The Republican Establishment has a penchant for using mainstream media talking points and big money manipulation techniques to fool GOP voters into selecting candidates with one particular character trait that they covet: malleability. It’s been their modus operandi for decades and it accomplishes two things: finding candidates that don’t have the core beliefs necessary to win and convincing voters that they actually can win.
It sounds counterproductive; why would they be so interested in selling us a loser to be the nominee? To understand this, we have to understand the dynamics of winning a general election as well as their motives for wanting someone weak. To win a general election, you have to win Independents. Winning Independents is a matter of having a strong core belief system that can inspire them. This is the formula that gave us Barack Obama. Despite poor ideologies, he was able to sell them because he genuinely believed them.
That poses a problem for the Republican Establishment. When someone has strength in their core beliefs, they’re not malleable enough for the Establishment to control. That means their task every four years is to find someone that is malleable enough for them to control but that has other positive attributes that they can sell to Republicans so they come across as most electable.
This is why they support Marco Rubio.
He flashed his malleability identification badge when he betrayed his oft-stated beliefs against amnesty during his Senatorial campaign before abandoning those promises once he was actually a Senator. Then, he has demonstrated a likable nature and an ability to speak well (albeit through memorized robotic talking points) that they can use to sell him to the public.
The problem they face is that the character trait they covet is the same trait that prevents them from winning the Presidency. George W. Bush was the exception, of course, but only because he had a weak opponent in Al Gore and a vulnerable opponent after 9/11 with John Kerry. Otherwise, he could have lost either election. Unfortunately for Republicans, Rubio has neither advantage and will lose the same way that Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney lost their respective elections.
The storyline being played out in mainstream media is that he’s the guy that can beat Donald Trump. This makes very little sense, of course, since Ted Cruz has already beaten him once and is well-positioned to compete with him during the “SEC Primaries” coming up on March 1. Rubio is poorly positioned, but that won’t stop the Republican Establishment’s talking points from being on wide display from now until it’s too late.
They can’t support Cruz. He’s not malleable. In many ways, he’s the exact opposite of Rubio. They would rather have Trump get the nomination and lose the election than to have Cruz get the nomination and win the election. We have to remember that the Republican Establishment is more interested in maintaining their power over the party rather than winning the election. If Cruz wins the election, the “Washington Cartel” loses strength. If Rubio or Trump lose the election, the Cartel actually gains in strength. That’s how DC politics works. The malleable are good for the Establishment and the Cartel while the principled are bad.
Rubio’s inability to accomplish a single thing other than Gang of Eight should wake voters up about his electability problem. The Establishment hopes we’ll look the other way as we did with Dole’s, McCain’s, and Romney’s electability issues. We need a conservative once and for all.