I’m not a video game aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, however, Mortal Kombat was my game of choice during the brief six months that I entered into the video game world only to find that it wasn’t as fun as books. Oddly enough, I was disturbingly talented at playing Mortal Kombat. I memorized the combos, the timing, etc., and made all of the neighborhood boys cry. As their character wavered back and forth, haunched over from blow after blow, I would turn my pigtailed curly blond head to my opponent as my innocent demeanor faded into the darkness, and as the iconic words flashed across the screen I’d whisper “finish him.” I’d then deal the fatal blow and embrace my innocence again, turn my head over my shoulder and say, “Hey look, my guy is holding your guy’s spine!”
Last night, as Marco Rubio continued to play with matches after dousing Donald Trump in verbal gasoline, the words “finish him” came to mind. While Cruz was also able to deliver a few shots, Rubio was on a rampage with one target in mind: Donald Trump.
RUBIO: That’s a fact. People can look it up. I’m sure people are Googling it right now. Look it up. “Trump Polish workers,” you’ll see a million dollars for hiring illegal workers on one of his projects. He did it.
RUBIO: That happened.
TRUMP: I’ve hired tens of thousands of people over my lifetime. Tens of thousands…
RUBIO: Many from other countries instead of hiring Americans.
TRUMP: Be quiet. Just be quiet.
Sure, Ted Cruz went after Trump, as well. However, he lost points for then going on to say in a later interview, in more words of course, that Rubio is finally fighting Trump like he is. Cruz and his lynch mob have been acting as though he’s the only one to take on the spirit animal of a Mussolini and Liberace hybrid. Of course he fails to note that while Rubio was setting himself apart from Trump since day one, Cruz was busy worshiping at the feet of his – only recently declared – enemy. Cruz only went after Trump when Trump had finally used, abused, and decided that Cruz was no longer a valuable asset. The problem is that if you volunteer to be Trump’s handmaiden for long enough, scrubbing his chamber-pot in hopes of gaining his allegiance, when you finally wise up and walk away you’re still going to smell like feces. Cruz, the Conservative golden boy, served as a bridge between ignorant conservatives and…well, whatever Donald Trump happens to be. Once the bridge was built, and people believed that he at least belonged on our side of the ideological line, Cruz became public enemy numero uno.
In short: Cruz was fine with Trump dragging Conservatism through the mud, but Cruz was not fine with Trump dragging Cruz through the mud.
Principles or something.
In interviews he praised Trump to the hilt, saying, “I am proud to stand with Donald Trump. I like him and respect him.” On “Meet the Press,” he declared, “I like Donald Trump. He’s bold, he’s brash and I get that it seems the favorite sport of the Washington media is to encourage some Republicans to attack other Republicans. I ain’t going to do it. I’m not interested in Republican on Republican violence.” He even offered a “salute” to Trump after the latter called illegal immigrants rapists and criminals. Cruz was admiring to the point of obsequiousness.
And let us not forget that while Marco Rubio was calling Trump out, Ted Cruz was doing the exact opposite:
“I’m the only one with a consistent record of standing up to Washington.”
A. That’s debatable
B. You’re also the only one with a consistent record of asking “How high?” when Donald Trump says “Jump.”
You know I’m right.
Back to Rubio.
Rubio didn’t stop there. During a Dallas rally on Friday, Rubio continued to hit Donald, landing blow after blow, with absolutely no mercy.
“We have a guy that last night literally spent 30 seconds defending Planned Parenthood. He did it better than Harry Reid does it! This is what’s trying to take over the Conservative movement, it is time to open our eyes and see what’s happening here.”
While urging followers to help unmask Trump, he held nothing back.
“Friends do not let friends vote for con artists.”
Just like in Mortal Kombat, the trick is to never stop hitting buttons. Use your combos, but as a general rule, if you keep hitting buttons they can never pin you down. It’s when you stop to breathe – when you pause and let mercy sneak in – that’s when the enemy gets the edge. Right now Rubio has a clear picture of the fight; he’s calm, he’s got the combos memorized, and he needs to just keep hitting while Trump is on the ropes. The future of Conservationism requires a merciless approach.
Many are asking if it’s too late and, while I agree, I’ll partially counter that argument. Rubio spent his campaign showing a clear contrast to Trump in regards to policy, and that was important. It’s all on record now, and easily researched. If Cruz had done the same, we might not be in this situation. Now is the time, in the final stretch, to ridicule Trump. Expose his character, contradictions, and cronyism. Don’t focus solely on policy, expose him as the dishonest, cold, womanizing thug that he is. Attack his many, many failures. Put them in the spotlight where they are undeniable, make them known and you make him stutter. We’ve gone after his policy for months and it hasn’t worked, there’s only one solution that works for a blowhard of his caliber: Make. Him. The. Joke.
His dedicated followers, those who will defend his every action, are never coming over to Team Marco or Team Cruz, they’re not conservatives. The more we pretend like he is on our side, the more we turn off the voters we actually want and need. His most dedicated followers don’t care about policy, they don’t care about the issues; they like that he’s the king of the playground. Period.
Dethrone him for the sake of everyone else watching.
As for Kasich and Carson, if they truly care about saving the party, they’ll bid adieu to this entire debacle. It’s that simple.
“But there’s still a chance!”
A very, very, very unlikely one. The longer they stay in, the more control Trump has. Besides, if I mute the TV and play Mystery Science Theater while they’re talking, I know those less interested in politics are probably doing the same. Kasich’s speaking time resulted in more bathroom breaks than an infomercial on potholders could garner. Carson and Kasich could be roasting marshmallows over in the corner during the debates, and they’d be more exciting. Watching Rubio and Cruz destroy Trump with extreme prejudice was like watching Armageddon, flipping over to Kasich or Carson was like having clips of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood inserted throughout the movie. And not even the “exciting” portion of the show, just clips of Mister Rogers taking off his sweater and shoes, over and over again.
“Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind?”
Look! Over there, behind the weeds of banishing Muslims and the American dreams of mailmen, I think I see two lovely acknowledgments of defeat just ripe for the picking.
Win or lose, this end game fight is detrimental. If Trump takes the nomination without a struggle, many will assume that his rise to the top of our leader board was consensual, thus destroying the movement forevermore. Rubio either needs to skyrocket to the top, riding the waves of Trump mockery to the general ticket, or he needs to go out in a fiery display of disdain for the Trojan Horse, making way for a renewal of the Republican Party, or the new party born from the ashes.
Enjoy the following clips:
Keep it coming, Rubio! You’re over the target, that’s why you’re taking flak.
P.S. Can we all admit that Mitt Romney is a boss?