Rubio and Cruz Put the Boots to Trump

Despite the fact that nothing matters and life is meaningless (Eat Arby's), I must admit to having greatly enjoyed last night's debate. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz finally seemed to realize that it wasn't going to do them any good to just ignore Donald Trump and put the boots to him—medium style. Here's an artist's representation:

Seriously, it was nice to see them land some clean hits. Trump was clearly off-balance, flailing wildly and landing few clean shots of his own. It looked something like this:


Trump is clearly flailing. His stubby little fingers can't make the right words appear on his iPhone:

Update: Hahaha, The Donald deleted that tweet. He's on the defensive! /Update

"Leightweight" "chocker" Marco Rubio. Even the dictionary is like "wtf man" at this point.

It helped that, for once, Rubio looked like he was actually having fun:

He does "happy warrior" so much better than everyone else in the field. I don't really have a problem with Cruz—indeed, the thing I find most frustrating about this whole race has been the Cruz/Rubio fans fighting to the death on social media—but I don't think anyone would say Cruz has a more attractive personality or demeanor than Rubio. There's a reason Rubio consistently beats Hillary in head-to-head matchups while Cruz struggles.

Beyond throwing Trump off-kilter personality-wise, Rubio and Cruz managed to ding Trump on the one actual policy that appeals to his base: his habit of hiring non-American workers to staff his many luxurious hotels because American workers are too bloody expensive for The Donald:

A hit! A very palpable hit! Here's what happens when you Google that:

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 10.48.42 AM

The lesson is a very simple one. Donald Trump doesn't give a single crap about American workers, and the folks who are supporting him based on the idea that he does are being used by a con man. I repeat: You are being used.

Now, maybe it doesn't matter and the Trump snitfit is simply a way of sticking it to the elites who have long sneered at the flyover rubes, as Clive Crook posits here. I don't think this supposition is wrong, necessarily—or even entirely unwarranted. But I find it hard to believe that these folks won't care about being used—and then immediately discarded—by an egomaniacal New York billionaire on a power trip.

Anyway. I doubt that last night's performance by Rubio and Cruz will be enough to convince the mass of voters that Trump is a disaster in the making. But hopefully it will convince the moneymen to get off the sidelines and put some cash into the fight against Trump. If I can close with just one more pop culture reference: