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“Now He Has Really Done It!”: Marco Rubio Alienates Comic-Con Crowd

Marco Rubio’s views on reproductive rights are likely to alienate women. His views on immigration reform are likely to alienate a lot of Latinos. His take on marriage equality is going to alienate the LGBT community. And his plan for tax breaks for millionaires will alienate economists.

But now Rubio has really done it: he’s alienated the comic-con crowd.

The latest McClatchy/Marist poll found the Florida senator running third nationally, trailing only Donald Trump and Ben Carson, in the race for the Republican nomination, but there was an interesting age gap: Rubio may be the youngest candidate – he’s only 44 – but he enjoys stronger support with older GOP voters than younger GOP voters.

Rubio has pitched himself as the voice of a new generation of far-right policymakers, but voters older than him tend to like Rubio more than voters younger than him.

The senator’s take on science fiction may not help matters.

The first hint of trouble came two weeks ago, when someone asked Rubio a familiar genre question: Star Wars or Star Trek? He tweeted in response, “Star wars. It has a political theme.” The political themes in Star Trek are hard to miss, making his answer odd.

Today in New Hampshire, Rubio added some related thoughts on the subject, explaining his conflicted feelings about Darth Vader. He also reflected on some childhood toys (thanks to my colleague Will Femia for the heads-up):

…Rubio also revealed that he had a toy version of the Death Star, the fictional base for the movie’s darker forces, and re-told a key moment in the series’ plot.

 “I think I had the Death Star, but it kept breaking just like it did in part two – in ‘Empire Strikes Back’ when it blew up cause that guy got that rocket to go into that hole,” Rubio said. “Remember that?”

No. No, no, no. Noooooo.

Look, I realize Marco Rubio gets confused about economic policy, foreign policy, health care, immigration, the culture wars, and most of the major issues of the day, but he should at least have some basic understanding of Star Wars canon.

First, the Death Star blows up in two Star Wars movies, but “The Empire Strikes Back” isn’t one of them.

Second, Luke Skywalker is not to be referred to as “that guy.”

And third, I wouldn’t really say Luke fired a “rocket.”

Political pundits seem to love the Florida senator, but is it fair to say Rubio just lost some backing among sci-fi pundits?

Postscript: If Rubio is looking for pointers on how public officials and politicians should talk about Star Wars, he could get some useful pointers from the Obama White House, which knows what it’s talking about.


By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, November 10, 2015

November 11, 2015 Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, Marco Rubio, Science Fiction | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dick Cheney’s Book Is Less Memoir Than Caricature

Self-reflection is not something we have come to expect in  elected officials, particularly those who have left office fairly recently. But  could former Vice President Dick Cheney have not even made the slightest effort  to convince people he didn’t deserve the “Darth Vader” moniker assigned by  his foes?

Cheney’s  memoir, written with his daughter, Liz Cheney, is so  unapologetic as to be a  caricature. One could hardly imagine that  Cheney—or even anyone from the  recently-departed Bush  administration—would suddenly decide that the war in  Iraq had been a  mistake, based on lies. But he might have acknowledged that the  basis  for going to war—even if one believes that it was an honest   misunderstanding, instead of a craven lie—turned out to be (oops!) not  true.  He chides the nation for failing to live within its means, but  fails to  consider the fiscal impact of two wars, massive tax cuts and a  huge Medicare  drug entitlement program. And his no-apology book tour  confirms the theme;  Cheney told the Today show that he  thinks waterboarding is an acceptable way for the United States to get  information out of suspected terrorists, but says he’d object if another nation  did it to a U.S. citizens.

Former  President George Bush certainly offered no apologies in his  memoir, and that’s  to be expected. But Bush wasn’t mean or angry in his  book. He even told a  rather charming story of how an African-American  staffer had brought his two  young boys to the White House during the  waning days of the presidency, and  that one of the boys had asked,  “Where’s Barack Obama?” There is  characteristically nothing kind or  charming or insightful to be found in  Cheney’s tome. Even the cover is  daunting—a grimacing Cheney inside the White  House, looking like he’s deliberately trying to scare away the tourists.

The  shot against former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is  inexcusable: Cheney  tells a story about how Rice had “tearfully”  admitted to him that she was  wrong to tell Bush that he should have  apologized for misleading the American public  about Saddam Hussein’s  alleged attempt to secure yellowcake uranium from Niger.  Whether Rice  broke down before Cheney, we may never know. But to turn an   accomplished woman like Rice into some silly, weak little girl is  unforgivable.  Agree with Rice or not. Slam her for misstating or  misreading intelligence  before and after 9-11 or not. But she is  brilliant; she has dedicated her life  to scholarship and public  service, and she deserves to be treated better.

Former  Secretary of State Colin Powell—who preceded Rice, and whom  Cheney seems to  believe was somehow hounded from office, although  Powell said he had always  intended to stay just one term—offers the  best summation: Cheney took some  “cheap shots” in the book. That’s not  the reflective mindset necessary for a  memoir.


By: Susan Milligan, U.S. News and World Report, August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011 Posted by | Conservatives, Dick Cheney, Foreign Policy, GOP, Homeland Security, Iraq, Middle East, National Security, Neo-Cons, Politics, President Obama, Public, Public Opinion, Republicans, Right Wing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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