Rubio Takes One State

Gun news is thin because of Trump Mania. I was hoping Rubio would have a better day than he did on super yesterday. But he did win Minnesota. Seen on the Facebooks, I had a friend who will remain nameless (you know who you are) say this following Internet winning quote:

Minnesota got it right. Looks like they got their “we’re mad as hell, not gonna take it anymore and electing a loudmouthed, unqualified hack because fuck you” out of their system a couple decades ahead of the rest of the country.

I wonder who he could be talking about? Oh yeah:


It’s been a long progression. First I thought maybe Scott Walker would be a good candidate, but I wasn’t pleased with his response to Obergefell (calling for a constitutional amendment), and then Trump basically sucked all the oxygen out of the room and ran Walker’s campaign clean out of money. With Walker out of money, I gravitated toward Carly Fiorina, but she surged then fizzled. She also had the weakness of the Dems already having an effective opposition book written for her. OK, that leaves Rubio, who is a bit to happy with the surveillance state for my tastes, but most of these losers are. It’s always been my belief that Cruz was just kind of fundamentally unlikable and would not do much to bring needed voters into the GOP tent to win. Maybe I should start liking Trump. That seems to be a surefire way to doom someone’s campaign.

Jim Geraghty thinks it needs to stay a three man race, since the goal now will be to deny Trump the votes needed to clinch, and force a brokered convention. This makes sense to me, since if Cruz drops out one can expect that some percentage of his support goes to Trump rather than Rubio, and vice versa if Rubio drops out.

58 thoughts on “Rubio Takes One State”

  1. There’s a lot of folks out there who are intent on sticking it to the establishment. And they are voting in force this time around. This feeling seems to straddle the parties. I get the sense that Democrat voters are crossing party lines to back Trump, for example.

    Rubio? is coming across like a wholly-owned establishment operative who is being favored because he’ll do what he’s told.

    If the establishment were serious, they’d be backing Cruz. Not because he’s perfect (far from it) but because he seems to get his support equally from the Trump-type folks and the Rubio-type folks. But they will never do that because he defied them, and they can’t stand that.

    The fact that there are noises from the establishment about standing aside and letting Hillary walk unopposed to the White House speaks volumes about how much they’re interested in the things I care about — not least of which is the second amendment.

    1. well, also Cruz seems a bit too used bible salesman for a general election. And, not every woman wants her uterus controlled by the GOP. Planned Parenthood scans well in the primary, not so much in the general, and it’s not clear Cruz can move to the center.

      1. My point was that if you had to choose between Cruz and Rubio, Cruz has a better shot at pulling it off. That said, Cruz is far from perfect. The odds of him being able to win the nomination, even if the field were cleared, are below 50%, and even if he managed that, he’d have a tough fight against Hillary.

        Rubio comes with most of Cruz’s issues (other than looking like a young A Martinez) plus the baggage of apparently being wholly owned and operated by the usual establishment. In this year, that’s a pretty big cross to bear.

      2. I have been a Republican for 40 years and no one had control of my uterus but me. So this is just fear mongering. It is simple to avoid the need for abortion simply use appropriate birth control. If I had needed an abortion then I could have easily obtained one at the hospital. Personally I support Cruz but agree the preacher bit turns off people. Especially since those bible thumpers are turning to Trump for protection.

        1. I’m not a fan of the religious aspect he has, but I’m sure he will tone that down in the general election.

  2. I am not a Trump guy, but a brokered convention – where the GOPe wrests the nomination away from the candidate with 49% and gives it to a candidate with 25% (or someone who wasn’t running at all) – is the surest way to not only lose the election, but also destroy the GOP for years and years.

    It is about the dumbest thing I can think of. Forget just losing the Presidency – they would end up losing every voter who knows that Trump won. And everybody who can count on fingers will be able to see that the guy with the most votes was pushed aside (unfairly) so that the guy with fewer votes – or even none, ala Romney – “won” instead.

