The devastating logic of Marco Rubio fans

I thought I had found B.J. Boling in a terrible inconsistency on Facebook last night, when I read this:

B.J. became a fan of Marco Rubio.

I immediately responded:

OK, BJ — how could you possibly be a fan of the guy who’s running AGAINST the guy who was such a key endorsement for McCain at such a critical moment?

You see, B.J. was McCain’s press guy in South Carolina during the 2008 campaign. B.J. to me embodied the sensible wing of the Republican Party, that part of it that would cling to reason and moderation in the face of any challenge. During the dark days when McCain appeared to be out of the running for the nomination, and his campaign operation all but shut its doors, B.J. soldiered on (see my video from back then, headlined “McCain goes to the mattresses“). And he did a good job. He was helpful to me as a journalist on a number of occasions — getting me on the bus for an interview, getting my questions answered and all that.

And at a time right after B.J. and company had won the South Carolina primary, when the extremists in their party were determined to do anything to stop the McCain momentum, Charlie Crist‘s support was key to his winning the Florida contest, after which the extremists were on the run.

So it was particularly distressing to see a guy like B.J. endorsing a hero of the Tea Party element, a guy who is out to defeat Crist, a guy carrying a banner that in part is meant to communicate the message that the GOP shouldn’t ever nominate a guy like McCain, but stick only to the most strict ideologues.

I thought, is the whole party now going the way of Jim DeMint? Are there none of the Lindsey Graham variety left?

But B.J. who now works for Gresham Barrett, settled my hash in short order. He answered me,

I have a very good reason. I noticed Rubio was at 24,999 fans and I had the chance to be number 25,000. Opportunities like that don’t come along every day.

So I was all ready to laugh it off, saying how can I argue with such devastating logic, when someone else (one Carl Clegg) commented,

Thanks, Brad for pointing out the reason I am a Marco Rubio fan.

So I can no longer laugh it off, can I?

Kathryn Fenner likes to say that since Brad left the paper, he’s leaned more toward the Democrats. Not so. But my departure from the paper has happened to coincide with a terrible trend: While Democrats engage in about the same ratio of foolishness to wisdom as usual, the GOP has been energetically engaged in a pogrom to rid itself of anyone who is not a stark, raving partisan ideologue who would never, ever work with a Democrat, no matter the circumstances.

See, the thing is, there’s as much to complain about with regard to Democratic rule as ever. But increasingly, the Republicans seem determined to make switching back to them, or even trying to work with them, unthinkable. And that’s not good for the country.

19 thoughts on “The devastating logic of Marco Rubio fans

  1. Brad Warthen

    Hey, wait a sec — Wikipedia says this Rubio character wasn’t even BORN until the 70s. May 28, 1971, to be exact, within a week or so of when Burl and I graduated from Radford High School.

    Since when do we let children run for office in this country?

  2. Burl Burlingame

    Particularly boorish haranguers like Rubio.

    Speaking of being “fans” on FaceBook, we have this dilemma at our newspaper. Should reporters become “fans” of various politicians? I deal with it be refusing to become a fan or friend of anyone in office. Other reporters deal with it by becoming promiscuous frienders. As one of our reporters said, “This way we find out what they’re up to.”

  3. jfx

    You know it’s bad when you see Tim Pawlenty on stage at CPAC throwing red meat to the teabaggers. Pawlenty! He was supposed to be one of the smarter ones. Even keel. Crist-like. Not one of the crazies! D’oh!

  4. bud

    While Democrats engage in about the same ratio of foolishness to wisdom as usual, the GOP has been energetically engaged in a pogrom to rid itself of anyone who is not a stark, raving partisan ideologue who would never, ever work with a Democrat, no matter the circumstances.

    I’m shocked, shocked I tell you. Why has this epiphany taken so long.

  5. bud

    Brad, here’s the answer. Since the Dems are behaving as foolishly as ever but still maintain a bit of decorum and the GOP has becoming nothing but a bunch of raving lunatics why not support third party folks? I know there aren’t many good ones out there but I’m sure there must be some reasonable folks who are willing to act reasonably. If enough folks did that it would send a clear message. But if you continue on this path of attacking the parties yet choosing ONLY from among Dems/GOP when endorsement time comes then the status quo will continue.

