Either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump (collectively: Crump) could conceivably become the next President of the United States. California votes in two months, and the election takes place in seven months. Something has to deliver us from this evil…
The Remaining Primaries
As the GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump stands the best chance of being the Republican nominee, with only the need to pick up 60% of the remaining delegates in the primaries and caucuses remaining. The next big one is New York, his home territory, on April 19, and he currently has a big lead, with well over 50% of the projected GOP vote in New York State, according to the polls.
After that, it's on to Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island on April 26, Indiana on May 3, West Virginia on May 10, Kentucky and Oregon on May 17, and then a long break until the big one, California, on June 7, along with New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota.
Will they deny Trump the nomination, and hand it to the new "establishment" candidate, "Lyin' Ted Cruz", as Trump calls him, or draft the "reluctant" Paul Ryan to save the party from destruction?
It is quite possible that Trump will not have collected the 1237 delegate votes needed for the nomination, and it will go to a brokered convention in Cleveland on July 18-20. This could be beautiful for progressives to watch, as the Grumpy Old People's party splits apart. Will they deny Trump the nomination, and hand it to the new "establishment" candidate, "Lyin' Ted Cruz", as Trump calls him, or draft the "reluctant" Paul Ryan to save the party from destruction? Or will the GOP party leaders just give up on this year's Presidential race and concentrate on saving their down-ballot candidates in the Senate and House?
I did an earlier article in LA Progressive on the Donald, "Quotations from Chairman Trump" last August, in which I questioned his intelligence (did he transfer to Wharton's undergraduate school after two years at Fordham using his father's pull?), his actual net worth (how much of his assets have been used to personally guarantee his other ventures, and how did he value his "goodwill"—the Trump name—at over $3 billion?), his Republican credentials (he has been a Democrat much of his life, and Bill Clinton is rumored to have suggested that Trump run as a Republican), and his possible (unproven) Mafia ties in his New York City real estate operations and through his casinos in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and elsewhere. I am sure the Democratic and Ted Cruz political operatives are hard at work looking into these matters.
And there has to be a lot of dirt which the tabloids can mine resulting from his divorces from Ivana Trump and Marla Maples. And when is Elizabeth Warren, who taught bankruptcy law at Harvard, going to dive deeply into the four Trump company bankruptcies and enlighten us on the ugly facts surrounding them?
Donald Trump's grandfather was born in Kallstadt, Germany, in Bavaria, in 1869. The family name was originally "Drumpf". He emigrated to the U.S. in 1885 at age 16, where the Ellis Island officials entered his name as "Friedrich Trumpf". In 1891 he moved to Seattle, and bought a restaurant in the red light district. The restaurant served food and liquor and was advertised to include "Rooms for Ladies", a common euphemism at the time for prostitution.
In 1898, Trumpf and a partner opened the Arctic Hotel and Restaurant in Bennett, British Columbia, to take advantage of the Klondike Gold Rush. A Yukon Star newspaper reporter stated that "For single men the Arctic has excellent accommodations as well as the best restaurant in Bennett but I would not advise respectable women to go there to sleep as they are likely to hear that which would be repugnant to their feelings—and uttered, too, by the depraved of their own sex."
Trumpf returned to Germany in 1901 a wealthy man, married, and then returned to the U.S., apparently to avoid German military service. They settled in Queens, and in 1905, Donald Trump's father Fred Trump was born there. Friedrich Trumpf died in 1918 during the flu epidemic at age 49, leaving substantial real estate holdings.
I also did an LA Progressive article on Ted (whose real name is Edward, like mine, but spelled "Eduardo"). See "What Makes Ted Cruz Run?". For those of us old enough to remember, Cruz evokes the speech patterns and the look of Senator Joe McCarthy. McCarthy searched everywhere for Communists in the federal government in the early 1950s until he attacked the U.S. Army, and President Eisenhower brought a world of hurt down on him in the Army-McCarthy hearings. These hearings were highlighted by Army Counsel Joseph Welsh's comment to McCarthy after he attacked a staffer: "Senator, have you no decency? At long last, sir, have you no decency?" The Senator was censured by the Senate for his misconduct, and he died of alcoholism not long after, a broken man.
Ted Cruz sounds like a Shakespearean actor, with long dramatic pauses before he breathlessly utters the next profound (he thinks) statement. Everyone in the Senate hates him, except for his Utah Tea Party crony Mike Lee (I went to law school with his father at the University of Chicago), and the dumb-looking Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama (I was a lawyer opposing him in an antitrust case many years ago in Biloxi, Mississippi, and he was as dumb as he looks). Nate Silver has evaluated Cruz's voting record, and he is the most conservative of the GOP Presidential candidates by far, with a 95% conservative voting record, right below Attila the Hun and Adolf Hitler. Almost every one of his stated positions on the issues are exactly opposite of my progressive beliefs. If he becomes President, I will consider leaving the country.