    Trump wasn’t my first choice. Or my fifth (fifteenth?), but the fact is Trump is winning fair and square. When this thing is over, I will remember all the so-called neutral parties who took up arms against a guy who played by the rules and won.

    The establishment is so sure of themselves, yet their voters tell a different story. They need to man up and take their medicine. It is what it is.

    1. To get a brokered convention, things have to be pretty evenly divided. Right now not-Trump is only training Trump by four delegates, and he’s reliably delivering about 1/3rd of the vote. I also think Trump winning the nomination will also destroy the GOP.

      I’m not convinced the destruction of the GOP not inevitable, but I’d prefer it were reformed into a libertarianish party rather than reformed into a Nationalist Authoritarian Party.

      1. If principled libertarian ideas mattered to the GOP or to the public at large, Rand Paul would’ve done better than he did. That is one of my takeaways from this year.

        1. Don’t mistake philosophy with capability. As much as Paul’s philosophy has some meaning, he is not the one to be President. He just doesn’t have it in him.

          Imagine Rubio delivering Paul’s shtick. That’d be a winner.

          1. No. It would be as meaningless as Hillary delivering the Pauls’ schtick.

            1. As much as I agree with you, I suspect a lot of people would see it differently than we do.

    2. [T]he fact is Trump is winning fair and square.

      I disagree. Trump is winning in large part because the media is giving him all kinds of free publicity. He hasn’t had to spend a dime on ads attacking Cruz or Rubio. Every time he does an interview, it’s a 40-minute Cruz/Rubio hate-fest, starring Donald J. Trump. During prime time, free of charge, and which will be re-played during every “news” broadcast for a week.

      Meanwhile, the other candidates can’t get the time of day from the media producers.

      1. The only way that is unfair is if you believe the media should be force to provide equal coverage of the candidates. See: Fairness Doctrine

        Trump’s domination of the media airtime is calculated. It is no accident he says things to get himself free air time. If he wins, that calculation won’t be cheating – it’ll be skill.

        The candidacy a contest testing a great many skills, and one of them is the ability to get lots of people to hear your ideas. Trump excels at that skill, and to the extent hearing someone’s ideas influences voters he is winning.

        Again, I am no Trump fan. But I respect his skill.

        1. One thing to keep in mind is that right now, Donald Trump is media’s little darling, much like McCain was, before he got his nomination for President. Like McCain, the media will turn on Trump as soon as he gets the nomination.

          If the GOP Convention makes a very good case that (1) we don’t want to have the media pick our nomination, and (2) Trump is media’s pick, then a brokered convention might not be so bad.

          However, we’re talking about the GOP here. There’s a good chance that the GOP will be able to see (1), but instead of articulating *that*, they’ll say “But Trump is a boorish, crude anti-establishmentarian crony capitalist! We can’t have that!” and just offend everyone anyway…

          1. Eh, we all know that’s how the game is played. If we know it, then so do the candidates.

            You play by the rules you get, not the rules you want.

            If Donald Trump can make the rules work for him better than CruzioBushWalkerCarsonPerry than he still won fair and square.

            Media will turn for sure. But as much as I hate to admit it, if you are going to battle with the media you’d rather be in the foxhole with Trump than anyone else. Somehow he makes it work for him.

            Ugh. Cannot believe I am typing this.

            On the flip side, the wife and I listened to Trump’s rant after Romney’s tantrum. We were laughing hard enough to wipe tears from our eyes. The wife agreed that we should never play a drinking game where you take a shot after Trump attacks someone completely unrelated to the news of the day. We’d have both been dead drunk and ordering second bottles before he was done today.

            Gawd. If nothing else, this election is going to be epic.

        2. I agree w/Patrick. The fact that Trump can play the media like a fiddle on a shoestring neutralizes the big warchests that folks like Bush or Rubio could amass. That sucks for them, but if that’s unfair, then the fact that Bush and Rubio can raise money in a way that others can’t is unfair, too.

