-by Geoff Caldwell-
Marco Rubio has an interview with Michael Hainey in this December’s issue of GQ magazine. The questions mainly focus on the personal and are usual fluff mag fare. (Hainey does however make sure to weave the “Obama as leader and Republicans as obstructionists” into the piece and really gets to the serious when he probes Rubio for his three favorite rap songs.)
But Hainey threw in a curveball question that perfectly illustrates just how mine laden the field for any small “c” conservative these days.
Right after this exchange on dignity:
GQ: You were obviously very moved by your grandfather’s dignity and your father’s dignity. What are the qualities that would qualify for a man to have dignity?
Marco : Ultimately, the dignity that my grandfather and father had was showing up every day and providing for their families. The challenges they faced were very basic. You know, I think I said it in the book a tough day for me is if I lose an election or get a bad story in the paper. A tough day for my dad was they might be late on the rent. A tough day for my grandfather might have meant his daughters didn’t eat.
Hainey jumps through a worm hole and throws back this celestial piece of space junk:
How old do you think the Earth is?
Now THERE’s a question that I’ve been losing hours of sleep over. I can’t count the number nights I’ve laid there, tossing, turning, and the turmoil unabated: “I like Rubio, he has conservatism in his bones, and he epitomizes America’s immigrant success, yet there’s just something missing. Yes, yes, THAT’s it. I wonder if he knows how old the Earth is?
But even as the off the wall, out of nowhere Stephanopoulos to Romney “do states have the right to ban contraception” inquiry that it was, it would most likely have stayed an off the wall, out of nowhere question if not for Peter Wehner picking up on it.
For some unearthly reason Mr. Wehner has taken issue with Rubio’s comments and concludes that the Senator’s response indicates a lack of insight into the “nature and validity of science”, and that he needs to “re-think his answer” and “come to terms with its larger implications” or “He and his party will suffer, and should suffer, if they are seen as agnostic on, or standing against, science.”
With “friends” like this, who needs enemies? (Or perhaps the more “insightful” question is just what did Rubio do to tick off a Romney aide?)
By GOP establishment rules, Peter Wehner’s conservative creds are as solid as any. Having worked in the past three Republican administrations (Reagan and elder and younger Bush) and before leaving to work on the Romney campaign a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, he is as conservative as a conservative can be within the framework that is the thought process of the national Republican Party. (Mark Levin has a great comparison of Wehner’s “Bush” type conservatism vs. Ronald Reagan’s here.)
When someone of Wehner’s stature pens something critical of such a rising star as Rubio, the left is more than willing to push the criticism across as many outlets as possible.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe just couldn’t resist the temptation and made Wehner’s piece one of it’s “must read op/eds” this morning and used it to launch a full-scale “discussion” on government, science and all things wrong with the “radical” conservatism that has “taken over” the Republican party these days.
And just what was this “the earth is flat”, “the sun must revolve around the earth”, “evolution is only for monkeys” career destroying thought process that Rubio expressed? Read for yourself:
Marco Rubio: I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.
God forbid (yes, God is still welcome here) Rubio admit he’s but a mere mortal and doesn’t have the answers to the origin of the universe. Even worse, how DARE he suggest that there are “mysteries” that neither man, nor any “scientist” will ever have the answer to.
Heaven help the poor boy for not jumping on the “trash em all, man knows best, science is the new god” bandwagon and daring to have the dignity to respect the religious beliefs of others and their right to believe those beliefs as set forth in the Constitution.
But more importantly, heaven help a nation that has become so filled with intolerance for any view not pre-approved by the secular political elite that said nation no longer has room in its heart to even acknowledge God, let alone follow him.
Hang in there Marco, one Wehner whine does not a career ending critique make.Follow @GeoffCaldwell