Republican Sen. Marco Rubio was once a Republican presidential contender before Donald Trump started talking about penis size during a national debate. This set off a chain of events that ended with "Lil' Marco" becoming the gutless sycophant he was always meant to be.
Appearing on “Fox & Friends,” Rubio and weirdly surly host Brian Kilmeade tasked themselves with defending the last Republican White House's complete inability to put together a coherent infrastructure plan. The next president, Joe Biden, announced his own truly dramatic infrastructure modernization plan just two months into his presidency.
Why couldn't Trump's crack team of son-in-law Jared Kushner, crank economist Peter Navarro, Fox News financial yapper Larry Kudlow, and a bunch of other B-tier administration weirdos come up with an infrastructure plan that Republican lawmakers would support? It's because Democrats, that's why. It's always because Democrats.
Via Aaron Rupar:
BRIAN KILMEADE: Talking about all [unintelligible], Joe Biden making fun of Infrastructure Week, that they never got going during the Trump administration. You know why? Cause of the Russia stuff! That they brought up, at the time—every time they roll out infrastructure some other fake Russian lead would pop up and distract everybody. But—
SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Well that, and a, uh, global pandemic, in which local authorities across the country were prohibiting people from working.
It'd be tempting to give Rubio some bonus points for being one of the few people on Fox News to remember that 1 million people died in America during a pandemic in which "local authorities" were trying their best to stop the virus from spreading. This while the president of these United States did approximately jack to curtail the spread on a national level. But we're going to strip those points away again, because so sorry, sir: The COVID-19 virus was first discovered in 2019 and did not reach pandemic status in the United States until 2020, the final year of Trump's term in office.
The "-19" part of the virus designation was a clue on that one. No, Trump's team did not fail to create an infrastructure plan during his first three years in office due to a thing that happened during his last year in office. Pandemic sequelae do not include time travel.
But this broader take is something Republicans have piped up with quite often during the Trump years and after them: Anytime Dear Leader failed, it was because non-Republicans tricked or distracted or conspired against him. Trump has never been responsible for his own failures, which include getting caught attempting to extort the Ukrainian government, getting caught lying to federal investigators about highly sensitive nuclear and military secrets being kept in boxes in unsecured rooms of his for-profit Mar-a-Lago resort, or a pattern of promising to solve all of America's problems anytime now, but possibly in two weeks, and seldom following up on any of it.
You guys, the entire Donald J. Trump presidential administration could not come up with a cohesive, passable infrastructure plan in three years of trying because every time they were about to, Democrats distracted them. We were this close to a Trump infrastructure plan, but then Nancy Pelosi would take Jared Kushner aside and point out a really cool bird, and that was that—the White House wouldn't be able to recover for a week. Or a new tidbit about who Donald Trump Jr. met with in Trump Tower would be released, and not a single one of the policy experts Trump relied on could focus on their jobs because they'd all rush to their television sets to see what Anderson Cooper had to say about it. It would be the talk of the book clubs for weeks, and if this or that bridge fell down or if the nation's electrical grid was looking shakier than it had for decades, well, that'd have to wait until all the policy experts had room to focus on their jobs again.
And here we thought the unending stream of "Infrastructure Weeks" was the result of Trump's advisers pitching privatization plans and other corporate boondoggles that not even the most MAGA of Republican lawmakers could vote for without their constituents turning them out on their ears come the next election. But no, apparently that wasn't it after all. It's just that Trump's team was too "distracted" by Russia accusations to pull together anything better.
That's what Republicans are now trying to sell to their morning show base, huh.
Look, pretty much the whole premise of having a White House is that it has to be able to do two things at once. You don't want a foreign nation to be able to militarily annex the Eastern Seaboard because the commander in chief was too busy watching “Blue's Clues” to notice. Trump, however, is a regular beneficiary of excuses from the pundits and lawmakers who support him the most. Republicans take it as a given that the man and his entourage couldn't possibly do the things that would be expected of any other administration, because his enemies are just constantly outwitting him at every turn.
If Trump can't assemble a team capable of doing two things at once, maybe that's a good reason to not make him president again? His inability to follow basic laws and willingness to overthrow the government rather than stomach losing a popularity contest would also be good disqualifiers, of course, but maybe Trump's disciples shouldn't be brushing all of those other gigantic flaws aside to support a guy who, by their own telling, can't do the job.
Why does it seem like Republicans have such a hard time recruiting Senate candidates who actually live in the states they want to run in? We're discussing this strange but persistent phenomenon on this week's edition of "The Downballot." The latest example is former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, who's been spending his time in Florida since leaving the House in 2015, but he's not the only one. Republican Senate hopefuls in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Montana, and Wisconsin all have questionable ties to their home states—a problem that Democrats have gleefully exploited in recent years. (Remember Dr. Oz? Of course you do.)
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