  6. Bart

    Holy Bat****! As a conservative, I am appalled at the three ring circus called CPAC going on this weekend. First, the John Birch Society is one of the sponsors and the organizers won’d condemn their participation. Now, Ron Paul, the most despicable character serving in Washington has been given 33% support as the presidential choice.

    Just like some liberals have devolved into a maniacal fringe, conservatives have followed suit with their own version of stupidity and absolute madness.

    Some hold Ron Paul up as a hero. I find the man to be a total jerk and completely without any sense of rhyme or reason. He represents the worst of the worse and nothing positive comes from his rantings. No damn wonder conservatives get such a bad rap when idiots like him try to identify with honest conservatives. One of my favorite sites had this to say about Ron Paul, “Ron Paul is not a conservative. He’s a kook, a right-wing nut with fascistic leanings. He is also, incredibly, an open, unashamed apologist for Osama bin Laden. His website recently featured a tribute to a vile, pro-Hitler writer who’d just died.”

    I truly wish there were a viable third party that could shut down both Democrat and Republicans from having total control of the political scene in this country. Not the nutcases coming from Minnesota or the Alfred E. Neuman looking character from Texas but an honest person who understands America as a whole, not just the ideology of one party.

    We are not a conservative or liberal leaning country. We live in the middle but this has been forgotten by the inflamatory rhetoric coming from both sides. We are promised every election cycle the same damnable lies, over and over again. Obama promised the seas would recede, the skys would clear up, unemployment would reach only 8%, and everything else under the sun. So, what do we have today?

    Millions unemployed and with no sense of hope and no light at the end of the tunnel. Uncertainty at every level and overall, a national attitude of negativity. Both sides trying to say, “My way is the best way”. BS.

    For the past 16 years, the divide has been growing ever wider between the radical factions of each party and the madness that has ensued affects each and every American citizen, one way or the other.

    Where are the adults when we need them? They sure are not in control in Washington in the Obama administration and they surely are not present at the CPAC convention.

    God help us!!

  7. Brad Warthen

    Writes Bart:

    “I truly wish there were a viable third party that could shut down both Democrat and Republicans from having total control of the political scene in this country. Not the nutcases coming from Minnesota or the Alfred E. Neuman looking character from Texas but an honest person who understands America as a whole, not just the ideology of one party.”

    Me, too, Bart. What you just described was what I was thinking of when I conceived the UnParty. Maybe, once I get enough income coming in, I can turn to making that more than an idea…

  8. Doug Ross

    Go back and watch the Republican presidential debates from 2008 sometime. Watch how Ron Paul predicted the economic collapse while McCain and Giuliani openly mock him and make themselves look stupid by claiming there was no problem with the economy. What else would you expect from political hacks?

    Bart’s diatribe against Ron Paul didn’t have a single fact in it. Whatever government we have today is a result of doing exactly the opposite of what Paul suggests. So if you’re happy with our government, keep voting for the corrupt politicians you’ve always voted for.

  9. Doug Ross

    Here’s what Andrew Sullivan has to say about the Paul victory in the CPAC poll.

    “He is not a cynical mannequin like Romney, nor a clinically disturbed fraud like Palin; nor an alleged moderate like Pawlenty now declaring that in government, “God is in charge!” He is real. He is sincere.

    Which is why the pundits keep dismissing him. I don’t.”

    and this:

    ” Why do we have thousands of troops in Germany and Japan for Pete’s sake? If we can afford that but we cannot afford some basic health insurance for working poor Americans, something has gone seriously wrong.”

  10. David

    Ron Paul is certainly not the answer for this country. The man has zero sense of pragmatism and a lot of his goals are flat out impossible. He’s a man who perhaps lives in fantasy. But despicable is not the right word for him. He’s a man who is beholden to ideology rather than special interests. Pick your poison.

    Despicable describes the greater part of a party who ruled this country for most of the last decade.

    Despicable describes a party who recklessly engaged us in a war in Iraq which is still ongoing seven years later.

    Despicable describes a party who promotes torture.

    Despicable describes a party who increased spending while cutting taxes — who gave us everything we wanted and told us we wouldn’t have to pay for it. Who said “deficits don’t matter”.

    Despicable describes a party who stands in the way of rights for LGBT Americans, incites religious bigotry, and tried to pass a constitutional amendment which would make homosexuals 2nd class citizens.

