Only in a strange political season dominated by Donald Trump could Texas Republican Ted Cruz be seen as a plausible alternative to anyone.
Republican Party leaders, following the disastrous attempt by failed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to bring down the Trump express, are now reportedly looking toward Senator Cruz, largely regarded as the most hated man in the Senate by Republicans and Democrats alike. The Texan split four state contests with Mr. Trump Saturday while Senator Marco Rubio, the latest establishment favorite, descends further toward irrelevance.
Mr. Trump is a vulgarian, as he has demonstrated throughout the campaign to distressed Americans. The greater obscenity, however, is the background Mr. Cruz brings to the campaign. An intolerant extremist, he embodies the tea party destructiveness that has done such great harm to America in recent years.
Senator Cruz has led failed bids to shut down the federal government that brought the nation to the brink of economic crisis. He attempted to stall a budget agreement because of his determination to defund Planned Parenthood on the basis of a sting operation that led to criminal indictments of its organizers in his own state. He has been an intractable opponent of the Affordable Care Act and programs that benefit the poor and middle class. Senator Cruz opposes and obstructs — he offers nothing of a positive, constructive nature.
Senator Cruz has demonstrated an intolerance of religious beliefs that differ from his own, a worrisome quality in an elected political leader. In his opposition to programs that would benefit the poor, and in his pledge to "carpet bomb" ISIS, a strategy that could involve collateral damage of untold innocents, he has behaved in a decidedly un-Christian manner.
Neither Mr. Trump nor Senator Cruz embody traditional Republican principles that the establishment abandoned in its coddling of tea party extremists. Mr. Trump's solutions to the immigration issue are preposterous but they are no more mean-spirited than those of Mr. Cruz. The GOP establishment may be willing to settle for Mr. Cruz as opposed to Mr. Trump but that offers no real choice for the American electorate.