Ted Cruz is off (really off) and running for 2020, or so it seems. For this week he "accused members of Trump's administration of secretly working for the left by undermining the GOP agenda with infighting," reports The Hill.
I've always admired Ted's exquisite Princetonian sophistry. The Trump administration is undermining the GOP with private infighting, but Cruz is doing his party-saving duty by squabbling publicly with the administration.
He also raised the right's latest and most terrifying specter: Elizabeth Warren in the White House. "If we deliver on all this, it doesn't matter who they nominate — we win," said Cruz. But "if we screw all this up, you better believe the American people could elect President Elizabeth Warren."
In Cruz's book, delivering "all this" includes dismantling Obamacare, hurling millions from coverage, demolishing the ban against prohibitive preexisting conditions, and other right-wing frissons of healthcare cruelty.
Which, at any rate, won't happen — and I suspect that's just fine with Ted Cruz. Hating Obamacare is replacing the far right's passionate disdain of Roe v. Wade. It's more politically profitable to preserve hatred of it than to actually abolish it.
Dismantling Obamacare also won't happen for the screamingly obvious reason pointed out, once again, by Paul Krugman this morning: "Republicans never had a plausible alternative" to it. As with their culture wars and other wedge politics, hating Obamacare "began as a cynical ploy," observes Krugman. "And now they’ve trapped themselves: They can’t admit that they have no ideas without, in effect, admitting that they were lying all along" about a feasible substitute.
And there, it seems to me, is where the happy specter of a successful 2020 Cruz challenge to Trump comes in. Nobody — not even our quack of a sitting president — can lie about lying like Ted can, what with his exquisite Princetonian sophistry.