    3. Seconded. If they force a brokered convention, I’m just going to stop voting republican.
      Not that it matters in this libhole of a state, but hey.
      At least then I’ll be able to vote in primaries for the (D) that’ll hurt less going in.

      1. There is no forcing. If none of the candidates have the delegates necessary to clinch the nomination, you have a brokered convention. That doesn’t matter who the candidates are, it’s just math.

        1. You ignore the non-elephant in the room – the one with golden hair who will have a large plurality of the pledged delegates at any brokered convention.

          The GOPe wishes to score a brokered convention as “Trump or Not-Trump”. In their eyes, Trump could pull 49% compared to 25% for Rubio and then Rubio “wins”.

          So when you say, “it’s just math” that is not the case for the GOPe. They will gladly ignore the guy with the most delegates, in favor of a guy with far fewer. That’s not math, that’s legerdemain.

          And math will have nothing to do with a convention where the nominee ends up being someone who hasn’t run this cycle. However unlikely, even the whispering of the GOPe chattering class of Romney stepping in tells you all you need to know.

          1. Of course, we would do well to remember who’s making the decisions in a brokered convention: people who were chosen–often by votes and possibly even by primaries and caucuses–who are representing the people of their State. If they don’t like Trump, a part of the factor may very well be that those who sent them don’t like Trump, either.

            For example, in Utah, if I remember the process correctly, I can run to become a Republican national delegate if, when I attend my Caucus a couple of weeks from now, I run for and win a slot at the State Republican Convention. (I confess that I’m a bit fuzzy on the details.) If I did so, I would certainly be opposing Trump at a brokered convention. The very fact that I’ll be attending Caucus favoring anti-Trump candidates will push Utah delegates this direction, however slightly.

            Of course, those outside looking in (which is pretty much everyone) won’t see this, but it is what it is…

            1. I know delegates from several states and respectfully disagree. Drama is thick and everyone thinks ahead. Most delegates owe something to someone and have vulnerable business they don’t want to lose. If there is a push to dethrone Trump, it will happen. He won’t be there next year, but the GOPe will.

              Unless Trump wins, in which case the whole thing might explode. My friends the delegates might be relieved if that were to happen.

          2. The delegates are bound on the first ballot The rules have been in effect for years .If Trump does not have the delegates then the nominating convention votes on a second ballot and the delegates are not bound. After all the convention’s true purpose is not a coronation but to nominate a candidate.

  3. I’m pretty much at the point that I’m going to support the candidate that I think can defeat the D candidate (Hilary). That’s going to end up being my bottom line. I’m horrified by the things Trump says, but I do not want another Democrat in the White House. And I think he can win.

    1. Unfortunately, I can’t support Trump, even if he’s running against Hillary, precisely because I do not want another Democrat in the White House. If Trump gets the nomination, I’ll be voting Libertarian this time around; I will probably even be campaigning Libertarian as well…

      1. Does anyone even know who’s running for the LP nomination this year?

        1. It isn’t settled yet. Gary Johnson is running as well as John McAfee, Austin Peterson, and I think 3 other people as well.

  4. Another thought from the peanut gallery:

    Immigration will save us“, has never been the call of a wounded people. Immigration has always been a luxury. When times are good, it flows. When bad, it goes.

    When in the history of humanity have a people welcomed a large influx of foreigners when the size of their dinner plate was getting smaller by the season?

    We are not in solid times. Trump found this and went with it. If you view his candidacy as the implementation of a business proposal (value proposition -> win themes -> sale!) he makes more sense. Forget focus groups – this guy had his people do straight market-research. Most of his non-conservative opinions are clearly market-driven positioning (win themes) for the general election. I don’t know what he really feels inside, but he’ll let the market decide what he says.

    Rubio and the establishment lost because they though they were so smart that they could part themselves from the whole of human history. Seriously…who wants those guys managing things on their behalf?

    1. Immigration tends to go in waves. Open borders in the good times, then closed borders in the bad ones. That also has the salutary effect of allowing the country time to absorb and assimilate the new arrivals. If you’re trying to come here from abroad, it kind of sucks, but the laws of this country are there to protect citizens, not non-citizens.

