Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Consensus Builds: Ted Cruz Pushes the Field to the Right

The unusual suspects: OMG x WTF...

I knew the second Cruz said he would announce that, regardless of his chances, he'd be in it long enough to make the field move to the right or at least try to move to the right of Cruz. After all, which candidate -- maybe even Jeb! -- wants to be thought of as "not conservative enough"?

Here comes TPM with its acknowledgement of the Cruz Effect:
Where Cruz stands out is not his ideological principles — he shares common beliefs with many of his rivals — but his scorched-earth tactics in service of those principles, and his proclivity for painting fellow Republicans with tactical disagreements as capitulators.
How many of us can envision Jeb Bush saying, "I'm not a capitulator, and I'm not batshit crazy!"? Frankly, I can't imagine it, so the best Jeb can hope for, assuming he wants to cling to the rational center of conservatism, whatever that might be, is to rope-a-dope until Cruz is gone, taking those who tried to out-tea-party Cruz with him.

Adding fuel to the fire is the LA Times' chiming in on Cruz Control:
But in addition to raising his political profile, Cruz’s candidacy is certain to play a role in the GOP primaries as he becomes a spoiler and potential kingmaker, forcing establishment favorites — such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — to confront tea party preferences on immigration, same-sex marriage and social welfare programs.
Cruz's zeal for small government and a muscular national defense reflects the views of many Republicans. But GOP strategists acknowledge the divisive firebrand may drive the debate too far to the right for mainstream political tastes — just as many party leaders say he has done during his short time in Congress. He could force his 2016 opponents to embrace positions in the primary that they might regret when facing the Democratic nominee.
Ted Cruz, Specter of Political Death. Holy Decimated GOP field, Batman!

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