Tonight in New York, the two least liked politicians in modern American history will debate each other for the pleasure of a one term disaster as President. They do so because too few stood up to Hillary Clinton and not enough would sit down and work together against Donald Trump.
The debate comes a few days after perhaps the most boneheaded political decision in the last few years — that of Ted Cruz publicly declaring he’d support Donald Trump after patently refusing to do so. It was a stupid decision that gives no benefit to Cruz, only derision. It proves, in many minds, that Cruz really is a self-interested opportunist and not a principled leader. It disappoints those who held him up as an example of putting principle over personal gain.
The last time a Senator in Washington made such a bone headed decision, Marco Rubio hooked up with the Democrats to pass the Gang of Eight plan after explicitly campaigning against amnesty. That cut off Rubio’s presidential chances in the same way this will probably cut off Cruz’s in 2020.
But Rubio remains a solid addition to the Senate. He remains that way even though he, months ago, endorsed Donald Trump. He remains an outstanding conservative. He remains someone who inspires. Though his Presidential campaign failed, he will be returned to the Senate deservedly so.
When Marco Rubio endorsed Donald Trump, Cruz supporters piled on Rubio. They just knew he was a political opportunist and hack. Rubio’s own supporters were disappointed, but many engaged in apology for Rubio, explaining the necessity of his endorsement.
Now, as Cruz comes out for Donald Trump, Rubio supporters are piling on Cruz. They just knew he was a political opportunist and hack. Cruz’s own supporters are disappointed, but many are engaging now in apology for Cruz, explaining the necessity of his endorsement.
The only real explanation is that both men are politicians and doing what politicians do. There is no pure politician, just more sinners.
The truth is that neither man needed to endorse Trump and neither should have. But the truth is also that they are both as good and decent people today as they were yesterday, last week, last month, and last year. The truth is that conservatives are better off having both in the Senate.
The truth is that Rubio and Cruz both have cults of personality that disdain the other man. Rubio benefits in the media because the members of his cult of personality man the roundtable discussions of news shows. Cruz benefits in the grassroots because he is still largely seen as one of them.
Either man would be better than what the GOP has now put up and it is a terrible shame they could not find common ground to ally together against Trump when there was time. Both men deserve grace. It is hard to be an effective conservative in Washington because Washington aligns against such people and their supporters often forgive nothing and show no grace.
We have to hold our side accountable. But we also must show grace. Rubio and Cruz both deserve it. Cruz supporters should admit Rubio is vastly better than Trump and Rubio supporters should admit Cruz is vastly better than Trump. To the extent neither side can is a reminder of why we have Trump.
I’d rather have Ted and Marco and I am committed to their success and re-elections.
But yeah, whoever advised Ted to publicly support Trump should be fired.