      We’re long since overdue for a spell of turning off the tap, in my opinion.

      Full disclosure: My grandma came here as an illegal from Mexico as a little girl and didn’t get citizenship until her later years. (That shouldn’t affect your opinion of what I said, and yet, I’ve often found it does. Do with it whatever you will.)

      1. Agreed.

        My wife is a non-white immigrant from a third-world continent not attached to ours. She is more concerned about immigration than I am.

        I left it out because as you said, “that shouldn’t affect your opinion of what I said… Do with it whatever you will.”

        1. My wife came here as a Vietnamese refugee. She likes the Donald. She and other legal immigrants don’t like the illegals. They say “I came here legally and jumped through the hoops why can’t they?”

          1. And by “jump through the hoops” what they really mean is “sneaked across a DMZ where we’d be shot by machine gunners if detected; spend two years in a Thai refugee camp then another year in a Philippine camp before moving for months and being resettled in the dead of winter in fucking Wisconsin – where we had crosses burned on the lawn in front of the two-room apartment the six of us lived in. Before we saved enough to buy the whole building.”

            Mom still lives there and is a pillar of the community. Attitudes change and forgiveness is divine. But no way do they think we should have open borders.

            FWIW, my wife is not from Vietnam. She came from a different third-world dictatorial hellhole. At some point the differences don’t matter, though.

        2. The mother of a dear friend came here illegally from Mexico,and eventually got citizenship as well. She’s voting for Trump.

          1. I know an undocumented alien – brought here legally at age five for resettlement but the sponsor family didn’t follow through on paperwork – who would also vote for Trump if he could.

            Except for the whole “send him home” to a place he cannot remember that speaks a language he doesn’t know a word of…he likes Trump. Mt friend is DACA covered right now and is probably the example of Dreamer that even the stalwart conservatives agree has a home here. He’s tried to join the military about four times but paperwork damns him.

            Oh vell.

  5. Check out the recent Volokh Conspiracy article about Open vs Closed Primaries. Trump has been winning open primaries while losing closed primaries. So far the Republican primaries have been predominately open and going forward will be predominately closed.

    1. If it were anyone other than Trump we’d be singing the virtues of open primaries bringing in new voters to the party. “Wow, look at all the new GOP voters out there!”

      Gawd, I wanna stop defending this guy. I just cannot help myself…the GOPe dissonance is strong this season. I kept hearing that I had to vote for McRomney because “the people have spoken”.

      Now the people shout and suddenly everyone goes deaf and blind.

      1. On the other hand: I strongly dislike open primaries because it opens the door for primary voting manipulation. How many of these “new” voters are Democrats coming in to select the one candidate they think that Hillary most likely beat?

        Sure, they’ll vote for Trump now, but when the actual election comes around, they’ll vote for Hillary, hands down.

      2. @Patrick: I know, right? I don’t like the guy either, and yet the way he’s been…well…winning at every step over people who largely deserve to be beaten.

        Don’t get me wrong: Cruz is the best pro-RKBA candidate right now, but clearly there’s some secret sauce in the Donald’s approach that the rest of the field lacks.

        1. O love how the Cruz and Rubio call the guy a con man.

          Cruz claims to fight the establishment, but what he really did was jump off the boat and swim the other way. Rather than work to move he needle, he bailed and went full crybaby. It’s not leadership if you actively run from being useful. That and his reluctance to recognize rights for people he thinks are icky.

          Rubio: I love hearing him speak. He has “the gift”. By comparison, I had the pleasure of hearing Obama speak probably before most of you knew his name and found the clip for my wife. I told her, “Obama will be President. No question.”

          Rubio has that same talent. Problem is he believes in open borders the way we all believe in constitutional carry. It’s in his soul. But the economy won’t support it…today. The ultimate irony is that had Obama done a better job letting the economy recover, Rubio’s message would have been better received (per a previous post of yours).

          1. Disagree with the analogy here:

            Obama would always be viewed as at least a little ‘anti-establishment’ just because he was African-American. He could be (and in fact largely was) an establishment stalwart whose presidency fits well alongside the Bushes and Clinton, but people in 2008 wanted something different and his identity made him appear different enough. Throw in the fact that many viewed voting for him (at least in 2008) as a sort of redemption (not only rejecting the odious W, but voting for a black candidate who’s attractive, charismatic and well-spoken! See how non-racist we are!) and that’s pretty much all you needed.

            Rubio? He doesn’t scan as ‘outsider’ at all. And his actions make him appear to be your standard establishment guy. The vibe I get from him is: if you generally like how things are going and but want a ‘conservative’-flavored candidate, vote for Rubio. He’s attractive, charismatic, and well-spoken, and he probably won’t change much.

            (Note: I didn’t say anything about ideas. It never seems to come down to that, eh? It certainly hasn’t since that first televised debate in 1960, where Kennedy was viewed as the winner by the TV audience, and Nixon was viewed as the winner…by people who listened to the debate on the radio.)

          2. One major reason I despise Trump, though, is that he oozes Establishment Guy as well. He’s stated that he’s looking forward to making deals with with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid…which is precisely why we despise the current crop of Republicans!

            We want someone to fight, and Trump has already made it clear he’s going to go along to get along…

  6. Jim Geraghty thinks it needs to stay a three man race, since the goal now will be to deny Trump the votes needed to clinch, and force a brokered convention

    Looking at delegate counts shows Trump has 1/4 [ish] of the amount needed to win.

    Cruz has 1/5.

    Rubio has about 1/10.

    (They’re roughly in a 3:2:1 ratio.

    In a sane RNC world Rubio endorses Cruz and drops out.

    I’d bet on Cruz being able to take Trump from this point on, if the non-Trump wing of the Party could focus on that.

    [Also, what Mr. Lawson said.])

    1. In a more sane RNC world, Rubio suspends his campaign, and Cruz takes him on as his VP pick.

      That should keep most of Rubio’s support from defecting to Trump.

      “Should” being the operative word.

    2. The only way to do it would be for them both to stay in and endorse each other right now. They agree that whoever is the higher delgate holder runs as Pres, and #2 runs as VP.

      Rubio has a decision to make: Vice-President or Governor (of Florida). President is off the table for now.

      I think he sticks it out on his own, because he knows he won’t win the nomination but it’ll help him run for Governor. So no “Cruzio” ticket for him.

      FWIW, such a ticket would balance my concerns with each.

  7. Yeah. The DFL and you others laughed your asses off about Ventura. All the comments about the wrestler. Then the state elects a hack comedian to the Senate and all is good. I give up.

    1. I wouldn’t say they elect a hack comedian. They merely didn’t give his opponent a large enough margin. The margin was small enough that it was susceptible to cheating.

      But, yeah, ultimately, I would agree: “If it ain’t close, they can’t cheat!”

  8. Like Sebastian, I backed Paul, then Carly, and finally gravitated towards Rubio until I dug a little deeper. Whatever happens, I’ve got to go R this election, even if its Trump.

    In a way I hope Trump wins and opens the floodgates of change in the party. Why not? It’s got to happen sooner or later, and Trump will make it quick; our country can’t afford 4 or 5 more election cycles of infighting.

    The gents in the ivory tower, those that brought us Dole, Bush, McCain and Romney, are clearly out of touch, yet still hold the reigns so tight. It’s really time for a substantial change, a ‘burning of the decades of tinder on the forest floor’. We need to find fresh leaders like Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Mia Love, etc. and show that each has different ideas, backgrounds, and values, but can bring something (and someone) to the table. We need to show others, especially blacks and Hispanics, that you don’t need to conform completely to fit in the R box.

    Full disclosure here too: my grandparents came here illegally across the Northern border pre-WWII, and my grandfather fought for the US in Europe, continuing to serve through the 60’s. Grandmom wasn’t naturalized until the late ’70’s, living three decades with the fear she would be deported back to Canada.

