Kindermord, GOP Style*

What is it with the folks over at the GOP command bunker?

The State of the Union response gig is a fool’s errand.  Nobody really cares about it; the media resents having to halt whatever self-amuse may be hair-ifying their palms; and the atmospherics of the actual speech are going to suck. No matter how much they may try (and they usually don’t very much)** you can’t win a visual comparison with a presidential address before a joint session of Congress.

Going up on the teevee after the President on such occasions is a necessary evil for the out-party, something that somebody has to do.  There’s a ton of pressure, and the near-certainty of losing the comparison with the act you’re attempting to follow

So:  do you put the rookie talent you’re trying to nurture into a role where merely avoiding embarrassment is a triumph?  Or do you choose someone who’s been to the dance before?

Bougival_Dance

If you’re the GOP, you burn Bobby Jindal four years ago, and now you toss Marco Rubio into a steaming pile of that which emerges from the south end of a north-facing horse.

Seriously — this makes no sense.  In both cases two men that the Republican party at least seems to think are potential major national players were tossed into a structurally difficult task at the very beginning of their big-league political careers.

Both did worse than I think their handlers may have expected, but where was the sense in taking the risk at all?  It’s years yet –at least a couple, before the public presidential race kicks in.  There’s no conceivable benefit to the individuals or the party that could flow from a speech in these circumstances that will matter in any deep way either to the actual political process in the here and now, nor to presidential politics coming down the pike. Doesn’t it make more sense to send up there somebody who has been up and down the course a couple of times and can be trusted to come home with as few bogies as possible?

I know, I know.  In both the Jindal and Rubio examples there is a party motive: the attempt to portray the Republican gerontocracy as something other than old and pale.  But, to continue to mix metaphors, this is a case of eating your seed corn.  Jindal is still a figure of fun; Rubio took a real blow last night, IMHO.  It just seems like crappy long-term political management to me.  Which, of course, is just fine, coming from that side of the aisle.  Long may such fecklessness wave!

*Grim origin-event for this title.

**That said, you can do better or worse, and last night’s GOP set was truly horrendous.  My wife, a two-time Emmy award winning designer (bragsplaining, I know), wondered if the folks in the Republican brain trust have even heard of the concept of  production values.  Bad camera line, crappy camera-subject geometry, and cliched, busy visual design.  I know how hard it is to make a single-camera shot against a backdrop sing.  But it is a mere matter of professional skill to do it not-awfully.  Rubio, for all his own sins, was ill-served by those who should have taken much more care.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Dance at Bougivalbetw. c. 1882 adn 1883.

200 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    Going up on the teevee after the President on such occasions is a necessary evil for the out-party, something that somebody has to do.

    Why? I know it’s sort of a tradition, but unlike the SotU itself, the response isn’t mandated by the Constitution or indeed any sort of law. Given how it’s basically impossible to do a good job and nobody actually cares except for the mockery, wouldn’t it be better for the out party to simply not give a response at all?

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    @dmsilev: They would just be better off hiring Funny or Die to make a video for them.

    At least then people would be laughing with them.

  3. 3

    @dmsilev: No clue. How ever, it can be done. See Jim Webb(is it really 6 or so years ago now?). I just find it funny that Rubio’s bomb was the same week as Time’s stupid Rubio cover. Hahaha!!

  4. 4
    kbsuttle says:

    The GOP is going to put short-term interest over long wherever the two come into conflict. It’s in their political and biological DNA. Where they have shown sensible long-term thinking, as in the takeover of local and state legislatures, that has come without any sacrifice to short-term interests.

  5. 5
    JGabriel says:

    Tom Levenson @ Top:

    Rubio took a real blow last night, IMHO.

    That was always going to happen, Tom. Rubio is just not very bright.

    To be fair though, I didn’t think Rubio’s performance would be quite this bad either. I always figured he’d flame out in the debates; he’s usually competent enough to deliver a speech, as long as someone else wrote it for him.

    .

  6. 6
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “In both cases two men that the Republican party at least seems to think are potential major national players”

    Really? Do you really believe the Repubs would vote for an East Indian or Latino President? Doubt it.

  7. 7
    Epicurus says:

    Are you implying they should have enlisted Cheney to do the job? Or perhaps Karl Rove? They are dumb, just not that dumb. Love your postings, and especial thanks for sharing all the great art. Much appreciated.

  8. 8
    Dan says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Yup. Neither Jindal nor Rubio were ever going to get the GOP seal of approval. The people running the show knew what they were doing when they threw them to the wolves.

  9. 9
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dmsilev:

    Given how it’s basically impossible to do a good job and nobody actually cares except for the mockery, wouldn’t it be better for the out party to simply not give a response at all?

    If they did that, the msm wouldn’t be able to find the golden middle point between the two parties. And then where would we be?

    Well? Stumped, ain’tcha?

  10. 10
    maya says:

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind in tin foil around the current notion that the GOP now gets two replies to the SOTU speech. One from each end of the elephant?

    I could understand it if there were actually three parties but WTF?

    If this is now the new precedent for the US congress shouldn’t the progressive caucus of the Democratic party get their own Evian and podium too?

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @dmsilev: now that it’s a tradition, it would look weak to not give one, and I imagine the only people who want to do it are people looking to build their national profile. The party elders seem to genuinely nothing reaches the heartland– the people who wheeze up to them on their Medicare scooters to talk about wanting their country “back”– like talking about Solyndra and what a big meanie is President Socialist T. Lazy Teleprompter, the stupid non-citizen affirmative action president who doesn’t understand what it means to be an American, and apparently the younger generation think Haley Barbour and Rush Limbaugh are political geniuses (genii?).

    I’m looking around to see what Beltway Centrists thought of Rubio, and neither of usual sources, Sullivan and Joe Klein, have weighed in. Anybody know

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It just seems like crappy long-term political management to me.

    Well, this is the party that gave us the “MBA Preznit”, and MBAs are notorious for thinking there is nothing at all beyond the end of the current fiscal quarter. Short term thinking all the way.

  13. 13
    Culture of Truth says:

    It’s national television. It’s just too tempting.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Of course they’d be able to find that middle point. Take one Obama SotU speech, contrast with a dozen or so tweets from random GOP politicians, and split the difference.

    Easy.

  15. 15
    Petorado says:

    Considering that the GOP selects people for leadership based on appearance or other frivolities (trucks, barn coats, car elevators, the smell of aqua velva, chins, and hair), Rubio looked pretty crappy last night. But then again, the GOP is in to the mullet style of politics: give the impression of leadership up front, but the real business of the party is in the back.

  16. 16
    Gex says:

    Then answer, of course, is that they really don’t want these two fellows or fellows like them to be the future. They’ll take it if they must in order to win, but these guys are first and foremost tokens meant to show liberals something or other. Posturing first. Strategy/tactics second.

  17. 17
    MikeJ says:

    I know how hard it is to make a single-camera shot against a backdrop sing.

    You know, there’s no law saying it has to be a single camera shot. Find a megachurch that broadcasts on Sundays. Fill it with Hitlerjugend that know how to cheer on cue. Shoot with multiple cameras and rehearse the fuck out of it. Have your own people doing to mixing and don’t give the nets raw camera feeds.

  18. 18
    Culture of Truth says:

    One reason why, if not Dems, at least other Republicans should be nervous about Chris Christie. He’s not dumb enough to sign up for something like this (indeed, he’s smart to bask in Obama’s glow)

    but… if he did, he wouldn’t screw it up and the camera person who did would sleep with the fishes.

  19. 19
    Scuffletuffle says:

    TEleprmpterzez!!!!

  20. 20
    Steeplejack says:

    @JGabriel:

    Linky no work. I fix. Rubio takes a drink.

