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"If I cannot have you, Bella, I shall make sure Iron Man cannot either."
The only way to describe David Frum's latest column is Ted Cruz fan fiction. I'm not even being facetious about that—you could swap out the names Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz and replace them with Spiderman and Rainbow Dash and it wouldn't make that much difference. The premise is that it's the near future, and Hillary Clinton has been locked in a heated primary with Elizabeth Warren, another financial shock has sent the economy back into recession and Democrats are so depressed at the abject failures of Barack Obama that hardly any of them want to vote and it comes with odd vignettes and perceived blunders and the stalwart Rick Slabjaw Ted Cruz looks towards the camera and delivers hard truths about just who he wants to go to hell and why.
Analysis of the 2014 vote showed that Democrats had been hurt by an abrupt drop in Latino turnout. Democrats decided they could afford no more delay on the immigration issue. President Obama listed immigration as agenda item number one in his 2015 State of the Union address, but Hillary Clinton went further. With her characteristic fierce energy, Clinton poured herself into the fight, chanting “Si, se puede” at rally after rally.
With the flaming wreck of Marco Rubio’s presidential hopes as a warning beacon, moderate favorite Governor Christie tried to triangulate the immigration issue. Ted Cruz determinedly took a position of all-out opposition. In an interview on Univision, he chatted in Spanish with host Jorge Ramos, then turned to English to deliver a stark message: “This is America. We obey the law. People who can’t deal with that don’t belong here.”
Though I labeled it Ted Cruz Fan Fiction, we see precious little of Ted Cruz himself. (Perhaps not coincidentally, most scenarios involving a Ted Cruz victory have Ted Cruz saying as little as possible.) Near the end, though, the overwritten Ayn Rand character appears, delivering a stunning speech that I thank Jeebus the author did not actually subject us to:
The Clinton-Warren fight divided and weakened Democrats. Many pundits compared the contest to the Humphrey vs. Kennedy fight of 1968. But back in 1968, there was an obvious solution: a unity ticket (had the gunman’s bullet missed Kennedy, that is). Democrats in 2016 were not prepared however to field an all-female ticket. Clinton was the nominee; Warren went back to the Senate.
Ted Cruz, however, could offer the vice presidency to Chris Christie—and the Democrats’ post-2014 leftward veer frightened Republican donors enough that they pressed Christie to accept. Unlike Romney in 2012, Cruz’s conservative allegiance could not be questioned, freeing him to write the vaguest platform and conduct the most issue-free campaign of any Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988. Cruz delivered half his convention speech in Spanish and used the other half to rededicate the party to “the compassion of conservatism,” a subtle variant of an old phrase that delighted convention delegates.
You had me on the "vaguest platform," lost me at "issue-free campaign," and nearly caused me to inhale my drink with the vision of Ted Cruz running on a platform of compassion. Now that, sir, is a play I would watch.
Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:01 AM PDT.