The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Rubio Knocks Out Jeb Bush in Debate

Posted on | October 29, 2015 | 24 Comments


The general consensus, and also my own personal opinion, is that Marco Rubio was the big winner of Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate on CNBC. Polls have shown Rubio stuck in the second tier behind the two “outsider” candidates who are the current front-runners, Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Rubio is young, smart and articulate, but his role in the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty plan has hurt him with the GOP’s conservative grassroots. Wednesday night, however, when Rubio was criticized for missing Senate votes while campaigning for president, he counter-attacked sharply:

“In 2008, Barack Obama missed 60 or 70% of his votes and the same newspaper endorsed him again. This is another example of the double standard that exists in this country, between the mainstream media and the conservatives.”

Turning the question around to focus on the pro-Democrat double standard of the “mainstream media” was a smart move. Rubio then got a surprise bonus when Jeb Bush called on him to resign, giving Rubio an opening for this brutal jab:

“Jeb, let me tell you, I don’t remember you ever complaining about John McCain’s vote record. The only reason you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position. Someone convinced you attacking me is going to help you.”

Boom! Bush’s campaign had been on the ropes and if he thought he could make a comeback by attacking Rubio, he thought wrong. This move was both “strategically ill-conceived and tactically incompetent,” to quote Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard.

Now, what does this mean? To make clear my own preference, I support any candidate not named “Hillary Clinton.” After eight years of Obama’s presidency, it is crucial for America’s future that the Democrats not get a third term, and I will be willing to back whoever gets the GOP nomination. Trump, Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, whoever. Everybody knows my longstanding support for Rick Santorum, and I do not rule out the possibility that Rick might yet pull off another Iowa miracle like he did in 2012. However, the main thing — the Big Picture — is that all of the Republican candidates are better than Hillary and, in a few weeks, voters in Iowa are going to reduce the oversized GOP field down to four or maybe five viable candidates.

Marco Rubio could be one of those. Jeb Bush certainly will not.

Bush is done. He is over, doomed, kaput, finito. If the Republican Establishment big money boys can’t see that, they’re even dumber than I previously thought they were, and I have always thought Stupid Guys With Too Much Money were the root cause of the GOP’s electoral and political problems. Their hopes for a restoration of the Bush dynasty — because this is what Stupid Guys With Too Much Money dream of, like a 12-year-old girl dreams of dating Harry Styles — are now at an end. It’s time to wake up and smell the futility.

So a half-dozen GOP Establishment consultants will soon be unemployed after Jeb gives his “spend more time with my family” speech, and this is good news for America. We will be spared another Bush, and can now focus our attention on avoiding another Clinton.

There is still hope for the future. Thank God.



24 Responses to “Rubio Knocks Out Jeb Bush in Debate”

  1. Mike G.
    October 29th, 2015 @ 9:59 am

    The only qualm I have with your article is that there is no way I see my way to support Lindsey Graham. I’d have to go third party or else abstain from voting.

  2. Art Deco
    October 29th, 2015 @ 10:04 am

    Something I’d never known about Reince Priebus. He’s a partner at a Milwaukee biglaw firm (200+ attorneys), a partnership awarded before he was anything in public life more august than a failed candidate for the state legislature, so he was not granted it for his connections. And yet, we have these unforced errors like commissioning the likes of Candy Crowley, Scott Pelley, and John Harwood to cross-examine Republican candidates. Maybe the problem is that the Republican Party is a collecting pool for intelligent men whose intelligence is not very fungible.

  3. CrustyB
    October 29th, 2015 @ 10:11 am

    A hard sneeze could knock out Jeb Bush.

    As far as keeping a Democrat out of the White House for a third term, I believe it’s too late for America. Obama has done so much to deteriorate freedom and sanity in this country over the past six years with two years to go that a half-way conservative Republican would spend his entire first term just repairing the damage of Obama. And he’d be doing that with an liberal, Obama-worshiping news media, a leftist popular media, leftist school teachers and their brainwashed students filling the gap left by older, saner American voters who have died off.

    That’s my doom-and-gloom message of the day.

  4. marcus tullius cicero
    October 29th, 2015 @ 10:48 am

    …Poor J3B!, his family name and his anti- conservative platform(immigration) did him in!

  5. texlovera
    October 29th, 2015 @ 11:08 am

    I’m pritnear along the same lines as you, Stacy: gotta keep Clinton out.

    My preferred candidates (most- to least-favored):

    Rubio (for now)
    insert various losers here
    The Jebster

  6. RKae
    October 29th, 2015 @ 11:19 am

    List of other people who could knock out Jeb in a debate:

    -Fatty Arbuckle’s ghost
    -Any one of the Teletubbies
    -That bleary-eyed guy at the bus stop who smells like a Dumpster and mumbles to himself
    -Elmer Fudd
    -Wild Man Fischer
    -Ramtha the Atlantean warrior being channeled through J.Z. Knight
    -A chupacabra
    -Mr. Bean

  7. texlovera
    October 29th, 2015 @ 11:24 am

    Pee Wee Herman
    The AFLAC duck
    Mrs. Olson (she gotta mean right hook)
    Zombie Liberace

  8. robertstacymccain
    October 29th, 2015 @ 11:39 am

    What I think we must avoid is the kind of thing that happened in 2012, where the Rick Perry brigades convinced themselves (and everyone who would listen to them) that anyone who supported a Candidate Not Named Rick Perry in the primary was de facto helping Mitt Romney win the nomination and, because Romney was a worthless sold-out liberal RINO who was no different than Obama, you had to either (a) support Rick Perry or (b) you were basically pro-Obama.