  21. 21
    JGabriel says:

    Bad link @JGabriel #4 above, here’s the correct link to: Rubio’s performance gaffe.

    Edited to add:

    @Steeplejack: Heh. Two minds with but a single fix.

    .

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Really? Do you really believe the Repubs would vote for an East Indian or Latino President? Doubt it.

    Recall that the conventional wisdom was that the fundies would NEVER vote for a non-Christian Mormon type.

    Yet somehow they found a way to vote for the infidel, because he wore the correct political colors despite his foul heretical belief system.

  23. 23

    They honestly believe that Obama is an unpopular president and an incompetent speaker. They honestly believe that they’re all geniuses and will shine in front of the camera. Most particularly, they honestly believe that any minute now America will snap out of it and realize that it’s the GOP that loved them all along and will come back and it’ll all be wonderful this time, baby, I’m off the booze and anyway I don’t have a problem.

  24. 24
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I never thought they’d go with a Mormon, and the base hated McCain, they just thought he could beat Hillary, who looked like the front-runner when they swallowed and accepted the old coot. I still think they’ll go back to the well of gray flannel suits for a late middle aged white guy (Thune, Daniels, Jebbie, X), but I could see them convincing themselves Rubio’s a star. I’m more surprised that Rubio’s willing (apparently) to take on Hillary. I think his best bet is to work his boyish charm on David Gregory and Cokie Roberts for the next eight, ten, twelve years

  25. 25
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Really? Do you really believe the Repubs would vote for an East Indian or Latino President? Doubt it.

    Yeah, this looks like win-win for the lizard brains. They do their tokenism thing, allow the neophyte cannon fodder to confirm the prejudiced sterotypes of their base, and ensure that the person getting the nomination is Traditional White Dude and not Different Up-and-comer. Let’s face it. Deep down, these people are bigots and they’re not going to trust giving their national standard to someone they think is biologically inferior.

  26. 26
    Shrillhouse says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    It’s national television. It’s just too tempting.

    Yup. It’s definitely a “high-risk/high-reward scenario.” If Rubio had come across as reasonably articulate, charismatic and intelligent, the media would have labelled the speech a “game-changer” and would have upped the already-considerable adulation that this guy gets.

    Regrettably for Rubio, he pretty much Jindalled himself.

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    @maya:
    Are the Party response and the Tea Party response on the same page in all things, or is there significant daylight between their respective positions on anything important?

  28. 28
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yeah. He was white. (Almost left in the shite typo.)

  29. 29
    Culture of Truth says:

    Really? Do you really believe the Repubs would vote for an East Indian or Latino President? Doubt it.

    Yes. We went down this road before. But thes best evidence that Republicans would vote for an Indian or Latino for high office is… they already did.

  30. 30
    scuffletuffle says:

    Also, too and completely OT…but I am now obsessed–OBSESSED, GODDAMMIT–with Rory McCann/Sandor Clegane and am barely able to function due to being overcome by lustfulness. This does not bode well for America’s future. I blame BJ….and OBAMA!

  31. 31
    JGabriel says:

    @MikeJ:

    You know, there’s no law saying it has to be a single camera shot. … Shoot with multiple cameras and rehearse the fuck out of it. Have your own people doing to mixing …

    It’s a pity for the GOP that Leni Reifenstahl is still dead.

    .

  32. 32
    maya says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t care what differences there may or may not be between the big endian and little endian rumps of the Republican party. Until members of congress who are part of the Tea party actually have a (T) after their names on a FOX News chryon there should only be one response allowed per ACTUAL registered party.

    Of course, the theater spectacle of making two asses out of one elephant is delicious.

  33. 33
    Bokonon says:

    The other problem is that while Jindal and Rubio are considered contenders inside the GOP’s own hothouse bubble, they don’t play so well when presented to the people on the outside of that bubble, who aren’t true believers.

    It is a problem both of their offputting political program AND the chosen messengers.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Butch says:

    I think the overall problem is that deep down, Rubio has the personality of a glass of warm milk. But I’m surprised – I have read hardly a word about Rand Paul’s also-reaction speech. I thought it would at least be worth mocking some.

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    @JGabriel: Say what you will about the tenets of National Soçialism, at least they had good production values.

  37. 37
    Lex says:

    The odd thing is that for a long time, and until quite recently, the GOP used to be VERY GOOD at production values, if, by “good,” you mean “able to sway large numbers of rubes.” Mike Deaver in the Reagan White House really turned visuals into an art form, and then there’s the “Mission Accomplished” carrier landing that not only impressed a lot of red voters but even had Chris Matthews, who ought to know better as he works in the medium, trying to conceal his wood under the desktop.

    Weird. Did all the production designers switch to the Democratic Party when no one was looking? Not that I would blame them, but ’tis curious.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Should a title have a footnote, Tom? I ask because you teach writing and all. How would that be graded on a student paper?

  40. 40
    lol says:

    @maya:

    Did anyone actually air Rand Paul’s speech? I thought it was on-line only.

    It’s really just another sign that the GOP is publicly divided against itself.

  41. 41
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Yutsano: Awesome! Thanks for the link.

  42. 42
    MikeJ says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It’s ok to break any rule that makes the writing better, as long as you’re aware that you’re breaking a rule.

  43. 43
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Yutsano: The ‘tute has always been pretty accepting of differences (just not of being dumb.)

  44. 44
    mdblanche says:

    I checked out that grim origin link. It looks like the Germans made the same mistake the GOP did last night while the British did not. Neither strategy did very well. Sometimes you’re just screwed.

  45. 45
    JGabriel says:

    @maya:

    Until members of congress who are part of the Tea party actually have a (T) after their names on a FOX News chryon there should only be one response allowed per ACTUAL registered party.

    I don’t know about that. Why settle for the spectacle of one Republican presidential hopeful obliterating his support with a crappy speech when we can get two of them doing that in the same night?

    It’s two flame-outs for the price of one!

    .

  46. 46
    jl says:

    I missed the SOU speech but heard Rubio’s response. Aside from the deer in the headlights ggrrrrup-GWLP moment, it was a primitive rote regurgitation of reactionary GOP party line, with some incoherent, self-contradictory shout outs to student loans, and social welfare programs that disproportionately benefit the GOP base.

    I don’t see why they have to can them ahead of time. Of course, if they have no real honest ideas that will appeal to most people and the product is a posturing pastiche of con deceit, old lies, and fakery, then maybe a canned speech is a better approach.

    Can Rubio be as stiff and sound as shifty in Spanish? Any Spanish speakers here know?

    I hope that the most honest and prescient part of the speech (for the GOP) was the sneaky water grab and “ggrrrrup-GWLP”.

  47. 47
    soonergrunt says:

    @Amir Khalid: Not really. More a matter of degrees than anything else.
    One is out of touch and offering tired old jeremiads and half-baked “solutions” that have never stood the test of time, and the other is all of that with extra crazy eyes.

  48. 48
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    There’s a hierarchy to that stuff, and I say this as someone who never believed Romney’s Mormonism would count when push came to shove. Jindall and Rubio are definitely lower in that hierarchy than Romney was, Identity-wise. Exactly how much lower, I can’t say.

  49. 49
    Al Brito says:

    Can you sat flop sweat?

  50. 50
    👽 Martin says:

    Yeah, the response to the SOTU is just a big bag of risk. There’s almost no way to come out ahead on it. And I’m still kind of stunned that Rubio, in his big national primetime broadcast moment couldn’t get through a 5 minute speech without the water lunge. For all the wingnut tears over Beyonce lip syncing, at least she didn’t stop after ‘the rockets red glare’ to hydrate.

  51. 51
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Gin & Tonic: There is no limit to the appropriateness of footnotes (as I learned in a long-ago paper in the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

    So the only question for a title with a footnote is whether or not it amused me.

  52. 52
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Butch: Rubio has the personality of a glass of warm milk

    That’s my take too. Megan McArdle thought he was forceful and charismatic like a perfectly grounded and roasted spice, even Michael Grunwald was impressed. I wasn’t. But then I was immune to the alleged charms of Reagan, Bush II and even Bubba, so I guess I’m charm-blind or charisma-deaf or something.

  53. 53
    JustMe says:

    It’s definitely a “high-risk/high-reward scenario.”

    But the “reward” part never plays out. Even the most successful reply to the SOTU that I can remember, Sen. Jim Webb’s, didn’t result in any significant political rewards for him, other than not humiliating himself and being known as “the guy who managed to give a good reply to the SOTU.”

  54. 54
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Megan McArdle thought he was forceful and charismatic

    Oh, poor bastard, he’s toast. She who is always wrong has jinxed him forever.

  55. 55
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind in tin foil around the current notion that the GOP now gets two replies to the SOTU speech. One from each end of the elephant?

    @maya: Same end of the elephant far as I can tell.

    Found it interesting that the radio this AM was broadcasting a tiny bit Ryan’s whining about how Obama treated them like shit, but not Rubio’s. Probably the lisp. Of the gulping. But yeah, I was confused when I heard Ryan this morning, as I was pretty sure that Rubio had done the rebuttal.

    Kremlinology, I know, but I think this points to some kind of split within the GOP.

  56. 56
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Shrillhouse:

    Regrettably for Rubio, he pretty much Jindalled himself.

    [My italics]

    Is “to Jindal” necessarily reflexive? Can one Jindal someone else, e.g., “The G.O.P. Jindalled Rubio” (by sending him out there)?

  57. 57
    Rex Everything says:

    You should have figured out what the term “fool’s errand” actually means (it’s a time-wasting task that can’t actually be completed, like finding the end of a rainbow). Giving the rebuttal is just a thankless job. Increasing the GOP’s electability by doubling down on its ideology is a fool’s errand.

  58. 58
    Chris says:

    @Lex:

    The odd thing is that for a long time, and until quite recently, the GOP used to be VERY GOOD at production values, if, by “good,” you mean “able to sway large numbers of rubes.”

    Honestly, I came to political awareness in the 2000s so I can’t say this for sure, but I think it’s the rubes that have changed, not the party or its speakers. Sarah Palin doesn’t strike me as different in any meaningful way from Ronald Reagan. The reason he was a triumph and she was a freak show is that the percentage of rubes who respond to Angry White Conservative word salad is distinctly lower than it used to be.

  59. 59
    jl says:

    I haven’t had time to listen to whole SOTU yet, or even look for the Tea Party response.

    It is a good sign that the GOP is so unified now that there are two factions who feel that they have to give separate responses.

    If Rubio’s performance is any sign, maybe the more the better.

    Maybe next year we can have three: old school GOP, a corporate astro-turf Tea Party response, and a grass-roots tea party response. Maybe some GOP used car dealership association won’t get their goodies next year and will want to have their own response. That would make four.

    How about a Big Bank GOP faction giving a response. That would be interesting too.

  60. 60

    @Amir Khalid:
    The media STILL hasn’t admitted that the Tea Party are Republicans. Every once in awhile one of them will mention the possibility to show how contrarian and savvy he is.

  61. 61
    oldster says:

    ‘Bougival”? Really?

    I’m pretty sure I remember that disco hit–by Lipps, Inc, right?

    “Won’t you take me to, Bougival?”

    Ah, 1980 was a great year….

  62. 62
    handsmile says:

    Reports out of Trenton say that Chris Christie is so delighted by the latest “GOP Savior”‘s performance last night that extra boxes of Krispy Kremes have been delivered to the governor’s office today.

    And he’s placing yet another call to former White House doctor, Connie Marciano.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....hack-.html

  63. 63
    Sly says:

    @dmsilev:

    Why? I know it’s sort of a tradition, but unlike the SotU itself, the response isn’t mandated by the Constitution or indeed any sort of law.

    The State of the Union wasn’t supposed to be a big political speech in the minds of the Framers, but the nature of the speech itself (of course it is a political speech… the President is asking Congress to do things), combined with the pomp and circumstance of the television age, made it a big political event. And our sense of fairness about political speeches necessitates that the opposition has a chance to lay out their views, even if its not formally part of the event. It’s not a coincidence that the first SOTU response occurred in 1966.

  64. 64
    Jay C says:

    @Gin & Tonic: @Tom Levenson:

    And in any case*, the footnote IS there, at the bottom of the whole post (after the “More” link).

    * in this case, a case of “Read The Whole Thing”

  65. 65
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @MikeJ:

    You know, there’s no law saying it has to be a single camera shot.

    Your comment explains why I just laugh when someone on the other side uses the words “tech savvy”. Although broadcast television is decades older than even the membership of the GOP, they still haven’t managed to master even the basics of effectively using it.

  66. 66
    Journalmalist says:

    “Self-amuse” and the hairy palms? You mean self abuse?

  67. 67
    jl says:

    @Chris:

    In Reagan’s day, there were still enough sane people in the GOP that Reagan could go moderate when goofy reactionary policies were turning into obvious disasters, and Reagan could go moderate without causing a widespread party revolt.

    Despite his 90 percent awfulness, Reagan did make a couple of very good big decisions, and the nutcase reactionaries in the party labeled him a traitor.

    Current long term problem for the GOP is that the nutcase base that labeled Reagan a traitor when he decided to follow a few sane policies (eg, dealing with Soviets, income tax increase) is now a large majority of the GOP base.

    Palin made bank entertaining the base, and that is all she ever did, just like the GOP primary field this year. Reagan had enough sane base so he could depart from that script when it was obviously the best thing to do to retain political success.

  68. 68
    NonyNony says:

    @dmsilev:

    Given how it’s basically impossible to do a good job and nobody actually cares except for the mockery, wouldn’t it be better for the out party to simply not give a response at all?

    Do you really think that the GOP could just not respond to a State of the Union? Really? That a Democratic President (let’s not even go down the path of Black Democratic Kenyan Muslim Election Stealing President for a moment here) could have time to present his/her view on the way the world is and the way the world should be WITHOUT the GOP stepping in to give their own point of view?

    I actually favor the SOTU response as a matter of democracy. In a democracy, the opposition party(s) SHOULD stand up and present their alternative view, whether it’s required or not. More information is good information.

    My beef is that the person who gives the response should be some kind of opposition leader, not just a guy that the party is trying to give an amateur screen test to to see if he is going to have the chops to run for president (or worse as we’ve seen the GOP do recently – some “token minority” for them to trot out and say “look we’re not all old white men – we’ve got men of all colors and ages in our party”).

    The person giving the rebuttal should be John Boehner or Mitch McConnell, because they’re the highest elected Republican officials in the government and are responsible for being the opposition and presenting their alternative world view to the country. Failing that it should be whoever the head of the Party is (so perhaps Reince Prebius needs to be summoned back from the 5th dimension to give the response).

  69. 69
    jonas says:

    @Patricia Kayden: eh, as long as said brown person’s *cultural identification* is essentially Wealthy White Christian, their skin color is not a problem.

  70. 70
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Journalmalist: Of course. The switch was there just to amuse myself.

  71. 71
    mdblanche says:

    @Phil Perspective: The magazine cover was not a coincidence. The Village Idiots were all set to do their part to promote Rubio as the GOP savior before he inevitably blew it. You would think they’ve been around enough to have seen this coming, but apparently not. They’re so out of touch they still think magazine covers are relevant.

    @handsmile: I have less of a problem with Governor Harkonen’s weight and more of a problem with his thin skinned response. If this is how he deals with his critics, I would shudder to give him presidential power.

