(TreeHouse) – President Donald Trump has endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio for re-election. This has angered many MAGA supporters who view Rubio, correctly, as a DeceptiCon establishment figure. However, there is a pragmatic political approach evident that should be considered.
First, it must always be remembered that the Republican party is a private club. The RNC is part of that private club. Both the Democrat Party and the Republican Party are private clubs. There are no federal, state or local election laws or rules that require club participation in order to run for elected office. The clubs exist to facilitate the infrastructure of a process that is guided by inside rules made by club members.
Second, within the MAGA community there has been a recent argument about the Republican party that essentially boils down to this: (A) President Trump should start a new party; a new club; and/or (B) President Trump should reform the Republican club from within, removing the establishment elements.
Within the club President Trump can influence the rules and agenda, but the club itself must support them. As we saw in 2016 there is a significant portion of the club who do not want Donald Trump within it. Thus all moves to influence the club should be cast against this reality.
President Trump endorsing a club member should not be a surprise to those who have advocated for Trump to take-over the republican party. Rubio has enough support within the club that a non-endorsement, or Trump’s support for a primary challenge, would exhaust a lot of political capital and ultimately result in a fight within the club.
Trump remaining inside the club, influencing the club, and carrying a sword of Damocles (endorsement or lack thereof) inside the club, could and should be viewed as the most pragmatic approach toward changing the club. Indeed, President Trump has previously said he preferred to remain in the Republican party as opposed to starting a new party from the ground up.
Currently we have a rather unique political dynamic. Arguably, the club now needs Trump more than Trump needs the club. However, also arguably, the club infrastructure is factually a value to President Trump.
The argument over “club value” boils down to one of political loyalty. Example: if members inside the club are permitted to undermine the MAGA agenda of Donald Trump -the historic reference- then what value does the club actually have? Example-2: if local and state club officials are tepid in their support, or worse yet actively work to undermine their candidate, then what value is the club? This has been my argument for over 15 years. Alas, if I am to support the MAGA objective I must defer my opinion to the person who really is the decision-maker, Donald Trump.
Again, Trump remaining inside the club, influencing the club, and carrying a sword of Damocles (endorsement or lack thereof) inside the club could be viewed as the successful approach toward changing the club. The historic reference here would be Barack Obama taking over the DNC club….. against the Clinton machine.
Clinton was to the DNC as Mitch McConnell and the Bush clan (et al) are to the RNC. Reference what Hillary Clinton did to Bernie Sanders (’16); successfully. Reference what Bush (and club) tried to do to Trump in ’16; unsuccessfully.
Barack Obama now owns the DNC club and has full control. Donald Trump is still working through the process and does not have full control; hence he has to navigate through the tribal issues that remain inside the RNC club.
President Trump endorsing Marco Rubio is pragmatic and keeps options A and B open. If Trump had not endorsed Rubio, or endorsed a challenger, then Option B (takeover of the club) would be much harder as the club would fight to save Rubio. Within the club Rubio is viewed as a more valuable club asset than Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Yes, Rubio is a self-centered and compromised DeceptiCon and should not ever be trusted. On the positive side Rubio is tough on China and aligned against the influence of China in the U.S. That can be seen as a value.
CTH readers will long-note that I have personally been an advocate for starting a new political party. I know how challenging that approach is, and I am wide-eyed to the reality of it. That said, I have also wanted the Republican party to reform so that a new party was not needed. However, years of suffering through broken promises of club reform leave me strongly cynical…. but I am willing to give President Trump every opportunity to succeed because, well, if I am being honest, we have not had a person on the inside genuinely trying to reform the party.
However, if Trump endorses anyone like Murkowski or Haley, my support for Trump’s effort will end immediately.