Browse Month

January 2016

The Cruz campaign’s epic #facepalm

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This “VOTING VIOLATION” controversy says bad things about the Cruz campaign.

(BTW, Rubio’s campaign sent a similar, but less creepy, mailer, too. So far, I have not seen a large number of complaints about the Rubio mailer.)

And I’m not talking about the ethics of publicly shaming people who vote sporadically. I’m talking two gross electioneering violations from a campaign that markets itself as the most scientifically advanced in history. With the mailer Team Cruz showed a lack of strategic understanding of the science and compounded their ignorance by apparently making up numbers.

The Growing Controversy

Late last week, voters in Iowa started complaining about a “VOTING VIOLATION” mailer they received from the Ted Cruz campaign. The mailer listed the names of the recipient and several of the recipient’s neighbors. Each voter listed also received a voting frequency percentage (usually 55 percent) and a letter grade (usually F).

Voters complained on social media and talk radio. The Iowa Secretary of State denounced the tactic and said the mailer was deceptive. Several voters who received the mailers say they intend to switch their support at the caucus to Trump or Rubio from Cruz.

The tactic shows every sign of being an epic failure in election history. In fact, if Cruz does not win Iowa, the mailer could make it into civics textbooks.

That Misapplied Science

I actually like the idea of sending people their voting history and suggesting you’ll do it again after the next election. While it’s creepy, the practice is not illegal. But it isn’t necessarily effective.

In a 2006 study, researchers sent mailers to voters 11 days prior to Michigan’s state primary elections. The study tested four different treatments and had a very large control group who received no mailings related to the study.

Researchers found that turnout was 8.1 percentage points higher among voters who received an aggressive message, similar to the one the Cruz campaign sent in Iowa. An 8.1 point lift in turnout makes voter-shaming the most effective tactic ever tested to drive up voter turnout. The authors of the study noted:

It is important to underscore the magnitude of these effects. The 8.1 percentage-point effect is not only bigger than any mail effect gauged by a randomized experiment; it exceeds the effect of live phone calls (Arceneaux, Gerber, and Green 2006; Nickerson 2006b) and rivals the effect of face-toface contact with canvassers conducting get-out-thevote campaigns (Arceneaux 2005; Gerber and Green 2000; Gerber, Green, and Green 2003). Even allowing for the fact that our experiment focused on registered voters, rather than voting-eligible citizens, the effect of the Neighbors treatment is impressive. An 8.1 percentage-point increase in turnout among registered voters in a state where registered voters comprise 75% of voting-eligible citizens translates into a 6.1 percentage-point increase in the overall turnout rate. By comparison, policy interventions such as Election Day registration or vote-by-mail, which seek to raise turnout by lowering the costs of voting, are thought to have effects on the order of 3 percentage-points or less (Knack 2001).

And:

The remarkable effectiveness of the social pressure appeals contrasts with the relatively modest effects observed in previous studies of the effectiveness of direct mail voter mobilization campaigns.

So why wouldn’t Cruz use the tactic?

For a very simple reason: the academic researchers didn’t care who people voted for–Ted Cruz does care. 

The Michigan study showed only that voter shaming (or social pressure) works to increase turnout. It does not show that it can increase turnout for a particular candidate in an election where voters have a choice of candidates with similar ideological profiles.

Further, the mailers in the study came from a non-partisan research group, not from a candidate on the ballot. If the Michigan recipients were angered by the mailers, they had no candidate to take their anger out on.

Cruz and Rubio clearly identified the source of their Iowa mailers as their own campaigns, so angry Iowa voters do have a target for their anger: they can caucus against the candidate who sent the mailer.

At least some Iowans say they intend to do just that.

In a general election, this tactic might work. In a race between Cruz and Clinton, it’s doubtful anger over a mail piece would drive a voter to switch parties. But in a primary, upset voters have a less-dramatic choice.

Those Phony Scores

Compounding the error, it appears that the Cruz campaign did  not use actual voting histories in tabulating voters’ scores, as the mailer indicates. An investigation by Ryan Lizza posted on The New Yorker website indicates that the grades and voting percentages on the mailer were simply made up:

So was the Cruz campaign accurately portraying the voter histories of Iowans? Or did it simply make up the numbers?

