So earlier today, I wrote a post about how Donald Trump galvanizes support by projecting power, and allowing his people to feel that power themselves. He’s the alpha male of the GOP nomination process, I reasoned, and the only way to beat him was to attack him the way you’d attack the top lion in a pride—on his own turf, in vicious (metaphorical) combat. Policy talk, appeals to decency, and other tried-and-true tactics just wouldn’t work anymore, because they look too weak and the old GOP coalition is too pissed off at the establishment.
No sooner had I reached that conclusion than Rubio seemed to arrive there himself. He came the closest of any candidate to landing a blow last night, and in a rally today, he began to mock Donald Trump in truly Trump-ian fashion. Watch a clip here:
“What does Donald Trump do when things go wrong?” Rubio asked the crowd. “He takes to Twitter! I have them right here, let’s read some. You’ll have fun!”
Rubio went on to taunt Trump’s spelling—Trump called him a “chocker” and a “leightweight” in now-deleted tweets—and reveal that the frontrunner had a small meltdown backstage when he had an assistant putting makeup around his “sweat mustache.” He also implied that Trump may have asked for a full-length mirror because he wet his pants. And to tell the truth, his delivery is pretty good!
Now, is any of this dignified or classy or in any way a good sign for American politics? Absolutely not. But this is GOP 2016, baby! If you want to beat the Donald, you gotta let it fly.