Monday, December 28, 2015

No, Rubio Isn't the Rational Moderate Candidate

Okay, Marco, maybe you can be the candidate, but that doesn't make you less crazy.

Today's the day of the two Pauls. I already posted Paul Waldman's dismantling of today's GOP, and now it's Paul Krugman's turn. Krugman wisely points out that Trump and Cruz may be capable of blocking out most people's view of the GOP undercard, also known as the establishment candidates, but they shouldn't be allowed to obscure the fact that others -- for example, Marco Rubio -- have swung just as far right, in fact further right than even the notoriously unfortunate George W. Bush, the 44th most respected president in history.
The point is that while the mainstream contenders may have better manners than Mr. Trump or the widely loathed Mr. Cruz, when you get to substance it becomes clear that all of them are frighteningly radical, and that none of them seem to have learned anything from past disasters.
Why does this matter? Right now conventional wisdom, as captured by the bookies and the betting markets, suggests even or better-than-even odds that Mr. Trump or Mr. Cruz will be the nominee, in which case everyone will be aware of the candidate’s extremism. But there’s still a substantial chance that the outsiders will falter and someone less obviously out there — probably Mr. Rubio — will end up on top.
And if this happens, it will be important to realize that not being Donald Trump doesn’t make someone a moderate, or even halfway reasonable. The truth is that there are no moderates in the Republican primary, and being reasonable appears to be a disqualifying characteristic for anyone seeking the party’s nod.
Marco, you may not be odious, but your policy prescriptions are, and people avoid realizing that at their peril.

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