It seems to have made them up. Dave Peterson, a political scientist at Iowa State University who is well-acquainted with the research on “social pressure” turnout techniques, received a mailer last week. The Cruz campaign pegged his voting percentage at fifty-five per cent, which seems to be the most common score that the campaign gives out. (All of the neighbors listed on Peterson’s mailer also received a score of fifty-five per cent.)

But Peterson says he’s voted in 3 of the last 4 elections, which should equate to 75 percent. And he’s even more consistent in voting in local elections.

Lizza did more checking on the numbers:

A source with access to the Iowa voter file told me that he checked several other names on Cruz mailers and that the voting histories of those individuals did not match the scores that the Cruz campaign assigned them in the mailer.

When confronted with evidence that the numbers on the voter-shaming mailers appeared to be fraudulent, the Cruz campaign refused to disclose its sources and methodology for producing the scores, according to Lizza.

photo from The New Yorker
photo from The New Yorker

Another apparent deception in the Cruz mailer was the letter grade. The mailer says that the data is publicly available information, but that’s not really true. The Iowa Secretary of State’s office does keep records of who voted in elections, but state does not assign letter grades. Even if the percentages were based on actual public records, the letter grades were invented by the campaign.

If it turns out the Cruz people really did just make up these voter grades, the backlash could hurt Cruz long after Iowa. It’s one thing to attack your opponents in a race–it’s another to spread lies about voters themselves.

At a minimum, expect heavy pressure on the Cruz campaign to disclose its grading methodology and which elections contributed to its scores. Or admit to making up the grades from thin air.

Finally, when you try to apply academic research to the real world, make sure you understand how the parameter changes. Changing the source of the mailer from a non-partisan research team to a candidate’s campaign, and inventing a letter grade without explaining the methodology, turns a potential tool into a blunt weapon.

And in this case it’s a weapon that’s more likely to hurt Cruz than to hurt his opponents.

Trump won the Fox News debate

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yes, you can win a contest before it starts.

I gotta tell ya, the people at Fox News are stupid. Dumb. Ignorant. Pliable. Oafish. Any word you want you to use that means cognitively challenged (for the politically correct).

But the Fox News morons have a lot of company at National Review.

Trump is playing these media elites like a fiddle.

When The Donald says “dance,” they dance. When he says “cower,” they cower. When he says “bitch and moan,” they bitch and moan.

Yesterday Trump told Roger Ailes and his trained monkeys to devote 100 percent of their broadcast day to Donald Trump.

And Fox complied.

There’s only one story on Fox News: Donald Trump.

Free media. Blocked opponents.

Poor Ted Cruz is out there challenging Trump to a one-on-one debate. Cruz’s fans think it’s a sign of toughness.

Boxing fans know it’s a loser’s gambit. When you challenge someone, you admit you’re the challenger, the left-behind, the also-ran, the wanna-be.

(Before you embarrass yourself in the comments, by definition someone who challenges someone else is by definition the challenger.)

While Fox News carries a debate of undercard wannabes, The Donald will be raising money for wounded veterans and tweeting nasty insults about the debaters.

And the next day, you will see only the nasty tweets. And the wounded veterans. And you will hear only The Donald’s narrative.

Fox News is Trump’s bitch. Fox is the bottom. And not even a power bottom.

Look, folks, I’ve told you I don’t intend to vote for Trump. I’m still a Carson guy. But I’ve been warning you for years.

I told you that you were reading the wrong books years ago. I gave you a list of books to read. It wasn’t complete–it wasn’t perfect. But it pointed you in the direction to victory.

The comments under that post argued with me. I was wrong. I was a lefty.

Well, Trump was reading the books I was reading. Or he innately got what those books taught.

While you were reading the 5000 Year Leap, Donald Trump was plotting your self-destruction.

Fox News and National Review bent over and presented themselves to The Donald.

And I’m not alone in thinking so. From the left, right, and center, people who study media, people, and psychology agree:

Rush Limbaugh: Stunned that Fox News acts like she was “jilted at the altar.”

Ira Stoll: Glenn Beck faults Trump for supporting the bank bailouts that National Review supported

Charles Hurt: Beware the latest nasty virus sweeping the East Coast

I could go on, but why? Donald Trump didn’t destroy the conservative coalition; conservatives did. You didn’t read the right books, you didn’t develop the right skills, and you didn’t look in the mirror enough.

