Friday, January 15, 2016

Andrew Jackson’s Lead Widens in the GOP Primary. By Walter Russell Mead and the Staff of Via Meadia.

Andrew Jackson’s Lead Widens in GOP Primary. By Walter Russell Mead and the Staff of Via Meadia. The American Interest, January 14, 2016.

Via Meadia:

Since he first arrived in the Senate, Sen. Ted Cruz has tried to straddle various wings of the Republican Party—libertarian and law-and-order, pro-immigration and Trump-lite, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian—making sure to leave himself wiggle-room by hedging his statements and declining to align himself too closely with any realistic GOP policy initiatives. But as the primary race intensifies and Cruz’s fortunes start to rise, he is moving quickly to redefine himself as more Jacksonian. The latest, and perhaps clearest, example to date is the Texas Senator’s nearly 180-degree turn on Edward Snowden and his exposure of classified documents. The Weekly Standard notes that the Texas Senator, who once praised Snowden, has changed his tune:
Texas senator Ted Cruz now says Edward Snowden is a “traitor” who should be “tried for treason,” Cruz told the New York Times in a statement his current view on the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked the details of a classified surveillance program.

“It is now clear that Snowden is a traitor, and he should be tried for treason,” he said, according to the Times.

That’s a shift from Cruz’s position in 2013 after Snowden went public about the NSA’s program. Asked in June 2013 if Snowden was a traitor or a patriot, Cruz declined to answer, [saying instead]:

… “If it is the case that the federal government is seizing millions of personal records about law-abiding citizens, and if it is the case that there are minimal restrictions on accessing or reviewing those records, then I think Mr. Snowden has done a considerable public service by bringing it to light.”
Cruz’s shift partly reflects the ways the world has changed in the last two years—the Iran deal, the rise of ISIS, and terrorist attacks at home and abroad have pushed the GOP’s more passive, Jeffersonian wing into near-irrelevance. (Sen. Rand Paul, one of Edward Snowden’s biggest boosters, won’t even be on the debate stage tonight). It also partly reflects the internal dynamics of the GOP race: Cruz is positioning himself to appeal to voters currently backing Trump, who has dominated with his hyper-Jacksonian campaign of ultra-nationalism, “winning,” and personal toughness, unconstrained by constitutional limits.

To be sure, Cruz has also made sure to differentiate himself from more establishment positions as well, attacking Sen. Rubio for what he says is an excessively interventionist posture abroad. Jacksonians and Jeffersonians share a suspicion of foreign entanglements, but Jacksonians are more willing to deal out overwhelming force when threatened, and more willing to give the state whatever power it needs to find and destroy America’s enemies. In that sense, Cruz’s newfound hostility toward Edward Snowden (along with some of his statements on ISIS, like “carpet bombing them into oblivion”) encapsulates his transition to the party’s Jacksonian wing.

Security-first Jacksonians are on the rise in the GOP, and libertarian Jeffersonians are in steep decline. Meanwhile, the Hamiltonian establishment hasn’t figured out a way to align the Hamiltonian agenda with Jacksonian values and interests. That’s one reason immigration is such a potent wedge issue: It divides globally-oriented Hamiltonians and nationalist Jacksonians, even as security issues drive them together. For an establishment candidate to beat out Cruz and Trump for the nomination, he will need to find a way to bridge this deep and growing divide.

Donald Trump Stands Up for New York at the Fox Business Republican Debate.

Trump Lambastes Cruz for “Very Insulting” “New York Values” Attack, Invokes 9/11. By Josh Feldman. Mediaite, January 14, 2016. YouTube.

The “New York Values” That Donald Trump Supporters Love. By Conor Friedersdorf. The Atlantic, January 15, 2016.

Transcript excerpt [RCP]:

MARIA BARTIROMO: Sen. Cruz, you suggested that Donald Trump, quote, embodies “New York values.”

Could you explain what you mean by that.

TED CRUZ: I think most people know what that means.

BARTIROMO: I’m from New York, I don’t.

TED CRUZ: You’re from New York so you might not...

Everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, focus around money and the media.

My friend Donald has taken to playing at his events, “Born in the USA.”

And I was asked what I thought of that. If he wanted to play a song, maybe he could play “New York, New York.”

Not too many years ago, Donald did a long interview with Tim Russert, and in that interview he explained his views on a whole host of issues, that were very, very different from the views he’s describing now. And his explanation, he said, look, I’m from New York, that’s what we believe in New York. Those aren’t Iowa values, but this is what we believe in New York. And so, that was his explanation.

I guess I can frame it another way, not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I’m just saying.

DONALD TRUMP: So, conservatives actually do come out of Manhattan, including William F. Buckley and others, just so you understand. And just so — if I could, because he insulted a lot of people. I’ve had more calls on that statement that Ted made, that New York is a great place, it’s got great people, it’s got loving people, wonderful people. When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York.

You had two 110-story buildings come crashing down, I saw them come down, thousands of people killed, and the cleanup started the next day, and it was the most horrific cleanup, probably in the history of doing this, and in construction, I was down there. And I’ve never seen anything like it. And the people in New York fought, and fought, and fought, and we saw more death and even the smell of death, nobody understood it, and it was with us for months, the smell. The air.

And we rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched, and everybody in the world loved New York, and loved New Yorkers, and I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made.

Here’s The Video Proof Trump’s a Cynical Phony on “New York Values.” By Ben Shapiro. The Daily Wire, January 15, 2016. See also at NBC