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Marco Rubio touts American "exceptionalism" as a dog whistle to extremist elements of GOP [View All]

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-04-10 12:05 PM
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Marco Rubio touts American "exceptionalism" as a dog whistle to extremist elements of GOP
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Edited on Mon Oct-04-10 12:06 PM by seafan
While his mentor hovers in the shadows, gushing over the candidate he nurtured to front-load his policies, or 'Big Hairy Audacious Goals' (BHAGS) as he calls them...

Republican candidate Marco Rubio casts U.S. Senate race as battle for America

Palm Beach Post
George Bennett
October 2, 2010

Whether he's recounting the story of his Cuban exile parents, touting tax cuts or dismissing a question about his personal finances, Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio seldom misses a chance to promote the idea of American exceptionalism. ..... In Rubio's telling, the survival of American exceptionalism - particularly the American concepts of limited government and free-market entrepreneurialism - is threatened by Democratic policies.


Some maintain the idea means the U.S. is distinct from - but not superior to - other nations.

Not Rubio.

"For the last 234 years, Americans have built here in this country the most successful society in all of human history," Rubio said at last month's Republican Party of Florida annual dinner. "We should not be embarrassed to say that America is not just unique, it's quite frankly better than anything else that has ever existed in the history of mankind."

But Rubio says Democratic measures like the $787 billion stimulus, the new health care law and proposed cap-and-trade legislation to limit carbon emissions impose costs and regulations that hinder the exceptional American entrepreneur.


Rubio, who has been touted by The National Review and other conservative organs as an emerging Reaganesque star for the GOP, advocates a platform of lower taxes, less regulation and reduced government spending.

Damon Linker, a New Republic contributing editor who has written frequently on exceptionalism, calls Rubio's America-is-better view "childish" and says many conservatives touting exceptionalism are merely trying to wrap their views in the flag and brand their opponents as unpatriotic.
"So the Republican Party platform is raised up almost as a kind of civic catechism for the country. That's very useful for them to rally their supporters. It turns partisan disputes into an existential conflict over America and its enemies," Linker says.


Lynn University American studies professor Robert Watson says when he first heard Rubio speak of American exceptionalism, "I almost fell out of my chair," because the idea has become associated with American hubris and foreign policy excesses.
"People don't mention American exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny much anymore because it is tinged with overly zealous tones.


January 03, 2007|By John Kennedy, Tallahassee Bureau Chief


TALLAHASSEE -- Just moments before his swearing-in Tuesday, Republican Charlie Crist stepped through the doorway of the Old Capitol to the Aaron Copland theme, "Fanfare for the Common Man."

Crist had chosen the music himself.

With touches big and small, Crist was intent on signaling Tuesday that his style of leadership will be dramatically different from that of his celebrity predecessor, fellow Republican Jeb Bush.

Bush's first inauguration included a parade led by an elephant, symbolic of his party's domination of state government.


Very fitting.

Jeb Bush (Getty Images)

January 3, 2007, continued:


Crist, by contrast, pushed pragmatism.

"Solve problems; don't politicize them," Crist said in an 18-minute speech that was light on detail but heavy on bipartisan urgings.

"Put the common good above partisan politics. . . . And reject labels -- red, blue; liberal, conservative; Democrat, Republican. There's only one label that really matters -- it's Floridian."

Unlike the politically combative Bush, Crist promised to reach out to outnumbered Florida Democrats on a host of issues, including solutions to the state's homeowners insurance woes and higher pay for teachers, while still maintaining Republican principles when it comes to cutting taxes.


By most accounts, Crist's pledge will be tough to put into practice. But for one overcast, cold afternoon in Tallahassee, all things seemed possible to the newly minted governor.

Afterward, though, even those praising his speech acknowledged that Crist will face stern challenges making his politics of inclusion work at the state Capitol, where Republican domination and lobbyist influence remain potent forces, mostly unaffected by November's election.

"It's clear he wants to govern from the center," said House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber of Miami Beach. "But the question really is what happens next. Whether deeds follow words, or whether this town will really allow for his kind of populism."

Former Senate President Tom Lee, a Brandon Republican, acknowledged that Crist's bipartisan pledge risks getting tattered quickly.


Do we want more of the Bush-style wreckage we've managed to survive thus far? With Rubio, it is a younger, slicker, glossy-wrapped package of extremism, ready to pick up where Jeb Bush left off.

We are at the fork in the road for the future of our country.

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