If Donald Trump is a monster, the conservative movement–tea party included–is Dr. Frankenstein.

As my wife says: own it.

 

NRO: Against Jefferson

Reading Time: 4 minutes

“Aristocrats fear the people, and wish to transfer all power to the higher classes of society.”

–Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 1825.

National Review has entered dangerous territory: they have inadvertently made the case for Trump.

An angry screed by Kevin Williamson titled “Our Post-Literate Politics” (later renamed to “What’s a Book?”) makes the case that Trump supporters are illiterate, uneducated, dim-witted, racist, homophobes. To wit (via Breitbart.com’s John Nolte):

Thomas Aquinas cautioned against “homo unius libri,” a warning that would not get very far with the typical Trump voter stuck sniggering over “homo.” (They’d snigger over “snigger,” too, for similar reasons.)

And

Donald Trump is the face of that insalubrious relationship, a lifelong crony capitalist who brags about buying political favors.  But his enthusiasts, devoid as they are of a literate politics capable of thinking about all three sides of a triangle at the same time[.]

The magazine’s aristocratic editors have examined the species homo trumpicus and found it unfit for self-governance. Until last fall, homo trumpicus was NR’s favorite fellow-traveller.

For those who don’t regularly read Hennessy’s View (and I seem to have a lot of new readers of late), I am not supporting Donald Trump. Also, I agree with the NR writers that Trump does not fit my definition of conservatism (which, like most conservatives, I cannot articulate in a way that you could a draw a picture from). Further, I’ll give you that Trump scares me a little. Finally on this point, there are at least three candidates I’d greatly prefer to Trump and a couple more I’d probably hold my nose and vote for before I’d touch the screen next to The Donald. (Or maybe he’ll be on the ballot as simply “TRUMP.”) (And Jeb! is not one of them. I’ll take Trump over Jeb!)

While I revere William F. Buckley, my own vision of a conservative utopia has been out of phase with NR’s for some time, at least in a few ways. In 1993, for example, I wrote an essay opposing US intervention in the Balkans. I am proud that my essay was published alongside similar sentiments from Patrick J. Buchanan and Phyllis Schlafly. (Maybe it’s a St. Louis thing. Buchanan cut his newspaper teeth at Globe-Democrat, and Schlafly is, of course, a St. Louisan.) I differed from my favorite magazine on the issue.

In 1994, a friend and I earned beer money by selling shirts and bumperstickers. Our best-seller said “He’s Rested, He’s Ready, He’s RIGHT! Buchanan ’96.” (My personal favorite didn’t sell worth a damn: “Why did I get wet when Clinton soaked the rich?”)

I should point out that I have differences with Buchanan (Israel) and Schlafly (convention of states), too. But my vision of conservative utopia is probably a lot closer to theirs. And while I’ve dutifully bucked up and supported whatever lame Establishment punching bag the GOP sends up every four years. like many others, I’m getting pretty sick of supporting a party that prefers abstract principles and handouts to billionaires over sound policies that lift people out of poverty and give those well above poverty the confidence to jump employers, change careers, or hang out a shingle. 

My view is pretty simple and probably more libertarian than conservative. I believe that free men and women, decently educated, reasonably honest, occasionally sober, and mildly ambitious make for an exceptional nation. I believe that a government that provides the safety and security to let the men and women have their fun (without feeling the need to wear rearview sunglasses in case some crazed jihadi is sneaking up on them) is a government that engenders exceptionalism. (Unlike my definition of conservatism, I can point you to a picture of exceptionalism. It’s something like Burning Man surrounded on each end by a week or two of hard work.) And I believe that an agreed-upon and complete list of things government is allowed to do lets the people plan more than 3 minutes ahead, which is a prerequisite of exceptionalism, freedom, and fun.

And all of my beliefs are built upon the idea that people, by their nature, can govern themselves. One requirement of self-governance is choosing representatives, including presidents.

If I’m wrong on that–if people truly cannot government themselves and cannot form governments that function–then the whole concept of liberty and everything written on the subject from John Locke to Thomas Jefferson to William F. Buckley, was a lie, an error, a sham, a horrible mistake. On that point, Locke, Jefferson, and Buckley agree with me.

