Here we are on another Super Tuesday election, and once again, there’s no clear answer to our troubles. Some things, however, do seem clear and unambiguous to me. Marco Rubio is unacceptable by any measure. His support of amnesty with the “GangOf8” immigration reform bill disqualifies in my view. There is no circumstance under which I could support Rubio. Dr. Carson is finished, no matter how long he remains in the race. From here to the convention, I don’t think there’s any chance for his numbers to improve, and I don’t believe he’s a serious candidate. Governor Kasich is running a pointless candidacy also, perhaps in some ways worse than Carson’s. Kasich should run for the exit, but he’s stubbornly remaining in the race so that he can be beaten in his home state of Ohio, perhaps slightly less thoroughly than Rubio will be flogged in his home state of Florida. This leaves us with two remaining, plausible candidates. At this point, considering any of the others is an exercise in futility. I guess it comes down to what you believe, who you believe, and what it is that you think the election of 2016 will actually mean for the country. This is where conservatives must wear their thinking caps and consider the whole of the race, and not just the immediate gratification of the primary vote. It’s enough to make one consider intoxication as a potential antidote. Myself, I’m in a bit of a stupor over it all.
Ted Cruz appears to be the most solidly conservative in the field. He is not, however, without problems. His support for increasing H1-B visas is very troubling to me, as is his support for fast-track authority(TPA) for the TPP for whomever may be sitting in the Oval Office. There is no doubt that the TPP is a terrible deal for the American people, transferring wealth and sovereignty out of the country and essentially locking the US into a perpetual disadvantageous trade contract that imposes severe restrictions on our own economic independence. I oppose the TPP for this and many more reasons, and I don’t understand why Senator Cruz, a self-professed “constitutional conservative,” would go along with such a deal. I also don’t believe he’s been entirely honest with us about his role on the spiking of the “GangOf8” legislation. It’s clear from video available that he wanted to do something (other than deportation) with the eleven or twelve million illegals(and I suspect many more) who “live in the shadows.” All of these things are bothersome and worrisome to me.
Donald Trump has ever been a liberal, and in many respects, this makes him worse. He’s also made a career of marketing himself like a carnival barker. His failures over the course of his whole career are legion, but that in and of itself isn’t necessarily damning: At least he was willing to take risks. The problem is that in so many of these cases, he took risks with other peoples’ money, and squandered it. One might argue that this is the nature of business, just as one might argue that paying off politicians is just a part of doing business, but I don’t see how we’re any better off having the briber rather than the bribed running the country. His position on social and moral issues certainly seems less than solid too. His continued support for Planned Parenthood is quite troubling to me. I also find his mouth to be a volcano of bilge, with cursing o’plenty, although it seems in the last week or so that he’s cleaned some of this up, perhaps in recognition that it hurts him. That makes me wonder if a victorious Trump would return to form soon after. He has a long history of saying things that are despicable in any context in which I’d care to be included. His talk about his sex-life and his descriptions of women, and all the rest of his endless, lifelong debauchery seems to me a disqualifying problem. The New York Times, certainly not the most reliable source, implies that it has in its possession “off-the-record” taped conversations with Trump that may indicate that he’s a good deal more flexible on immigration than his campaign rhetoric indicates. As he explained to Hannity on Monday night, “everything is negotiable.” Many of his larger problems won’t be revealed, conveniently, until the Republican Party is saddled with him as their nominee, by which time he may be embroiled in court over a lawsuit against him and “Trump University.” Mostly, the problem with Donald Trump is that he hasn’t done or said anything to relieve me of the fear that he’s completely untrustworthy, not just on social issues, but primarily with respect to his signature issues on which he has provided little specific detail.
Let us conservatives accept from the outset that there are no perfect candidates. Still, we should be able to discern who is more perfect. We should be able to rely on their records. Others rely to some extent on the character of those who have endorsed these candidates, although I think in many cases, this has led to a wholly unsatisfactory outcome in many instances. I can think of a dozen or more candidates the Tea Partys have been urged to support who upon election, turned out to be more of the same, and often pro-amnesty jerks. Marco Rubio is a grand example of the type, but he is hardly the only one. The truth is that conservatives have been betrayed in one form or fashion in election after election, to the extent that many of us feel shell-shocked by it. On the one hand, we have a Republican establishment that is clearly a syndicate of global elitists, who will side with their cohorts in the Democrat Party to ruin and wreck conservatives any time we can manage to get a leg up, but on the other hand, we have a situation in which it seems that the mathematics give us just two plausible outcomes.
