Monday, November 08, 2010

Marco Rubio: The Next Obama (from the Right)

I've been noticing how certain circles have been lionizing the recent election of Marco Rubio (R-FL) to the US senate. He seems to be the Right-wing's answer to Obama - he's young, articulate, photogenic, etc. He also claims to carry a mantle of political change, via a connection with the Tea Party movement. As a Cuban-American Latino, he offers his party tantalizing access to the large and growing hispanic voter demographic. His supporters are particularly fervent and shrill in their praise of him. The Left seem to be especially motivated against him.

My concern is that Rubio could potentially be a closet Atlanticist. As with JFK, it's obvious which sect he belongs to - yet however JFK did have a particular fondness for India. At the same time, Rubio openly professes a strong antagonism towards Islamist totalitarianism. He also wants to maintain US strength relative to China. Rubio's political ties to the Bush family don't work against India, either.

But I would particularly look towards his personal hurt from Cuba's communist oppression and its effect on his family, to perhaps think that he might feel some measure of sympathy towards Indians who face predation at the hands of communist forces in India every day. One can always hope, I suppose.


nizhal yoddha said...

interesting thought. hope they run rubio rather than the execrable bobby jindal against obama.

btw, how do you rate obama's chances of re-election? slim to none, or is he a contender?

i'd thought that the fierce opposition to him symbolized by the tea party would sweep him out of office. not so sure any more. he'll play the race card again, like azharuddin played the mohammedan card.

san said...

I don't think the race card is enough to keep Obama in power. The hardline Left are falling out of love with Obama for not being as ideologically hardline as they are - this is a mirror to how the Christian Far-Right abandoned Bush Sr for being too moderate. Meanwhile, the fickle Atlanticists are calculatingly going with whomsoever maximizes their interests - they only supported Obama's election to help oust the Republicans and reverse whatever Bush did.

So I do think there's a significant chance that Obama could be a one-term president, especially given his lacklustre economic performance. He just hasn't delivered for the American people. The Republicans are smart to cultivate hispanic candidates who can canvass for the Latino vote while dodging hot-button issues like illegal immigration. Hispanics do tend to have more self-employment and religiosity than African-Americans, which offers the Republicans some chance for traction.

smriti said...

The Republicans (albeit the Democratic rout, well, almost a rout !) are yet to formulate a nation wide counter strategy - mainly the economic one. One rarely gets to hear an alternative from them.

Agreed that the Obama administration is completely at sea with the prevailing economic situation, but that in itself cannot be a one point strategy to win, for the Republicans. Surely, Obama is not Bush Jr (at least not yet !).

The Latinos have generally favoured Democrats and seem to do so despite the recent success with Republicans. The definite swing of the Latino vote (towards the right )will happen only if there is a seemingly definite shift in the Republican agenda and not just pushing in fresh faces. These fresh faces have to do some credible economic talk.

Then the Black vote is not going Republican any time soon. California voted for Democrats - surely California is mired in as much economic distress as anywhere else in the country. The voting trends being nuanced and very multi-layered may not be general indicators of the national scenario come 2012.

san said...

I'd say the Libertarian premise of reduced govt and reduced taxation has been a good driver for the Tea Party revolution. These things will make America more competitive, and thus represent a viable alternative agenda for the American public to grasp onto.

The Black vote is increasingly falling behind the steadily rising hispanic influence. Demographically, hispanics have already passed blacks.

Despite the apparent chaos of US politics, one thing is clear - the conservatives know how to generate revenue while the populist liberals only know how to spend it.
Arguably, Dubya disrupted that balance with his heavy Iraq war spending, thus resulting in the electorally victorious liberals inheriting an immediately dire debt situation. Oh darn - those uncooperative neo-cons didn't perform their normal expected required duties of building up the coffers so that liberals would have something to spend once they returned to office. The cycle of nature and the socio-political compact was broken, thus resulting in political animosities gyrating out of control.

Well, spending money is a lot easier than earning it, as we all know. So in spite of all the desperate divide-and-rule rhetoric from the Left, America's current state of economic freefall can only be arrested through the application of time-tested conservative policies. Only the conservatives can administer the bitter medicine that will take the US out of its economic flu. Until then, the US economic hemorrhaging will continue.

smriti said...

Laissez-faire by any other name (Libertarian included !) is still laissez-faire and is incompatible with the regulated fundamentals of the market structures.

The Republican supply side economics which has failed in the past is now being hailed as the one to bring back prosperity. One never got to hear anything of substance from the Republicans as the crisis started to unfold and unravel during the final push of the last elections. Republican economic policy and the far-left politics are both without solid ground.

During the toughest times, main street as well as the wall street has to bite the bullet as a consequence of the the monetary world as we know today. If the Democratic efforts (agreed that it hasn't entirely worked) to remedy the underlying economics haven't borne fruit, what policies do the Republican economist (s) bring to the table? The incumbents' policies are easier to pick on and shred apart; the credibility and ingenuity of the Republican economic policies are suspect.

Lower taxation, as a policy, in prosperous times is ideal and commendable, but to brandish it as the economic savoiur in these hard up times, with the steadily emptying coffers, is only going to push the Quantative Easing onwards and upwards.

The polarisation of public opinion added to it, the serious levels of hardship, is floating the boat of the Republicans. When the push comes to shove, the bare bones approach to economics will be unsustainable.

Brownian Motion said...

