Tuesday, February 09, 2016


I keep telling you that -- Robotgate notwithstanding -- the Chris Hayes is right about how much the press wants Marco Rubio to succeed:

You can see it again in this post by Evan Osnos of The New Yorker. Yes, Osnos realizes that Rubio went all glitchy on Saturday night -- but it's only because there's a profound existential conflict taking place deep within Rubio's soul, a battle between Rubio's pragmatic, goal-oriented self and his thoughtful, world-embracing other self:
To watch Rubio up close is to see a man torn between two political identities. One of them is adventurous and charismatic: the promise that it offers is that his rare gifts as a speaker and a judge of the public mood could be employed to revitalize the Republican Party. By demonstrating that a young Latino son of immigrants can be its standard-bearer, he would point the way forward for Republicans in a country of growing diversity. This is Rubio the Natural. The other is self-conscious and risk-averse: this version of Rubio sticks as closely as possible to the script, doesn’t overplay his minority status (at least through the primaries), and avoids making firm commitments for as long as possible: Rubio the Player.... on the debate stage, he chose the latter identity, and paid a price.
Osnos urges us to recall the talking point Rubio kept repeating on Saturday night. It was an assertion that President Obama "is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country." Osnos says that -- alas! -- Rubio feels he has to keep saying that, because he really wants to make it, and that's what the voters he seeks want to hear:
That line represents the triumph of Rubio’s second identity and also of the instinct that formed it: his calculation that conservative voters don’t want him to embrace the reality of a changing country, or to make the case that he, in his first identity, is a sign that Republicans may not have to be afraid of the future.
But Osnos is cheering on that other Rubio, the one who surely knows how to "point the way forward for Republicans in a country of growing diversity."

That Rubio once gave an empathetic answer to an interview question about Black Lives Matter. That one wrote in his memoir that his best friends on the high school football team were black, and that he wasn't resentful when he was benched in high school in favor of a black player because that player was stronger than he was.

Rubio rarely talks about any of this these days. In Saturday night's debate, Rubio repeatedly denounced change and repeatedly disrespected a black president. You and I might conclude that that's the person Rubio has decided he really wants to be.

But Osnos knows that, darn it, there's a good Rubio in there, crying to be let out:
Somewhere, buried behind the layers of political self-protection, Rubio the Natural knows that America is changing whether Republicans like it or not. And, at rare times, he acknowledges that it’s not a reason for fear. But, more often, as he did on the debate stage, Rubio the Player pretends not to know it, and he takes on the role of a man who is hellbent on returning America to a time when he and his story would never have been possible at all. As a politician, he is skilled enough that, if he could summon the will, he could make a powerful case for change. By Wednesday morning, we may know if he’ll get the chance.
Yes -- he's only posturing as a blinkered reactionary now. Vote for him! Surely someday we'll see his better self!


Unknown said...

Wow, I'm not sure if even Ace of Spades hates Marco Rubio this much. Which is fine as far as it goes. I mean, who's going to defend someone who wants to force women to carry their rapist's child to term? But then you end up with Ted Cruz - who, being smarter, will be much more effective in fomenting Evil.

All things considered, I'd rather take my chance with the airhead.

Victor said...

On, fer cryin' out loud, someone needs to de-tox from a Rubio-flavored Kool Aid overdose!

Yes, in private Marco's ok - and "you know who" loved children and dogs, but he's still the greatest mass-murdering maniac of the 20th Century - next to Stalin and Mao, who killed their own followers, and not one specific group!


Unknown said...

Not The Same Unknown here:

I read this post of Steve's as pointing to the laying of a soft bed of excuses for Rubio. As Steve suggests, it provides an explanation for why, when so many have said & are calling out He, Robot, like every member of the media is imagining themselves in Bladerunner, he won't wake fro his sleep, because he's not actually sleeping like kindly Doc Carson but rather underneath the logarithm is an neo-organic soul engaged in a voluntarily inceived [sic] deadly battle with a minotaur, in which a tiny little Marco id is bouncing around up and down levels summoning extraordinary, albeit pointless, courage badges, with the entire titanic conflict, mega & meh-ta, alpha & alfalfa, occurring entirely INSIDE, where none can see it.

And none of us will know who won, unless & until, I don't know but I extrapolate, a tiny memory board sparks up and cute little Lego-sized puffballs of metallic or plastic smoke waft from his ear holes and nostrils.

Me, I'm sticking with the idea he just can't 'will' himself to change. If I'm wrong, and he defies the odds and does change, it'd expect it won't last, because things grabbed at out of a sense of desperation so rarely do, and even then, being largely a function of fluke, it'll be way too raw and prone to falling down.

It's like someone who's played like 10 beer-filled rounds suddenly finding himself about to tee it up for their first go at Pebble Beach or Sahalee or Torrey Pines or Bandon Dunes, under pressure to learn to find a golf swing because they LIED their way on. Unless the swing is Charles Barkley novelty funny, it just won't work.

It can take ten thousand reps, a few less, or a lot more, over not months but years, and it could turn out well, or it could emerge as something like Tourette's Syndrome (or indeed the real thing), and there's no rationale for CHOOSING among these possible outcomes, because willpower gets out effort but not results.

Tourette's Syndrome certainly isn't a sign of a weak mind, but it may co-relate with intelligence; it's been credibly argued that Mozart had it, & there's no doubting the quality of Mozart's brain. So that's ... maybe good news for Rubio - that he's just not all that smart enough to worry about it.

If I'm wrong - & Rubio's got more brains than I suppose - I would LOVE for it all to turn out something like this:


Lit3Bolt said...

The media is belching adoration for Rubio the exact same way they did for W. There's a bit of cynicism in that cheering, as most national journalists currently would cheer for an Abolishment of Roe, zero capital gains taxes, or War with Iran. They know who would earn them more money, and then they can write "hoocoldanode?" Pieces when the country goes to shit with Republican control of the government. Pulitzers for all!!

Never Ben Better said...

Welp, right now Trump is beating the rest like so many rented mules, then it's Kasich, Cruz, Bush, then Rubio. If these rankings hold it's gonna be tough for the Rubibot to spin this as a win.

petrilli said...


John Robinson said...

"But Osnos knows that, darn it, there's a good Rubio in there, crying to be let out"

There is still good in him - I've felt it!