The GOP establishment has made it clear for months they can’t stand Donald Trump. Their hope that he would have his 15 minutes of fame and then fade into the sunset has turned into wishful thinking. Trump is the Republican presidential frontrunner and it does not appear he will relinquish that title anytime soon.
Trump, to everyone’s utter amazement, has been able to singlehandedly kidnap the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan. Fellow Republicans have called him a buffoon, loudmouth, loose cannon … and those are some of nicer things said about him!
But it appears as much as the GOP brass hates Trump, their hatred for Ted Cruz runs even deeper. They viscerally, resoundingly loathe the man.
And so it has come to pass that the Republican Party is beginning to view the celebrity billionaire in a new light. While he is the still the embodiment of everything they hate, at least he is not Cruz.
“Cruz has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way in D.C., whereas Trump hasn’t, and Trump up until this year was pretty much a player,” said Craig Shirley, a longtime GOP strategist and charter member of the establishment. “Ultimately, the Washington establishment deep down — although they find Trump tacky or distasteful — they think that they ultimately can work with him. Deep down, a lot of people think it is an act.”
Cruz looks at the universal hatred of him as a badge of courage: proof that he is doing something right. He is taking a page out of FDR’s playbook, when he famously said of bankers, “They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.” In Cruz’s case, just substitute Republicans for bankers (irony alert… Cruz is married to a Goldman Sachs banker.)
The latest Iowa polling has Trump and Cruz in a statistical death heat. But nationally, Trump remains the probative favorite to win the Republican nomination. If all goes according to Hoyle, the Republican establishment, as much as they will be thrown into a panic, may have to live with their new darling … the lying, racist, sexist, xenophobic Trump.
It is often said that elections come down to choosing the lesser of two evils. With the Republican establishment these days, it may come down to the lesser of two psychopaths.
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)