    We can hope now that once the recession has ended, President Obama will work at making the difficult choices of cutting defense spending, raising taxes and cutting entitlements which will put us on sounder financial footing for the long term.

  11. jfx

    I respect Ron Paul because he was the only person on stage during the 2008 Republican debates who had the audacity to tell his fellow candidates and the audience what they didn’t want to hear but knew in their guts to be true…that the Iraq war was a huge waste of lives and money, sold dishonestly to the American people. Naturally, McCain, Rudy “Noun+Verb+9/11” Giuliani, and all the rest up there treated him like a dope and a leper for daring to say so, but Paul was often the only honest guy on that stage.

    The problem, though, is that Ron Paul has absolutely no traction with anyone outside the Angry White Male demographic. He’ll never get the nomination, and he certainly can’t win the big one. He can only peel off votes and dollars from the establishment Republicans. I’m sure Mitt Romney would love to get him into a dark alley and apply the Vulcan death grip.

  12. Bart Rogers

    Realizing my comment will be viewed as narrow and closed minded, but when Andrew Sullivan supports or praises anyone, I tend to run the other way.

    Ron Paul is a fringe dweller. Just because he is not afraid to speak his mind doesn’t change it one iota.

    In 2007, a good friend who is a financial broker in the real estate market also predicted the collapse with uncanny accuracy. He based his opinion on the excessive inventory on the national housing market, the lax lending requirements, foreclosures in certain markets, and a couple of other indicators. Investors were already taking a bath and losses were in the 30 to 50% range already.

  13. HP

    OMGosh David and Bart!

    Ron Paul is SO pragmatic that every toadie with a government function across this entire country KNOWS they could be iced under his pragmatic leadership. This is how we know government has gotten too big: it smothers common sense!

  14. Libb

    I truly wish there were a viable third party that could shut down both Democrat and Republicans from having total control of the political scene in this country. – Bart

    They have lost/sold control of the political scene for quite some time now. The real juice running the system is the corporatocracy and their lobbyist minions. As a case in point, the pharmaceutical cartel spent $266.8 MILLION in 2009 lobbying Congress on health care reform. That’s obscene, folks. Our government has been bought out from under us.

    And, apparently, so has our Supreme Court. The recent decision in the Citizen United case only expands corporate power over our politics(on all levels). I recently read that one of the big DC lobbying firms (K&L Gates) is now “educating” their corporate clients on how to use trade associations, think Chamber of Commerce, as gateways to channel unlimited amounts of cash into elections.

    Not sure even a viable third party could take on the vast corporate machine.

  15. Bart Rogers


    Don’t forget – Obama asked for their help in support of the health care bill and they responded with the promise of spending over $150 million in advertising.

    Obama has brought lobbyists into his administration after his promise of not hiring them.

    Now, he is threatening to use the nuclear option to get his health care bill passed. Reconciliation. If he goes ahead with his threat, look out down the road. When, and it will happen, Republicans regain control, you can bet he will regret the day he made the call. 2010 for Democrats could be the 2006 for Republicans. Remember, all House seats are up for election and several Senate seats.

    Then, we will all pay because of an ill advised move especially when 58% or 60%, whichever poll you like, of Americans oppose the health care bill as it stands. They want to scrap the bill and start over.

    I don’t know of anyone who is opposed to improvements in the health care system but most just don’t want what is before them now.

    With that said, if you’re going to play “chicken” with the opposition, be darn sure of your position and understand what you may be losing down the road.

    You may make the other side move over or come November, the other guy may be enjoying a “fried chicken dinner” at your expense.

  16. Libb

    Bart, Huh??? Wasn’t trying to debate the health care bill(or President Obama), dude.

    Merely using the issue as one example of how the corporate machine is using big money(with both parties) to heavily influence policy.

    $3.47 billion is what “the machine” spent last year on health care reform, finance reform, and energy policy(as in big oil).

    Electing good third party folks is a start in the right direction but we also need to cross the divide of this Dem vs Rep mindset(of which I’m as guilty as the rest) and unite on a platform for reform, perhaps starting with campaign financing.

  17. Bart Rogers

    Understand. Just added a few comments after responding to your first comment about the insurance company. Appreciate the response though.


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