So yesterday National Review, in its screechy cat-fight of a hissy fit, determined that 41 percent of Republican voters (and 100 percent of Democrat voters) fail the self-governance test and need an aristocracy to rule them. Assuming half the voters are Democrats, that means NR has written off, not 47 percent, but 91 percent of American population. Nearly everybody but the National Review’s editorial is, by their reckoning, too ignorant and illiterate to own their own lives.

And this is where the fun begins. 

National Review’s anti-Trump symposium warns that Trump is a modern day Hitler ready to seize autocratic power in America, and that Americans need an autocrat to rule them in their vast ignorance and bigotry.

Put syllogistically (a word that should satisfy Mr. Williamson and most of the NR symposium authors):

If Donald Trump is an authoritarian with conservative-ish pretenses, and if the American electorate’s ignorance requires authoritarian rule, then Trump is the best authoritarian for the job. 

I utterly refute National Review’s pessimistic, aristocratic, and undemocratic conclusion. I reject the middle leg of their pro-Trump syllogism because I believe we are competent to run our lives and to decide on a working government.

And on that, Jefferson concurs:

“The people, being the only safe depository of power, should exercise in person every function which their qualifications enable them to exercise consistently with the order and security of society. We now find them equal to the election of those who shall be invested with their executive and legislative powers, and to act themselves in the judiciary as judges in questions of fact. The range of their powers ought to be enlarged.” –Thomas Jefferson to Walter Jones, 1814.

Either we can govern ourselves, or we can’t. I think we can; NR thinks we can’t.

But I admit to taking great satisfaction in the pain and suffering Trump causes to snobbish blowhards like the one told his NR readers that 41 percent of Republicans can’t govern themselves.

As always, I’ll end with the words Dennis Miller gave us: that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong.

 

 

Do Republican elites know something they’re not telling?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Reading two excellent articles by Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight (here and here), I remembered a thought that passed through  my mind last Friday.

After reading some of National Review’s “Against Trump” issue, I wrote blog post. To me the NR issue showed the magazine is out of touch with voters. I’m not talking about traditional, reliable, motivated, and informed primary voters. I’m talking about the broader pool of voters who vote in general elections every four, eight, or twelve years and occasionally in local elections. (Yes, there are people like that.)

The bits I’ve read since then reinforce my perception that conservative pundits (count me in) often (always) forget that most Americans are not conservative pundits. Then there’s this gem from Rod Dreher on American Conservative, Trump & the Conservative Intelligentsia.

Moving back to Louisiana to live really did reveal to me the gap between the conservative punditocracy and those for whom they — for whom we — presume to speak. Ideas and reason matter far less to most people than they do to people like us (this is true of the left as well), not because most people are stupid, but because their mode of experiencing life is not nearly as abstract as ours.

[Why conservatives need to stop talking about abstract political principles and promote conservative policies that help real people.]

People who hang around with conservative activists have trouble seeing the world from any other perspective. And there are, at best, a few thousand conservative activists, pundits, writers, and radio/TV hosts in America. And 320 million “others.” You get the point.

So the easy answer to NR’s Trump issue is affinity bubbles. Now, what’s the not-so-easy answer.

Maybe Republican elites (and you have to include Ted Cruz’s campaign in that mix) know something they’re not saying. Maybe National Review just wanted to be able to claim victory when Trump loses Iowa badly. 

It’s possible that Trump is polling in Iowa and somehow keeping it very quiet. Businesses are really, really good at stealth polling. But a lot of newspapers claim he is not polling at all. He’s flying blind.

The other campaigns and PACs are polling like their lives depend on it. Polling is one of the consultant class’s biggest money makers. Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Jeb!, Carly, and Christie have numbers that you and I do not see.

We also hear that Trump has almost no ground organization in Iowa. And public polls show that a lot of Trump’s support (up to 30 percent) comes from non-traditional caucusers. (But reports of no ground game could be hogwash, too.)

If you put it all together, it’s very possible that the Republican elites believe Trump will get trounced in Iowa.

That would explain why the GOP establishment has made Cruz, not Trump, their Party Enemy Number One. They could reason that Trump’s rise owes to his perceived invulnerability. If he stumbles in Iowa, the mask will slip and his supporters will scramble for another candidate.

The Establishment does not want Trump-defectors to find a home with Cruz, so they’re building the case that Cruz is worse than Trump. With Cruz struggling in New Hampshire, the winner of New Hampshire could quickly gain a lot of energy going into South Carolina.