If Rubio, Kasich, and Carson remain in this race, it helps Trump. If they get out, it helps Cruz. Rubio cannot and will not be the nominee. The math in no way supports him. This leads one to question: “Why are these guys staying in, when none of the three have won a state, or even seriously threatened to win a state?” Now we get to the nub of the issue. We have had it told to us all through this primary season debacle that Cruz and Trump(along with Carson) are the outsiders. Is this really the case? We’re told that Rubio is an establishment stooge, and it makes plenty of sense, right until you ask: “Why is Rubio still in this race?” No Republican who hasn’t won Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina(first three contests) has ever gone on to win the nomination. History isn’t lying, so why is Rubio staying in? It must be for another purpose, and I think we can take a reasonable guess at it. Who is hurt by Rubio enduring in this race, and who is helped? Based on the available polling data, there is a strong dislike of Trump in the Rubio camp. Cruz would likely capture something on the order of ninety percent or more of Rubio’s support, depending upon whose numbers you believe. In the Cruz camp, Rubio enjoys no such advantage. If Cruz were to exit, roughly half of his support would go to Trump and half to Rubio, with a few here and there for Kasich or Carson. What this means, in fact, is that the only two people presently having any chance at the Republican nomination are Trump, and Cruz. This means that with every passing day in which Rubio, Kasich and Carson stay in this race, Trump becomes all the more inevitable.
With all of this in mind, we must ask reasonably once more: “Why is Rubio staying in?” It is the presumption of many that he is the “establishment track” candidate, but the GOP establishment isn’t going to back a guy they know has no chance of winning unless they’re using him to split the vote on behalf of a candidate they believe can win. Who would that be? Cruz? Kasich? Carson? Or Trump? Even if his financial backing flees, I suspect Rubio will stay around in order to secure a VP slot on somebody’s ticket. I wonder who that might be.
Let’s look at that again: Trump has a long and storied history of supporting liberal Republicans and a whole host of Democrats. If Rubio’s candidacy was genuinely anti-Trump, as he now pretends is the case, why would he stay in? In a head-to-head in Florida, Rubio loses to Trump, and Trump walks away with all ninety-nine delegates because it’s a winner-take-all state. Cruz, by contrast, could actually beat Trump in a head-to-head absent Rubio. That would give Cruz all the Florida delegates, and place him on the fast-track to the nomination. What you can learn from all of this is that the people who are still bank-rolling Rubio via the SuperPACs aren’t doing so because they think Marco can win, but because they actually want Trump, and will use Rubio’s continuing presence to split up the vote that would otherwise go almost entirely to Cruz.
Do you see the point here? Given the nature of Donald Trump’s support from the endorser-class, one might have concluded he was the only genuine outsider, but the question we must now ask, as Rubio is being used as a lever to depress Cruz is: “Who is spoofing whom?” I believe the real establishment candidate is he who benefits from the continued presence of somebody other than himself in the race. Who is that? Does Cruz benefit from Rubio, Kasich, or Carson remaining? No. Does Rubio benefit from Cruz, Carson, or Kasich remaining? No. Does Trump benefit from Cruz remaining in? No. Does Trump benefit from Rubio, Kasich and Carson’s remaining in, so long as Cruz is an active candidate? YES!
There are only two viable candidates remaining in this race. I will not tell you how you ought to vote. You’re all grown folk, and you hardly need me to offer you advice. What I will tell you is that what I see implicit in the numbers is that Rubio, Kasich, and Carson are remaining solely to be spoilers. The question must be only: “For whom?” Only Trump and Cruz have a shot at winning this race. The question before you is whether you will a.)support Cruz, b.)support Trump, or c.)support one of the spoilers who gives/helps give it to Trump. Of course, you can also sit home. As I said, this has been a disturbing primary season, and any conservative would probably be somewhat justified if they wanted to just drink their frustrations away, but escape into an inebriated stupor won’t solve the problem. Conservatives must now think, and think carefully, in order to choose. Wait until the day after the general election in November to imbibe. By then, we may all need a drink.
Editor: This column was supposed to auto-post at 7am this morning, but for some reason failed. My apologies to readers. I usually vote on the way in to work, didn’t this morning, after work, my precinct ran out of ballots while in line, still waited 20 minutes after polls closed, fairly certain my precinct was strongly pro-Cruz.