Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 18, 2010

A 'TRUE POLICY WONK'.... Apparently, one of the more interesting political moments of the day came when Marco Rubio spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. Rubio, a right-wing Senate candidate in Florida, mocked President Obama's occasional use of teleprompters ... while reading his jokes from a teleprompter.

It reminded me of a point that I've been meaning to emphasize: Marco Rubio is just conservative enough to make far-right activists swoon, but not quite smart enough to avoid being an embarrassment to himself.

To be sure, the right just adores him. National Review recently singled him out as someone who is "geniunely [sic] interested in nitty-gritty of public policy," and "a true policy wonk."

Yeah, sure he is.

In an interview with the [Tampa] Tribune on that subject Friday, Rubio called Crist "a believer in man-made global warming."

"I don't think there's the scientific evidence to justify it," Rubio said.

About a month ago, Rubio also argued against forcing TARP recipients to repay bailout money, calling the White House's proposals "onerous and punitive" towards the financial institutions whose recklessness nearly destroyed the global economy. When Dems criticized his position, Rubio ran back to National Review to feel sorry for himself and spout mindless dogma.

This is life in Obama, Reid, and Pelosi's America, where not only is free enterprise attacked, but so too is anyone who dares to defend it."

Yep, a real "policy wonk" who just loves the "nitty-gritty of public policy."

Steve Benen 2:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (18)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

He's not a policy wonk, he's just a plain old wonk.

Posted by: rbe1 on February 18, 2010 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

He's saying all the right things to fire up the Conservative base, but it's important to remember that they don't constitute a sufficiently large voting bloc to carry an election without ample application of thuggery and muscle. It seems to me the theme of American exceptionalism (has there ever been a worse environment for it?) is calculated to appeal more to the Teabaggers than to the Republicans.

If Rubio gained any serious power, he'd press for tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. That's all very well, but if you don't have a fucking JOB, tax cuts shouldn't be much of a motivator. Tax cuts have been correctly highlighted as the single worst initiative, in terms of performance, implicit in economic growth. But the Republicans can't get enough of them.

This week's Economist points out that at no time over the next decade will the deficit fall below 3.6% of GDP, and that after 2018 it will begin to rise again, under Obama's budget, which it calls a "road-map to fiscal catastrophe". The Economist reckons there are only two ways to get the deficit back under 3% of GDP in the medium term - raise taxes, or cut back hard on the entitlements, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The former is politically indefensible, and the shrieking, foaming batshit crazy "town hall" gatherings of just a few months ago provided a crystal-clear preview of how the latter would be received.

And Obama's budget is the plan that is seriously attempting to address the deficit as a piece of fiscal irresponsibility that should never have happened to a nation that wasn't sleepwalking its way through every day. Keep in mind that the Republican proposal will be tax cuts, party like it's 1979, and some more tax cuts.

Strapped in? The ride is apt to become a little bumpy.

Posted by: Mark on February 18, 2010 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

i think there was a typo. Rubio is a wank.

Posted by: zeitgeist on February 18, 2010 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, zeitgeist, for making me spit a fine spray of coffee all over my monitor. You dropped that in there perfectly, all it needed was a "ba-dum-dum" from the snare and the ride cymbal.

Posted by: Mark on February 18, 2010 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

If Rubio gained any serious power, he'd press for tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

As long as he remembered to write that on his hand, sure.

Posted by: DH Walker on February 18, 2010 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

I am simply confused by this teleprompter stuff? Didn't these people see Obama's meeting with the House GOP last month? Can you imgaine Sarah Palin, Paul Rubio, Boehner, Cantor, McConnel, etc. facing their critics for more than an hour, unscripted, and systematically dismantling their positions, revealing them as naked political rhetoric?

Where was the teleprompter then?

Posted by: plim on February 18, 2010 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

I notice that except for working in a reference to Castro's Cuba - a not-to-be-missed opportunity to highlight his Cuban-Americananity - the bulk of his speech seemed to rely heavily on teleprompter jokes, invoking the spectre of raising taxes and regular repetition of the phraselet, "Democrat Party". On the whole, his speech could have been written by a fifth-grader. I'm sure it wasn't, or he would have been at pains to highlight that as well, as an example of his economic chops. After all, how much could a fifth-grader charge for writing a speech?

Fortunately for him, he knows his audience. Fifth-grade humour still plays pretty well in RepublicanLand, although there is reason to believe conservative bloggers are getting tired of the teleprompter jokes.

