Rejoinders: Rubio, Rand Paul respond to Obama’s string of cliches, rhetorical tricks, empty platitudes, and empty promises
Objection! Your headline is leading the witness!
Fine. I’ll rephrase. Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul give their responses to Obama’s SOTU Address, Rubio’s on behalf of the GOP, Paul’s on behalf of the TEA Party Express. Also, Obama is a liar and a con man. Not to mention a dirty dirty Marxist who sports mom jeans and hasn’t a fucking clue how to hold a rifle.
First, here’s Rubio:
And here’s Paul:
Compare and contrast.
Keep in mind that Rubio is being groomed and showcased by the GOP, perhaps as a Jeb Bush running mate, perhaps as a frontrunner for the GOP nomination in 2016. What the establishment will ultimately do is, I suspect, largely based whether or not they feel they can make Jeb Bush seem palatable and electable — and of course, inevitable. Rubio and Christie being their fall backs.
Keep in mind, too, that Rand Paul — while a dedicated conservative / classical liberal and a TEA Party favorite who very ably articulates first principles — has no experience politically in an executive role. And so while also a potential nominee for President in 2016, might be better served as a VP candidate to someone like Scott Walker, who by 2016 may be able to show the American people that he was willing to take on public sector union leaders and do what was necessary to get his state’s economy turned around and thriving — points that will resonate with a public who, if one can believe the latest Gallup polls, thinks Obama’s handling of the economy and taxes and guns and Middle East foreign policy is significantly wanting.
The GOP — through Rove’s “Conservative Victory Project” — is hoping to use the resources of big money donors, along with the party infrastructure and the influence of Mitch McConnell, to prevent a conservative / classical liberal challenge to the types of corporate-friendly, big government technocrats and political “moderates” they like to put forth. That is, when McConnell, after the 2008 election of Obama, said that the “era of Reagan was over” — as if John McCain represented Reaganism in any way — he wasn’t so much intoning a political reality as he was wishcasting. Which is why the TEA Party revolution of 2010 must have come as an enormous shock to him, and why, rather than embracing the grass roots movement to reassert constitutionalism and limited government as personified by the Reagan Administration (despite Reagan’s having had to work with a Democrat Congress), McConnell is a key player in an effort by the GOP establishment to thwart that movement and protect the entrenched and permanent ruling class, one that, regardless of party, is interested in a big and powerful federal government precisely because they are involved in running it, win or lose.
It’s time to drive a stake through the grubby, self-interested heart of the GOP establishment. When push came to shove — and they didn’t get the candidates they wanted — they went out of their way to weaken those conservatives who’d bested their moderates in the primaries. They’ve set their sights on Bachmann and King, and they were happy to see West go, as well.
“Richard Lugar” should be an expletive to conservatives and principled Republicans. As should “Karl Rove” and “Steve Law” and “Charlie Crist” and “Mike Castle” and “Arlen Specter” and “Chris Christie” (by the way, how’s that no red-tape Obama aid for Sandy coming, fat boy?).
And there are plenty of GOP opinion leaders who should join those ranks, from “Frum” to “Brooks” to “Rubin”, etc.
Unless and until that happens, we’re a kept constituency. And there’s no real reason to vote GOP, particularly if they refuse to represent the interests of their party’s putative base.
There’s a reason only 58% of eligible voters cast a vote for President in 2012. Many of them just don’t trust any politician, because the kinds of politicians we’ve seen come along of late — with the exception of the many TEA Party candidates — are either leftist ideologues or mushy pragmatists on the right. And honestly, the only difference in the results from each of those two contingents is speed of decline, though under the GOP, you can probably enjoy a bit of a tax cut while on the (government subsidized) highway to hell.
update: full text of both here, for those who can’t or don’t do video.