Remember when George W. Bush ran as a “compassionate conservative” in 2000? Ted Cruz could run in 2016 as a “cruel conservative.”
The distance between the two Texans shows how far right the Republican Party has gone, thanks to the Tea Party. It’s a hell of a thing when Bush looks good in hindsight.
Carter says that 70 percent of Republicans call themselves “conservatives.” Not moderates, not mainstream, but conservative. Presumably, they don’t share other Americans’ antipathy to the Tea Party.
Given that 70 percent, how can Chris Christie be the nominee in 2016? Even assuming he overcomes temperament issues and questions about his health, how can any Republican with any hint of “moderate” win a Tea Party gauntlet in the debates and primaries?
Republicans like Cruz – and the North Carolina legislature – are on a mission to rid the party and the nation of any compassion whatsoever for people who aren’t rich, white, old and male. They turn on anyone, like a Mitch McConnell, who won’t meet their ever-rising ransom demands.
Now the Karl Rove-Chamber of Commerce wing of the party is fighting back. They are putting money behind candidates running against Tea Partiers. There is talk of business-backed GOP primary challenges in North Carolina.
Myself, I’m pulling for Cruz and the Tea Party to pull the GOP right over the cliff.