For several practical reasons, not least of which that I needed to finish some work I didn't have time to do in Vancouver, I listened to Sen. Marco Rubio's State of the Union response instead of watching it. Missing, I suppose, a good helping of his personal charisma, and going solely on the content of his speech, I have to conclude he and I live in different countries.
Where do I begin?
How about where Senator Rubio began: his first four sentences. I have no objection to "Good evening" or "I'm Marco Rubio" (though I did hear, in my mind's ear, "Polo"). Sentence three: "I'm blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate." That, to me, is a curious reading of the first and seventeenth amendments. But I'll overlook it for now.
Sentence four: "Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term."
Oh, wait. That sentence is only in the prepared remarks. He didn't actually read it out loud. Why? one wonders.
Look, I'm tired, I woke up today in a foreign country, and I only have one Loonie in my pocket to spend right now against the 277 loonies in Congress. So let me jump ahead to the part of Rubio's speech that made me shout obscenities:
This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.
Which policies in particular? Two unfunded wars? The dissipation of a $500 billion budget surplus in four years? The draconian immigration laws—which he, as the child of Cubans, never had to experience because of our anti-Castro policies—that have dissuaded millions of able bodies and minds from coming to the U.S.? Or maybe, more pointedly, the small-government fantasies of a senile Federal Reserve chairman who admitted, two years after the disaster he created had put tens of millions of people out of work, had caused the organization he chaired to fail completely to meet its mandate for managing unemployment?
The three most-likely possibilities why Rubio's speech had no connection with reality are these: first, he believes he has to win over the dead-end, right-wing faction of his party (who constitute a compelling majority of it) in order to run for president; second, because he truly believes what he said, which bodes ill for his understanding of the reality-based community most people inhabit; or third, because his time machine malfunctioned, and he read his party's 1976 convention speech by mistake.
"[A] housing crisis created by reckless government policies." I'm agog. I'm out of analogies. What analogy could possibly encompass the chutzpah—mendacity?—of that line? "Mom, I crashed the car, so I blame you for not getting me to school on time." "Doctor, I shot myself in the liver, so I'll blame you if I die."
And that's just one line, near the beginning.
I'm done for the day, though. Tomorrow, after I've slept on it, I'll comment on the best State of the Union address a Republican has given in my lifetime.