Thursday, February 04, 2016

Chris Christie Vows To Stay In Race As Long As It Takes To Put Donald Trump Over The Top

by JASmius

His ostensible reason is to stop Marco Rubio at all costs - including, presumably, clinching Trump's hostile takeover of the GOP on La Clinton Nostra's behalf - which I guess means that he's taking the "F**K RUBIO!!!" baton from the plaintively pathetic Jeb Bush, who now has been reduced to begging stonily silent audiences to applaud his speeches.

There are two ironies to this corpulent obstinacy.  The first is that the Big Man's ostensible justification is one that I would ordinarily heartily endorse - executive experience:

Governor Chris Christie says Marco Rubio doesn’t have the experience to be president, and that he won’t drop out of the race even if the Florida senator beats him.

“He just doesn’t have any experience. All he has is experience of being a legislator,” Christie said on Good Morning America today. “We’ve tried that as a party and as a country and it doesn’t work.”

Indeed, it doesn't.  Double-C is absolutely right about that.  The U.S. political history of the past century devastatingly proves it.  Only three senators have been elected president since 1920 - Warren Harding, John Kennedy, and Barack Obama - and the first two were mediocrities (before dying in office) while the latter has, of course, been a complete, unmitigated disaster.  Whereas the most hailed, heralded, and successful POTUSes - FDR and Reagan come immediately to mind - have been governors.

And how has the embarrassment of gubernatorial riches with which the GOP started out this campaign fared thus far?

Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal (my top three favorites in that order, as it happened): Out

Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and yes, Chris Christie: cellar-dwellers in Iowa and in the New Hampshire polls.

Behold, the wages of Trumpmania.  Which the Jersey Dirigible is now stubbornly reinforcing.

Christie’s argument centers around Rubio’s age – forty-four....

Not particularly persuasive given that he was only forty-seven himself when he ran for governor of New Jersey.

....and that he is not a strong enough candidate to take on Hillary Clinton in the general election if she wins the Democrat nomination.

Despite the fact that Rubio is the strongest of all the top GOP candidates in hypothetical head-to-head matchups.

“We need to make sure we nominate someone who not only can beat Hillary Clinton but also can manage the government and get it back on the right track once they’re elected president of the United States,” Christie, fifty-three, argued. “No need to take those chances on someone who’s never managed anything larger than a thirty-person senate staff.”

The same argument I've been making for over thirty years.  However, the Republican electorate has gone stark-raving mad this cycle, and there is now a far worse outcome than nominating a wet-behind-the-ears freshman senator, Governor.... outcome your continued pointless presence in the GOP race can only make more likely by keeping the anti-Trump vote more divided.

The fact that Jeb Bush for months, and now Chris Christie, have been at bitter war with Marco Rubio has only served to reinforce the perception that the Florida senator is a RINO/"establishment" candidate, one that grew out of his rookie mistake in lending his name and face to the most recent attempt at "comprehensive immigration reform".  Rubio is leading the "establishment lane" to the nomination, so the "thinking" goes, so that's why Bush and now Christie are trying to blow Rubio up.

That revisionist Tea Party labeling of Rubio has never set well with me.  It goes right to the heart of how TPers have drained the term "establishment" of any real meaning by lumping any pol who isn't 100% "pure," who stumbles or makes even a single mistake - like Paul Ryan or, yes, Marco Rubio - in with genuine RINOs like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Peter King, etc.  Rubio was one of the 2010 Tea Party superstars, the guy who took down genuine RINO sellout (literally) "Sorry Charlie" Crist.  Yes, he's made some mistakes - amnesty, waving the white flag on sodomarriage - but there's more to RINOism than just screwing up once or twice; there's a leftish attitude that goes with it.  A general hostility to conservatism and conservatives that isn't remotely present with most of the Republicans Tea Partiers have excommunicated the past few years - particularly Marco Rubio.

But don't take it from me, take it from the slowly recovering ex-Trumpmaniac....Rush Limbaugh:

"I don't like this idea that Marco Rubio is all of a sudden being labeled as an establishment candidate. I know that Rubio's got the baggage of that 'gang of eight' bill...I understand that. But I'm here to -- Marco Rubio is no moderate Republican centrist...I'm just telling you, I don't see Marco Rubio as anything other than a legitimate, full-throated conservative. Nobody's pure and nobody is ever free of making mistakes. I know Senator Rubio...I don't like his idea that we're all of a sudden going to make Rubio the establishment bad guy, as though Rubio is no different from the McCains, and the Bob Doles, and the Romneys, and the others that have come along and been nominated by the establishment. He just isn't." [emphasis added]

This is not an endorsement of Senator Rubio on my part.  I made my endorsement over two years ago when I first started touting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in November of 2013.  What it is is an attempt to restore some degree of perspective in Tea Party minds that Rubes is no RINO pariah or turncoat, but a "legitimate, full-throated", admittedly imperfect, and non-angry conservative, the latter Reaganesque trait of which is most of why, contra the Big Man, Marco Rubio really is the most electable Republican in the field for this November.

And no, that is not an implication on my part that Ted Cruz isn't electable.  The only unelectable candidate in the Republican field for this November is Donald Trump, over whom I would take ANYBODY else in that field.  It just so happens that Rubio and Cruz are the only other candidates standing.  For ALL Republicans, including Trumplicans, that should not be a difficult choice.

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