Trump and Cruz humiliate GOP establishment
© Getty Images

I must admit that as a Democrat, it is hard for me to sympathize with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSchumer blocks one-week stopgap funding bill Overnight Finance: Dems explore lawsuit against Trump | Full-court press for Trump tax plan | Clock ticks down to spending deadline Hundreds of former EPA employees blast Trump on climate change MORE (R-Ky.), who intended to obstruct the presidency of Barack ObamaBarack ObamaSchiff: Trump will blame Obama during his entire presidency Trump must challenge Iran's ongoing human rights abuses Overnight Cybersecurity: Anticipation builds for Trump cyber order | House panel refers Clinton IT contractor for prosecution | Pentagon warned Flynn about foreign payments MORE even before the president was inaugurated in January 2009.

ADVERTISEMENT
On the other hand, not long ago, presidential candidate Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzNet neutrality fight descends into trench warfare Secret Service: No guns at Trump NRA speech Cruz: Breaking up 9th Circuit Court ‘a possibility’ MORE (Texas) called McConnell a liar after spending virtually his entire — though short — career in the Senate acting like the senator of obstruction, dysfunction and government shutdowns. It is no exaggeration to state that Cruz, even in the Senate Republican cloakroom, is probably the single most detested Republican senator in modern history.

Cruz has spent recent years attacking and condemning the GOP establishment at every turn, and now, because they fear Trump more than they despise Cruz, members of the Republican establishment has begun trying every trick in the book — and many tricks that are not in the book — to take the nomination from front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: I was 'psyched to terminate' NAFTA Trump: 'Major, major' conflict with North Korea possible Cohn: People 'wasting time' calling for Trump's tax returns MORE (R) and hand it to Cruz.

It is linguistically and politically accurate to suggest that 2016 has been a year of near-total humiliation for the GOP establishment.

Throughout 2015, the great candidate of the Republican establishment was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who was then pummeled and humiliated by Trump during the primary campaign. Trump defeated the man he dubbed "low energy" so thoroughly that Bush was never a serious rival to Trump in primaries or polls and was driven out of the campaign very early.

Bush and the GOP establishment were first humiliated by Trump, who thrashed their list of establishment favorites one by one, and they are now being humiliated by Cruz, around whom they are now uniting publicly despite their private contempt for him.

It must have been humiliating for the Bush family to watch Jeb Bush endorse Cruz for president. Jeb could not even endorse the candidate Trump dubbed "little Marco," Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioOvernight Defense: Commander calls North Korea crisis 'worst' he's seen | Trump signs VA order | Dems push Trump to fill national security posts What’s with Trump’s spelling mistakes? Boeing must be stopped from doing business with Iran MORE, when it might have saved the GOP, and now he is reduced to endorsing the man Trump calls "lying Ted," who has himself called the Republican leader in the Senate a liar.

During the primaries, the only candidate in either party, in my view, who spoke cogently about how to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists was South Carolina Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamTop admiral: North Korea crisis is 'worst I've seen' Comey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record MORE (R). Trump offered Graham the ultimate insult: He ignored him. Graham, who had mocked and ridiculed Cruz for good reason, was ultimately forced to endorse Cruz with the same enthusiasm Count Dracula would have shown if the count were forced to endorse the cross.

There are a few Republicans in the media left who offer a brave face by suggesting scenarios predicting that Trump can be elected in November. I feel their pain and would offer them an opportunity to make a sporting wager with me on this subject!

For a liberal Democrat like me, it is a pleasure to read polls showing that the socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Trump set to sign offshore drilling order Meghan McCain: Obama 'a dirty capitalist like the rest of us' Dems might begin again with Kamala Harris and California MORE, and the former secretary of State who is the bete noir of the GOP right, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump threatens to scrap 'horrible' South Korea trade deal New science-fiction book set in future where Clinton won Overnight Cybersecurity: Anticipation builds for Trump cyber order | House panel refers Clinton IT contractor for prosecution | Pentagon warned Flynn about foreign payments MORE, both thrashing the Republican front-runner by landslide margins, while Trump offers praise for the strongman dictator of Russia and more than 100 Republican national security leaders warn voters he would endanger America if he ever becomes commander in chief.

While elections are never predictable, the most likely outcome is that the ultimate humiliation for the Republican establishment will be to end the year reluctantly endorsing Hillary Clinton, or remaining silent while hoping she wins, and preparing for the pleasure of attending her inauguration as president in January 2017.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.