By York Van Nixon III
Mark Twain is famous for words of warning those who believe prevarication is child’s play: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
Depending on the height of the bar, a good politician is like a singer. The best of them remember every tune they have ever sung. But the same can not be said about those who appear to be constantly stumping with their pants of fire.
Recent statements by Marco Rubio (R-FL) about Medicare suggest someone on his staff should be always standing near with a fully charged fire extinguisher or a bucket of cold reality. Within less than a year, Senator Rubio has advanced from a junior member of Congress to an old hand at running a truth shell game. Any person familiar with pachyderms knows they can not help eating the peanut that should be under a cup.
Before the internet, many politicians relied on the short memories of voters to flip-flop with impunity. Now with instant access to a person’s shoe size, what a national figure said minutes ago has been archived forever.
When Congress reconvenes next week, with luck the House will do something it has not done since John Boehner took the gavel – bring a jobs bill to the floor. Therein lays the problem: reducing unemployment in the minds of most Republicans is antithetical to regaining the Senate and the Oval Office. In all likelihood, business will resume with an assault of the middle class by finding clever ways to cut Medicare based on the Ryan Plan.
One should not be surprised if the first sortie is led by Rubio. Two weeks ago Senator Rubio left no doubt how he would vote for Medicare reform, when have gave a speech at the Reagan Library:
“These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues.But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government’s job.”
But this time last year, Mr. Rubio extolled the benefits of Medicare: “I think Medicare is important. I think a country as rich and prosperous as the United States can’t afford not to have Medicare.”
Medicare allowed Rubio’s ailing 83-year old father to be covered for repeated hospital visits and subsequent hospice, which allowed him to die with dignity.
The question is did the Florida senator forget he once had a father or just what he said in September 2010?
The latter is the likely answer. Pandering to a crowd has a way of interfering with memory. Mr. Rubio has become very adapt at playing both sides of the street, even when it comes to religion.
There is something suspicious about a man who regularly attends Catholic mass and also worships at the Christ Fellowship Church in West Kendall, Florida. The latter is one of the largest evangelical churches in the country.
Perhaps a prayer should be said for Marco Rubio that he does not forget which pew he is in and kiss his rosary, while the Reverend Todd Mullins cites Proverbs 12:19:
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.