I'm surprised somebody hasn't started the rumor that an elected Marco Rubio would streamline immigration procedures for Cuban immigrants, with removal of the requirement for a criminal record check. If he was a Democrat, you can bet it'd be making the rounds by now on every major network, with hourly updates from Fox.

Posted by: Mark on February 18, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

It would be nice to see the Republicans put forward candidates who were capable of doing the job that they were trying to elected to.

Posted by: Jamie on February 18, 2010 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, he's an intellectual lightweight, but he's also a runaway Republican bestseller: he has an appropriate family, a heartstring tugging backstory, and Good Hair. . .

Posted by: DAY on February 18, 2010 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't these people see Obama's meeting with the House GOP last month?

See, I thought it was awfully sporting of the House GOP to provide Obama with not only a teleprompter, but also his own answers on it - the ones which made the GOP members themselves look like jackasses.

I mean, it couldn't possibly be the case that people who believe this teleprompter nonsense are completely gullible idiots. Couldn't be.

Posted by: DH Walker on February 18, 2010 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

I understand Steve doesn't think Rubio is a policy wonk. I just don't understand how anything Steve cited is evidence that Rubio isn't a policy wonk. Apparently Steve thinks policy wonkism and skepticism of anthropogenic global warming are mutually exclusive, which of course they are not.

Posted by: martin kroft on February 18, 2010 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently Steve thinks policy wonkism and skepticism of anthropogenic global warming are mutually exclusive, which of course they are not.

Considering that both involve both knowledge of facts and and understanding of what those facts mean, you're 100% wrong here.

Speaking of wanks, Steve's comment sections seem to be little more than leftists stroking each other.

Interesting what people will resort to saying when they can't point out how the the other guy is, you know, actually wrong.

Posted by: DH Walker on February 18, 2010 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

One can't be both very interested in the details of policy and an AGW skeptic? Why not?

Hm. How about in my original post where I mention that they both involve understanding facts? In that post, I mention that they both involve understanding facts. Go ahead - reread it. It really says that. In English, too.

I infer from your post that you believe it's possible to have a policy wonk's understanding of facts and appreciation for detail and still be the kind of global climate change skeptic that Rubio is. This is moronic.

Posted by: DH Walker on February 18, 2010 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Rubio, Scott Brown, Sarah; there is a pattern here. The wing nuts like attractive well spoken candidates who are quick with the one liners. That fact that none of them is the sharpest stick in woods, or very sharp at all, doesn't concern them. Still, I think the political shelf life of these candidates will be limited.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on February 18, 2010 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican Party doesn't have any policy wonks. Period. There might be a couple of guys at AEI or maybe some bloggers who are also academics, but the Party is utterly devoid of policy machinery. How many different ejectees of the Bush Administration said the same thing - they have no policy apparatus, everything is political and therefore short-term and punitive in nature.

You know you're in trouble when that 14-yr old twerp at CPAC is allegedly writing a "policy wonk" book. And just what original or even meta-research is he going to be basing it on? Let me guess, a bunch of barely warmed-over talking points that have almost no relevance to actual reality and what actually works in policy.

These guys are so stupid it's scary. But the problem is not their stupidity. It's that they don't care, and are more than happy to make up for it with ruthlessness and complete disregard for objective fact.

Posted by: George P on February 18, 2010 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

The wing nuts like attractive well spoken candidates who are quick with the one liners.

Add in Beck, O'Reilly, Coulter and Limbaugh. They love bullies, plain and simple. The right is dominated by toadies, and that's all there is to that.

Posted by: DH Walker on February 18, 2010 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Also - what happened to that Marty (?) guy? Did he get busted for being on someone's trolling payroll or something?

Posted by: DH Walker on February 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Is there an instance where liberals/dems. are compulsed to go to 2nd floor restroom with the rest of the gang and bash cons/repubs.?It really looks pretty juvenile. It also appears that tea-partiers are nothing more than republicans who were disaffected for the 2008 election, but when they saw a Democrat elected because of their pouting they just had to go off the deep end because they know the republicans are the reason we are where we are (dems can share in the blame) to a lesser degree, but yes they are losers too.Will Rodgers was right about an organized democratic party. But that doesn't mean I want in with clique and make fun of the Others.I would just like to see some grown-up people for a change try to work together (yeah riiiiiight).I thought republicans were barred from using teleprompters,but I guess a little hypocricy never ever hurts.
michmac
Novi,mi.

Posted by: michmac on February 19, 2010 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly