Live from Trumpland: Blind Squirrel:
(1) Erica Grieder (2011): The Trash Talker: Why Rick Perry Will Thrive:
On the issues where he has been motivated to mastery... [Perry] typically has a commanding grasp of the facts. When I’ve interviewed him, I’ve been most concerned about economic issues, and have found him to be an articulate and nimble advocate for the Texas model, controversial though his views may be. Perry also has a natural facility for language. Jonathan Martin, at Politico, excavated a brilliant comment that Perry made about Karl Rove back in 1994. “My brain is like a chicken pot pie,” said Perry, “His is like a refrigerator that is all very organized—pickles here, salad there.” A chicken pot pie, perhaps, but a lot of professional speechwriters would struggle to come up with an image so apt and evocative...
(2) Erica Grieder (2015): The Politics of Jade Helm:
Greg Abbott’s announcement... that he would direct the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm... has been widely derided as political pandering, stoking paranoia, wasting state resources, and making Texas look silly. Way harsh, guys....
LTC Mark Lastoria did a good job of explaining the purpose of the operation and how local residents specifically might be affected. Less clear, at least to me, is whether the community as a whole was being unduly conspiratorial.... Several... had tinfoil-hat type questions.... Others may just have been wondering whether to make note of any planned amphibious landings at Lost Pines, or trying to assess the risk of cross-fire at Buc-ees. The latter type of concern is not deranged, especially coming from civilians who may have had little personal experience with the military or military personnel. And Abbott’s announcement is apparently in response to such concerns, rather than those being fueled by the right-wing fear machine.... Abbott notes that US Special Operations Command has already assured the state that there will be no risks to the safety of residents, or their rights, but he wants the Texas State Guard to keep an eye on the situation, just in case.... Activating the Texas State Guard in such a situation would entail some costs to the state (from current appropriations) and I wouldn’t call it the best use of state resources. Other than that, though, I don’t really see the harm...
Finds a nut:
(3) Erica Grieder: Ted Cruz Endorses Trump:
Ted Cruz wants, above all else, to be president.... After endorsing Donald Trump today, Cruz’s chances of becoming president have, it seems to me, nearly evaporated.... This is a disastrously bad decision on Cruz’s part, and one that he will come to regret. He fully deserves the criticism and scorn.... Both of the reasons Cruz gave for his decision, in a statement he posted on Facebook Friday afternoon—that he signed This is a mistake Cruz can’t afford to make.... I’m not entirely unsympathetic to him. I remember, from our conversation in May, how... he was sincerely convinced that a Trump presidency would put the country, and the Constitution, in real peril. And I suspect that Cruz, in the privacy of the voting booth, may not tick the box for Trump in November.
At the same time, I’m aware that even before today’s news, it was tricky to persuade anyone to consider giving Cruz the benefit of the doubt about anything—and after today, it will be impossible. Either his endorsement is a pack of lies, or his speech at the RNC was: they can’t both be true. And though it’s possible that “Lyin’ Ted” might still one day become president, the odds, in my view, are now vanishingly narrow. We’ve all heard it a million times: “Everyone hates Ted Cruz.” And now he’s given this faceless “everyone” plenty of reason to do so.