Tuesday, March 01, 2016

The Republicans Race to the Bottom

I would say the Republican candidates have gotten down in the gutter. But I think a more appropriate way to describe it is they are looking up at the gutter.

It’s like a bunch of six year-olds got let loose. To say that it is demeaning the process is an understatement. Trump was going to be Trump. Vulgar and crass. But now the other two main contenders are trying to out do Trump.

Senator Cruz you sort of expect that from. He comes off as just plain slimy. In a appearance on Meet the Press, Cruz said that maybe one of the reasons Trump doesn’t want to release his taxes is it might show his ties to the Mafia. First and foremost how would someone’s tax returns show they had dealings with the Mafia. When asked if Cruz had any specifics, he dropped the name of New York City mobster but failed to point out anything that would back up his statement. Cruz is great at doing this. Repeating or rumor or just making one up. Not saying he total believes it but just posits the theory that, in this case, Trump has ties to the mob. Not that there is any basis in fact to believe this at all. Then again does it come as any surprise. The Republicans have long been fact deniers. Why should Ted Cruz be any different.

As for the empty suit Senator Rubio, wow he really and truly out Trumped Trump. This is by the far the best of Rubio’s lines:

He’s like six-two, which is why I don’t understand why his hands are the size of someone who’s five-two. Have you seen his hands? They’re like this. And you know what they say about men with small hands.” Pause for effect. “You can’t trust them.”

Yes because the idea of small hands on a man always leads people to believe that you can’t trust that person. Instead of thinking I don’t know (and I’ll try and not sink to the Republicans level here) that his manhood is not all that big.

I like how Eugene Robinson from the Post put it:
Rubio managed to lower himself, and the debate, beneath even Trump’s level. But I’m not sure there was much of a choice. Trump is threatening to effectively lock up the nomination before Rubio even notches his first primary victory.

While Rubio was teasing and taunting, Trump was racking up bombshell endorsements — most notably from ex-candidate Chris Christie, who had vied with Rubio for the votes of establishment Republicans. Christie’s support helps make it safe for others to join the Trump bandwagon; Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama climbed aboard Sunday.

Trash-talking, alliances, conspiracies, betrayals — this whole campaign has become a reality-television show. The problem is that it’s on every single channel.

Then there was Trump’s problem with David Duke. You know David Duke the ex grand wizard or whatever of the KKK. Duke endorsed Trump. It took Trump a little while to disavow that endorsement. Trump was interviewed on CNN and was asked about Duke. Trump did not distance himself from Duke. He later said he had a bad ear piece and hadn’t properly heard the question. In any other circumstances I’d give Trump the benefit of the doubt. But well.

But back again to the empty suite Rubio. Yes, I really don’t like this guy. His sudden tactics of attacking Trump reek of desperation. He’s behind just about every state that will vote on Super Tuesday. That why Rubio is doing this because he is so far behind and that the Republican establishment is wetting itself over the possibility of a Trump candidacy. It shows that Rubio and the establishment were more than happy to have Trump say the things he said if it could work in some way in the Party’s favor. The idea that Trump would fade at some point and the Republican Party could co-opt his supporters and bring them into the Republican fold. Now suddenly, oops, we need to take this nut out. It just continues to show that Republicans put winning before anything else instead of putting what’s good for the country first.

And that the Republican establishment is backing Rubio just reinforces how desperate they are to get Trump out. Rubio’s problem can best be summed up by another columnist in the Post, Richard Cohen:
Rubio’s challenge in this campaign was to show that he is not the callow youth he appears to be. He had to show he was bigger than the sum of his slight bio — a first-term senator whose only real accomplishment was to become a first-term senator. He had to show that Rick Santorum had merely frozen before the camera on “Morning Joe” when he endorsed Rubio and then could not come up with a single thing he had done in the Senate. If Rubio, as he himself says, is the candidate of the future, then so are his achievements.
I’ll close by saying this. Having one candidate like Donald Trump was bad enough. But now it seems all three major candidates on the Republican side have morphed into six year olds.

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