The Republican Race Just Got Even More Edifying: What I’m reading, March 25, 2016

The Horses’ Asses Race

Ted Cruz, we are to understand, “has no affiliation with the super PAC” that ran an advertisement on his behalf featuring an old nude photograph of Donald Trump’s wife and, we are further to understand, Cruz “denounced the ad.” In apparent response, Trump “threaten[ed] to ‘spill the beans’ on Mr. Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, who suffered a bout of depression years ago, [and] he retweeted a post from someone who made a side-by-side photo comparison of Mrs. Cruz at an unflattering angle, and Mrs. Trump.” Of course, that wasn’t the end of it. “Calling Mr. Trump a ‘sniveling coward,’ Mr. Cruz told his rival to ‘leave Heidi the hell alone.’”[1]

I couldn’t care less that Melania Trump posed nude and I’m not thrilled that she’s now being slut-shamed for it. I’m equally unthrilled that Heidi Cruz is being shamed for mental illness. Looking ahead, Hillary Clinton clearly needs to prepare a defense for the inevitable and much more substantive attacks on her husband’s record of alleged sexual abuse, assault, and rape; her own treatment of the victims of such crimes; and the benefits she enjoys apparently at the expense of her husband’s victims.[2] But if you’re asking me to believe that Cruz really had nothing to do with that ad with Trump’s wife, sorry, I grew up in the era of ‘plausible deniability,’ these political action committees that support particular candidates but claim no connection to their campaigns appear to me to be expressly set up for ‘plausible deniability,’ and I’m just not buying it. In my estimation, Cruz started this; even if he didn’t start it, he took a risk in accepting the support of this supposedly independent organization; he and they had to know how Trump would respond; and for him to whine when Trump did just what Trump does is just way too rich.

Maggie Haberman, “Arguments Get Personal Between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz,” New York Times, March 25, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/03/25/arguments-get-personal-between-donald-trump-and-ted-cruz/

Ted Cruz

I suppose it’s inconceivable that Ted Cruz was meeting any of these women, who were apparently depicted “with barely-pixelated headshots” and described well enough as to “[leave] little to D.C. insiders’ imaginations as to who the Enquirer had accused of being Cruz paramours,”[3] on legitimate business.

Asawin Suebsaeng and Betsy Woodruff, “Ted Cruz ‘Affair’ Rumors Peddled by Marco Rubio’s Allies,” Daily Beast, March 25, 2016, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/25/ted-cruz-affair-rumors-peddled-by-marco-rubio-s-allies.html

  1. [1]Maggie Haberman, “Arguments Get Personal Between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz,” New York Times, March 25, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/03/25/arguments-get-personal-between-donald-trump-and-ted-cruz/
  2. [2]Amy Chozick, “’90s Scandals Threaten to Erode Hillary Clinton’s Strength With Women,” New York Times, January 20, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/us/politics/90s-scandals-threaten-to-erode-hillary-clintons-strength-with-women.html; Maureen Dowd, “When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism,” New York Times, February 13, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/opinion/sunday/when-hillary-clinton-killed-feminism.html; Liza Featherstone, “Hillary Clinton’s Faux Feminism,” Truthout, February 28, 2016, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35006-hillary-clinton-s-faux-feminism; Silpa Kovvali, “Bill, Hillary and the women: Should millennials care about Bill Clinton’s sex scandals?” Salon, January 8, 2016, http://www.salon.com/2016/01/08/bill_hillary_and_the_women_should_millennials_care_about_bill_clintons_sex_scandals/; Karen Tumulty and Frances Stead Sellers, “For Hillary Clinton, old news or new troubles?” Washington Post, January 6, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-bill-clinton-scandal-machine-revs-up-and-takes-aim-at-his-wife/2016/01/06/a08cf550-b4be-11e5-a76a-0b5145e8679a_story.html
  3. [3]Asawin Suebsaeng and Betsy Woodruff, “Ted Cruz ‘Affair’ Rumors Peddled by Marco Rubio’s Allies,” Daily Beast, March 25, 2016, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/25/ted-cruz-affair-rumors-peddled-by-marco-rubio-s-allies.html

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