Daily Beast Editor: Cruz, Trump Symptoms of GOP ‘Cancer’ Caused By Party’s Inability to Rein In Its ‘Wingnuts’

Ted Cruz is a quintessential movement conservative and Donald Trump definitely isn’t. Nonetheless, Daily Beast editor-in-chief and CNN commentator John Avlon thinks the two have so much in common politically that he’s given them a portmanteau name: Crump.

In a Wednesday column, the self-consciously centrist Avlon claimed that Cruz and Trump are “different manifestations of the same kind of conservative populism that gets weak-kneed watching a strongman preach with fact-free certainty.” He argued that a “creeping Crump cancer” developed within the Republican party after the GOP “systematically purged” its moderate conservatives.

Avlon complained that Cruz, who as an adolescent imbibed “a steady diet of right-wing texts offered up by his father,” doesn’t “fuse his politics with an inclusive vision or a belief in the positive virtues of governing. Instead, Cruz is all about grandstanding.”

From Avlon’s piece (bolding added):

Cruz and Trump do not represent different visions of the Republican Party so much as different manifestations of the same kind of conservative populism that gets weak-kneed watching a strongman preach with fact-free certainty...

The rise of Cruz and Trump are symptoms of a larger problem in the GOP…Because the Republican Party systematically purged its center-right, it doesn’t have the ballast to withstand Wingnuts anymore…

…It’s hard to tell whether [Cruz has] abandoned his senses, or whether he ever had any.

…He is a card-carrying member of the sub-generation that grew up with the conservative catechism, a steady diet of right-wing texts offered up by his father. But unlike Paul Ryan, who also came up through these narrow ideological ranks in the wake of Reagan, Cruz did not try to fuse his politics with an inclusive vision or a belief in the positive virtues of governing. Instead, Cruz is all about grandstanding. And so, of course, is Donald Trump. It’s politics as performance art…

…[T]he Grand Old Party can be easily hijacked by a small but intense group with little interest in winning general elections and even less interest in governing…

Another measure of the creeping Crump cancer is the rise of Marco Rubio as the much-spun savior of the center-right…His rhetoric is optimistic and inclusive, but he continues to resist marriage equality and deny climate change, while abandoning his own immigration overhaul bill and opposing abortion even in cases of rape and incest. This is center-right only by the standards of the Crump era…

Given the growing diversity of the American electorate and you have a disaster brewing whether Trump or Cruz is the nominee…[A]ny other nominee will be forced to parrot their appeals and adopt at least some of their policies unless they have the courage to confront this cancer directly…

…The problem will persist and lead to more general-election losses until the base of the party is broadened. Until then, the Republican primaries will look and feel like a fatalistic circus.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters