In the interest of full disclosure, I cribbed that headline from the comments section of Balloon Juice. But seriously, Marco Rubio what the hell was that about last night? Even before he ducked out of the frame, goggle-eyed, for a gulp of water, Rubio was itchy, twitchy, scratching his face, wiping his brow. When he finally settled down and stopped distracting me from what he was saying, the content of his speech was boilerplate GOP — nothing we haven’t heard from Paul Ryan or even, for that matter, Mitt Romney. It certainly was not a “rebuttal” to anything President Obama said last night.
I think I pretty much nailed it yesterday when I predicted the Republican rebuttal would be the SOS — same old stuff. What I wasn’t prepared for was the whining about how mean President Obama and the Democrats have been to Republicans. You guys really want to be the party of thin-skinned babies? Especially after the truly horrid things your side has said about the country’s first African-American president? That may work with the base but not with anyone else.
The tone was just way, way off. “The president is such a big fat meanie! He says we hate Medicare, but we don’t hate Medicare! My dad depended on Medicare! We just hate Medicare for people who are age 50 and under.” Yeah, that would be me, buddy. From my cold, dead hands. And how is this different from what Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney campaigned on?
Rubio might have a compelling immigrants’ story, except there’s a little problem with some serial exaggerations of said family tale — the same issues which kept him off the Romney ticket in the first place. He resonated the most when he said, “I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in,” and, “my neighbors aren’t millionaires.” But I heard that and thought, dude, you’re just begging someone to go online and actually find the Rubio house and post pictures of it — something relatively easy to do because the place is for sale, for $675,000. Oops.
While the Rubios may not be in the market for a car elevator, it’s not exactly the image he portrayed last night of retirees dependent on Social Security and workers struggling to get by. Also, this is just one of two homes he owns in Florida, as HuffPo points out. I don’t begrudge Rubio his nice home, hey I have a nice home, too. But I don’t pretend I live in a neighborhood full of immigrants fresh off the boat working as day laborers and dishwashers, trying to climb their way up the ladder. I know that’s not what Rubio said but it’s what he alluded to. And by the way, those are the people who really need an increase in the minimum wage and a chance to organize into a labor union, instead of getting fired for taking a single sick day. I don’t think your “government is the problem not the solution” message resonates with them. But whatever.
Oh, I could go on. But really, this is the guy Time magazine called “The Republican Savior”? Yeah, don’t think so.
Stay thirsty, Republicans.