FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Dear Cruz and Rubio: Don’t Make Me Turn This Car Around
You know what I have really gotten sick of? The ridiculous petty bickering between Cruz and Rubio as the two of them jockey to be the last guy standing to take on Trump. They are both operating from the unproven (and likely erroneous) assumption that they can duke it out forever without taking on Trump in the process, and that whenever the voters have sorted out their own fight, then the winner will turn and take on Trump. Meanwhile, the entirety of the history of Republican Presidential primaries clearly indicates that if they wait even a week longer, it will be too late.
The two of these fine conservatives are unwittingly conspiring to nominate an existential threat to the conservative movement just for the sake of advancing their own careers and it must stop, immediately.
Sure, right now, the polling indicates that either of them would beat Trump in a head-to-head contest. So it makes a surface level amount of sense that they would try to make sure they are the last candidate standing against Trump, however long that takes. What they are ignoring is that the longer they allow Trump to prance around virtually unscathed, allowing Trump to rack up huge wins while they battle each other for second place, the less likely it is going to remain true that they will defeat Trump in a head to head matchup. Republican voters are still suckers for the siren call of inevitability.
Both Cruz and Rubio right now sound like a couple of kids in the backseat of a car bickering and every time someone suggests that they ought to stop and focus on Trump (or something else entirely), they begin the pointless and childish cry of “He started it!” And then the other says, “No, HE started it!” and then that becomes its own argument.
I do not care. I don’t know anyone else who really does. I am sick and tired of both of these guys rolling the dice on the chances that by the time they sort out their own argument, Donald Trump won’t already be invincible. You know who is shaming both of these guys right now? Jeb Bush. You know why he experienced a bump after last Saturday’s debate? Because people finally saw someone who was willing to confront and stand up to Trump. You know why Kasich was able to finish second in New Hampshire? Because a lot of voters were sick of it too and transferred it onto a blank slate.
I get that Cruz has finally started to run a couple ads against Trump and that Rubio has finally taken a couple swipes at Trump this week on the campaign trail. It isn’t enough. It isn’t nearly enough. You can clearly tell that their main goal remains to destroy each other while they jockey for position. Both of these guys are competent enough debater and orators to really put a dent in Trump where others before them have failed. And Jeb Bush illustrated last weekend that Trump can be hurt on policy, even if he can’t be hurt (with his supporters) on his childish behavior.
Trump cannot continue to get a free pass in these debates from everyone except the moderators. For four or five consecutive debates now, he’s been left almost entirely alone as the rest of the field jockeyed for position behind him. I don’t want to see any more of it. Stop trying to pry some votes away from each other and try to pry some votes away from Trump, for the love of God.
I’m a Super Tuesday voter and I honestly have not made up my mind. The single most determining factor for my vote will be “can you defeat Trump?” The first prerequisite for being able to defeat Trump is being willing to honestly try, and right now I haven’t seen that from anyone in the field not named Jeb Bush, who would easily fall well behind both Cruz and Rubio in my personal preference matrix.
But it’s time for those two to put their personal ambition aside for a minute and confront the Trump menace before we all get sucked into the undertow. Once Trump has been knocked back to earth we can start arguing between you guys again, if that’s what you want. In the meantime, keep your hands off each other, face forward, and get ready for the task at hand. Don’t make me turn this car around.