One of the stalwarts of the conservatives’ quest for truth in Benghazi has been South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy. He has a cult following in Republican circles that had many of them calling for him to be the Speaker of the House instead of Paul Ryan. His conservative credentials have been unquestionable… until now.
Following his endorsement of the Republican Establishment’s moderate flavor of the week Marco Rubio, two things have come out into the forefront: Rubio’s own conservative credentials are being reexamined and now Gowdy is being called a puppet of the Neocons that gave us candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney. As one of the most trusted men in Washington DC, it is baffling that Gowdy would endorse someone who supported amnesty, who believes in big government, and who is quickly turning to the left on many issues to prepare for a general election run against Hillary Clinton.
Marco Rubio rose to power because of the Tea Party. He was their choice to defeat Charlie Crist in 2010. He made a lot of conservative promises, then abandoned most of them once he was in office. His record has been getting more and more moderate the longer he’s in the Senate which goes against the trend that Gowdy has set in Congress. They seem to be diametrically opposed within the Republican party…
…which is why Rubio promised Gowdy that his endorsement would yield either a high cabinet position, most likely Attorney General, or even the grand prize itself: Vice President. It makes perfect sense. The presence of Gowdy on the ticket will help to build strong support from conservatives while Rubio continues his shift towards the mushy middle. Gowdy would be a big plus in the general election in North Carolina and Virginia. More importantly, he’s the ultimate attack dog. Rubio, by contrast, is better on the defense than on the offense.
When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. The concept often attributed to the fictional Sherlock Holmes is the reason that Gowdy’s wholehearted support for Marco Rubio is plausible. It’s impossible to believe that Gowdy truly believes that Rubio is the conservative in this race. It’s also impossible to believe that Gowdy would risk his own credibility unless there’s something on the table for him.
This is all very similar to the way that Bob Dole tapped Jack Kemp in 1996. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. While we still respect what Trey Gowdy has done in Congress, this endorsement is unacceptable. He can be forgiven, but it won’t be easy. Conservatives will remember this betrayal.