In a June 19th column, "Rand and Rubio", NY Times columnist Ross Douthat writes, "As The American Spectator’s Jim Antle pointed out last month, Rubio and Paul have followed similar paths to prominence. Both were discouraged from running for the Senate by party leaders." While Doughat's editorial doesn't amplify -- of now US Senator Rubio being an "outsider"--, quoting the Spectator in this case shows how the media can echo a false assertion until it carries the imprimatur of truth. Since Rubio is being cultivated by insiders to run on a presidential ticket, the point must not be lost in translation.
There is no evidence -- none-- that Marco Rubio was "discouraged from running for the Senate by party leaders." The opposite is the case, as our readers know. Heck, you don't have to be one of our readers: if you had read the mainstream media closely, you would have understood that it was then Governor Charlie Crist who ran as an outsider, carrying a moderate Republican wing that had been grafted onto the state GOP with baling wire and chewing gum. Rubio represented the core of the GOP that was biding its time until the dagger could be firmly inserted in the Crist campaign and twisted on the way out. Crist, the anti-Bush, got what was coming to him.
There are reasons right wing strategists prefer to paint Rubio as an outsider. For one, it positions him "to the rescue" of the party. To suggest Rubio is a populist coming in from the cold is rubbish. One thing the Republicans do well is get their message frames straight: Rubio not only plays well to the TV cameras, he delivers sound bites flawlessly (and without question by the mainstream press) and can garner the short attention span of the Tea Party that is, itself, moved by the GOP like a herd of cattle to the sound of a cannon.
Yesterday, I likened GOP positions to Russian nesting dolls. In Rubio's case, he fits in neatly somewhere in the middle where the doll he nests within would be a figurine of Jeb Bush. Outsider? Not by a long shot.
Note to NY Times: it is always perilous to "quote" The American Spectator.