    That was divisive bullshit, and I called it as much at the time, but from August 2011 onward — until Perry finally dropped out before the South Carolina primary — this ridiculous narrative was promoted by nearly everyone who had jumped aboard the Perry bandwagon in mid-summer 2011. You had conservative bloggers savagely attacking Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum or which ever other rival threatened Perry’s status as the ABM (Anybody But Mitt) candidate, and that relentless negativity served the ironic effect of guaranteeing Romney’s nomination.

    After the Perry campaign imploded due to his debate disasters in September 2011, there was one faction of the pro-Perry camp that foolishly held out hope he could recover. However, another part of Perry’s support shifted to Newt Gingrich. Yet as I had explained repeatedly (as if anybody in the goddamned blogosphere ever pays attention to what I say), there was no way in the world that Gingrich would ever be the nominee. Sheldon Adelson poured millions into a super PAC for Newt, to no avail. I remember catching a Newt rally in Florida in late January 2012 where he ranted bitterly in such a paranoid way that you almost expected him to blame the Bavarian Illuminati for his problems. Still, because the pro-Perry people had swallowed their own propaganda arguments against Santorum (whose surprising late-December surge in Iowa had helped doom Perry) they steadfastly refused to accept the plain reality: Gingrich was irretrievably doomed, and the only hope to stop Romney was for conservatives to get behind Santorum’s campaign. But — oh, hell, no.

    It would not do for certain Conservative Pundits to admit how badly they had miscalculated the GOP primary campaign during the fateful six months from July 2011 to February 2012. They were wrong the whole time — completely wrong about everything — and the protection of their own reputations as Conservative Pundits was more important to them, in the final calculation, than what they had claimed was their original goal, i.e., stopping Romney.

    Well, that’s all in the past now, but we must avoid such an error this time around. Conservatives need to eschew thinking of the primary campaign in terms of which candidates we would not support. ALL OF THEM ARE BETTER THAN HILLARY and so, if you support Trump or Cruz or whoever, don’t say that some other candidate is unacceptable. When push comes to shove, we must support the Republican — just like a lot of us ended up desperately hoping in fall 2012 that Romney could beat Obama — and so we should begin psychologically adjusting ourselves to the possibility that beating Hillary will require us to support a Republican candidate that we really don’t like very much. Seriously: GROW UP, people. Politics is a game for adults.

  9. Quartermaster
    October 29th, 2015 @ 11:44 am

    The only way you will get the GOPe to think about getting in line is if they pay a price for their stupidity. One reason the left get’s its candidates is they punish, severely, any apostasy. The GOP has yet to do that to the idiots in its progressive wing.
    It doesn’t matter the party label of the progressive you support, you will get the same thing in the end. There are unacceptable candidates. Jeb is a good example, as was Mittens.

  10. Quartermaster
    October 29th, 2015 @ 11:45 am

    Little Miss Lindsey is another example of an unacceptable candidate.

  11. Finrod Felagund
    October 29th, 2015 @ 11:46 am

    Heh. I have a couple of Wild Man Fischer “songs” on my Dr. Demento vinyl.

  12. Finrod Felagund
    October 29th, 2015 @ 11:49 am

    My overriding philosophy for 2016 has been: “No Clintons, no Bushes”.

    On the GOP side, I’ve come up with the concept of the Jeb Line: any candidate worthy of my support has to be better than Jeb.

    Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are way above the Jeb line; Rubio and Carson are above it, and Fiorina is just above it. Donald Trump is not.

  13. cargosquid
    October 29th, 2015 @ 12:15 pm

    “The GOP has yet to do that to the idiots in its progressive wing.”

    The progressive wing IS the majority of the GOP. That is why they consider the Tea Party conservatives to be the apostates.

  14. Matthew W
    October 29th, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

    Cool stache !!!

  15. texlovera
    October 29th, 2015 @ 1:05 pm

    I don’t agree that the progressive wing is the “majority” of GOP voters, who IMO are overwhelmingly conservative.

    HOWEVER, they do sure as hell seem to be running the show: Boehner, McConnell, Mitt.

    Thanks, Chamber of Commerce crony capitalists!!!

  16. texlovera
    October 29th, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

    I agree with that sentiment. However, I wonder just how much “better” a Trump or Jeb would be compared to Hillary.

    Bottom line, I’ll fight for a conservative until the nomination is over. Then I’ll hold my nose and close ranks.

    But this schtick is getting really, really old…

  17. Mike G.
    October 29th, 2015 @ 2:02 pm

    So what you’re saying is if ,(Not that he has a snowball’s chance in hell.), Lindsey Graham were to win the nomination, God forbid, you would wholeheartedly support him as the nominee?

  18. DeadMessenger
    October 29th, 2015 @ 5:00 pm

    The Frito Bandito
    Lamb Chop without Shari Lewis
    A room full of monkeys with typewriters
    Otis Campbell, the town drunk in Mayberry
    Billy Carter

  19. Eastwood Ravine
    October 29th, 2015 @ 5:11 pm

    Graham is a token candidate. He’s running for Secretary of Defense.

  20. cargosquid
    October 29th, 2015 @ 7:24 pm

    Bohner’s replacement, McCarthy was going to probably get 200+ votes and win before he admitted that his statements were going to make life a living hell for him as Speaker.

  21. M. Thompson
    October 29th, 2015 @ 8:18 pm

    We kicked out herditary rulers in 1776. We don’t need to impose our own.

  22. Daniel Freeman
    October 30th, 2015 @ 6:27 am

    I’m sure he and the girls would have a gay old time. (h/t Vox Day)

  23. Daniel Freeman
    October 30th, 2015 @ 6:37 am
  24. Robert What?
    October 31st, 2015 @ 7:43 pm

    There really is almost no hope at all for reclaiming what once was the United States. The only sliver would be a candidate who completely shakes up the status quo, and that would be Trump.