  72. 72
    Zifnab25 says:

    I don’t think the SOtU response needs to be a waste. If anything, it gives the rival party an opportunity to highlight points the President has made and stating their (conditional) support for them. It offers them a chance at counter-proposals. It’s a platform for publicly visible negotiation.

    But Republicans don’t want to play it that way in an environment where being seen as agreeing with the President on anything is toxic to the base. So the response ends up being “No, no, no! We agree to nothing, and we think the President smells like poop.” In an age where Republicans are already painted heavily as obstructionist and backward, Rubio seems to have simply furthered the stereotype for anyone that bothered watching.

  73. 73
    Chris says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Are the Party response and the Tea Party response on the same page in all things, or is there significant daylight between their respective positions on anything important?

    Conservatives, even more than any other political movement, need to periodically reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant, as the things they used to stand for become out-of-the-mainstream, tainted, even despised. When that happens, a “new” conservatism has to be forged, which can continue to preach “traditional values” while still distancing itself from the people who’ve become too toxic to touch.

    The Tea Party Movement is the latest iteration of that – people who ten years ago were rabid supporters of George W. Bush, and are now claiming that they were actually the “real” conservatives for whom Bush’s GOP was totally too mainstream, maaann.

    An earlier example would be how the religious right, a generation ago, was basically the segregationist movement reinventing itself as something that totally had nothing to do with all that embarrassing past of cross-burnings and lynchings, but could still agitate for Southern cultural and racial chauvinism.

  74. 74
    Boots Day says:

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind in tin foil around the current notion that the GOP now gets two replies to the SOTU speech. One from each end of the elephant?

    Well, anyone can give a response to the SOTU if they want to. Dennis Kucinich could give a rebuttal. Ted Nugent could give a rebuttal. Ward Churchill could give a rebuttal.

    The question is, who feels obligated to air those views? Did any TV network put Rand Paul’s speech on live? I don’t think hardly anyone ended up paying attention to it.

  75. 75
    NonyNony says:

    @maya:

    I don’t care what differences there may or may not be between the big endian and little endian rumps of the Republican party. Until members of congress who are part of the Tea party actually have a (T) after their names on a FOX News chryon there should only be one response allowed per ACTUAL registered party.

    Oh I disagree – there should be as many responses as the opposition needs to shoot their mouths off.

    This falls into the realm of “if your opponent is drowning, throw him an anvil” territory – the more “responses” to the SOTU, the more obvious it is that the Republicans are fractured and splintering and have no plan and can’t figure out what to do and …

    I swear, after living pretty much my entire life with the narrative of “Democrats In Disarray” being the default, it’s kind of interesting to watch the GOP splintering in real time. I mean, I watched the faction war during the ’92 Presidential cycle (when I was a young Republican idiot, so I watched it from the inside), but I have to tell you – the Ross Perot love was qualitatively different than the Tea Party factionalizing going on now.

  76. 76
    Hungry Joe says:

    This seems beyond basic, but a response should be, well, a response. Why not deliver it the next day, when the opposition party can address points of disagreement in the SOTU instead of just turning the night into Dueling Speeches? Sure, the audience would be smaller, but it’d be an opportunity to give a real — here’s that word again — response.

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    anybody watching MSNBC? Chuck Todd is scolding Obama for not using more often the unifying talents he displayed in the last ten minutes of last night’s speech. Jeff Sessions wants to agree with Obama, but Obama won’t make him do it! These people are extraordinary.

  78. 78
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Chris: Circumstances have changed since the late 70s, early 80s. In the 70s the major economic problem was inflation, now it is unemployment. The world has changed. But the GOP has not, what may have seemed somewhat sensible then, does not seem so right now. Like you the first election that I really paid attention to was the GWB vs Gore. So I don’t know this first hand, whether Reagan was just Palin in a suit or had more substance.

  79. 79
    amk says:

    @Paddy: that was creepy. especially, the ending with a crook’s smile.

  80. 80
    Tonal Crow says:

    Don’t underestimate Rubio’s appeal to low-information voters. He spoke to the emotions, which — as far as persuading voters goes — nearly always beats speaking to the intellect. And he didn’t come off as lecturing or condescending, unlike Bobby Jindal.

    Don’t underestimate Republicans’ ability to sell America a beautifully-painted shit sandwich.

  81. 81
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    This seems beyond basic, but a response should be, well, a response. Why not deliver it the next day, when the opposition party can address points of disagreement in the SOTU instead of just turning the night into Dueling Speeches?

    Your idea would only make for a better response if the GOP was capable of addressing the points made in the SotU and offering alternatives. No matter how long the delay, today’s GOP response would still be a whinging, self-pitying, laundry list of ideas that were discredited decades ago.

  82. 82
    MomSense says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    Yeah the launch of Rubio 2016 was a little premature.

  83. 83
    bemused says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    It always comes down to low information, extremely emotional voters.

  84. 84
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Saying that Republican voters wouldn’t vote for Rubio is like saying that they wouldn’t vote for a charisma challenged Mormon with an overweening sense of entitlement.

  85. 85
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The GOP response is basically “ZOMG, the sheriff just whipped it out!” without bothering to address in any meaningful, intellege…oh, right…way the substance of Obama’s speech.

    They can’t believe that this ni*CLANG* is still kicking their worthless pasty white asses. They just cannot believe it.

  86. 86
    GxB says:

    @Paddy: I was envisioning an aural mashup synched to the intro bassline of Pink Floyd’s “Money.”

    Pop, sip, click-clak, GUUULP!, pop, snap, click, crack…

  87. 87
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m not watching, but this is a common refrain in the Village. Republican insanity is actually Obama’s fault.

  88. 88
    maya says:

    The repubs missed a golden opportunity last night. They could have had Ted Nugent talking to an empty gun.

  89. 89
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @maya:

    Please provide a shipping address that we may send you the Internets.

    Excellent work!

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Well, of course it is! If Obama wasn’t a Marxist Kenyan Muslim Atheist, the Rethugs wouldn’t have been driven to insanity!

  91. 91
    Yutsano says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Oh the 27%ers will do as they’re told and vote for whoever the Republicans put up. But they will not be happy about voting for a potentially illegal brown, and I just don’t foresee where Rubio has any primary strength outside of Florida. Hell I wouldn’t even give him Florida.

  92. 92
    Ash Can says:

    I don’t really buy the notion that the GOP torched Jindal and Rubio on purpose. I think it’s just yet another case of the GOP going with appearances and not thinking things through — the Dems just elected a black guy, so we need to counter with our own non-white (Jindal); we need to get Latino votes away from the Dems, so let’s get our own Latino in front of the camera (Rubio); there are a lot of female Dem voters who are pissed that Hillary didn’t get the nomination, so let’s capture them by putting our own woman on the ticket (Palin). So naturally, basing their personnel choices on appearance alone, they set less-than-competent people up for failure. They can’t get it though their heads that, at least for a majority of the voters they’re aiming for, it’s not the messenger, it’s the message. I’d be very interested to see some reaction from the Latino community to Rubio’s Spanish-language speech. I’d be willing to bet that it would be less along the lines of “Ooh, he’s one of us! Cool!” and more along the lines of “Dude, your policies blow. GTFO.”

    As for the GOP getting two rebuttals, there’s a difference between demanding attention and getting it. Rand Paul can declare himself the Tea Party standard bearer and rant until he’s blue in the face, but if the only publicity he gets is on line, who gives a crap?

    @Hungry Joe: I think you’re thinking of transitive and intransitive verbs. Transitive verbs need follow-ups or they leave you hanging. If Rubio sweats, that’s intransitive, because you’re not left wondering what he’s sweating (although follow-up words such as “bullets” are illustrative). If he Jindals, however, you’re left wondering who exactly is the poor mope getting Jindalled. In the case of the original sentence it’s him, but it’s also true that the GOP Jindalled him by thrusting him into a position that they should have known he couldn’t handle without fucking up. Either one works.

    /pedant

  93. 93
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Reagan seemed to have more substance. He really didn’t, as we unfortunately came to find out. IOW he was better at presentation, he understood how to stand in front of a camera and not sound like an idiot. What he didn’t understand was how not to be one. None of the current crop of retards has the skill of presentation. They all have the skill of being idiots.
    One difference is that modern conservatism was young in Reagan’s day and not as many understood how bad it was. Now we have people who understand and people with their heads stuck either in the sand or their asses. Hopefully more will understand. That is our job, to get more to understand.

  94. 94

    I’m up in Orange County today and got stuck on an elevator this morning for 25 minutes and had to listen to two old white men debate whether Rubio’s speech was great or teh greatest evar. I ended up sitting on the floor of the elevator with my head in my hands. These guys really believe that having a brah person serve their reheated ideas will bring people to the feeding trough.

  95. 95
    chopper says:

    @Paddy:

    omg, that was funny.

  96. 96
    handsmile says:

    @mdblanche:

    Indeed, Christie is just another example of how staggeringly, absurdly flawed the GOP 2016 “bench” is, and how easily its incompetence is exposed despite the Village media’s eager fluffing. Perhaps it’s time for a revival of Thune-mentum!

    (also too: hadn’t read “Governor Harkonen” before. very nice!)

  97. 97
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Yutsano:
    Depends on whether Rubio is facing 2012-type Republican hopefuls plus Rand Paul. If that’s the case then all bets are off.

  98. 98
    Ruckus says:

    @Ash Can:
    Your first graph was exactly what I was saying about Reagan. A well spoken, older white guy presenting all the “right” words with the right inflections. He looked good and sounded good and the timing was right. The policies sucked, as they still do but that’s not what most heard. With the current crop none of them do presentation well so it is easier to hear the policies, which still suck, as I think Betty stated a few days ago, donkey’s balls.

  99. 99
    JustRuss says:

    @Tonal Crow: Exactly. Imagine how Romney would have done instead of Rubio. Aside from the water gaff, I don’t see him doing any better. And he got a hell of a lot of people to vote for him. Rubio has a pretty deep hole to climb out of, but he has plenty of time.

  100. 100
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @JGabriel:

    It’s a pity for the GOP that Leni Reifenstahl is still dead.

    So is Ronald Reagan and that never stops ’em from digging him up when they feel a need to…

  101. 101
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You are right to a certain extent. However, I’ve heard some fundies state that they sat out the last election because there was no way in hell that they were going to vote for a Cultist, i.e., Romneybot 2.0. I wonder how many decided not to vote this last time because The Bot wasn’t Christian enough for them. Pure speculation on my part though.

    But I’m sure you already know that the Birthers don’t like Rubio.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/p.....197628.ece

  102. 102
    Ash Can says:

    @Ruckus: Commenter Renato described Reagan perfectly a while back when he said here that Reagan made people feel good about being American the way large quantities of alcohol make one feel better about losing one’s house and job and being broke.

  103. 103
    Yutsano says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Did they call him little brown boy just for good measure?

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I think the Republicans have no idea who their saviour is gonna be, so they’re flopping all over the place trying to find The One. I don’t think that gets determined until the internecine fights die down, which doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon.

  104. 104
    catclub says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I figure that is partly sour grapes, not admitting to voting for the loser, whether they did or not. Opposite of the bandwagon effect.

    I just want to call him Marco Rubio Polio

  105. 105

    @Yutsano: No, but they did get into the “Hispanics are naturally conservative” deal.

  106. 106
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Hispanics may be naturally conservative, but GOP is anything but. It is a party of crazy radical ideas.

  107. 107
    quannlace says:

    Maybe next year we can have three: old school GOP, a corporate astro-turf Tea Party response, and a grass-roots tea party response. Maybe some GOP used car dealership

    And if they start piling up, they can have a Thunderdome type smackdown to decide who goes before the camera. That’ll guarantee viewership and will make Chris Mathews chuckle.

  108. 108
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Ash Can: I think this is right. Republicans just aren’t good at understanding how the other side approaches issues. When things are going well for them, that’s a good thing, because it means they get things done without too much hand-wringing. When things are going badly for them they just flail around hopelessly.

  109. 109
    John says:

    @Epicurus:

    Why not just have John Cornyn and Eric Cantor do it, or something like that? Guys slightly more telegenic than McConnell and Boehner, but who don’t really have any ambitions beyond congress, and who can give a passable laundry list of Republican talking points?

  110. 110
  111. 111

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yup. The only principle that the GOP has left is keeping itself relevant for another day via resentment.

  112. 112
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    So the only question for a title with a footnote is whether or not it amused me.

    Wonderful description. Thank you.

  113. 113
    Yutsano says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: It’s always fun to mention that conservative no longer automatically means Republican. Hell sometimes they treat Republican like it’s a dirty word.

  114. 114
    Cassidy says:

    Megan McArdle thought he was forceful and charismatic like a perfectly grounded and roasted spice

    Do you think she had the vibe turned on and warmed up or waited until he started speaking to set the mood?

  115. 115
    jibeaux says:

    Saw somewhere on the twitter machines that the stages of GOP grief are 1) denial, 2) denial, 3) denial, 4) denial, and 5) denial.

    It fits SO MANY situations!

  116. 116
    Turgidson says:

    @Dan:

    I’m starting to agree with this. Rubio was what passes for a pretty face that they could shove in front of the cameras to demonstrate how serious they were about changing their tune. If he help up under the glare with his dignity intact, great, let him run in 2016 and see what happens. But I don’t think having him give the response was an effort to set him up for that.

    Rubio’s a shiny object for the media to chase, and to be the face of the “see, we don’t hate brown people” marketing con job, while they figure out which white rich (or rich-worshipping, at least) asshole to run in 2016 with the new “we don’t hate brown people” brand in place.

  117. 117
    mikefromArlington says:

    Funniest tweet I saw was along the lines of:

    ”I usually don’t drink water but when I do, it’s during the most important political speech of my life’

    #staythirsty

  118. 118
    raven says:

    @Turgidson: The idea that these cuban nutcases like him and Cruz are going to attract great numbers of latin folks is dumb. As my Newyorekan buddy says “fucking arrogant cubans!”

  119. 119

    Fucking banks, man:

    Banks holding over $200 million in Sandy payments

    […]

    The state’s Department of Financial Services found that four of the biggest U.S. banks — Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank and JP Morgan Chase — are holding more than 4,100 checks worth more $130 million. The banks were not immediately available for comment, though have maintained that they were socked with a massive amount in payouts that require processing in the wake of the storm.

    Jesus effin Crystalmeth.

  120. 120
    gwangung says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Hispanics may be naturally conservative, but GOP is anything but. It is a party of crazy radical ideas.

    Repubs keep forgetting that they look EXACTLY like the juntas and cabals that run the countries Hispanic immigrants were running away FROM.

    Until they figure that out, they ain’t getting nowhere with them.

  121. 121
    Tone in DC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    LULz.

    Boehner’s remark last night all but admitted just how thoroughly BHO is whipping their asses.

  122. 122
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Yutsano: Damn, that kid sounds amazing and I can completely relate to his words about feeling like a robot without emotions and wondering if that was just the way he was. It’s amazing to hear that from someone who was achieving things instead of flaming out spectacularly like me. For some reason I just came to believe it was the Aspberger’s because it didn’t stop immediately when I came out, but–he’s right. Being in the closet had a LOT to do with it. Aspberger’s just made the learning curve steeper once I made up my mind to be honest with myself and everyone else.

    It’s also really helping my self-esteem to hear a guy say those things. I thought I was some sort of unique failure.

  123. 123
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Turgidson: The media, in it’s obsession with the story of the Republican Party fixing itself, declared him a saviour. Perhaps there shouldn’t be soo much buzz paid to someone who gives that SOTU follow on speech. They’re creating some kind of myth of the Rebuttal that is way out of proportion to what that actually means.

  124. 124
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MikeJ: I think a quick reference in the first paragraph (not the whole explanation–link for that) would have worked better for me as a reader and stylistically. By the time I was on the bottom of the post I didn’t care about the title any more. I looked it up due to the controversy. While obscure (I guess to me–I thought at first he was referring to the classic film “M” and couldn’t figure out the significance), the reference is very apropos.

  125. 125
    Maude says:

    @Ash Can:
    Thank you for that. I had forgotten it. Language structure is not boring at all.

  126. 126
    hoodie says:

    Modern republicans are more and more like a pack of wolves or hyenas than a party with long term plans, they now will gladly eat their own young if it meets a perceived short term need. Name me a time in recent history when Dems offered up anyone with real presidential prospects to the alter of the SOTU response. I can’t recall any. The republicans have recently done it at least three times — Jindal, Daniels and now Rubio. It’s been awful each time, and particularly makes no sense now that Obama is in his second term. If he was such a great prospect, they should have been keeping Rubio under wraps, let him showcase in the immigration reform stuff, kinda like keeping an immature prospect down at AAA so he can get some at bats against moderately good pitching and not get spooked by a splashing into the bigs too early, where guys really know how to throw the off speed stuff. Now, all rank and file Republicans will see when they look at him is a pile of ropa vieja plated for Hillary’s dinner. I think it shows that they really don’t view him as a legitimate contender, and he’s too stupid to realize that.

  127. 127
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Er, Tom… my “edited comment was flagged as spam” (125). There are no links in it but I all-capped part of a sentence to mock the Republican Party. Forgive me, FYWP, for I have sinned.

    Help?

  128. 128
    Tonal Crow says:

    Pretty poison pill,
    Marco shows America,
    Will voters swallow?

  129. 129
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Ash Can:

    I think you’re thinking of transitive and intransitive verbs.

    I have to disagree (which isn’t to say I’m not wrong): In the original line, the verb to Jindal was, in fact, transitive — if also reflexive: He … Jindalled himself, with “himself” being the object.

  130. 130
    Jell-OH Schott says:

    Marco Rubio, hero of the working class!

    “Mr. President, I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in. “My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.”

    Not sure linky will work so here it is in case you want to copy and paste into your browser. http://www.estately.com/listin.....0-sw-13-st

  131. 131
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chris: Rubio isn’t a big macher. He’s Republican poor, and even his “base” (the fabled Florida Cuban GOPers) consider him a laughing stock.

    The boy needs some billionaire buddies, stat.

    Shorter: Rubio doesn’t give off daddy vibes. He would die a quick death in the primaries.

  132. 132
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Al Brito: I didn’t see it, but I did find the shifty eyes so weird. You’re on camera, mon frere, it can still see you.

    Is that his maneuver before sneaking into other Florida state senators’ offices to steal documents? Inquiring minds want to know.

  133. 133
    mclaren says:

    I think it’s simpler than that. Things inside the GOP Fuhrerbunker have gotten crazy. As the losses mount, the leaders pound the table and scream lunatic drivel, and the rest of the wackos fall in line and repeat it.

    Rinse, wash, repeat: this is how a political party destroys itself.

    By 2016, the GOP response to Obama’s SOTU speech will consist of Bobby Jindal biting the head off a live kitten.

  134. 134
    geg6 says:

    @maya:

    You do realize, don’t you, that no one aired the Tea Party reply? It was only on Red State or some nutcase website. No one even discussed it on the networks that I could see.

    It’s only their fantasy that they get two. But no one gives a shit what Aqua Buddha has to say about anything.

  135. 135
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Reagan’s an asshole. Takes the charm right off.

    I distrusted Norman Rockwell for years (despite loving his work) because Rayguns had endorsed a collection of his work.

    I didn’t learn about this painting (About.com link, sorry) until last year.

  136. 136
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Hungry Joe: Right. That is reflexive, which is transitive because transitive verbs take a direct object, in this case, himself.

  137. 137
    jibeaux says:

    @Jell-OH Schott: Are those GRANITE COUNTERTOPS I see in that working class home with a pool?

  138. 138
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jell-OH Schott: Fucking hilarious, no HOA.

    HOAs are for bourgeois GOP social climbing rubes, while the leadership enjoys the benefits of a real (despised! urban!) government.

  139. 139
    Joel says:

    @gwangung: Hispanics aren’t naturally conservative anyways. At least not relative to the Democrats as a whole.

  140. 140
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chris: Reagan was nastier than Sister Sarah was but benefited from a disjointed press that didn’t immediately broadcast his horribleness nationally, allowing him to appeal to the nastiest elements of his base and yet pull off the “presidential” thing in other forums. Whereas Sarah immediately suffered backlash for her “Real America” comments which are euphemistic GOP boilerplate but obviously have become a no-go in a national contest.

  141. 141

    @Tonal Crow: i c what you haikued there. related: counting haiku syllables is the only acceptable time to count on yr fingers.

  142. 142
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @gwangung: Exactly and they want to enact the same policies, that many immigrants were trying to get away from in the countries of their birth.

  143. 143
    Trollhattan says:

    @Jell-OH Schott:

    Holy shit, there’s really a subdivision called “El Retiro”? Is this not an elaborate joke?

  144. 144
    Trollhattan says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    This one showed a lot of bravery on his part, especially given when it was published.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....ckwell.jpg

  145. 145
    Chris says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    The ethnic thing definitely doesn’t help him either. Even if the official party line says that Cubans the “good minority,” that doesn’t mean the voters buy it. Plenty of white suburbanites here in Florida loathe the Cubans as much as Haitians, Puerto-Ricans and other “these people,” holding them responsible for ruining their cities. And Rubio’s “look at me I’m the face of the new and different GOP that cares about Hispanic issues!” act isn’t going to do anything to help him with these voters.

    I don’t know if it’ll be enough of a hurt to totally ruin his chances, but it’s a hurt.

  146. 146
    Hungry Joe says:

    Reagan also benefited from his uncanny ability to make one of his eyes twinkle at will. Never seen anything like it.

  147. 147

    http://www.theonion.com/articl.....k-f,31285/

    Rich White People Get Latino Guy To Do Some Work For Them

  148. 148
    jl says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I saw a documentary that said the devastating effect of the death of Rockwell’s wife, and the influence of his next wife, pushed him to be explicit in his painting about some issues that were important to him.

    Some his work loses its political tone when shown out of context. The famous painting of the very white traditional all-American happy family putting a big baked turkey on a dinner table was part of a series illustrating FDR’s four freedoms, and one that Rockwell slaved over, and was definitely meant to be a four pic set piece illustrating the FDR’s message. Back then in context, it has definite political overtones. Today, that pic, ripped from context, might show up on some nativist website and in that context, say something completely different.

  149. 149
    GregB says:

    Jindalmentum needs a Vi*gra infusion.

  150. 150
    jl says:

    @Chris:

    ‘ Even if the official party line says that Cubans the “good minority,” ‘

    Anytime a political party has to have official, or unofficial lines about “good minorities”, that should be a sign that they have serious problems with all ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural minority groups.

    GOP may be clueless about some aspects of that problem. hence their sincere(?) puzzlement over how a ‘model’ minority like Asians could go for Obama at rates rivaling or greater than Hispanics.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl:

    Some his work loses its political tone when shown out of context.

    Context? We don’t need no stinking context!

  152. 152
    Seanly says:

    Wasn’t Rubio’s response pre-recorded? Couldn’t they have edited out the awkward lunge for the water?

    Someone should throw the Zappa line from Joe’s Garage onto that gif – “Bring me some water H T O.”

  153. 153
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chris: Well, we saw how “the base” (appropriate metaphor) responded to Herman Cain’s shuck’n’jive.

    Rubio didn’t have to work that hard to win a statewide contest against a tainted, unknown Dem candidate and an ex-GOP ex-guv spoiler that everyone was still pissed at. (Not any fooking more, let me tell you.) He has a lot of people whispering in his ear how great he is and how important he is to the party.

    If he ever figured out how to pull off some kind of oily play to the racists he might be a little bit dangerous, but the poor sop is too earnest. And yeah, without soothing their resentments he might just fall prey to them.

    I live in the Northern (Southron) part of the state so I don’t know how relevant it is any more, but you’re right that some whites blame Cubans for “ruining” Miami. I often hear the “third world” comment about the city and I think I shall start asking who they blame for that (Cubans or later arrivals).

    I think the corruption is just “Florida”. Compare this states’ laws to others. It resembles 3rd world hellhole because it is one, so don’t act fucking shocked when you have 3rd world problems. Florida never evolved past the colonial/plantation/encomienda mentality. Period.

  154. 154
    Jell-OH Schott says:

    @Trollhattan: You certainly can’t expect our courtier press to perform the two Google clicks I did to find out where our working class hero actually lives.

  155. 155
    Another Halocene Human says:

    And Cali is not “just like” Florida, no matter what those uppity Okies in Orange County say. Like they would know anything about class, anyway.

    *-with my embarrassing passel of white Oklahoma relations I think I’m entitled to say this

  156. 156
    Hattie says:

    Poor Rubio: seduced and now to be abandoned.

  157. 157
    schrodinger's cat says:

    GOP not only lost the Asian and Hispanic vote but also the naturalized citizen vote. Rubio as a spokesbot to sell more of the same is not going to work.

  158. 158
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @jl: Do you know the name of the documentary? Is it on Netflix? *curious*

  159. 159
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: No-knowthingism triumphs again, lol.

  160. 160

    @Ash Can:

    I’d be very interested to see some reaction from the Latino community to Rubio’s Spanish-language speech. I’d be willing to bet that it would be less along the lines of “Ooh, he’s one of us! Cool!” and more along the lines of “Dude, your policies blow. GTFO.”

    Well, here’s a taste from NBC Latino:

    But aside from the water, the substance of Rubio’s response didn’t really stray much from the pre-election message of the GOP. If you really break down the “new” message of the Republican party, here it is: keep the core Mitt Romney message, but play up comprehensive immigration reform. Showcase Rubio’s humble beginnings, but keep being the Party of No. Attack President Obama as a tax-and-spend dictator (a lot), but don’t offer any specifics.

    And that was the problem with Rubio’s response. He was just too angry, coming off like a high schooler in a debate contest. It also didn’t help that the parts of the speech that he used to personalize the GOP brand bordered on the hypocritical. Case in point, when Rubio spoke about fiscal responsibility and paying off his student loans, you would think that he could have mentioned the time when he used a GOP credit card for his own personal expenses?

    Or what about Rubio’s claim that his West Miami neighborhood is “the same working class neighborhood [Rubio] grew up in?” Is this the same “working class neighborhood” where Rubio is selling his “working class” home for $675,000 so that he can move his family to Washington? As one Miami outlet writes, “…it’s pretty brazen to put your residence there in a nationally televised speech when 1) you are actively trying to leave that working class neighborhood and 2) you stand to make more than a half-million bucks by doing so.” So what does Rubio really mean when he says, “I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.” Is Rubio referring to his future Republican neighbors in D.C.?

    So…yeah. This did not go well. At all.

  161. 161
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Cubans may not be such a reliable Republican voting block anymore so I’m not sure about Rubio’s appeal.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsal.....ay-be-over

  162. 162
    Chris says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    I live in the Northern (Southron) part of the state so I don’t know how relevant it is any more, but you’re right that some whites blame Cubans for “ruining” Miami. I often hear the “third world” comment about the city and I think I shall start asking who they blame for that (Cubans or later arrivals).

    According to my acquaintance from the Orlando area who’s fond of the trope, it varies by city. Cubans are accused of ruining Miami; other groups get assigned the blame for other cities, at least by her.

    I don’t think of Florida as a third world country so much as the entire Deep South, pretty much for the reasons you outlined. A third world country, which has the good fortune to be tacked onto a first world economy, thanks to which it manages to maintain a decentish standard of living. Without the flow of Yankee money, I suspect it’d be worse off than most Latin American countries.

  163. 163
    Chris says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    If you really break down the “new” message of the Republican party, here it is: keep the core Mitt Romney message, but play up comprehensive immigration reform.

    Which is the one part of his message that’ll really scare away the Angry White Conservatives. Ahhhh, brilliant!

    The popcorn must flow.

  164. 164
    Hoodie says:

    @Jell-OH Schott:

    They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy impoverished countries

    . Yeah, I guess that’s why we’re getting all those immigrants from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany and all of those other government-dominated hellholes. I guess his definition of a “working class neighborhood” is pretty loose, i.e., a neighborhood in which people have jobs, like lawyers, doctors and corporate execs.

  165. 165
    jl says:

    @Another Halocene Human: No, don’t remember. I saw it years ago. I found the documentary surprising, since I had always ignorantly assumed Rockwell must have been some conservative nativist type from how his paintings were interpreted in pop culture. But the documentary indicated he was kind of moderate or even moderate liberal type.

    I guess that would make him a commie by contemporary GOP standards.

    I will look around later and post a reference on this thread if I can find the name or a link.

  166. 166
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Immigration reform will be a crucial test to see who is really charge. The politically astute and somewhat sane faction, wants this to pass while the mostly insane, knuckle dragging faction is against all immigration, legal and illegal.

  167. 167
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chris: Come out into the counties and tell me about that “decentish” standard of living.

    Like any turd world nation you have the lucky ones and everyone else.

    And the place looks like shit.

    Also, too, from a labor activist POV, Florida is second only to Tejas for regressive labor laws–yes, the rest of the Deep South is actually better–and is probably second to none in terms of modern slavery.

    Florida’s bright spot was education and the environment, but the Republicans took care of that. Probably Miss, Bama, and Lousy Ana are still palpably worse i/t/o of education and general education level of the populace.

  168. 168

    @Midnight Marauder:
    Was… was that journalism? Is that what journalism looks like? I’ve HEARD of journalism, but never expected to see any.

  169. 169
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Based on my Cuban friends I just figured the old guard has been steadily dying off recently, but npr claims that it’s more complicated than that.

    It’s also hard to gauge Florida #s until that study comes out about how many people’s ballots got destroyed during the latest vote suppression effort.

  170. 170
    Jeremy says:

    Majority of Hispanics support liberal economic issues and believe that government has a role to play in promoting fairness and equality. They may be conservative on some social issues but on bread and butter issues like African Americans, and Asians they believe in a greater role for government. Minorities overwhelmingly support the Affordable Care Act along with other health care programs, and education funding.

    And this is the problem the GOP has. There ideas don’t appeal to the younger generations and specifically minorities. They need to moderate and drop the supply side economic crap. If they don’t they will be a minority party and they won’t win the white house anytime soon.

  171. 171
    Chris says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Hence the “ish.” Left to its own devices the state would have zero Social Security, Medicare, and the other things the federal government has done since the New Deal and Great Society to mitigate problems. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the state is still doing better than it ought to thanks to the fact that there are others desperately trying to plug all the holes in the leaky boat.

