I grow weary of The Stupid. Really, I do. Presumably, Sen. Marco Rubio thinks he is made of presidential timber. I don’t know why he thinks that, but he doesn’t dissuade anyone from speculating that he will run for president, probably starting sometime next year. He told ABC News that he’s qualified to be president during a recent trip to New Hampshire, which is home to the all-important first primary in the presidential contest. His chief of staff, Cesar Conda, recently stepped down to run Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC, which Robert Costa and Ed O’Keefe interpreted as a sure sign that Rubio is planning to run. I have to assume he thinks he has a chance in hell of winning the nomination and then going on to be the 45th president of the United States. He’s young, telegenic, seemingly smart, handsome, fairly articulate, and he hails from a vital swing state and is a Cuban-American who helped pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate.
It’s true that he lacks the kind of experience that you want to see in both a candidate for national office and a commander in chief, but he has all these other things working for him. So, why, Sweet Jesus, is he clinging to climate change denialism?
“I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to manmade activity, I do not agree with that.”
ABC’s Jonathan Karl pressed Rubio on his belief that humans don’t have anything to do with global warming.
“But let me get this straight, you do not think that human activity, its production of CO2, has caused warming to our planet?” Karl asked.
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it. That’s what I do not — and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except it will destroy our economy,” Rubio responded.
I didn’t see the video of these comments, but the way this comes across in print is that Rubio wants to make two distinct arguments. First, he’s expressing doubt that the near-unanimous consensus of climate scientists is correct. But he’s not really all that comfortable making that argument because he knows it makes him sound crazy. So, he makes a different argument, which is that there really isn’t anything we can do about climate change, and even if there were some things we could do, those things would destroy the economy.
The second argument is at least defensible. The first is not.
There are two possibilities here. One is that Marco Rubio is actually, despite all appearances, a complete dunce. The second possibility is that he has calculated that he needs to deny climate change and oppose all legislation aimed at mitigating it if he wants to raise the money he needs to win the Republican Party’s nomination. And he thinks the nomination would be a prize worth having even with him on the record as being a complete dunce.
I don’t know what I find more depressing: the fact that the Republican Party is in such a state of disrepair that Rubio could come to these conclusions, or the prospect that Rubio may be right, and this is the strategy that will put him in the Oval Office.