Marco Rubio’s Success Could Mean GOP Ruin

Marco RubioMarco Rubio defied expectations by ending strong and beating out Ted Cruz for second place in South Carolina — just ten percentage points behind Donald Trump. This is a big deal, because if Rubio had come in third place, he would have received no delegates. Instead, because he finished in second place, he received no delegates. You see, South Carolina is a winner-take-all state. So Donald Trump, who got 32.5% of the vote, ended up with all 50 delegates. But Rubio’s strong second place finish (beating Cruz by 0.2 percentage points) will doubtless make many Republican establishment types thrilled that their boy still has a shot at the big kahuna.

There’s a theory for all this. Jeb Bush just dropped out of the race. If you hadn’t heard that, don’t be ashamed. Within 12 hours of his announcement, it wasn’t even listed on the front page of Google News. For months, the only real question was when he would drop out, not if. According to the theory, as people drop out, Rubio will get more and more votes, eventually pushing Cruz out of the way and finally eclipsing Trump.To the Republican establishment, all those Bush votes will go to Marco Rubio. But that’s not true. The Republican base doesn’t make that much sense. Anyway, when Ben Carson drops out a lot of his votes will go to Ted Cruz. And the rest will go to Donald Trump. So it isn’t a great theory, but it’s at least a theory.

Imagine for a moment, a general election debate between Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton. You might not like what she would do as president, but there is no doubt at all that she could do the job. And next to her would be little ol’ Marco Rubio.

A big issue here is that Rubio has largely been given a pass. He was attacked by Christie and failed. Then he was attacked by Cruz and failed. But he’s never been attacked by the real big kahuna: Donald Trump. It will be very interesting to see how the world’s least liked Eagle Scout deals with Trump and Cruz hammering on him at the next debate. I’m thinking something like, “Can I have a bottle of water? Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. Can I have a bottle of water? Let’s dispel…”

Marco Rubio Isn’t a Good Candidate

This gets to something that I’ve been thinking for a long time now. The Republican establishment thinks that Rubio is their best chance in the general election. But they seem to think this because he takes orders well. I don’t see it at all. Imagine for a moment, a general election debate between Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton. Even people who hate Clinton have to admit that when she’s up there on stage, she commands it. If nothing else, she seems competent. You might not like what she would do as president, but there is no doubt at all that she could do the job.

And next to her would be little ol’ Marco Rubio. He’d be all prepared just like any high school student on the debate club. The distinction would be horrifying for conservatives because they would have to admit that all their belief in authority and strength should make them support Clinton. Because Rubio is a wimp. What’s more, if Clinton is a self-serving politician willing to say anything to become president, then Rubio would join ISIS if it gave him a better chance of becoming president.

It’s been fascinating to watch the Republican nomination thus far. When it all started, we were told what a deep bench the Republicans had. (Am I wrong, or is this something that is said every election — and never about Democrats?) But in the end, there were only two people who were actually good candidates: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. And they are both hated by the establishment. Interestingly, they are also both hated by the American people. But if either of them ran against Hillary Clinton, you can imagine an actual fight. If Marco Rubio runs, it is going to be a slaughter. I’m thinking the Republican establishment better start praying that their theory for Rubio’s success is wrong.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

8 thoughts on “Marco Rubio’s Success Could Mean GOP Ruin

  1. Agreed. You don’t have to be bright to win voters over — look at “W.” And you don’t have to be likable — look at W’s dad. But robotic is the kiss of death. I guess the assumption is he will win Hispanic voters. They’re not a solid bloc, though! He’d get the same conservative Cubans who always vote GOP anyway, but I believe the rest of the Latino community won’t be fooled because he can speak a few words in Spanish. (So could “W.”)

    • Most Latinos I know don’t even consider Cubans to be Latinos. They just see them as a bunch of rich whiners.

      But the Republicans don’t hope to win the Latino vote. They only hope to grab a couple of percentage points away from the Democrats. Bush did well with Latinos. But I doubt any Republican could today, because the party has made it so clear how much they hate Latinos.

  2. “You see, South Carolina is a winner-take-all state.”

    Not actually- it’s 29 delegates for winning the state, and 3 for winning each of the seven congressional districts. But Trump did well enough that had got them all anyway.

    “But he’s never been attacked by the real big kahuna: Donald Trump.”

    Trump has started. Just recently, he began insinuating that Rubio wasn’t a “natural born citizen” either. But in that clever way of “I don’t know, I’ve heard, but I haven’t really looked into it myself,” which is just enough to get the conspiracy theorists going without tying himself to the idea so strongly that, if it doesn’t pay off, he doesn’t go down with it.

    • Thanks for that. I didn’t know it. That makes his win all the more impressive.

      Yeah, I’ve heard that stuff. It really bugs me because a century ago, all you needed to be a citizen was to move here. Now people think our immigration laws were set in stone 2,500 years ago. Maybe it’s just a remnant of my libertarian past, but I’m still pretty much in favor of open borders — at least if we are going to let companies move to whatever country they want.

      • The difference is that companies get all kinds of breaks and benefits when they move to different countries. We need to make sure we offer the same assistance to immigrants to help them get settled, obtain job training, college, etc. The upside for us if we do is enormous — always has been.

        • Of course, that’s also true of people born here. And we can’t get the country to agree to that. Conservatives claim the poor resent the rich. But what I see is a society that is so beaten down that everyone resents everyone else. The one group that gets the least resentment directed at it is the rich. But we are supposed to not only fill the pockets of the rich with cash, we are supposed to also make them feel especially good about how they did it all on their own.

  3. Looking at that GOP “deep bench,” I’m a bit surprised that Rubio is still there. Make that, I’m a bit surprised that Scott Walker isn’t there, instead of Rubio, considering Walker is – to paraphrase Charley Pierce – a subsidiary of the Koch Brothers. Certainly he had the GOP bona fides as well, is younger like Rubio, and can point to a record of actually doing things (regardless of how damaging) vs. Rubio who can point to a record of …what exactly? Marco Roberto has had as many gaffes and flip flops and has the same lack of knowledge on foreign affairs and policy as Walker. Perhaps Rubio really is more “likeable” according to the spin folks (though no less more contemptible).

    • I was afraid that Scott Walker might take off. But he turned out to be incredibly boring. It makes me wonder how he has been successful as governor.

      Have I mentioned lately just how much your icon freaks me out? I used to dread seeing it, but your consistently good comments desensitized me. But still. Where did you ever get that idea?!

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