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American Daily: October 1, 2015

October 1, 2015
  • John Boehner’s failed speakership.
And what did Boehner’s cowardice in the face of the Tea Party stalwarts get him? They forced him out anyway. Boehner built his career around keeping his job, and he still failed. If Boehner had allowed the passage of immigration reform, it’s entirely possible that the Tea Party would have rebelled and evicted him—but at least he would have had a substantial accomplishment to his credit. Instead, Boehner tried nothing, accomplished nothing, and lost his job anyway. It’s the legacy he deserves.
  • How effective are criticisms of Marco Rubio’s Senate voting record likely to be?

Presumably, there will be some conservatives who consider that the above information does not so much let Rubio off the hook as make an excellent case for the unflappability of Ted Cruz. And perhaps it does! Cruz, after all, did not make a mistake on immigration, and, from some rightward-leaning perspectives at least, has a pretty much perfect record on all other fronts as well. What it does not do, however, is to suggest that Rubio is a “moderate” or that Donald Trump is his superior in any way — both of which contentions are implied in Trump’s critique. Au contraire: Over the last five years, Rubio has amassed a consistently conservative record that has on its face a single major blot — a blot, it should be said, which Rubio now claims to regret. Donald Trump, by contrast, has compiled a long and ugly history as a cynical “foot in both camps” moderate, to which he has now added six months of embarrassingly ersatz “conservatism.” If we are to be encouraged to more closely examine the political records on offer, whose do we think will come out ahead?

But Jeb’s efforts to challenge Trump failed to capture the imagination. Now, suddenly, the internet is abuzz with talk about how Marco Rubio is the one who is drawing blood from Trump, and talk of Rubio having a plausible shot at the nomination is on the rise.
In the short time since Trump declared his candidacy, he has performed a public service by exposing, however crudely and at times inadvertently, the posturings of both the Republicans and the Democrats and the foolishness and obsolescence of much of the political culture they share. He is, as many say, making a mockery of the entire political process with his bull-in-a-china-shop antics. But the mockery in this case may be overdue, highly warranted, and ultimately a spur to reform rather than the crime against civic order that has scandalized those who see him, in the words of the former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, as “dangerous to democracy.”

For Warren to get into the race at this point after shying away from running and then letting Sanders do the dirty work of demonstrating Clinton’s vulnerability would be a little dishonorable. It’s reminiscent of when Bobby Kennedy jumped into the 1968 primary only after Eugene McCarthy took the risk of challenging Lyndon Johnson in the New Hampshire primary. But Kennedy took the plunge for a good reason. He — like Warren, but unlike McCarthy or Sanders — actually stood a decent chance of beating the establishment favorite.

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