well okay, ted cruz then

Extremism is a robust virus in the body politic. What does a virus do? It infects the host and uses it as a medium for reproducing itself. It uses the host as a platform for spreading itself to other hosts. An effective virus makes the host sick, but not too sick. Think common cold.

A co-worker catches a cold from her child, who caught it from a classmate at school. You catch the cold and spread it to your family. Your family spreads the cold around. That’s an effective virus. An effective virus doesn’t threaten the host’s survival, because a dead host means the virus can no longer reproduce.

An ineffective virus replicates too quickly, spreads too quickly, kills the host. Think rabies. Think Ebola.


The modern Republican party is sick with extremism. It’s been sick since the early 1990s and it’s getting sicker. It used to be a healthy political party. There used to be a plentiful supply of moderate antibodies that kept the extremist infection at bay. Over time, the GOP has become increasingly sick. Fewer antibodies and a heavier viral load allowed more pernicious strains of extremism to infect the Republican party. This made a Ted Cruz presidential campaign possible — maybe even inevitable.

Ted Cruz is rabies. Ted Cruz is Ebola. A Ted Cruz presidential campaign will create an environment in which the GOP host necessarily must either improve and regain its health or enter a death spiral. His candidacy will force Republican moderates (assuming any still exist) who want to be president to either adopt Cruz-like extremist positions or reject them. If they adopt them, those candidates become poison in the general election. Candidates who reject Cruz-like extremist positions, however, will find it much more difficult to survive the primary campaign.

ted cruz 2016

Either way, the Ted Cruz candidacy almost certainly guarantees Republicans will lose the presidential election. Right now, the GOP is simply too sick to win the presidency. Still, the Ted Cruz campaign is good news — for the Republican party and for the nation. The GOP will either begin the long painful road to recovery or it will become terminal. Either result benefits the nation.

Shorter version:

Vote for Rabies in 2016!

10 thoughts on “well okay, ted cruz then

  1. I fully agree… I am hoping enough of this viral variety join the primaries to cause the reset of the GOP that it so badly needs. someone has to break this fear of “the base” that has nothing but conflicting ideas, which at the same time all lack a sense of responsibility and understanding.

    the last few elections question the certainty part with a well-gamed Electoral College run, though I am still hoping that the demographics are such that just builds on the previous trends… and that there is some hints that “people get it” that the GOP is just full of shit.


    • Two things: first, if the Republicans want to return to being a viable political party they HAVE to find some way to appeal to groups other than angry, fearful white folks. Otherwise they die on the cross of demographics.

      Second, Facebook is so much less interesting when you’re gone.


      • first: yes, I am not sure where the answer is to that riddle. previous bad results are quickly dismissed with cognitive dissonance galore, and the 2014 results were further fuel to this dissonance of “see, stick to principles and also the Tea Party is awesome.”

        second: it coincided with a good time to take a break, actually, life and all of that. that said, I agree with your previous post about facebook — I got this blog on RSS, so I don’t miss an article ; ) I am still miffed at such a stupid policy, and while not letting facebook win is idiotic at best, I have to find a medium that allows me to interact again. I am finding a good trial-medium with tumblr, blog and twitter. the interaction is non-existent, but the curating is good/better. maybe return to IG before to facebook. (wow, this is long for being off-topic… I blame Obama.)


      • The problem with Tumblr and IG (at least in my opinion) is that they suck at actual interaction. I keep thinking G+ or Ello ought to work, but then the issue is one of migration — getting folks to move.


  2. I kinda disagree, Greg… I really think that the huge sums of cash that Bush is raising ultimately will have a neutralizing effect on the extremist lunatics, and he will be able to navigate through the GOP clown parade without being yanked too far to the right (though yanked he will be). Once he wins the nomination, he will tag Walker as his running mate, which will satisfy the rabid right-wingers.

