It is becoming quickly clear that as long as both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz remain in the Republican primary race, they will not be able to take the nomination away from Donald Trump. They are locked in a fierce battle for second place, and the voters who once supported establishment candidates like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie are not flocking to Rubio as some predicted. Put that together with Cruz’s inability to even win among evangelical voters, and you have a sticky situation for anyone who opposes Trump.
One such person is House Republican Trent Franks of Arizona. The Freedom Caucus member has begun asking his fellow GOP reps to sign on to a letter encouraging Rubio and Cruz to put down arms and join together in a last-ditch effort to stop Trump.
“We call upon all national security, free-market, and pro-family conservatives to boldly rally around the two of you together and ask you both to answer the call of statesmanship and decide between yourselves which shall be the candidate for President and which shall be the candidate for Vice President,” reads the letter. “The laws of mathematics will not be repealed in this election cycle. The mathematics in this equation are clear to the reasoned mind: The two of you can unite and win together or remain apart and fail together. For the sake of our country, the conservative cause, and future generations, we adjure you both to unite.”
The desperation is real.
The funny thing is that even in this (exceedingly unlikely) scenario, there’s no guarantee that a Rubio/Cruz tag team would automatically take Trump down. The two of them have been at each other’s throats for months; it’s entirely possible that Cruz supporters would balk at voting for Rubio, even if their guy was tapped for the VP spot. Obviously, this works the other way around as well.
At the same time, you can’t blame them for trying. The Republicans are watching their worst nightmare unfold, now paying the price for arrogantly dismissing Trump in the early months of his candidacy.
But it’s almost time to stop.
At some point, a Trump nomination will change from a near-certainty to an absolute certainty, assuming current trends persist. And when we reach that point, Washington Republicans need to sit down and shut up. Their party hasn’t been hijacked by Donald Trump; it’s been “hijacked” by voters who are sick of politics as usual. Trump or no Trump, this election wasn’t going to go the way the party wanted this year. They made sure of that when they failed to stand up to Obama’s amnesty. It’s too late for them to make up for their betrayal this year, but they can at least have the decency to accept their medicine.