Ted may not make it as far as the general election. Democratic lawmakers (as well as Donald Trump) are prepared to challenge his status as a "natural born citizen" if he wins the GOP nomination. He was born in Calgary, Canada, from an American-born mother and a Cuban father. I have seen evidence that in 1974, Cruz's mother was on an official list of Canadian citizens eligible to vote. Is this good enough proof that she renounced her American citizenship? Did she actually vote in a Canadian election? Her Cuban-born husband obtained Canadian citizenship while living in Calgary and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the mid-2000s. Ted Cruz formally renounced his Canadian dual citizenship in 2014. Much more needs to be developed on this issue, which could disqualify Cruz from the U.S. Presidency.
Another issue that has recently surfaced is the charge, in the tabloid National Enquirer, entitled "A Hooker, a Teacher & Coworkers: 5 romps that will destroy Ted Cruz!". The rag, who outed John Edwards for having a mistress, Rielle Hunter, and a child by her, claims that "private investigators are digging into at least five affairs Ted Cruz supposedly had!" The National Enquirer said it was withholding the names of the five women, but stated that they included "a foxy political consultant who once worked for the 45-year-old candidate", and that Cruz "supposedly had a romp with her in a closet at a Republican state convention".
Another supposed affair was with a "pretty 30-ish Washington, D.C. lawyer who works in politics" and that "Ted hooked up with her at the Republican Capital Hill Club in a private room". The third woman was "'apparently a hot babe who once worked' on one of his campaigns." The fourth woman "is said to be 'a sexy Austin schoolteacher' who may have had a fling with Ted after he was appointed Texas Solicitor General." "Ted's fifth lover is purported to be a '$1,000-a-night' Washington call girl." Cruz has stated that he has refused to dignify this story with any comment, but he does have a remedy: if it is untrue, he can sue the National Enquirer for libel. So far, he has not done this.
Two of the women referred to in the article have since denied having an affair with Ted. A lawyer who represented the madam of a D.C. call girl ring has just threatened to publish the 800 names in her "little black book", which already ensnared former Senator David Vitter. Who else might be named?
When Bill Clinton admitted having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, the Republican-led Congress impeached him in the House, but the Senate refused to convict him. The only casualties were Speaker Newt Gingrich (who resigned after admitting having an affair), and his successor Bob Livingston (who quit Congress for the same reason, before becoming Speaker). Where is the outrage over Ted Cruz's supposed infidelities? The National Enquirer often publishes trash, but they have been right in the past regarding the sexual escapades of Washington, D. C. politicians, and not only John Edwards, but also Jesse Jackson, Gary Hart, and Herman Cain, among others.
The State of American Politics Today
On a recent trip to England to attend my daughter's graduation from Oxford, I also attended a Labour Party dinner at which a top Labour Party leader spoke. He asked me afterwards, "What is wrong with American politics today?" Many in Europe are amazed at the childish and crude nature of the Republican primary elections, where the size of Trump's penis, and whose wife is hotter, are subjects of discussion, as well as the personal insults that Trump flings at all the other candidates once they start getting close to him in popularity.
Since 2010 when the GOP started reasserting itself in Congress, the Republicans have been known for obstructing as much as they can, bringing the government to a total halt (as Ted Cruz did for two weeks in 2013), and now refusing to even hold hearings on the replacement for Justice Scalia. Future historians will be shaking their heads at what the Republicans have wrought in Congress since they started taking control.
George Washington, who did not belong to any political party, warned in his farewell address as President in 1796 about the "baneful effects" of political parties. Washington had originally planned to serve only one term as President, but after he had to referee the conflicts between his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, who had formed the Federalist Party, and his Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who had formed the Democrat/Republican Party, he decided to serve a second term, convinced that these two newly-formed parties would rip the country apart.
His Farewell Address, first published on September 19, 1796, stated his concern for the dangers of sectionalism, and of political parties to the government and the country. Washington accepted that it is natural for people to organize and operate within groups like political parties, but he emphasized that every government has recognized political parties as an enemy and has sought to repress them because they always sought more power than opposing groups and took revenge on political opponents. He believed that disagreements between political parties weakened the government.
He went on to say:
"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, … is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty."
Washington would be turning over in his grave at the state of American Presidential politics in 2016.