|Love before it went sour. Congressional Quarterly via Esquire.|
There's the narrative of Cruz as heroic resister, coming not just from the NRO right (e.g. Jonah) but young Master David Frum, who was kvelling non-ideologically over Cruz's bravery on the radio this morning. I expect it to be the subject of David Brooks's column tomorrow.Sure enough, he's back in the saddle this morning (after his week in Cleveland helping with the color commentary on PBS, leaving the Tuesday column to be cranked out by a possibly snarky research assistant, I wasn't sure he'd actually show up), with a piece under the GÖPperdämmerung title "The Death of the Republican Party" singling out the repellent Texas senator:
I’m not a Cruz fan, but his naked ambition does fuel amazing courage. As the Republican Party is slouching off on a suicide march, at least Cruz is standing athwart history yelling “Stop!” When the Trump train implodes, the docile followers who are now booing and denouncing Ted Cruz will claim they were on his side all along.(I think that's his 144th career use of "amazing/amazingly" in his time as a Times columnist. He's been slowing down; nos. 141 and 142 were back in February, and I seem to have missed no. 143. In contrast, it's just the fourth time he's used "athwart" in an echo or direct quotation of old Mr. Buckley's famous definition of "conservatism".)
It's the beginning of the next narrative, of how conservatism can never fail but only be failed, as we'll hear it over the next four years. The "courage" it took Cruz to risk, ah, what exactly? To risk looking obnoxious to the person who called him a liar several times a day for months and who is on his way to what Brooks himself predicts will
end catastrophically, in November or beyond, with the party infrastructure in tatters, with every mealy mouthed pseudo-Trump accommodationist permanently stained.Cruz is positioning himself, as he always does, for the next act, that's all.