    1. That’s the thing missed in all the immigration discussions: why would you assume that people who immigrated here, even ones who came illegally, would not feel protective of their new country? If they really liked what was going on in the old one, they’d have stayed there.

  9. Trump appeals to blue collar voters that have been shafted for a decade. Many of them are Democrats . Trump is not a conservative Republican He is more of a demagogue. But if he is the nominee I will vote for him over Hillary Because on domestic and foreign issues He can not be worse.

    1. Does the word “conservative” refer to anything meaningful to anyone anymore?

      I think that in 2020, no matter what happens this year, “conservative” will not mean the same thing that it meant from 1992-2012.

      ETA: Someone with artistic talent should draw a tombstone with the epitaph:

      “Post Cold War Conservatism: 1992-2016”

  10. Looking at this from a strictly gun rights perspective, Rubio is a two face kind of guy:

    I don’t get this dislike of Cruz either. He can beat Trump and is not an establishment candidate.

  11. I was supporting Rand, after he dropped out and the election came to Texas my choices are realistically Rubio, Cruz, and Trump. Rubio in my mind is the worst, he and Hillary are selling a lot of the same policies so I actually considered him winning a worse outcome than Trump (which is a terrible outcome). So I went with Cruz. From a second amendment standpoint Cruz seems the strongest of the 3 candidates.

    I also don’t get why people say if Cruz dropped out, why would he drop out, he has gotten way more votes than Rubio. The Establishment wanted Rubio or Jeb and the people said no way. If they want to stop Trump their only reasonable shot is to go with Cruz at this point. Rubio has under performed the whole campaign. The fact that he finally won (my home state) was sort of surprising I wasn’t actually expecting him to pick up any states. He seems like the Republican version of Obama, not super smart, 1 term senator, and I think he was convinced the establishment was just going to hand it to him (hence his not running for re-election in the Senate). Clearly he isn’t very sharp though given that he just seems to regurgitate talking points over and over. I think when Christie called him out on that in the debate, that pretty much sunk him.

  12. Please, someone explain to me *exactly* WTF the “conservatives” have done for us? Lately? Ever? All I have seen since Reagan term limited out is roll over after roll over after roll over. Please point me to one law passed by the “conservatives” that has made us more free? Or Prosperous? What are they “conserving”? From where I stand I see a basically unopposed leftward movement in the US, sped up by the dems, and very slightly slowed up by the Rs…. But never stopped and certainly never pushed back.

    1. Even Reagan is a bit overrated. He made everyone feel good, but the facts on the ground didn’t change that much (Lebanon, deficit spending, etc.) He also bequeathed us the pox on our politics that have been the Bushes and their standard political tactic of mouthing Reagan-esque slogans and then doing whatever they felt like once they got into office….which more or less has led us to this moment.

      1. He also bequeathed us the pox on our politics that have been the Bushes and their standard political tactic of mouthing Reagan-esque slogans and then doing whatever they felt like once they got into office….which more or less has led us to this moment.


    2. Honestly, conservatives (and libertarians, for that matter) haven’t done much, because both have only one party representing them–Republicans–and a large portion of Republicans are Statist Progressives. While the Party platform espouses freedom, limited government, personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility, yada yada yada, too many Republicans either don’t have these principles, or are willing to throw them out the window the moment their power and popularity are threatened. Indeed, these types of Republicans despise conservatism as much, and possibly even more, than the Democrats do.

      (And as much as I admire Reagan for his ability to teach the American people conservative principles, he had a couple of nasty Progressive streaks himself.)

      Indeed, the Tea Party movement has been a recognition of this, and has had both some success and some setbacks in throwing out the Progressive scum of the Republican party.

      As much as “conservatives” haven’t done much, I have more confidence that we’d move the needle towards conservatism if we were to elect someone like Cruz, than we would if we were to elect a through-and-through Progressive like Trump.

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