The Fall Of The GOP Establishment In Jennifer Rubin Headlines

As Republican voters have rejected Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential bid in primary after primary, the establishment wing of the conservative media has gone from cheerleading for his candidacy to calling for the Florida senator to withdraw from the race and rallying behind Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as the only way to prevent the nomination of Donald Trump. The nomination of either candidate would be a nightmare for the establishment: They despise Cruz for using political tactics that prioritize his own success over the movement (and for generally being a jerk), and have derided Trump as a “short-fingered vulgarian” who is unfit for the presidency due to his stupidity, bigotry, and opportunism.

A sample of Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin's headlines over the past month illustrates the establishment's slow-motion collapse and its runaway rush through the stages of grief. Rubin spent much of the 2012 presidential primary and general election blatantly shilling for Mitt Romney; after his defeat, she criticized his campaign in ways that starkly contradicted her glowing write-ups over the previous weeks. 

A month ago, Rubin was openly rooting for Rubio and condemning Cruz as someone whom “lots and lots of people” consider “socially awkward, nasty dishonest, a blatant apple-polisher and all-around creepy guy.” As the weeks passed and Rubio's losses mounted, she repeatedly declared that Cruz was on the verge of defeat and promoted Rubio as the best candidate to stop Trump. But by Sunday she was finally coming to terms with the possibility of Cruz being the only alternative to Trump (while arguing that he would need to adopt “Jeb Bush's policy handbook,” among other things, to gain establishment support). Yesterday, she declared that it was time for Rubio to drop out. Watch the progression through the headlines from Rubin's Washington Post Right Turn blog. If even she can no longer put lipstick on the pig, the establishment is well and truly fucked.

February 8:

Cruz intervention

February 10:

Rubio road back

February 14

establishment comeback

comeback kid

February 16:

foreign policy challenges

February 17:

panic time

February 22:

Master plan failing

February 23:

Cruz's Alamo

February 24:

vanishing base

February 25:

support collapsing/want to hear

February 26:

take down

February 29

Cruz bombs

March 2:

chances better

March 4


March 6:

toughen up


March 9:

time to fold