Despite the concerted and nearly overwhelming efforts of a mansion full of strange bedfellows who opposed him, Republican Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses Monday night, to the chagrin of Donald Trump and the mainstream media, especially FOX News.
FOX and other outlets, cable and network included, worked frantically, and hand-in-hand with Trump, in the weeks leading up to the vote to drive Cruz out of the race. Cruz is considered the one real maverick in the GOP field and campaigns on his independence from the GOP establishment.
The media and Trump failed abysmally but even though Cruz won hands down, you wouldn’t have known it from the media reports on the night. In fact, if you hadn’t paid attention to the race or the votes until sometime after 10 p.m. Monday night, you would have thought from the coverage that the real winner was Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the establishment favorite if they can’t have Jeb Bush. And they can't.
FOX had cast the race as a sure-win for Trump, and based on flawed – and horribly under-represented – polls, it was to be the death knell for the Cruz campaign. With Jeb Bush barely rating a shrug on the public interest scale, the establishment media fawned over Rubio and anointed him the newest, bestest favorite.
In its attempt to derail Cruz, FOX brought Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad onto hits shows twice to pass on false claims about ethanol and Cruz's opposition to government subsidies for the dirty, costly, alcohol-based fuel additive that doesn’t work. They also went spastic over a last-minute Des Moines Register poll that not only had Trump winning, but said that the bigger the turnout the bigger the win for Trump – based again on polls of a few hundred voters with somewhat vague identities.
But that isn't what happened. The turnout was huge, historic for Republicans, yet the more people who voted, the more who voted for Cruz. I guess the commercials run by Trump and Rubio touting their newfound Christianity – Trump even started carrying a Bible for God's sake, pun intended, in a blatant show of crass pandering – didn't fool very many true Christian Evangelists.
Every show, every major FOX personality – with the exception Andrea Tantaros and a couple of pundits on The Five who still have the courage to speak their minds – had it in for Cruz, far more so than Trump even. Now the media has another problem on its hands, that being what to do about Trump after they spent the summer bashing him, and then warmed up to him over the holidays when it appeared he was going to prevail.
Warmed up to him may not be the right phrase. Sucked up to him, or circled the wagons around him in a blatant show of New York City liberal elitism may be a better way to describe it. Can we say Hypocrites?
But Trump faltered and Rubio still came in third, which means neither won. (See Trump's pre-Iowa comments on coming in second to see what last night really means.) So what does the media do know that its best laid plans have come unraveled?
Probably just ignore it all, make believe it never happened, make sure it goes away by never mentioning it again and head into New Hampshire with an altered sense of mission.
But before the rest of us sit back and smugly predict what will happen next, we should remind ourselves that there is a long, long road to the GOP nomination. Anything can happen, and anything probably will. Basically the way I see it, if either Cruz or Rubio comes out on top, we all win.
If anyone below them on the returns yardstick comes in first we may well have a problem. The trouble with Trump is that I don’t know which alter ego will show up if he wins it all – and he still might.
But is he a liberal in disguise, or a true convert to conservatism who will really do right for this country?
Either way, there is one thing I know for sure at this point. Ethanol is still a dirty, polluting, stinking expensive and inefficient biofuel that has become a source of Farmer in the Dell welfare for far too many people in the Midwest, and if Cruz gets elected, this is one source of welfare that will no longer be championed by Big Government.
Oh, and Trump should get serious about telling us who he is and what he stands for and stop bashing everyone opposed to him. Even base animals know you don’t poop where you eat and eventually you will need these people to back you, not back away from you.
And FOX News? You folks have to take a close look at your business plan boys and girls. It's crumbling. You have to start reporting the news and stop trying to manipulate the news; or making it.
And that's the truth!