Trump knocks Rubio out of the news cycle

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That was a strategic kill-shot, to borrow Scott Adams’s word. And it changes everything for conservatives.

After a so-so debate performance and in the middle of a 16-hour verbal assault from Marco Rubio, Trump went nuclear. But not the way everyone would expect Trump to go nuclear.

Trump didn’t need to invent a brilliant new put-down line to counter Marco. Instead, he calmly introduced Chris Christie to 10,000 fans in Texas. Christie did the rest.

I am proud to be here to endorse Donald Trump to be president of the United States.

Now that is a kill-shot.

Former RNC chairman Michael Steele told Breitbart News, “One word: BOOM! Exclamation point,” about the endorsement:

Today after what we saw Marco Rubiodo last night, he was out there attacking Trump on twitter and Trump was like, got one for you, BOOM! Now the guy who defined Marco a few weeks ago is back in the game. He’s engaged, and he’s working with Trump. BOOM!

And New Gingrich tweeted:

This Chris Christie endorsement of Trump is real signal to GOP establishment that they had better begin thinking about Trump as the future

— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) February 26, 2016

Chris Christie endorsement of Trump is a major breakthrough.this is a huge step for Trump and will impact super tuesday bug time.

— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) February 26, 2016

Just a little while later, Maine’s governor endorsed Trump. And John Kasich predicted a Trump sweep on Super Tuesday, saying “nobody’s gonna win but Trump,” before admitting he doesn’t know about Texas. 

Meanwhile, Peggy Noonan offers the best explanation of Trump’s rise I’ve read so far in Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected:

There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, **they are protected **_from the world they have created. _Again, they make public policy and have for some time.

The “unprotected.” Perfect.

Glenn Reynolds offers a similar case for people’s attraction to Trump, and forecasts an avalanche of support about to rain down: 

In his terrific book, _Private Truths, Public Lies:_The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification, Timur Kuran writes about the phenomenon he calls “preference falsification”: People tend to hide unpopular views to avoid ostracism or punishment; they stop hiding them when they feel safe.

This can produce rapid change: In totalitarian societies like the old Soviet Union, the police and propaganda organizations do their best to enforce preference falsification. Such regimes have little legitimacy, but they spend a lot of effort making sure that citizens don’t realize the extent to which their fellow-citizens dislike the regime. If the secret police and the censors are doing their job, 99% of the populace can hate the regime and be ready to revolt against it — but no revolt will occur because no one realizes that everyone else feels the same way.

This works until something breaks the spell and the discontented realize that their feelings are widely shared, at which point the collapse of the regime may seem very sudden to outside observers — or even to the citizens themselves. Kuran calls this sudden change a “preference cascade,” and I wonder if that’s not what’s happening here.

Sarah Palin made it okay for Tea Partiers to support Trump. With Christie’s endorsement, it’s now okay for mainstream Republicans to admit they hate the elites. 

Glenn Reynolds wrote his column before Christi’s endorsement making it somewhat prescient. I think Glenn is right, as usual. Trump is a natural leader in the new political dichotomy and the perfect embodiment of the Generation X election

For conservatives, it’s time to stop the fatalism and start planning how to get the best possible policies from the Trump administration.