(Daily Beast) — When asked to assess the presidential prospects of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, Sen. Lindsey Graham famously said, “It’s like being shot or poisoned. I think you get the same result, whether it’s quick or takes a long time.”

Republicans breathing a sigh of relief because Cruz beat Trump in Iowa are rejoicing at the prospect of being poisoned. They may have dodged a bullet, but there’s a long-term critical condition they can’t afford to ignore.

Because Cruz and Trump do not represent different visions of the Republican Party so much as different manifestations of the same kind of conservative populism that gets weak-kneed watching a strongman preach with fact-free certainty from the right side of the “us vs. them” divide.

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