There Can Be Only One, Fortunately
The real driver for Senators Cotton, Hawley, and Cruz being in the news is all three see themselves as the next GOP presidential nominee
Politics has taken a back seat lately but let us not forget there is fierce competition for the nomination for president…
For the 2024 GOP nomination for president, that is.
Senator Tom Cotton got an entire weeks worth of free press, two Op-Ed rebuttals, and the head of the opinion editor, out of the New York Times along with coining the phrase “Obelisk of Wokeness” that is forever in the Congressional Record now. Josh Hawley continues his perpetual campaign to make the internet safe for you plebes by punishing “the elites” that would not treat you as fairly as the elite Josh Hawley would. And Ted Cruz continues his descent from trying to ride the religious right to the presidency in 2016 after a career as a senator and constitutional lawyer of some note to having spent much of Sunday losing a Twitter spat with Ron Perlman.
What a time to be alive.
These folks aren’t just keeping high profiles for the ego-stroke of it, thought there is plenty of that to go around. No, the real driver here is all three see themselves as the next GOP presidential nominee. All three think they can take the Trumpian populist style and filter it through their Ivy League educations and elite statuses to be a more refined, widely palatable, and therefore electable Trump 2.0 in 2024.
Fine plan except for the fact it won’t work.
Cotton and Hawley in a primary are so similar in everything they will cancel each other out in an ever-tightening circle as each tries to outflank the other on the right. Their dosey-doe of bareknuckle ambition will seem like immense activity to the two of them trapped in the cloud of dust, tweets, and media attention. But to outside observers, much like the good donkey arguing with the evil donkey on the farm, all most folks will see is two jackasses braying at each other over who brays best. Cruz’s evolution from “Leave Heidi the hell alone” during the campaign — when then-candidate Trump called her ugly, threatened to reveal “information” about her, then reveled in Cruz’s father being involved in the JFK assassination — to “thank you, sir, may have another” is not recoverable. Lost in the mocking of Beto O’Rourke was the fact that such a lightweight candidate who was more caricature of a stuffed shirt than actual stuffed shirt nearly beat Cruz in Texas is not an aberration; its a harbinger. Cruz is unmoored, unimpressive, and most importantly doesn’t know what Ted Cruz is about anymore in the age of Trump. He’s gone from winning Supreme Court arguments to losing arguments to, frankly, JV level Twitter competition.
To quote the reigning, defending, undisputed Twitter troll champion: “SAD!”
So each one of these stunts, though undoubtedly meaningful to the moment, must be kept in the view that 2024 is well underway for the folks who really, truly, know that this time is their time.
Adjust your viewing and reactions accordingly.
riginally published at https://ordinary-times.com on June 15, 2020.