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Monday, May 04, 2015


Are you a loiterer on Memory Lane?  When the past comes back to haunt someone are you back there somewhere in the shadows shadowing the past?  If so, Senator Rubio would like to redirect you.  “Yesterday”, we have now been informed, is over.  It’s time we turned toward what’s to come – embrace the challenge that awaits us.

Can it be that Rubio thinks that we need him to tell us that each new day is yet another bridge to yet another new beginning?

Obviously not.  He must have more respect for us than that – so it has to be that we’re meant to find in that some dig at Hillary and Jeb, if the shoe fits, which it does.  Hillary, being a supersize-the-government Lyndon Johnson-era throwback, while Jeb seems the heir to his family’s image – picture something stodgy next to which Ozzie and Harriet come across as edgy and rebellious.

That must have been the point - but if it was, why the vague phraseology?  Why hint that the gigantic, grey-colored beast in the parlor might be an elephant?

Perhaps it’s simply that Rubio would rather his pronouncements not be nit-picked – hence the booby trap.  Try to guess why he said what he said the way he said it and it’s you who’ll look like an idiot.

A clever lad, this Rubio.  Still, why let fly with so much shrapnel?  If Hillary and Jeb aren’t fit for the big job why should anyone assume it’s the past that’s the matter with them?

Hillary’s the veteran of an open marriage.  How with-it must you be for that to seem old hat?  The Bush clan, by contrast, may have begun with a marriage as quaint as any film of Doris Day’s, yet if you get past that you might have noticed Jeb’s as close as anyone could come to being La Raza’s Manchurian Candidate

Beyond that I’d think there might be at least a couple of reasons Rubio might better have left the past well enough alone.  Given the future both parties have played so big a part in presenting us with, the past might soon begin to effervesce with the luster of a Golden Age.

In our case this will be a Golden Age that will want its gold.  Unfortunately for Rubio and his giddy millennials the Republicans have acquiesced to letting the Obama-Bush consortium do the spending for the future.

This is one place I thought Rand Paul might have had some ground to stand on.  Go deep enough in debt and isolationism becomes your only option.

That can tend to lead to trouble down the road if history is any judge, and ultimately it is, in spite of whatever Rubio might think of it.

But why slam Rubio for a bit of verbal confetti at the start of his campaign?  Rand Paul’s floating far crazier trial balloon.  I’ve heard he’s favored making student loan debt deductible.   Was that for the parents or the students? 

The answer is it doesn’t matter.  The Democrats would undoubtedly match, then raise, whatever Paul’s proposal offered were Paul to become the nominee – and who wouldn’t think Hillary would be the more likely to deliver on any such promise she might make?

So why should anyone bother with any of this?  The Paul and Rubio campaigns are long shots.  I’d also doubt that there can be that many who imagine Walker or Huckabee can go the distance (nor Fiorina nor Carson).  Nor do I think it likely that any of them will say anything that will change our opinions of them.  We’ve been watching them, or at least I think enough of us have, off and on.  We can guess who they’d choose should the choice come down to Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush.

I should also think we know enough to guess who Jeb would like to see come out on top if the choice came down to Cruz or Hillary.

Given all that, it would seem reasonable to wonder if Cruz can win.  George Will, predictably, believed we needed to be reminded of how bad things had gone for Goldwater.  Under-cutting the logic of that editorial are the Reagan victories.

The question as to why the Conservatives won in the Eighties, after losing in the Sixties would seem to have given rise to two contending schools of thought.  The first would hold that we had changed.  The nation got the gargantuan expansion of the government it voted for in ’64 and then, after sixteen disastrous years, the public had a change of heart.

The other explanation credits the Reagan charisma.  Obviously, given the choice, who wouldn’t rather have Reagan make the case that must be made?  Who wouldn’t rather have Reagan lead the fight?

As it happens, the only people we know for sure who didn’t see Reagan as any sort of political Elvis are the Party moderates.  They first insisted only Ford stood a chance against Carter in ’76, and then that anyone other than Reagan was a safer bet in1980.

Now the Party gurus are again of one mind.  Ann Coulter and all the other people Fox News counts as “conservative” would clearly be more comfortable in a room full of Romney backers if the alternative were a room full of Cruz supporters.

Again, I don’t know that there’s anyone who’s all that mystified as to why that might be – just as there can’t be much doubt as to which room Reagan would rather be in.

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