Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ted Cruz

Well, I didn't see that coming.  I brag about my prognostication powers, but not this time...

Let's take a quick trip down memory lane, and revisit another convention moment from a losing candidate named Ted.  This one killed a woman in a drunk driving accident and got away with it because he's American royalty!

The knowledge that he killed a woman in a drunk driving accident may slightly detract from the beautiful oratory, but man could that guy orate, and we still reference this moment today.  And even though he famously snubbed Carter, note the lack of boo-ing.

Ah, poor Ted Cruz.  I did sort of call it back in April that he and Trump could never reconcile after bringing their wives into the fight, but here we are.  Earlier this week, I speculated about the conditions under which Trump might get boo-ed.  It never occurred to me that Cruz would get boo-ed for not specifically endorsing Trump.

It is worth making some historical, political science-y observations, then.  The Democratic Party in 1980 was deeply divided between the remaining conservative Southerners and the northern liberals.  Head on over to Voteview, source of the blessed "NOMINATE" scores, with which we measure congressional ideology, and you will get the possibly mistaken impression that the Republican Party has been relatively unified lately, or at least more unified than the Democratic Party circa 1980.  And yet, here we are.

Is that ideology, or Trump?  Uh, I guess we'll find out.  But this shouldn't be happening.  I don't have an explanation.  I'm just pointing out that this is another demonstration of how weird this is.  I started this pretentious, little blog with a series called, "Trump to Political Science: Drop Dead," on all of the ways that Donald Trump was making my beloved discipline eat crow.  This might be another one to add to the pile.

Next, I just can't resist taking one more stab at some colleagues because, well, that's the kind of person I am.  (Title of the blog, anyone?)  Dave Hopkins and Matt Grossman get a lot of media attention for their work on "asymmetric polarization."  The gist of their work is that the Republicans are more ideologically extreme than Democrats because Republicans care more about ideological purity, whereas Democrats just care about putting together log-rolls between compatible groups.  Here's a link.  Krugman, Chait, and people like that love the Grossman/Hopkins stuff because it feeds their biases.

You know who's pure?  Ted Cruz.  You know who's not?  Trump.  You know who just got boo-ed?  Cruz.  You know why?  He didn't endorse Trump.

So, can someone please tell me why this Grossman/Hopkins stuff is supposed to be the key to explaining everything?  Oh, right, because it feeds the biases of Krugman, Chait, and the like.

For what it's worth, I've been beating this dead horse since February.  Damned zombie horses.

Speaking of which, I guess they're large enough to amplify.  Anybody read those Mira Grant books?

Sorry, tangent.

Anyway, like Kasich's no-show stunt, Cruz is gambling.  He's also mightily pissed at Trump because, well, they started in on each other's wives, so reconciliation was never possible, but wow.  Just... wow.

Oh, and then there's that thing that Trump spread insane conspiracy theories that Cruz's father was involved in Teddy's brother's assassination.  Maybe relevant to the lack of endorsement, and connecting this whole post...  Hey!  Look at that!

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