The GOP establishment has been pleading for voters to reject Donald Trump. Yesterday, some did so. The problem? They gave Ted Cruz wins in Kansas and Maine. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio turned in lack luster 3rd place wins in three states and came in last in another. So much for the supposed GOP savior. The result is that the establishment may be looking at a choice between the equivalent of suicide by self-inflicted gunshot to the head versus ingesting poison. Either way, death is the result. A column in the New York Times looks at the GOP establishment's horrific choices. Here are some excerpts:
Just when you think it can’t get any worse for the sober-minded, cool-headed traditionalists in the Republican Party, it does. They see their gold-plated gate crasher taken down a peg, only to find themselves faced with the prospect of kissing up to Ted Cruz.
On Saturday he matched Donald Trump’s two victories, in Louisiana and Kentucky, with two of his own, in Kansas and Maine. He got substantially more delegates from the four contests overall than Trump did.
And it was like the cosmically mischievous twist in an O. Henry story. The prayers, pleading and plotting of G.O.P. elders were answered: A rival candidate indeed gathered some steam, restrained Trump’s momentum and staked an equal claim to at least one news cycle’s headlines. But that candidate was a creature they find every bit as loathsome as the crass billionaire, if not more so.
And then there was Marco Rubio. What in the world ever happened to Marco Rubio?
To the Rubio who was supposed to be the party’s savior and hope, I mean. The Rubio who made donors’ hearts beat faster. The Rubio they kept foisting on Republican voters, except that the donors didn’t see it as foisting. They saw it as benevolent instruction in which candidate was really best for all involved, which candidate could deny Democrats a third consecutive term in the White House.
Rubio is essentially the Christmas fruitcake of the 2016 cycle: presented as a gift, received as something neither appetizing nor especially nutritive.
It [Rubio's] was a performance so poor, particularly in terms of the expectations that once swaddled Rubio, that Trump called on him to end his campaign, saying that the race was effectively down to two men, so why not make that the formal reality?
At this point neither Rubio nor Kasich can hope for a majority of delegates or even, really, a plurality of them. They’re after enough of them to prevent Trump from getting a majority himself.
But Cruz can’t get cocky. Scratch that. He can — he’s Ted Cruz, after all — but he shouldn’t. . . . . The states ahead of Cruz are less favorable to him, all in all, than the states behind him. Barring the implosion of Trump, he doesn’t have a promising path to the nomination. Saturday’s results didn’t change that. They just solidified his standing as the most successful — so far — of the Republican candidates doing battle with Trump.
With his [Trump's] tantrums, his apostasies, his vulgarity, his abundant flip-flops and his transparent lies, he has certainly done all he can to sabotage himself. It hasn’t worked. And his Saturday victories came after a triumphantly odd debate performance on Thursday night and several days of increasingly impassioned anti-Trump appeals from an all-star Republican cast.
There’s another debate this coming Thursday. If Trump and Rubio continue their puerile trajectory, one of them will almost certainly give the other a wedgie, and the 2016 road to the White House will swerve yet again into uncharted and previously unimaginable terrain.
Yet again, today's GOP meltdown shows the consequences of courting extremists and uninformed and uneducated idiots and allowing them into one's party.