It’s a shootout in the lifeboat — the Republicans in Name Only (RINO) lifeboat.

All the also-rans in the GOP presidential field are firing wildly at one another, trying to grab that coveted fourth-place finish in Iowa and or New Hampshire.

Dammit, the RINO candidates are all thinking to themselves, somebody in the “GOP Establishment” wing has to break out, and into double digits … sometime … eventually … don’t they?

In the Olympics of politics, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are going for the gold. These other clowns are going for the fool’s gold.

Ex-Gov. Juan Ellis Bush blasts Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who blasts Gov. Chris Christie, who blasts back at Rubio, saying he can’t “slime” his way to the White House. Christie, who’s been trying to hug his way to the White House, even gets attacked by the also-ran of the also-rans, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, to which Christie responds, “Who?”

How pathetic is it when a fat guy at 3 percent in the national polls dismisses you as a loser?

But this is what the Republican establishment is reduced to in 2016. After all these years of Bushes, Karl Rove, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the collaborators, the RINO brand is kaput. These sellouts can’t buy a thrill — not even Juan Ellis Bush, who’s squandered $50 million so far to go from 12 to 4 percent in the national polls over the last three months.

Of all the sad sacks, Bush is the saddest. In Iowa, he’s shooting for fifth place. Fifth! If fourth is the fool’s gold medal, then fifth must be fool’s silver. So he’s budgeted $1.4 million for TV spots to take down Rubio for missing votes in the Senate.

Consider the strategy — No. 5 is going after No. 4. Does this make any sense whatsoever? Especially when Juan already tried attacking Rubio for missed votes, in a televised debate last fall, and promptly plummeted even further in the polls.

This free-for-all among political pygmies is taking place the same week that the NFL playoffs begin. It’s as if the Houston Texans are putting together their Super Bowl gameplan … against the Washington Redskins. Guys, it’s just not in the cards this year, OK?

But the consultants are getting a 15 percent commission on the ad buys.

Fifteen percent of $100 million is … worth it. I’m telling ya, Jeb, you got ’em right where you want ’em now. They’re fading, them other guys.

The theory is, if one of these RINO’s can emerge from the pack, then he’ll get Trump, or Cruz, one-on-one. Interesting theory, but if you look at most of the polls, Trump and Cruz together are supported by at least 50 percent of the primary voters, and if you throw in Ben Carson, the Republican wing of the Republican Party gets up near 60 percent.

What did they used to say about faculty battles in academia? The fights are so vicious because the stakes are so small. Welcome to Juan’s World — — and Marco’s, and Chris’ and John’s. I know what you’re saying — John Who?


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