It turns out that he's a turncoat of sorts :-). According to Wikipedia "Rubio is a former Catholic , who currently attends the Evangelical Christ Fellowship Church in West Kendall." New converts are usually more dogmatic and enthusiastic than those who are born to a faith, so he bears close watching ...

san said...

Thanks for that info, BM. Alright, fair enough, I didn't research what his faith actually was, but went on assumption. Anyway, I notice the American Left seem particularly alarmed by his emergence. The fact that Jeb Bush is an early mentor of his improves my opinion of him. Jeb is the smarter of the two Bush brothers, and was a very able governor of Florida.

Regarding laissez-faire economics, it's a lot better than borrow-upto-your-eyeballs economics, and reduction of big babu bureaucracy gives the manifold benefit of reducing expenditure, loosening the license raj, and starving the babu lobby. All in all, I think this Teapartyism is a good thing, and I wish Indians could somehow do something like that, to break out of their political strictures.

Granted, Rubio is in his early stage, and politicians always end up zigzagging along their rise, but his charismatic style can at least counter the flashiness of the Left.

Hillary's camp still remain a potent threat to Obama, though I'm not sure that a Hillary presidency would particularly benefit India. If anything, I'd assume that a Hillary ascendancy over Obama would see African Americans feeling dejected and showing their discontent by staying home during the next Presidential election.

Ethan said...

Are you KIDDING me??!!

I hope someone reads what I am about to say:

Being a protege of two-time Florida Governor Jeb Bush is NOT ANYwhere the same as "having political ties to the Bush family". Jeb Bush is NOthing like GWB, or GHWB for that matter.

and "Brownian Motion", Rubio has not been a Catholic for YEARS, if at all. Becoming a Christian other than a Catholic doesn't require a "conversion", but you might rightly percieve him as "dogmatic" and "enthusiastic": a.k.a. he actually loves God.

This blog fails because it neglects Rubio's most fascinating feature that rounds out all the other qualities: SUBSTANCE!! His message is articulated and conveyed unlike any other, he transcends the triviality of Obama's half-truths.

And ANYone familiar with Rubio's COMPLETE dedication to American EXCEPTionalism knows that would not qualify him as an Atlanticist, Obama IMO is the most Atlanticist President in modern history. Rubio is just the opposite. Tea Party-backed candidates are about real political and economic liberty, not false prophecies of broken campaign promises.

san said...

There's nothing terribly wrong with Jeb Bush, and I still maintain that he's the more capable out of the two brothers.

I posted that speech from Rubio because I thought it indeed communicated substance, and in a very forthright way. I liked his clearcut presentation and how he hit on key issues. I also noticed how he's attracting early criticism from the Left. Ariana Huffington is a left-wing bird dog, and if she's barking and pointing at him, then that means he must have some positive qualities.

Unfortunately, 2012 is too early for a Rubio presidential run. He doesn't have enough experience yet. At best, he can be a VP running mate, until he builds up more experience.

I'd like to see Rubio give a state-of-the-union reply speech, where I'm sure he could exceed Bobby Jindal's buffoonery.

smriti said...

Reading Marco Rubio' "12 Simple Ways To Grow Our Economy", one can easily summarise the economic policy as - tax cuts- which is all very well if one could explain what would happen to the deficit.

Drastic spending cuts without revenues coming in, is a vicious circle. Spending is necessary for revenue generation. If Marco Rubio' idea of articulation and being a non-Atlantist is the last line of his Idea #12, then may his "God in heaven" bless him. Catholic or Evangelical? Which is the lesser of the two evils? Some choice that is ! (Indian sufferers would say shun both)

A peek across the Atlantic, on the situation of some dramatic spending cuts in the key sectors will spell out some serious troubles it entails; jobs certainly aren't get created.

The ethos that have shaped the ancient land that is India, have long been eviscerated by the willful subversion of it by it's ruling classes. India needs to safeguard it's interests- strategic and economic - and not depend on the political agendas of parties of other countries.Democrats or Republicans, Indian agenda should be it' own and not defined by a regime elsewhere. Sadly, India does not seem to show any inclination to do so - it does not even have an effective China policy to curtail it' menacing neighbour.

Having only just read his policy, I'd probably add QED to all those ideas enumerated in his list.

san said...


History shows that lower tax rates actually reap proportionally greater revenue, because of the non-linear effect on economic activity. The greater need is for cuts in US govt spending, and rollback of the welfare state, which of course has endless hunger, since anyone will like to live off someone else's dime.

smriti said...


I agree with you about welfare state or dole and hand-outs.

However, the supply side economics'(as kicked off by the Reagan govt)claims are largely exaggerated. I'd take the idea - that tax cuts encourage work, savings and investment - with a pinch of salt. Agreed, that the payroll tax hike did manage to close out a bit on the deficit, but Republican economists' claim were a bit of a stretch. In any country, the spending on defence is a must and it is one significant chunk of govt. spending and is one of the balancing factors in saving and spending. And that is what kept the Reagan era spending afloat. Still, that era raked up the largest budget deficit in non-war times. As many a social spending were cut, what happened to the low-income tax payers? Tax roll backs were mainly for the top rate. Notwithstanding all the happy -talk of that era being continued to this day by politicians with a sunny disposition, the Reagan era economic results were surely a mixed bag, as the federal deficits as regards GDP and the average real earning terms were nothing to write home about. The draconian monetary tightening, for the most part, was on the wage earners and not to the ones with deep pockets. The revenues earned by the tax cuts do not fare well when it is seen in real terms.

My questioning of the Republican policy is regarding the national debt and deficit. I agree with you on reducing the big babu bureaucracy.