One thing was very clear last night from CNN’s latest debate that I watched on commercial breaks of Fixer Upper and followed on Twitter. It changed nothing. The favorites remain Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Jeb Bush and Chris Christie got feistier, Rand Paul was more communicative and confident, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina were invisible and John Kasich as ninja hands – but none of them changed the dynamic of this race one bit. Forget your usual silly/generic winners and losers columns written by national media lightweights looking for clickbait, what is going on in the Republican Party right now is represented by these three men. Marco Rubio is the bright young star of a depressed GOP establishment that has seen its leaders fall one by one from Cantor to Boehner to Jeb. Rubio, young and energetic, is the new vessel to fill with the old ideas and the old money that has traditionally run this party. Ted Cruz is the tea party darling, an angry voice inside Washington rebelling against is centurions that so many grassroots supporters see as the real enemy, sellouts to Obama’s agenda and weaklings who were afraid to take the President on directly. Then there is Donald Trump, the voice of the throw-your-hands-in-the-air voters who simply don’t trust anyone anymore. Trump’s support is probably broader than anyone wants to admit and comes from traditional Republicans as well as outside voters attracted to his celebrity, clarity and anger.
This is the Republican Party today. An establishment reeling and looking for a new leader, a grassroots tea party looking to finally take over rather than simply fight from within and angry outside voices fed up with our entire political institutions willing to trust a man of oversized personality and success outside of politics to this time really change the system. As the debate wore on and I started watching more and more of it, it became clear that these three are the top tier for a reason. These three, when combined, are the Republican Party. Second tier candidates are a mix of the past, the never was, and we-don’t-care anymore. Jeb Bush is a walking talking reminder that the 00s are over, Rand Paul and libertarians in general I’m afraid vastly overestimated their appeal within the party, Chris Christie and John Kasich’s bellicose executive experience means less and less when the issues are more ideological and even cultural within the party, and the outsider status of Fiorina and Carson melt underneath the celebrity limelight of Trump. Running on “getting things done” means nothing when the party at it’s core distrusts the institutions of government to begin with. Running as someone who can make the trains run on time won’t work anymore.
What is interesting is we see this manifest itself here in Virginia with who is leading these respective campaigns. Ted Cruz has cultural conservatives and tea party leaders like Dick Black and Bill Stanley. Marco Rubio has existing party leaders who are up and coming like himself, lead by Barbara Comstock and Tim Hugo. Donald Trump is being lead by a bombastic outsider who has never served a day in Richmond, Corey Stewart. I won’t pretend to know who it’s laying out in other states but it is remarkable the synergy here in Virginia with the overall breakdown of the candidates nationally.
So where do we end up? I have no idea. I’ve said from day one that Marco Rubio is the favorite because he checks the most boxes for the most Republican primary voters. I’m beginning to doubt that, but not enough to change any prediction. Ted Cruz has been much stronger and disciplined then I thought he would be. He’s actually run the best campaign of any of the Republicans thus far. As for Trump, who the hell knows. Every week he says or does something that is supposed to end his campaign and yet he’s still here polling (substantially) ahead of everyone. And some bomb could drop, like this thing about Cruz accidently leaking confidential information. But as we stand right now, this minute, these three are on top because they collectively represent the GOP. We must choose wisely.
Get back to me after the South Carolina primary, until then it will be the “we MUST win this presidential cycle BUT my candidate is the ONLY one that has any chance to defeat Hillary therefore must be the candidate. Imperative sounding but not quite reality grounded yet. After SC the real choices begin in short order with March 1st (super Tuesday) only one week later. That is when I start listening to the “we must win this cycle mantras” to determine whose on board ready to row and who is looking for a life jacket.
Without doubt, the 2016 Republican candidate lineup is the most interesting witnessed in the past thirty years or so. To this, I will add that Chris Beer has lucidly laid out the present state of the moment in the Republican debates in his precise write-up. (Well done Chris!)
I was particularly pleased to see this one sentence in the above, that “Marco Rubio is the bright young star of a depressed GOP establishment that has seen its leaders fall one by one from Cantor to Boehner to Jeb.” That the pernicious Republican overlords must airbrush the old rant into a new casting is about is the only option left available. If the old formulation no longer works, then a new ‘fool the people’ hook must be dangled in the waters. The obvious proof of the night that the old formulation no longer works was the expression of dismay and frustration on Jeb Bush’s face. Jeb gave it his best shot but his purse was empty.
Sadness remains. No one in the debate remotely approximates the vigor, the depth of knowledge that was the generation of 1776. If you are looking for Liberty or Death, you will not get Liberty in 2016.
The 2016 presidential election is one that we must win. It is my belief (and recent polls bear this out) that Marco Rubio is our best bet to win a national election against Hillary by capturing a substantial portion of the various voting demographics. He is principled, disciplined, dignified, articulate, and telegenic. He has run a responsible, policy-oriented campaign. Donald Trump’s outspoken rhetoric has created a great deal of publicity for the campaign. For that we can be thankful. But handing him the Republican standard to carry into what I think would be a losing battle is too high a price to pay.
Rubio’s immigration position is holding him back, otherwise he’s probably be sitting at #2 right behind Trump. Conservatives are not going to allow a pro-amnesty candidate to get the nomination. So I guess its going to be either Trump or Cruz (hopefully Cruz).
Yes, Rubio’s efforts to address a chronic illegal alien problem has gotten him some bad PR. It hangs, unjustly I think, like an albatross around his neck. I do not think for a moment he is pro amnesty … the term is often incorrectly used to describe those who think that EVENTUALLY we must deal with a situation that our government has allowed to develop and fester. He continues to state that border security is required before anything is done to assimilate the aliens already here, and even then, with severe restrictions. I trust his word more than that of the other two.
Two questions remain: Who can beat Hillary? Who would be a good president?
You didn’t happen to read the whole Comprehensive Amnesty Immigration bill that that slimy Rubio sponsored with Schmuckie Schummer did you? To say that someone who wrote that bill is not pro amnesty is to say that Bruce Jenner is not weird.
It has been suggested that Trump’s base of support spills over into millions of Democrats disenchanted with the radical Marxism that now dominates their party. Should the Dems put up another Obama look-a-like, it is posited that millions of Dems would cross over to Trump.
Remember, Trump is no vapid Bush or Romney establishment marketing brand. He is not an ideologue. If any word spells Trump, it is pragmatism.
And then there is the Trump/Cruz coziness on debate night. One only wonders what deals have been artfully made, between the two candidates, and with upper echelon party leadership.
What say you? Is the fix already in?
Can you even imagine? Leaving our fate for restored Constitutional government in the hands of disaffected Democrats? I shudder.
I’ve heard the case made that Trump is essentially winning Reagan Democrats. His support isn’t coming from grassroots tea partiers necessarily, but more cultural middle America Republicans who might have flirted with Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan.
Oh yes, the powers that be really, really want Cruz as President of the Senate.
Let’s look at Rubio shall we?
Cruz kept his promise to voters. He voted against the Gang of Eight
Rubio broke his promise: He paid lip service to border security and the
American Dream, while scheming with Senators Schumer and Durbin on the
180,000-word, 1,200-page Christmas tree for Big Biz, Big Tech, and
Rubio didn’t just vote for the bill. He and his staff were integral to
crafting it, shilling for it, and cashing in on the legislative
boondoggle dubbed a “permanent pension plan for immigration lawyers.”
When you need the truth about which Beltway crapweasels are selling out
America, always follow the money.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428732/marco-rubio-open-borders-money-beneficiary
Nope, parents were not citizens at time of birth.