Huddled Marco

Thanks to those kooky birthers, new details about the family history of wingnut pin-up squish Marco Rubio came to light that discredit the “son of exiles” shtick the junior senator from Florida rode to national prominence. I’m not sure how it plays outside Florida, but down here, a family connection to anti-Castro Cuban exiles is a very big deal politically and socially, which is why Rubio never fails to allude to it in a speech and flashed that cred so prominently on his senate bio page:


Well, that was last week. After it came out that Rubio’s parents left Cuba for Florida in 1956—while Castro was in Mexico plotting the revolution that would take place in 1959—Rubio’s minions updated the page:


Rubio calls the suggestion that he embellished the family story for political gain “outrageous” and renewed his claim to “son of exiles” status by asserting that his parents would have eventually returned to Cuba if Castro hadn’t taken it over after they left. That’s weak sauce, and it smacks of desperation because Rubio knows this is a big deal, even if others, including Andrew Sullivan, don’t:

His official bio is wrong, and it’s worth pointing that out. And the issue is not trivial: there is a difference between assessing one’s options and leaving Cuba before Castro came to power and fleeing his persecution afterward. But the get is underwhelming.

It’s not underwhelming at all, and I’ll tell you why: These revelations transform the Rubio family’s immigration story from a conservative to a progressive morality tale. His parents weren’t fleeing a commie dictator in search of freedom; they were escaping a right-wing oligarch seeking economic opportunity, not unlike the landscaper Mitt Romney fired because Mitt is “running for office, for Pete’s sake.”

I doubt this will knock Rubio off the wingnut Bieber circuit—the GOP brain is remarkably impervious to the intrusion of facts. But Rubio’s carefully constructed political persona may be beginning to unravel. It’s as if “son of a mill-worker” John Edwards’ father were found to be the mill owner.

Posted by Betty Cracker on 10/22/11 at 08:26 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersElection '10NuttersTeabaggery

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Rubio is one of the young gun wingnut/tea tards that scare the bejeevers out of me. They seem like empty vessels that will go along with anything the crazies dream up for the cause. With not an ounce of introspection to ferret out the most insane notions of modern wingnuttia. Right wing elemental grade nutters.

He’s still on the path to being a POTUS nominee who gets less than 30% of the Latino vote.  Which he’ll contribute to ‘reverse racism’ or brainwashing or something like that.  He’ll still give Jeb Bush a stiffie, so he has that to look forward to.

Freepers are torn, because a lot of them want Rubio to be on the ticket, but if they accept him as legitimate the arguments against Obama’s natural born citizenship go out the window.

Surprisingly, there are some wingers who are less concerned about his eligibility than they are about the fact that he’s new, young and hasn’t accomplished anything beyond a few nice speeches and talking the Tea Party line. In many ways, he’s everything they hate about Obama, except the message.

I love how he tossed his dead dad under the bus for not getting the dates right on the family immigration story; family values, etc. 

Betty C., does the whole “Cuban good, Castro muy bad” thing still have as much traction as it dud, say 20 years ago, now that the first generation Cuban exiles are dying off?  Just curious.

Less every year, String. Most of the Cuban-Americans I know who are under 50 don’t give a rat’s ass about Castro.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression. Can I be Sec. of the Treasury?

Well, you haters can hate all you want, but I’m with Marco.

I was born a poor black child in Philadelphia many moons ago. My parents were able to escape the nefarious Afrika Bambatta regime and sneak onto the DelMarVa peninsula in the hold a crab boat coming in from the Chesapeake.

Now, they were both white, as am I so you may be asking yourself how I was born a poor black child in Philadelphia to which I say, shut up! That’s why!

Despite the hardships, dad managed to graduate from Villanova Magna Cum Laude in finance and economics while mom endured near-nunnery education at private women’s Catholic schools, you know the sort, kind of like the underground railroad for middle class, East coast white folks who fear for their lives and must live on the edges of society.

It also explains how I now live in the dark North Woods, taking comfort in my tiny hovel and watching, ever-vigilant, for the enemies of my people—you know, morons and teabaggers.

Typical wingnut SOP in these situations:

1) Backtrack by retroactively revising your story (“What I MEANT to say was…”).

2) Pretend that you never revised your story, and engage in misdirection by blaming your critics for getting the (newly-revised) story wrong.

3) Hope like hell that your supporters are stupid enough to fall for it.

This reminds me of my father, who used to refer to my brother as a “Vietnam veteran”.  It didn’t matter that my brother would correct him: he was a “Vietnam-era veteran” because he never served in Vietnam, and the distinction was important to him.  I guess my father felt that “Vietnam veteran” sounded more resonant and dashing, and maybe a little bit dangerous.

If Rubio had characterized his parents as “refugees” instead of “exiles”, it wouldn’t have turned into a problem.  You can be a refugee for a lot of reasons.  “Exile” implies a different level of agency.  Somebody had to care enough to want you gone. That makes you important. And there’s a suggestion of a time limit on being in exile, that the exile will end and you will return triumphant.  Refugees don’t care so much about pizzazz. The only embarrassing thing about that is if you try to punch up your own history because you are embarrassed about it.  Rubio’s losing more credibility than he initially gained.

Rubio is a fetid stool. Luckily for Marco, Repubtards don’t care about facts.

3) Hope like hell that your supporters are stupid enough to fall for it.

Well that one’s a given.

1. Afrika Bambatta’s from Philly?  I did not know that.

2. Weren’t Rubio’s parents just immigrants like everybody else that comes here to make bank?

Weren’t Rubio’s parents just immigrants like everybody else that comes here to make bank?

It seems that way.  And Rubio’s flailing attempts to find a way to still call them exiles are not going to work out for him.  Emphasising how much they wanted to go back to Cuba (and did go back for a while), coupled with their not becoming American citizens until almost 20 years after they arrived ... well, they don’t sound very patriotic, do they?

To quote a wiser man than me:

I’m movin’ down to Florida.  And you know that I’m gonna hafta potty train the chairman Mao.  And I’m gonna make the governor write my doodoo a letter, child.  And then I’m gonna grind me a White Castle slider out of India’s sacred cow.

My parents were able to escape the nefarious Afrika Bambatta regime

Were they renegades? Like Chief Sitting Bull, Tom Paine, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X? Were they renegades of their time and age?

In the law of the teflon Republican jungle where the past never matters and the attention of the media is diverted to the future, the accusations almost always end up sticking to the accusers.  Ask Dan Rather how well that AWOL charge worked out on GW.  The Republican crew will line up in support and Rubio will not be left alone pointing out the meaning of “is”.

WAPO deleted the word “dramatic” from it’s original story on Rubio’s family. That means it was all a lie and right-wing New Media wins again!

With screencaps!

I see what you did there, Mike.

2. Weren’t Rubio’s parents just immigrants like everybody else that comes here to make bank?

Comment by Nellcote

I was wondering that myself, Nellcote.  According to this new rule my sister and her husband are either exiles or refugees (I’m not convinced they qualify as refugees either, Larkspur) from the UK. *shrugs*

“Immigrants” is the big one, of which “refugees” are a subset, and “exiles” are a different subset that partly shares some of the stuff with “refugees”.  If I knew more about Venn diagrams, I might possibly be coherent about it.

My grandfather emigrated from Europe because times were tough and his family thought they’d do better in a new country.  In my book, that makes them immigrants,  but not refugees or exiles. I could probably pick out events and circumstances to make my grandpa’s personal history seem more dramatic, but I’m not running for anything, plus I also know (from having watched The X-Files) that nothing disappears without a trace , so it’s better to not make shit up.

I see what you did there, Mike.

Say groove, sucka!

In my book, that makes them immigrants,  but not refugees or exiles.

Yeah, I think the difference is in whose idea it is for them to move to a different country. If it’s their own, they’re immigrants; if they’re forced by a legal decision in the home country to leave, they’re exiles; if they’re driven out by war or famine or other disaster, they’re refugees.

(I should say with both refugees and immigrants it’s their idea, but the circumstances differ.)

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