Six months ago, who would have predicted that the fate of the GOP would be in the hands of two men this morning?
Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz hold the party in their collective hands–whether we will have a conservative or a king.
Republicans, you can have a Ted Cruz party or a Donald Trump party. Choose.
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) March 9, 2016
Last night, voters clearly chose Cruz over Rubio–a trend that’s been developing, with some notable bumps and pops, since Iowa. Three weeks ago, this was Rubio’s race to lose, and he lost. Now we must move forward, one way or another.
There’s almost no end to the analogies for this situation. If this was a game of Hearts, Trump is shooting the moon, Cruz has the two of spades, and Rubio holds the three, queen and king of spades. To stop Trump, Rubio has to eat the queen. He can decline the trick, or he can stop the moon shot.
I know many people who think Rubio will not eat the queen. They say he’s too committed to stay in and not take any points himself, at the cost of everyone else taking 26 points at the end. Then somehow, by some miracle, the players renege on the last hand to stop Trump.
Rubio claims the pedigree of being an anti-establishment Tea Party candidate, who overthrew Charlie Crist to get to the senate. Cruz claims the same pedigree. But should we make it to a brokered convention, both of them would be compromised as GOP establishment hacks if Trump has significantly more delegates than either of them. The mantle of “outsider” would become the Emperor’s pretend clothing, and everything Trump said about politicians would be validated.
This would be devastating to the party–as bad as Trump becoming the nominee.
At the end of Dr. Strangelove (“How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb“), Slim Pickens, as Major Kong, overcame every obstacle to drop his atomic cargo over Russia, finally riding the bomb down in an orgy of death. This is Rubio holding on to his Florida hopes for a brokered convention, riding it down with a shout of “Wahoo!” and waving his hat while a sea of fire immolates his political career.
They’ll be saying “Rubio was a good man” for years as he joins with Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich in the Coulda-Been Club.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz will go back to the senate to serve as Lord Voldemort, “He Who Must Not Be Named” as President Hillary Clinton moves in to the White House and Bill gets his own special intern.
This is the self-fulfilling prophecy if Rubio refuse to do the right thing. He must pick up the phone today and seal the deal with Cruz as his VP in a unity ticket or all these things will surely come to pass.