Marco Rubio’s response to the President’s State of the Union speech was one big fail — and not because he had a case of dry mouth midway through his remarks.
Who cares if Rubio took a sip from a bottle of water? Criticizing style points now substitutes for cogent analysis? No, don’t think so.
What matters (or at least should matter) is that Rubio presented a false, alternate reality in his prepared remarks. Rubio kept rebutting a speech that no one actually gave — it’s as if he was rebutting what someone might imagine Fox News assumed Obama would say. He criticized Obama for blaming Bush — except Bush was never mentioned, nor even obliquely referred to in Obama’s speech. Obama said we had an economic crisis. Yes, we did. It’s a fact.
But the worst Big Lie was blaming a government program for the 2008 collapse of the economy:
“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.”
To fault government programs or regulations for the economic implosion of 2008, as Rubio did, means he is either ignorant or he is counting on the public’s ignorance to mask his prevarications. It’s simply a lie, and it’s been proven a Big Lie with every investigation, every study, every fact-based analysis of what actually brought about the world’s Great Recession.
Government didn’t invent nor require credit default swamps or synthetic derivatives or CDOs squared when the supply of fraudulent mortgages slowed to a crawl and they needed more product to keep up the securitization money train, over leveraging their diminished capital as much as 60 to 1 in the process. No, Wall St. created those nasty little financial innovations — financial weapons of mass destruction — all on its own.
The nation has been on a deregulation binge since the 1980s — it’s history, it’s factual. Government gave up its cop-on-the-beat policing role a long time ago. It’s become a facilitator, a co-conspirator for Wall St.’s unscrupulous and opportunistic grab of an ever-increasing share of the entire nation’s wealth.
Because Wall St.’s and the financial sector’s “innovations” of the last two decades are now so arcane, so complex, and so hidden (off the books) from view, the Big Lie is believable when it’s simply stated over and over again, as the GOP is apparently determined to do, facts be damned.
The problem, the potential consequence, of pushing the Big Lie that government and regulation caused the near-collapse of the U.S. economy is to almost ensure it will happen again, and the “too-big-to-fail” financial behemoths will be bailed out again, with no accountability ever assumed for their fraud and recklessness with pension funds, 401(k) savings, and municipal budgets of their fellow Americans.
(Google how much Rubin, Paulson, Johnson, Thaine, et al, made for their tenures overseeing the massive failure of their firms.)
Wall St. and the entrenched financial elites are counting on Americans having the attention span of a gnat and the intelligence of a dinosaur, lumbering once again into the predatory traps the masters of the universe have created to steal the life savings of hard-working Americans. Because they can.
If Rubio is the new, kinder, gentler, smarter Republican party, he amply displayed he’s as unabashedly dishonest and Machiavellian as the old one.
Big lie, big fail.