A political earthquake rattled both Heaven and Earth Wednesday afternoon when Ted Cruz announced he would pick onetime rival Carly Fiorina as his running mate.
Normally, Presidential candidates announce their running mate after they’ve won their party’s nomination — not in the middle of a primary they’re badly losing. But Cruz is a debate-savvy and highly spectrum political operator, so he looked America in the eye and said, “Ahh, excuse me, but there is nothing in Article II of the Constitution that says I can’t pick my Vice President. QED.”
And besides, Cruz’s floundering campaign is in dire need of a classic Game Change so dramatic it could be ripped from a West Wing episode. Cruz lost the last six primaries to Donald Trump — in huge landslides — and his electoral alliance with John Kasich is on the rocks (mainly due to Kasich’s failure to uphold his end of the bargain and stop relapsing into percocets, which cause the Governor to mumble things like “no no, you keep voting for Johnny, ’cause we’re just pulling a fast one on that dumb son of a preacher” in public).
With the do-or-die Indiana primary less than a week away, the thoroughly unlikable, barely-human Cruz was forced to turn to someone with the political skills and sadistic savvy to terrorize Hoosiers into voting for him anyway. In the Dig’s view, he made the right pick. The Cruz-Fiorina alliance between Monster and Master is exactly what can strike fear of God into these wide-eyed Midwesterners.
I followed Fiorina on the trail in New Hampshire, where her obsession with shock videos terrified both me and voters; I debated Ted Cruz in college, where I saw firsthand the sheer repulsive power of his sickening face and voice.
Simply put, this match made in Hell is the cattle prod the #NeverTrump movement needed. They tried playing nice. They tried employing intellectual leaders, such as Dan McLaughlin and John Podhoretz, to give toothless yokel voters the benefit of the doubt.
But the time for good cop is over — and there are now two very bad cops in town.
Cruz has already petrified Old Sea God-worshipping Mainers and convoked Mormons to his cause. But in Indiana, he’ll have the sadistic Fiorina on his side. While Cruz used to break even with evangelicals, Fiorina can frighten the little piggies and make sure they don’t vote Trump. (My gut tells me the average Michigan City septic tank installer won’t even imagine looking Fiorina in her vacant eyes and telling her he will defy her.)
Yes, this ticket is a physical and moral abomination — but politics is a rough business. Trump may have all the bluster in the world; but can he really stand up to the combination of the Senate’s most hideous creature and a woman who watches “kitten crush” videos for fun? Right now, the only people that can handle these two at once are the nation’s most battle-tested neocons. Everyone else is forced to submit. And unlike your Richard Perles or Douglas Feiths, I don’t think Donald Trump has the calloused soul required to witness this twin atrocity without submitting or fleeing.
Pardon the metaphor but what we are witnessing is the sausage factory of politics. Intestines and pig’s feet are being ground up before our eyes — not while still living, however, much to Fiorina’s chagrin — so that wurst can be fed to GOP voters. It’s brilliant political theater. I just hope Ted Cruz doesn’t try to shove the sausage in his stultifying gila monster mouth as bits of the skin hug onto his bird lips and ensconce themselves in his rotting dolphin teeth!
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years, and is the author of “Think-ocracy: The Rise Of The Brainy Congressman”. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet to @carl_diggler.
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