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The Donald unmasked. Will it matter?

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The Donald unmasked.  Will it matter?

Rubio’s takedown of Trump was exquisite, but will it move the needle?

It’s about time.

Anyone watching the GOP presidential debate last night simply had to walk away scratching their head, wondering how in heaven’s name Donald Trump is the frontrunner for the nomination.  Senator Marco Rubio (and, to a lesser extent, Senator Ted Cruz) utterly eviscerated The Donald by exposing his utter vacuity in term of the actual issues facing the country.  This time, Trump’s signature means of “debating” – hurling insults or touting the polls when he doesn’t have an answer, which is most of the time – didn’t stick, simply because Rubio and Cruz wouldn’t let it stick.  The bully got stood up to, at long last, and the result was pretty much what always happens in such a situation.  He was revealed to be an empty suit.

Easily the best moment in the debate was the following, where Rubio absolutely crushed Trump on the banality of his healthcare “plan.”

It just doesn’t get any better than that.

There were other moments, of course.  On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Rubio pounced on Trump’s cartoonish notion that he could “negotiate” a deal between the two sides – gosh, why hasn’t anyone else thought of that? – with America as a “neutral” (Trump’s word) mediator.

Add to that the (belated) focus on Trump’s tax returns – is he really as rich as he says? – and his bankruptcies, his hiring of foreign workers to replace American workers, etc., and you had a glorious comeuppance for Donald Trump.

But will it matter?

This is the vexing question that has dogged the roughly 65% or so in the anti-Trump wing of the GOP from the beginning.  Trump famously said that "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."  And for his core supporters, that is clearly true.  A guy who joined the fever swamps of the Left in claiming that George W. Bush deliberately lied us into the Iraq war, and was responsible for 9/11, and actually increased his poll numbers in the process is clearly immune from rational critique, at least among his rabid base. 

Which reinforces the belief among many (the majority, in fact) Republicans that the only way to defeat Trump’s roughly 35% support is to coalesce around one standard-bearer.  That standard-bearer is going to be either Rubio or Cruz, either of which is much more palatable than Trump.  Which means, as has been said with increasing frequency recently, that also-rans Governor John Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson simply must withdraw immediately.  These gentlemen are successful and honorable people, and in another election year might very well be successful in their quest.  But not this year.  There is too much at stake for them to gamble with a Trump nomination, which would be a disaster for the Party, and, more importantly, a disaster for the country.  It is time for them to go.

So, we’ll see what the effect of last night’s debate will be.  But for one shining moment, it was made painfully clear that Donald Trump really is the clown his detractors say he is.  For that, we thank you Senators Rubio and Cruz.


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Angus DuBois
Angus DuBois
Angus DuBois is the nom de plume of an entrepreneur of 20 years who, in cowardly fashion, prefers to keep his/her business identity a secret. Comments can be forwarded to angus@nexxuspublishing.com.

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