"The Republican Obama."
That's the new hot attack on Sen.
But the leader of the opposition to Rubio, at least when it comes to this line, is actually someone not in the race:
Contrary to all evidence, Scarborough has denied he has an unhealthy obsession with his fellow Floridian. But given Scarborough's near-relentless denigration of Rubio, objective viewers might wonder if Rubio had run over Scarborough's dog or toilet-papered his house one
On Thursday morning's show, Scarborough launched into an extended tirade about the best ways for other Republicans to attack Rubio. Sounding a bit like an armchair general who can't wait any longer to be asked his opinion, Scarborough declared, "He is the Republican Obama. And he really is." Time magazine, Scarborough complained with more than a touch of resentment, "anointed him the
"Seriously," Scarborough added, "I have complained for years that
It's almost as if Scarborough forgot that Obama was elected -- twice.
Because he has a unique animosity for Rubio, Scarborough left out that his indictment applies in equal measure to Cruz, another first-term senator who hit the ground running for the
Scarborough is certainly right that Rubio's list of
Which brings us back to this whole "Republican Obama" thing. For Scarborough, not to mention
Moreover, while conservatives have rightly faulted President Obama for not being up to the job, particularly when it comes to foreign policy, that indictment isn't the one most on the right focus on. Rather, conservatives have been told, with good reason, that Obama has been a hugely effective progressive ideologue.
While Obama has been something of a disaster for the
No Republican wants to emulate Obama's many failures, but few wouldn't love to emulate his successes -- in a conservative way.
The point is, it depends what you mean by a Republican Obama. For instance, when Cruz was elected to the
Every candidate's record is fair game. But by their very nature, arguments about a politician's record are arguments about the past. Rubio and Cruz -- or as I like to call them, Los Hermanos Cubanos -- can frame their candidacies on the future. In a year when a majority of Americans -- and a super-majority of Republicans -- think the country is on the wrong track, that's an advantage.