Trump and Cruz humiliate GOP establishment
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I must admit that as a Democrat, it is hard for me to sympathize with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellErnst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Trump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request MORE (R-Ky.), who intended to obstruct the presidency of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaScarborough: Media 'parroting' Trump economy when Obama's 'was much stronger' Trump rejects Obama taking credit for strong economy On The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare MORE even before the president was inaugurated in January 2009.


On the other hand, not long ago, presidential candidate Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz takes aim at Alabama vasectomy bill: 'Yikes' 'Medicare for All' will turn into health care for none Cruz 'impresses' his daughter with Chris Evans meeting 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 John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister 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 Antonio RubioPeace Corps' sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback Lawmakers raise concerns over Russia's growing influence in Venezuela USDA takes heat as Democrats seek probe into trade aid 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 Olin GrahamGraham warned Pentagon chief about consequences of Africa policy: report Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony US defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk 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 SandersBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Warren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination MORE, and the former secretary of State who is the bete noir of the GOP right, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat Bernie Sanders's Super Tuesday problem Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength 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