C'mon, Ted. If Bernie were the GOP nominee, you wouldn't support HIM

So, this is happening: Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich are all being asked now if they’d stick to their pledge to support the GOP nominee for president if it were the thug-encouraging Donald Trump. And while Rubio and Kasich have tepidly said yes, clearly signaling they’d have a hard time with that, Ted Cruz equivocates, answering he’d stick to his word.

I know other colleagues here think Cruz’s response is nuanced, that he’s indicating Trump won’t be the nominee, that he will, etc. But Sen. Cruz went on to talk about the dangers of Hillary Clinton having power over Supreme Court nominations and the like, how this risk is higher than any Donald Trump poses.

To which, I say…really?

Haven’t we all figured out by now that Trump is no conservative? He draped himself n the mantle of the Republican party because he knew his sales pitch would resonate more there. A sales pitch, by the way, that he might have no intention of delivering on (release the tapes of your New York Times interview, Donald).

If Trump were the nominee, what guarantee do we have that he wouldn’t be equally as bad as Clinton in choosing SCOTUS nominees? Or equally bad at policy? At least with Hillary, you can fight the good fight against an ideology that’s not embraced by your “team.” If Donald is the head of our team, how do we fight that?

I’m sorry, all you Ted Cruz fans, but the man is too clever by half. His strategic sense is abysmal. Witness his government shutdown strategy. It accomplished….what? Giving Republicans a black eye with NO policy change. I don’t care about the black eyes, mind you, if they get us something. This got us nothing.

In this campaign his strategy has been to avoid attacking Trump as he takes out his other adversaries. In the last debate, Jake Tapper pitched him a softball to knock out of the park about Trump — comparing the businessman’s positions to Hillary Clinton’s. Cruz refused to swing at it. And this strategy accomplished…what? It’s allowed Trump to grow in strength while Cruz and the others scramble.

If Sen. Ted Cruz is the nominee, I’ll vote for him in a heartbeat. But the man is no strategic genius and sometimes too slick for his own good.

Libby Sternberg is a novelist.