While we're only months into President Obama's second term, the last thing I want to write about at the moment is the next Presidential election, but it's hard to pass up a chance to point out that two of the 2016 hopefuls from the shrinking Stupid Party (not my words, branding from one of their own) seem to be in a battle to appeal to the craziest of crazies in their party.
There's Marco Rubio, the so-called "rising star" who so far is more of a flame out (gulp), and then there's the recently resurfaced Jeb Bush, who for no apparent reason, they refer to as the "smart one" of the Bush clan. As they both jumped into the Presidential hopeful spotlight in recent days and weeks, things haven't gone too well for either of them.
During the 2012 campaign, Jeb sat on the sidelines while critiquing Mitt Romney and the others, and for most of that time, he echoed the conventional wisdom that the GOP had turned into a clown competition, and that they would never get anywhere unless they started acting civilized.
Yeah, that didn't last long.
Jeb entered the spotlight again this week to try and sell his new book. The only problem is that it's a book about immigration, and as everyone now knows, he's taken about three or four (I've lost count) different positions in the space of two days. That's a record, even beating Mitt Romney's flip-flop on positions that differed with the ones he wrote about in his book on health care. No doubt Jeb took a hard right turn off the road of his faux sensible Republican act in order to play to a base that's not just anti-immigration, but anti-anything but white folks (and women) altogether. Now Jeb has been invited to speak at the annual Take Off Your Straightjacket weekend or CPAC, so it's anyone's guess what hoops he'll be jumping through at that little hate-fest.
Since Jeb conveniently popped up with a book on immigration just as Rubio was crowning himself the king of an immigration policy that the GOP is crowing about, but no one has actually seen yet, I suppose it's only natural that Rubio would try and go even lower, after a six pack or two of bottled water.
Rubio, not one to disappoint did just that. He headed to right wing radio to revive the old Kill ObamaCare act. Once again, not only does he want to take away grandma's Social Security and Medicare, but is threatening to take her entire family's access to good health care with it as he pushes them and the entire country off a cliff. He's demanding that a continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year include provisions to defund Obamacare in its entirety.
Also from that same interview, he threw in a veiled threat at possibly blocking yet another nominee, this time for the Environmental Protection Agency, because enforcing regulations that would keep the big polluters from killing us all must not stand as far as Rubio and his donors are concerned. You know the argument, no regulations, free market, big government, and so on.
Who really knows if there's a rivalry between these two, or if at the moment they're just camera ready attention hogs. For all we know, they may think that a double dose of crazy would be just the thing for a two man ticket in 2016, although I'm not sure either of their egos could stand the competition.
Either way, it's going to be interesting to watch them race to the bottom.
On a more serious side however, in the meantime Rubio still wants to take the entire country hostage over the protection of tax cuts for the wealthy while trying to kill the ACA, and anything else that will benefit the country as a whole, while he uses every crisis as an opportunity to raise money from the rich folks he actually works for.
It's going to be a long, ugly four years.
(Photos, graphics: Wikimedia Commons, Beach Peanuts)