Cruz vs Trump: Now what?

Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz

It must be like waking up in the middle of a bad dream and realizing that you’re still in the middle of a bad dream.  After playing the last card in his hand, Ted Cruz was forced to concede defeat after the Trump Train ran him over this week and left his campaign mangled, and lying in the dust.  In one of the nastiest, most vitriolic presidential campaigns in American history, Donald Trump has done what few political pundits believed it was possible for him to do. 

In Fat Mack ‘n the Boyz, our community-oriented political satire column, the Advocate’s Derrick Drake detailed back on November 20, 2015 a Fat Mack prediction that we would end up in a Hillary vs Donald race for the presidency.  And as Fat Mack so eloquently said in that post: “if the Democrats don’t get their acts together and focus on the big picture, Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.”   Whodathunkit?

So, what now?  Does the GOP party leadership do an embarrassing about-face and rally the troops around Trump?  Will they look like sell-outs and capitulators if they do?  Will it deepen the already historic divisions within the GOP?  Will Cruz– after all the nasty, vicious, personal things said by Trump about him and his wife and his parents– now turn around, extend the olive branch and endorse Trump?

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From my vantage point, it’s hard to imagine, but politics does make for strange bedfellows.

Trump is the consummate deal-maker, so maybe he’ll cut a deal with Cruz that gives the still-bleeding senator an important appointment to a job where he doesn’t have to interact with Trump every day.  Perhaps a seat on the Supreme Court (if Trump wins the White House).  With a job like that, a for-life appointment, Cruz wouldn’t have to deal with any political repercussions for making such a drastic turnaround.  Besides, he wouldn’t be the only Republican leader to change his tune about Trump.

But then, Cruz might still have his eye on the Oval Office, and on trying again in four years when either cooler heads have prevailed within the GOP or 4 years of Trump has the entire nation clamoring for change.  If so, he’ll want to do whatever he needs to do to be seen as the go-to guy who put his personal differences aside for the good of the party.

It’s a tough spot to be in.  Especially since only 2 days ago, Trump told Fox and Friends that “[Cruz’s] father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being, you know, shot! . . .  And nobody even brings it up. I mean, they don’t even talk about that, that was reported and nobody talks about it. But I think it’s horrible, I think it’s absolutely horrible, that a man can go and do that, what he’s saying there. . . . I mean what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald, shortly before the death — before the shooting? It’s horrible.”

First, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for shooting and killing President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and was later shot himself by Jack Ruby while being transported from one jail to an other.

Second, there is absolutely no substance to Trump’s allegations.   The man whose comments form the basis of the claim has himself said he never said Cruz’s father was with Oswald.

If no one else gets it, Cruz does.  He knows first hand that Trump will say anything about anyone at any time.  Imagine a President Trump insulting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un– without cause– a man who would just as soon launch a nuke at the U.S. as listen to Trump call him the kind of names he has hurled at very GOP candidate for president.  And Jong Un announced last month that he now has the technology to launch a nuclear missile from North Korea and hit the U.S. mainland.  (Who announces that kind of thing?)

So, knowing what he knows, will Mr. Cruz endorse Trump?  Or will he tell The Donald to go somewhere and pound sand?

What would you do?

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