemy very close. Of all the candidates, Sen. Cruz was the one who had cultivated Trump as a fellow traveler. When Trump and NBC, which had broadcast some beauty pagaents that Trump produced, clashed over Trump’s immigration comments, Cruz rushed in to defend him, saying, “I like Donald Trump. I think he’s terrific, I think he’s brash, I think he speaks the truth.”

Added Cruz: “And I think NBC is engaging in political correctness that is silly and that is wrong.”

The two of them even held a joint rally on Capitol Hill to protest the U.S. deal with Iran over nuclear weapons.

By the end of the primary season, the bromance had deteriorated into extreme loathing, with Trump tweeting unflattering pictures of Cruz’s wife and accusing his father of being involved in the JFK assassination. When Cruz’s father exhorted the evangelical community to support his son, Trump said he thought it was a disgrace that Cruz Sr. was “allowed to do that.” (This is a Trump trademark: Apparently he thinks there should be laws preventing people from running against him and saying things he doesn’t like.)

The big finish, of course, came at the GOP convention in Cleveland when Cruz went before the nation ostentatiously refused to endorse Trump and got lustily booed by the delegates for it. My theory is that Cruz was positioning himself as the “conscience of conservatives” if Trump implodes in November.

Meanwhile, Perry had done a big about-face. Once Trump secured the nomination, much to everyone’s surprise, he enthusiastically endorsed the man he once called “a cancer on the presidency,” saying “he is not a perfect man,” adding, “But what I do believe is he loves his country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people and he will listen to them.” The National Review wondered what in the world would make Perry do such a thing, suggesting that Perry was being shortsighted about his future. It turned out that Perry was strongly signaling that he was “open” to being tapped for vice president. Poor Perry. That didn’t work out for him either.

But there is hope for another attempted comeback. Proving that hell hath no fury like a billionaire scorned, after his former BFF Cruz’s apostasy at the convention, Trump vowed to spend millions to defeat him in his next election. And look who’s fixing to run against him? That’s right, good old Rick Perry — and with Trump’s encouragement. The polls show he could beat him!

So what we have is two Texas Republicans who have benefited both from opposing and supporting Donald Trump at different times during this campaign facing off in a race in which they will each say they represent the conscience of the Republican Party. And clearly, neither of them have one themselves.