In other words, the GOP Establishment could be killing two insurgents with one Iowa surge.

If the second scenario is the way it is, Rich Lowry and crew are busy planning their victory lap right now, and I should be writing my mea culpa. (Unless his blog counts.)

But, again, only time will tell.

How late-deciders are like fish

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Expectations matter most in how undecided voters decide. 

It’s important to understand how late-deciders tend to vote. This knowledge (especially in Iowa and New Hampshire) could decide the outcome.

Primary voters tend to decide whom to for at the last minute.

In 2008, 16 percent of voters said they made their choice on election day.  Which means we have a long way to go to know how Iowa will turn out.

I read a report (summarized here) that showed late-deciders tend to break for the candidate they expect to win. (Which may explain why most campaigns release a shock poll about their candidate’s surge a day or two before the election.)  There’s also a study of how fish choose leaders that supports this theory via Science Daily:

“Their consensus arises through a simple rule,” said David Sumpter of Uppsala University. “Some fish spot the best choice early on, although others may make a mistake and go the wrong way. The remaining fish assess how many have gone in particular directions. If the number going in one direction outweighs those going the other way, then the undecided fish follow in the direction of the majority.”

But it’s very difficult to know a particular voter’s expectations, and those expectations vary widely by the voter’s interest in politics.

Some late deciders are highly interested in the election while others are not. While less-interested people are more likely to stay home, many will vote.  For interested voters, news and polls will provide a lot of information, so polls will make a difference. For the less interested, personal connections and conversations mean everything. Even conversations overheard at a store can make a difference.

Who Will Win Iowa?

Looking at Iowa, it’s impossible to pick a winner. It’s very possible that more Iowans have made up their minds this year because of the incredible amount of press coverage, but the polls show that’s not the case. The latest Fox News poll finds:

A third of Republican caucus-goers say they may change their mind (33 percent). Even one in four Trump supporters says they may ultimately go with another candidate (25 percent).

That’s consistent with past elections. For instance, looking at CNN’s exit poll from the 2012 Iowa Caucus (which Santorum won) we find:

Screenshot 2016-01-25 00.15.04

Santorum won the Iowa caucus in 2012 by 34 votes over Romney, and his support surged on the day of the caucus.

How did Santorum do it?

Organization.

Santorum’s supporters did a fantastic job of getting people to the caucus locations and of influencing fence-straddlers at the caucuses. My guess is that a bunch of that 35 percent who decided on the day of the caucus heard Santorum’s name many times shortly after they arrived.

Does that mean the candidate with the best organization will win Iowa?

Maybe.

Remember, Ron Paul’s campaign was famous for its grassroots organization, but that didn’t help them in the caucuses. At the same time, Romney had a decent organization, too, but country clubbers might have shown less enthusiasm than Santorum’s blue collar forces.

Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion

So, besides organization and expectations, what else might influence a person to vote one way or the other this late in the game?

There are other factors to influence. According to researcher Robert Cialdini and his colleagues, there are six principles of persuasion: reciprocity, consistency, liking, authority, scarcity, and social proof.

Clearly, social proof is the big deal in primary elections and accounts for late deciders breaking for the expected winner. But don’t discount the others.

Liking is important. If a candidate’s supporters turn off a voter, their numbers might not matter. Undecided or weakly decided voters will also pay attention to how candidates’ supporters treat supporters of rival candidates. So treating everyone at the cause with respect might win some converts.

Likewise, authority can play a deciding role in elections. Low-interest voters might be influenced by one political celebrity’s personal request than by 100 peers.

Consistency is very powerful but also tricky. For example, people who describe themselves as “very conservative” are very likely to support Cruz. But how people have voted before influences them as well.

Reciprocity can help. Supporters of a particular candidate who offer caucus-goers rides or explanations of the process will influence people who feel they must repay the favor.

Scarcity is a little tricky here, but it’s huge in getting voter to the polls or caucus. “This is your only chance to choose the next president.”

We Just Don’t Know

Which is all a long way to get to this: we won’t know the winner until the votes are counted, and news reports of a candidate’s surge can be counteracted by what voters see on the ground on caucus day.

Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck Were 100% Right about Katrina Pierson

Reading Time: 3 minutes

UPDATE: Originally I mentioned “apparently fake twitter account.” I’ve learned (after lots of research) that I was mistaken. I’ve removed that statement. Please continue reading. My carelessness was completely my own. 