    I’m really disappointed that Obama caved so often early in his presidency, as he had an opportunity to demonstrate that being liberal isn’t such a bad thing. He really allowed the picture to remain cloudy enough for the GOP to have an opening in 2016—the 2012 mid-term disaster is evidence of that. (And yes, the Democrats running away from the Affordable Care Act didn’t help.)

    But… as fucked up as the economy was when he took office, and with majorities in both houses (slim though they were), he had an opportunity to get stuff done on a pretty grand scale, but he allowed the GOP to control the message. How else can it be explained that people think that Obama was responsible for Katrina FEMA failures? How else can it be explained that people believe the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was enacted while he was president. How else can it be explained that people thought he had gotten us involved in Iraq in the first place?

    OK… that was a bit ramble-y.

    Last week, I had the good fortune to photograph a discussion between one of Obama’s top political advisors (David Simas) and local political activists (most of which, I think, are liberal). A great deal was said about the most effective ways of getting the message out, encouraging voter participation, etc., and one thing that the White House’s research has found is the peer-to-peer influence that Facebook has on people. It’s frightening to think that these insidious, non-factual info-graphics are guiding the American voting populace.


    • You may be right, Patrick. But there are a lot of hard right conservatives who don’t vote for another Bush. And a lot of them no longer consider Walker ideologically sound. He lacks the sort of balls to the wall craziness of Cruz, and there’s a growing segment of the GOP that are willing to set fire to the entire world to demonstrate their ideological purity.

      Either way, Cruz is poison for the Republicans.


      • Given the extreme opposition to everything he proposed, it’s really rather amazing that Obama accomplished as much as he did. And he actually has a nice string of accomplishments that never get acknowledged — even by his supporters. I mean everything from a credit card bill of rights (which, okay, is a really stupid name, but still) to the ACA to beginning to normalize relations with Cuba to protecting more wilderness areas. He’s really been rather quietly successful. Granted, he might have been able to do more, but under the circumstances I think he’s done pretty well.


    • I have wondered how much of Obama’s “restraint” (or caving, or a combination of both), notably in his first term, is caused by the nature of him being the first black president, and being scrutinized to no end. this applies to within Washington DC, as with the electorate as a whole.

      perhaps the consequence is, something I really welcome, a noted “long game” on results and letting the idiots in the GOP hang themselves.

      the 2014 elections go to your point: establishment focused and defeating the nuts, but the long duration of this presidential run can neutralize that, more so with the wild swings we saw with Newt vs. Romney vs. whomever in the early primaries.


      • The biggest problem that the Democrats face is the GOP’s takeover of so many statehouses, particularly in 2010, when they began redistricting in order to guarantee their ability to screw up governments on the state and local levels. Also, in Michigan (as in a number of other GOP-dominated states), the legislatures are attempting to change the distribution of electoral votes from winner-take-all to by district, which would mean that a Democrat can win the state’s total votes overwhelmingly yet not win more electoral votes than the Republican. It is this type of dirty—nay, insidious and evil—form of politics that destroys any hope within me that we will ever again have a working democracy in this country (if indeed we ever did).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m afraid Ted Cruz’ popularity all stems from saying things that people wanted (needed) to hear, and this placed him squarely into the limelight. I also think this new found fame has somewhat gone to his head and he is living on the high it produced. Having heard him speak on a variety of subjects, I find him a man without a distinct plan and I’d frankly be quite afraid to see him placed in a job I have to wonder if he is indeed qualified to hold.

    I have to say that I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican; but neither am I a Conservative nor a Liberal. And I’m certainly not an Independent. What I am is an American without political affiliation. I cast my ballots for the person and not the organization to which he or she belongs. This, in many cases, makes me an outcast or the target of fancy campaign solicitations.

    What I look most forward to now is someone seeking to be elected to office who cares enough about this country to take a stance, rid our Congress of those who have so well demonstrated their own personal and political special interests are more important than representing those of us foolish enough to have elected them in the first place, and a desire to take America back and return it to the great nation it deserves to be.

    And I seriously doubt Ted Cruz is the man who could do this.

    Liked by 1 person

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