And the story's at the New York Times, "Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Republicans Argue Over Who Is Greater Threat":
WASHINGTON — With Donald J. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz battling for the Republican nomination, two powerful factions of their party are now clashing over the question: Which man is more dangerous?Well, Rich Lowry has a piece up at Politico today, making the distinction between populism and conservatism, of which Donald Trump is the former (not the latter). See, "The Battle for the Soul of the Right."
Conservative intellectuals have become convinced that Mr. Trump, with his message of nationalist-infused populism, poses a dire threat to conservatism, and planned to issue a manifesto online Thursday night to try to stop him.
However, the cadre of Republican lobbyists, operatives and elected officials based in Washington is much more unnerved by Mr. Cruz, a go-it-alone, hard-right crusader who campaigns against the political establishment and could curtail their influence and access, building his own Republican machine to essentially replace them.
The division illuminates much about modern Republicanism and the surprising bedfellows brought about when an emerging political force begins to imperil entrenched power.
The Republicans who dominate the right-leaning magazines, journals and political groups can live with Mr. Cruz, believing that his nomination would leave the party divided, but manageably so, extending a longstanding intramural debate over pragmatism versus purity that has been waged since the days of Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller. They say Mr. Trump, on the other hand, poses the most serious peril to the conservative movement since the 1950s-era far-right John Birch Society.
Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review — embracing the role of his predecessor, William F. Buckley, who in the 1960s confronted Birch Society members — reached out to conservative thinkers to lend their names to the manifesto against Mr. Trump. He drew on some of the country’s leading conservatives, including Erick Erickson, William Kristol and Yuval Levin, to write essays buttressing the argument that Mr. Trump had no commitment to restraining the role of government and possessed authoritarian impulses antithetical to conservative principles.
“Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot on behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as The Donald himself,” the magazine said in an editorial accompanying the manifesto.
Peter Wehner, a longtime conservative writer, said: “He’s not a conservative, he’s an angry populist. It would be dangerous if the party or movement hands control over to him.”
Yet many members of the Republican influence apparatus, especially lobbyists and political strategists, say they could work with Mr. Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, believing that he would be open to listening to them and cutting deals, and would not try to take over the party.
“He’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker,” said Robert J. Dole, the former Republican senator and 1996 presidential candidate.
Of course, this willingness to accommodate Mr. Trump is driven in part by the fact that few among the Republican professional class believe he would win a general election. In their minds, it would be better to effectively rent the party to Mr. Trump for four months this fall, through the general election, than risk turning it over to Mr. Cruz for at least four years, as either the president or the next-in-line leader for the 2020 nomination...
And at Memeorandum.