Marco Rubio’s had a fun week of the media depicting him as a noted Miami crimelord known for his reckless driving, gaudy McMansion, and tossing cash off his Koch-branded cigarette boat. What is it about Rubio that so inflames the left? If you go by the measure of how much the ire rises around a candidate’s fairly conventional defects, Rubio is the leader by far among the 2016 candidates. For the other Republicans, the flaws alleged by the left are more significant and meaningful, at least in the “raises questions about whether they should be president” way – indictments or pending indictments, allegations of corruption and donor favoritism, questions about how they have governed or voted. These are meaningful questions for any politician in either party. But this week’s potshots have been so overblown, so ludicrous, not even Jon Stewart can pretend they matter: “Suddenly the man who paid off his student loans and got a boat is printing counterfeit hundreds in his basement!”
It’s not even the initial reporting that bothers me. At some point you ought to report things like this, obviously – if only we had such a lens pointed toward the purchasing decisions of the Clintons, I think we can guarantee they’ve spent eighty grand on things that are a lot more interesting than a boat. But it’s pretending that these items indicate some sort of troubling aspect that render the candidate unfit for office. My gosh, he paid off his law school debts and bought a house with “oversized windows”, can you believe? He got upside down on a house – heavens! He bought a fishing boat that looks like the type designed to house shirtless dadbods propping cold beers on their tummies – unthinkable!
Thankfully, some corners are recognizing what this is for Rubio – not a mark of questions about his judgment, but something that’s a lot more politically advantageous than Democrats might like. Senator Rubio is not my favorite 2016 candidate by far. But he’s quick on his feet, charming and relatable. He can absolutely turn this little kerfuffle to his benefit if he ends up standing across the stage from Hillary Clinton. And the fact that this is being rolled out against him so early indicates that both Democrats and his Republican opponents recognize how formidable he could be as a candidate of a new generation, one that has not turned celebrity and power into wealth, but has struggled through the past decade of financial challenge, just as most Americans have.
But Here’s The Good Part: Rubio Vice
But look on the bright side: there’s some real potential here for a parody series unlike anything seen before about a Republican presidential candidate. And we deserve a higher level of Marco Rubio parody than what the media has given us. We deserve “Rubio Vice”.
The SNL writers should already be working on a “Rubio Vice” sketch if they haven’t started already. But what they really ought to do is go double-meta and make it a takeoff of Archer Vice. The casting is obvious: Hillary as Mallory Archer (she’s Lucille Bluth as a spymaster anyway), Huma Abedin as Cheryl (“You’re not my supervisor!”), Sid Blumenthal as Doktor Krieger (just put the cartoon in a burka), and David Brock as Pam (“om nom nom nom”). The plot is simple: Rubio is Archer, although his “wild and crazy” ideas are actually pretty common and sometimes reasonable — but everyone reacts to him as if he’s insane or out of control.
A few potential scenes:
Rubio: “I bought a boat.”
Lana: “HOW did you afford a boat?”
Rubio: “I dunno, 401K withdrawal?”
Everyone: “WHAT THE HELL RUBIO.”
Cyril: “The tax consequences are astronomical!”
Hillary: “That white-trash aquatic panty-dropper is barely worth half a speech!”
Hillary: “So Rubio, let’s talk about what you’re planning to do with that fat book bonus. I’ve got a few non-profits you can invest in…”
Rubio: “Oh, I was going to pay off my law school debt.”
Everyone: “WHAT THE HELL RUBIO.”
Rubio: “C’mon you guys, the interest rates were killing me.”
Chelsea: “What the hell are interest rates? You know I wanted to buy new toys for my ocelot!”
Hillary: “Screw your ocelot! What about my week in Gstaad? I’m just supposed to smile while Trudy Beekman hits the button for the penthouse and tell the Saudi Ambassador I’m stuck in a ground floor junior suite with a *gasp* MINI bar?”
Huma: “Someone left this on the printer. It’s not mine. Someone take it. Take it take it take it.”
Rubio: “Oh, that’s a picture of our new house – do you like it?”
Hillary: “Let me see! … That’s adorable. Where’s the rest of it?”
Rubio: “The rest of it?”
Hillary: “I mean, that’s the gatehouse, right? Where’s the rest of it? Does that driveway keep going out back?”
Rubio: “No, that’s it – enough space for the truck though.”
Hillary: “But you’re right there, surrounded by above ground pools and chain link fences! Any West Miami schmo can walk right up off the street with a bag of oranges!”
Rubio: “It’s okay, it’s an old neighborhood, but people are nice. You should come visit some time.”
Hillary: “Hey, if you want to live like the poors, that’s your choice. Just don’t be surprised when people offer you jobs next time you’re in a parking lot.”
Come on, internet – make this happen.