The weighty winners on the March 15th Superer Tuesday primary were Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the candidates who now radiate the stink of inevitability. Both contentious, divisive, popular figures are sure to inspire lots of people to come out and vote–either for or against them.
Oh, hang on. We’re not even done with the primaries yet because God has turned his back on America and is snickering quietly at the spectacle. It’s easy to try and predict who will be the inevitable nominee for each party, and it does indeed seem to be blowing the way of the two bags of wind mentioned above. However, though we can celebrate the ignoble collapse and campaign suspension of Sen. Marco Rubio, we must note the technical fact that Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz are still hanging on–albeit for dear life. Both remain weirdly confident, however.
Ted Cruz: “Tonight was a good night”— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) March 16, 2016
“It is past my damn bed time ”— romey (@mattromney2016) March 16, 2016
-marty rubio teenage prez candidate giving up and heading home
Best line of the night so far from a CNN commentator “Marco Rubio is a guy with a great future behind him.”— Paul Danahar (@pdanahar) March 16, 2016
Sen. Bernie Sanders, too, is still gamely fighting, even if his Democratic-Socialist dream upset looks further away than it has in some time. Clinton took Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Illinois from his grasp. (Missouri was too close to call for both parties.) The popular and cranky Sanders did, however, pick up enough delegates to bring his total to 800 (compared to Clinton’s 1,561). Plus, a lot of polls and pundits (such as they are) predict that the next many primaries are going to go Sanders’ way. Hillary is definitely going to win, except when somehow she isn’t! Well, she is likely going to win, but mostly because of the grim self-fulfilling prophecy that is American politics.
Clinton might just sweep tonight — and even if Missouri is effectively a tie it’s big big momentum for her.— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) March 16, 2016
Cheer up, fellow progressives. The time lapse from Buchanan to Trump suggests Bernie heralds a victorious left-wing Dem candidate in 2040.— JudgeReinholdNiebuhr (@UOJim) March 16, 2016
Trump, meanwhile, continues to horrify in a bipartisan fashion, terrifying liberals and fracturing the GOP.
He did well, winning North Carolina, Illinois and Florida. Cruz didn’t win any states, but he has a fair number in the bag already, and he continued to bite at Trump’s heels in the real estate mogul’s winning states. Practically, he may not still stage an upset, but his staying in the race doesn’t feel as Quixotic as Kasich’s.
Cruz remains well ahead of Kasich the fake moderate when it comes to delegates won–but then, so was Rubio–and it seems likely that the #nevertrump Republican crowd is going to have to start backing once-”Wacko Bird” Cruz. Never mind that nobody on God’s earth seems to like him very much personally or that he had a guy who wants to kill gay people introduce him at a rally. Cruz isn’t Trump or a Democrat, and he isn’t out yet. That’s all some people need.
Kasich has won his excuse to keep in the race because he didn’t fail to win the state in which he is governor. This is a low bar indeed, unless there is a real, concerted GOP effort to undermine Trump and split the delegates enough to force a brokered convention. (Yes, please.)
The takeaway from Tuesday is, as always, your choice, America. It’s damned easy to say it is finished now, and Clinton and Trump have it in the bag. Besides the anomaly of Kasich (and you had better win your own state if you’re a governor!) the two frontrunners did what frontrunners do. They won. However, in no state except Florida did Clinton or Trump have a real KO. Furthermore, the GOP’s Trump-influenced death knell has not ceased, and it isn’t likely to until after the Cleveland convention. That, if nothing else, makes the country being doomed to Clinton vs. Trump somewhat fascinating in the meantime. Better still if Sanders can narrow the gap between him and Clinton enough to make that race more interesting than any pundit assumed it could be since Clinton declared her intention to run in 2016.
Smile. You just had a big night. #PrimaryDay— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 16, 2016
Continuing the theme of weirdness lurking under a seemingly nigh-finished primary, the GOP establishment’s final son, Rubio, has given up (sorry, Kasich, you’re too fake nice). A thousand William Kristols are crying out in terror, and they may indeed be silenced by the bloated, asinine populist Trump cavalcade in the end. However, they are not going down without keening indignantly about their precious conservative principles being smeared all over the political stage.
The fact that small government principles on the right were a cynical joke long before Trump showed up pretending to be a Republican is of no concern to the elite GOP. Trump has ruined their good time. The consolation in that is going to get smaller and smaller in the lead-up to November, while we prep for an authoritarian centrist Democrat versus a bewildering, bloviating narcissist with no real party ties at all.