(AlterNet) -- As the 2016 primary season continues, the notion that Ted Cruz might be the Republican Party’s last best chance to save itself from Donald Trump’s takeover is a spectacle all by itself. Cruz, the most mistrusted and reviled Republican senator, a serial liar who led the 2013 government shutdown and called Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a fraud on the Senate floor, is now the party’s great savior?
It may be that Republicans would prefer the right-wing devil they know rather than the one they do not. Their fears of Trump resemble wide swings of a pendulum. On some issues it’s his ugly, bigoted and juvenile rhetoric and strongman posturing that repulses. On the other extreme lurks a sneaking suspicion among GOP luminaries that he might be too liberal and malleable, not just unpredictable, for conservatives to stomach.
Trump is the more offensive presidential candidate, but Cruz is far more dangerous. As Eugene Robinson, a Washington Post columnist, wrote in December, “If Ted Cruz is the Republican Party’s cure for Donald Trump, the antidote may be worse than the poison.”
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