I agree with Ted Cruz. And welcome Big Government readers.

Senator Cruz said, “Katrina Pierson is an utterly fearless principled conservative.”

That was just two years ago. Katrina Pierson was challenging Pete Sessions for Congress.

I also agree with Ted’s dad, Rafael Cruz, who said of Katrina, “She’s a strict constitutionalist. She’s a strong conservative and she wants to do what’s right.”

I also agree with Glenn Beck who introduced his radio audience to Katrina this way:

Katrina Pierson is running against Congressman Pete Sessions here in Texas… To call Pete a massive disappointment is a massive understatement. And you should get to know Katrina. Ted Cruz, who doesn’t throw these things around lightly, called her an utterly fearless principled conservative, which I think is about the highest praise you could get from Ted Cruz. (Source: glennbeck.com)

I even agree with (in carefully measured doses) this Dave Weigel story in Slate from 2014:

Pierson’s claim on the Cruz brand is more intimate. Nanoseconds after she announced for Congress, she was endorsed by FreedomWorks, the D.C.-based Tea Party powerhouse. FreedomWorks has warred for its own Cruz pixie dust—when Sen. John Cornyn’s campaign hired the group’s old grassroots coordinator Brendan Steinhauser, FreedomWorks insisted that he “was not in charge of our political efforts in 2010 or 2012.”

Steinhauser strayed, at least in the view of FreedomWorks. Pierson did not. She’s a pure Tea Partier, one of the shrinking group of conservative activists who gained unimagined political stardom, compared to the average freshman congressman, thanks to media interest in the movement, especially from Fox News. She’s biracial, which she insists will drive the left batty when (never “if”) she wins. “You could call me a racist,” she says. “Good luck with that! You could say I’m out there pushing the war on women. Good luck with that, too.”

Dave Weigel covered the Tea Party movement for Washington Post and Slate since its earliest days. He knows who was there.

I Figured She Was a Prima Donna

I’ve known Katrina Pierson since 2009, but I first met her in 2010. She and many Tea Partiers from Texas came to St. Louis for the September 12 event under the Arch. I knew Katrina was a star of the Texas tea parties, and I expected her to be a prima donna. But I quickly learned otherwise.

It was hot. I was playing host by escorting a group of VIPs on foot, about eight people in total. We had a few of blocks to go. The women were mostly in heels walking on rough pavement in downtown St. Louis.

A big, black SUV came along, recognized a few of the faces, and offered a ride. “I have room for six,” the driver said.

Some of us looked around. A few people simply jumped into the SUV. Katrina said, “It’s okay. I can walk.” So I walked with her. (I was a host.) I believe one other gentleman walked with us. Prima donnas don’t give up an SUV ride.

That simple act of humility when no one of consequence was a round to see it told me a lot about Katrina.

Conservatives Gone Wild

Today, a conservative blogger pieced together snippets of some of Katrina’s past statements to build a case that Katrina is actually a radical leftist.  In elections, even good people often lose their minds.

But Glenn Beck took to Facebook to pile on Katrina. Without bothering to check the validity or context of the piece, he labelled Pierson “dangerous.” And that’s a shame, because Glenn once had something to offer. Like when he gave Katrina a platform in her 2014 race against the “disappointing” Pete Sessions.

As blogger Dan Riehl points out on Twitter:

Yep. Especially when Glenn Beck attacks her. Remember, Glenn is the same guy who, in 2009, said that he would have voted for Hillary Clinton over John McCain and that he expects Barack Obama will be better for the country than McCain would have been (video below).

Look, I get that elections make good people crazy. I’ll blame it on National Review. And I get that conservatives have problems with Trump. But let’s try to remember two things:

  1. There will be a tomorrow no matter how the Iowa caucuses shake out, and
  2. If there is no tomorrow, Revelation tells us the good guys have won.

Katrina Pierson really is a pure tea partier, a fierce conservative, and a strict constitutionalist. She didn’t stop being those things when she became Trump’s spokesperson anymore than Beck stopped being a conservative when he declared a preference for Hillary and Obama over McCain.

Katrina is a friend and a soldier in the war on establishment values. She has lifted me up and pointed back toward the front in our war when I’ve stumbled and felt weak.

Find a way to elevate Cruz without destroying your sister-in-arms.