Conservatives have a lot of reasons to like both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Both are more conservative than any candidate with a legitimate shot at the Republican nomination in over a generation, maybe ever. Cruz has the best ideological pedigree of any candidate we’ve ever seen who’s come this far. Rubio has the political ability to change the map in the same way Reagan did. So I get that they both have a following of fiercely dedicated and loyal supporters.
All that having been said, I am sick and tired of watching sensible people who ought to know better lose their minds whenever one attacks the other, as though they were watching their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ take a physical beating.
Look, I don’t like that they attack each other, as a guy who likes both. I wish they would both turn their fire on Trump more. But I’m not running their campaigns, and they have clearly made strategic decisions that involve trying to set themselves up to be the last man standing versus Trump.
I’m not crazy about it, but they are political candidates and they are trying to win. Part of doing that is making your own record look as good as possible while putting the worst possible spin on your opponent’s. This isn’t a new or even interesting phenomenon. Of course Rubio isn’t being 100% fair with Cruz’s record, and of course Cruz isn’t being 100% fair with Rubio’s. Campaigning that way is a sure way to get yourself kicked in the teeth.
It’s just absurd, the amount of bellyaching I see on twitter and blogs with the supporters of one candidate or the other pretending that the other’s attacks are just the worst, most dishonest things anyone has ever seen and how can we be expected to support such a dishonest charlatan, even in the general.
Get a grip, people. Sure, you like your guy, but he’s not perfect. And of course someone who’s trying to beat him in an election is going to try to make him look as bad as possible. I’m quite confident that when this is all over, Cruz and Rubio are going to go back to the Senate and still be friends or at least respectful colleagues because they both understand that this is a game and this is how the game is played.
It’s good that we have two guys on our side, both of whom inspire this level of emotional investment. We haven’t seen this for a potential Republican nominee in a long time and it bodes well for our chances in the general that we are seeing it now. But it wouldn’t hurt for their supporters to develop a small sense of realism and drop the hero worship of their guy just a notch.
We aren’t Trump supporters, after all.