Rebecca de Winter
It seems like a hundred years ago, but back in May, I wrote a piece when Marco Rubio endorsed Trump, saying he would be “honored to speak on Trump’s behalf.” I wasn’t surprised by it, and I said so. I also praised Ted Cruz for his steadfast character in refusing to endorse. Fast forward to the present, and I have a disgusting taste in my mouth from all the crow I’ve had to eat.
To say I was devastated when Cruz endorsed Trump last week is an understatement. I had heard rumors and whispers for at least a week before that, and I scoffed. After all, this was the guy who had the cojones to refuse to endorse Trump at the Republican Convention! He delivered a powerful, moving speech that had me whooping with joy and cheering. When he told attendees and viewers to “vote your conscience,” I had never felt more proud of him, and more vindicated in my long history of defending him as one of the rarest of breeds: a politician with unwavering principles and integrity. He was booed off the stage, but he could hold his head high.
Not for long, it turned out.
RedState writer Jay Caruso was right on the money in a piece he published shortly after the endorsement:
“We want to think the politicians we support are all like Jefferson Smith, ready to take on Washington DC first and then, the world. The reality is, self-interest and political survival take center stage for most politicians, no matter the circumstances.”
Why on earth did I believe Cruz was an exception? I have a list a mile long of the reasons why, but it is a tremendous failure on my part that I left out an obvious and glaring truth: he is, first and foremost, a politician.
I think the most painful aspect of all this is that not only did he obviously make this decision out of pure political calculation, but that it was such an embarrassingly erroneous one. The astute journalist and Texas Monthly senior editor Erica Grieder (I dub her “The Cruz Whisperer”) wrote a scathing, yet fair assessment of exactly why Cruz will rue the day he made this disastrous gamble. (Her outstanding piece, “The Field Guide to Ted Cruz,” is required reading for any political junkie)
As of now, I’ve moved through all the phases of my grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. What I said about Rubio (that I still like him, that I don’t think he’s a bad person) also applies to Cruz. But my conclusion still stands, this time for both of them: as they say, “fool me once, shame on you - fool me twice, shame on me.” I won’t be fooled again.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.