Huffington Post–Rise of the ‘Unfit’: Trump, Cruz… and Rubio

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks during the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
AP, Reuters

A Huffington Post blogger writes that Marco Rubio’s stumbles in New Hampshire, where he was propped up as an alternative to populist Donald Trump and Tea Party conservative Ted Cruz, confirmed “the impotence of the establishment” of the Republican Party.

From the Huffington Post:


The ruin of the established order — big donors, lobbyists, and professionals — has been a long time coming. For decades the establishment has resembled the once proud family who keeps selling off pieces of their estate so they can keep the house. In exchange for lower taxes and laissez-faire, the establishment subcontracted its electoral fortunes to an overlapping — and increasingly hostile — compendium of evangelicals, gun rights advocates, Tea Party fanatics, and less educated whites who feel that their security, and their country, are being snatched from their grasp. Now it is no longer enough to surround the mansion — they want to burn it down.

The incongruous agent of their resentment has been the billionaire Donald Trump, followed by the self-styled bomb-thrower Ted Cruz. But in great measure what empowers them is the establishment’s surrender to nihilistic rhetoric directed at Washington DC. A throng of voters willing to shut down the government is unlikely to nurture tender feelings for the grandees of the GOP. Trump has simply focused their free-floating hostility on a larger group of scapegoats — Mexicans, Muslims, rich Republican donors and financiers and, Lord help us, Megyn Kelly.

A widely respected GOP professional attempted to raise money for a Stop Trump campaign, and found no takers. Even before Iowa, elements of the established order began gingerly propitiating their antagonists — choosing between Trump and the widely hated Cruz. Bob Dole mused aloud that at least Trump has “the right personality and he’s kind of a deal maker”; Mary Matalin hosted a fundraiser for Cruz. And then Iowa reshuffled the deck a bit, with Cruz banishing the panicky myth that Trump was invincible, while Marco Rubio surfaced in third place.

Abruptly, some in the party’s elite began clutching Rubio like a human life raft, praying that he emerges from the scrum of New Hampshire as the alternative to Trump and Cruz. Beyond ratifying the impotence of the establishment, their desperation confirms the demise within the GOP of something far more important — the very idea of what qualifies a person to assume the most complex and demanding office in a dangerous world.

Read the rest of the article here.