  172. 172
    John M. Burt says:

    Here in Corvallis, there used to be a retirement place called “Adulto Villa” (it has some other name with less comedic value now).

    Re Florida demographics, what’s really going to be interesting is what things will look like when Miami (like half of the state) is submerged.

  173. 173
    Gian says:

    I really don’t see the point of giving this rebuttal speech. Period.
    Unless you can muster the staging and the speech writing skills and get someone with at least a modicum of speaking ability to deliver it the rebuttal speech will come off as small and petty in comparison.

    Saw very little of Rubio. Missed the water gulp. Tuned out after the non factual “Obama is a SOC1A1IST who hates America” sponsored by the Koch brothers opening. Especially since his demeanor was so boring and scared

  174. 174
    ottercliff says:

    @JGabriel: I’m only disappointed that they didn’t give Ted Nugent a third slot.

  175. 175
    jonas says:

    They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.

    I know — when I asked my landscaper why he had fled his homeland, he said he was sick and tired of the government trying to provide free education, healthcare, sanitation, and security for his family. “Screw all that shit,” he said, “That’s when I decided I wanted to live in Alabama.”

  176. 176
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    At the moment the influence, in the House anyway, of the knuckle draggers is so strong that any decent bill will only be passed with help of the Democrats. That puts Boehner in an interesting spot if the goal is a strictly Republican bill because such a bill would necessarily have to be laden with onerous pre-conditions and poison pills to get the knuckle draggers’ votes.

  177. 177
    Chris says:

    @jonas:

    I know — when I asked my landscaper why he had fled his homeland, he said he was sick and tired of the government trying to provide free education, healthcare, sanitation, and security for his family. “Screw all that shit,” he said, “That’s when I decided I wanted to live in Alabama.”

    You know what I love? How they can claim that immigrants are all coming here because of hope and opportunity and entrepreneurial spirits and other anti-socialist things, then immediately turn around and bitch that immigrants are coming here to mooch off our schools and hospitals and affirmative action and other public things.

    I know they’ve mastered cognitive dissonance and elevated it to an art form, but damn.

  178. 178

    @Chris:
    ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ as it is misused on the internet (so much so the Wikipedia entry is wrong!) does not exist. Look under the ‘Ben Franklin’ effect. That is cognitive dissonance. Humans hold contradictory beliefs easily and naturally.

  179. 179
    handsmile says:

    @Another Halocene Human: , @jl:

    The Norman Rockwell documentary was almost certainly “Norman Rockwell: An American Portrait, ” produced by PBS in the late 1980s. I would expect it would be available through Netflix or other DVD providers.

    In the opinion of this card-carrying member of the guild of American art historians, Rockwell was a superb commercial illustrator, but not all that interesting an artist. He was aware of the contemporary art world of his time and passably informed of American politics and culture. There’s been some laudable effort in the past 20 years or so to recontextualize his work and tease out more complex readings of his seemingly straightforward and accessible paintings and illustrations.

    There’s a fine biography (2003) by Laura Claridge and the standard catalogue on Rockwell remains Thomas Buechner’s Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator (1996).

  180. 180
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chris: We also have a high min. wage thanks to the constitutional ballot measure law and the state AFL-CIO. It saved us from being Georgia during the recession. Could have been a lot worse.

  181. 181
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @handsmile: I like commercial art. So sue me.

  182. 182
    nellcote says:

    But you have to admit that unlike Bachmann, Rubio addressed the right camera.

  183. 183
    Tim I says:

    Rubio was just awful. He managed to out-Jindal Jendal.

  184. 184
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Haven’t read the whole thread, so this might be late to the ball, but:

    Footnoting one’s titles is a mark of either great immaturity in writing (i.e., I don’t understand what I’m doing) or great maturity in writing (i.e., I don’t give a fuck what you think). It should not be encouraged pre-tenure.

  185. 185
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Footnoting one’s titles is a mark of either great immaturity in writing (i.e., I don’t understand what I’m doing) or great maturity in writing (i.e., I don’t give a fuck what you think).

    Or perhaps in this case it is merely a device for hinting to the astute reader that the footnoted phrase in question really does sound better in the original German, nicht wahr?

  186. 186
    Deb T says:

    I’d love it if they’d use Jindal again. He was so entertaining. This time have him do it from a crypt.

  187. 187
    jl says:

    @handsmile:

    I admire Rockwell’s compositions, though admit that very often that talent could have been put to better use.

  188. 188
    Neil B says:

    Who better for a fool’s errand than a fool?

  189. 189
  190. 190
    IowaOldLady says:

    I’m late to the party, but as I read the two responses this morning, I kept thinking of the adage that you can’t beat something with nothing. There’s nothing in those responses.

    I suppose it’s classic Republican style over substance, but style will take you only so far, especially if you wind up blowing even the style part by weird water drinking.

  191. 191
    grandpa john says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Well maybe but remember ,that charisma challenged Mormon also happened to be white and rich

  192. 192
    handsmile says:

    Just now getting to the key issue of this thread, footnoting titles.

    Haven’t yet checked through all his collected works, but David Foster Wallace footnoted* the title to his essay, “Authority and American Usage,” included in Consider the Lobster. And if DFW did it, well then it must be OK.

    (*in fact, to be scrupulously precise, he asterisked the title, adding “(or, ‘Politics and the English Language’ Is Redundant)” with an entire page of, um, explication. Could usage mavens confirm whether this example would constitute a footnote?)

  193. 193
    Fred says:

    Maybe next time they could do the rebut like an “Anonymous” announcement with the mask, virtual voice, the whole nine yards. That way nobody gets it in the groin and some people will think it’s cool concept art.
    As far as production values, small minded conservative types never think aestetic values matter. Art is for hippies and college perfesers. Real people don’t care about that stuff so it’s just a waste of money. Prep and planning are fer whimps. Ya go to production with the set and camera crew ya got not the one you wish you had.

  194. 194
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Midnight Marauder: That price tag doesn’t look like one a working class person could afford. Heck, we are far from working class and we couldn’t afford that house.

  195. 195
    grandpa john says:

    @Ruckus: Reagan was an trained actor, and his oscar winning role was in acting presidential, by far his finest performance.

  196. 196
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Deb T: Not nice. But hilarious image!

  197. 197
    grandpa john says:

    @Patricia Kayden:problem was that a large part of the Mormon hating fundamentalist were in red states so that although his vote count was lower, it was not enough to turn the state blue.

  198. 198
    Groucho48 says:

    e e cummings prdicted Rubio’s speech decades ago:

    [QUOTE]
    “next to of course god america i
    love you land of the pilgrims’ and so forth oh
    say can you see by the dawn’s early my
    country ’tis of centuries come and go
    and are no more what of it we should worry
    in every language even deafanddumb
    thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
    by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
    why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
    iful than these heroic happy dead
    who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
    they did not stop to think they died instead
    then shall the voice of liberty be mute?”
    He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water
    [/QUOTE]

  199. 199
    Ruckus says:

    @grandpa john:
    My point exactly.
    I would point out that acting presidential may have been his biggest role, but it sure turned out not to be a finest anything.

  200. 200
    DougW says:

    @Dan:
    Actually, the Republican brand will be throwing out the leaders next time, kicking the can down the road They’ve just gone and set the next group of Republican chumps that care if they can win into a big puddle of fail. Rather than negotiate,neither side wants to debate at all.
    Republicans lost 2012 big time. They should be at the table with a torrent of policy ideas, rather they are going to just say no, or even worse, just fold up and say nothing.

    This is not helpful to the country, and they should pay the ultimate penalty for it in the upcoming election cycles.

    This my sole position, and has nothing utsoever to do with my employer….

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