The Knives Are Out
Republican presidential politics is turning bloody. True conservatives distrust Donald Trump. The Establishment loathes Ted Cruz (so does just about everyone). Polling so far has all the pundits predicting a two-way fight. No third alternative has gained traction going into the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, leaving the GOP with a choice between "being shot or poisoned" according to Lindsey Graham.
These days the Republican establishment seems to be coming to terms with its binary choice, deciding that Trump is the lesser of its two evils. They are making a logical choice. Trump appears to be expanding the Republican electorate where Cruz is appealing to a base that is still likely to be Republican no matter who is the party's nominee. And they genuinely loathe Cruz.
All this is both amusing and satisfying since I care little for Republican ideology or policies. I would like to think that either Trump or Cruz would lose to either Sanders or Clinton but I don't have any illusions. Both Democratic possibilities have liabilities. Sanders' liabilities are mostly tactical: his limited connection to minority communities that are the Democratic base and lack of foreign policy experience. Clinton's liabilities are strategic: she's the ultimate insider in an anti-insider political year and has a serious credibility problem. She has the experience and resources. Sanders has the enthusiasm.
I don't make predictions but I do have preferences. I'm a Democratic Socialist so Bernie Sanders is my first choice. Clinton is acceptable as a second choice although if she were the nominee I would likely vote for Jill Stein in November, something I can do in reliably Democratic Washington. Neither Trump nor Cruz is acceptable to me as president, although I will allow that Cruz is the more dangerous of the two. For that matter, no Republican candidate offers reasonable policies for America's economic, social, environmental, and foreign challenges in the 21st Century.