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"The Bachelor" Theory Of Political Attacks

BEWARE

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Chris Christie knifed Marco Rubio during last Saturday's debate — and got nothing for it. John Kasich and Jeb Bush appear to have benefited most from Christie's attacks on Rubio.

The New Jersey governor came in sixth in New Hampshire, and now he's expected to drop out on Wednesday. And he could have seen it coming.

On basically every season of The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette!), the following scenario takes place, usually when there are about eight to 10 contestants left: One woman tells The Bachelor that another woman is a fraud.

Here's how this goes for our two contestants, whom we'll call Kaitlyn and Mildred.

Kaitlyn is usually like 25, hot, and for some reason has taken on a zero-sum "lone wolf" posture on a reality dating show.

Mildred tends to be gainfully employed, nice, and slightly removed from the drama. Everyone plainly recognizes that the Bachelor will never select Mildred, but there's also no real reason to cut Mildred either. She's nice! But Mildred's there, and she's been there a while, and the other contestants' complaints about Kaitlyn have begun to pile up. Kaitlyn said this to X, and that to X, and after the Bachelor told her Y, she did Z, and so forth. Everybody knows it's coming. You can feel it building. Mildred often says things like "he needs to know," to nods from the other remaining contestants, before some final insult takes place that makes it non-negotiable: Mildred will tell the Bachelor that Kaitlyn is not there for the right reasons. And so Mildred pulls the Bachelor aside and unloads all this on him. She usually succeeds in damaging the other contestant...

BUT IT NEVER WORKS OUT FOR HER.

She almost always gets cut, too, and sometimes first. The Bachelor almost always tells her something to the effect of: I wish you would focus on us, instead of the other girls and The Drama In The House. It's unbecoming, the Bachelor basically tells Mildred. And it happens basically every time! The same thing, once or twice a year! It's reality television's annual kamikaze attack, or perhaps something out of a revenge tragedy like "The Duchess of Malfi." Destroy another, destroy yourself.

And this is the danger in what Chris Christie did on the Republican debate stage.

Katherine Miller is the political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Katherine Miller at katherine.miller@buzzfeed.com.

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