If you hear the stories as retold by the Republican Establishment, the GOP lost four times to Democrats recently because the base caved to lies from the left. That’s the narrative to defend why they keep promoting weak candidates like Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. They’re hoping that Republican votes won’t realize that they weren’t weakened candidates. They were just weak.
Marco Rubio is their latest anointed one. You will be hearing the power brokers in Washington DC and New York City rallying the troops and pulling in smiling endorsements for Rubio because they see him as their best hope to prevent the party’s collapse. We’ll discuss that aspect in a moment, but first we need to look at Rubio’s failings that are hidden below a facade of electability.
Great on the Surface but Fails in the General Election
Rubio is likable. He can work with Democrats. He supports amnesty. He won’t rock the boat. All of these things seem to play well in a general election, but Republicans have failed for a while to realize what the Democrats have known since 1992 – Americans vote for polarizing political figures, not moderates.
The push towards the mushy middle has failed invariably for every candidate, Republican or Democrat, since Richard Nixon won. The more extreme platform, left or right, has won every general election with the exception of George H. W. Bush versus Michael Dukakis. Bush was less polarizing than Dukakis, but his victory was more of a mandate for a third Reagan term rather than a victory for Bush. This played out with his 1992 defeat when voters realized he was in the middle rather than to the right.
Rubio will be less polarizing than either Democratic candidate. There’s a more important reason to believe that Rubio will suffer the same fate as Dole, McCain, and Romney. He’s an extremely easy target for left-wing mainstream media. He has three important failures that will be amplified magnificently by both the Democrats and the media in the general election:
- Personal Finance Irresponsibility: Here’s how their narrative will play – “With a huge debt and worldwide financial instability, do we really want a President who used a government credit card to pave his driveway and go on a family vacation? Can we trust someone who was bailed out of foreclosure and multiple loan defaults because he received an $800,000 advance on his book?”
- Zero Successes: For Hillary Clinton, a Rubio nomination would be ideal because he’s the only candidate who has actually accomplished less in his time in government than she has. The powerful Republican talking point that Clinton accomplished nothing will be negated by a Rubio nomination. It will be like the boneheaded move of nominating the only candidate in 2012 who could not attack President Obama over Obamacare. We declawed ourselves in 2012 by nominating the architect of Romneycare and we’d declaw ourselves in 2016 by nominating someone who has never had a single notable achievement in his life since college.
- No Core Principles: For Bernie Sanders, Rubio is his perfect opponent. While Sanders has stayed true to his beliefs for most of his adult life and has fought to achieve them, Rubio has a history of promising one thing and attempting to deliver another. He swore on the Senate campaign trail multiple times that he would not support amnesty or a path to citizenship which is the main reason the Tea Party backed him. A year later, McCain and Chuck Schumer pulled him over to the Gang of Eight with minimal effort. He is the epitome of political expediency while Sanders has core principles that he has embraced and defended for decades.
Again, on the surface Rubio is as electable as Romney, McCain, and Dole. In reality, he will falter even worse than they did. The Republican Establishment knows this, but they have other reasons to push Rubio that have nothing to do with victory…
Only Rubio can Derail Ted Cruz
While Donald Trump is the attack dog that gets the headlines by bashing Cruz, behind the scenes the Republican Establishment is pushing even harder against him. In 1980, they were willing to lose the election and temporarily tank the party rather than support a principled conservative like Ronald Reagan. Even after his election, they continued the attacks for nearly two years before they realized that he was gaining in popularity. While they never supported him, they allowed him to flourish while they schemed to take back the party in 1988 and beyond. They struggled, but they wrestled the party back under their control through Bush 41’s term.
Cruz represents the same existential threat to their power hold. Remember, the Republican Establishment, while conservative on some points, is still the driving force to work with Democrats for big government, military adventurism around the world, and the avoidance of hot topics like abortion and religious liberties. They talk a great game on the campaign trail but they reverse course once elected. This is, at the core, the source of their hatred for Cruz. He made promises and he kept them as a Senator. This is an obtuse concept to them and threatens to rock the boat that they’ve worked so hard to stabilize.
Rubio has absolutely zero mathematical path to win the nomination. With the upcoming “SEC Primaries” favoring Cruz and Trump dramatically, it’s very possible that Rubio will have at most two victories in the first 15 states. They know this. However, they also know that if they can get Cruz out of the way, they have an opportunity to make Rubio the nominee through a brokered convention. That’s the only realistic path the Republican Establishment has at this point of preventing Cruz or Trump from getting the nomination.
Regardless of who the nominee ends up being, a brokered convention will ensure that the Democrats win the general election. The Republican Establishment knows this as well, but they would rather lose the election and maintain control over the party than win the election and lose control. This isn’t about helping the country. It’s about maintaining their own power. This is why you’ll see endorsements. This is why you’ll see attacks on Cruz instead of Trump. This is why their mainstream media puppets will boost Rubio, hide Trump’s biggest faults (for now), and attack Cruz with everything they’ve got.