21 October 2011


The Republican Party certainly has no monopoly on scoundrels and liars, but it's always nice to be reminded that they do seem to have the most shameless scoundrels and liars. Now Marco Rubio's family story of his parents fleeing Cuba in the wake of Castro's liberation of the island from decades of U.S.-backed business friendly dicatatorship (alas, only to see it founder into a state with about as much freedom of expression, if a more equitable distribution of income, than the one it replaced) turns out to be a big fat lie.

Apparently, Rubio's parents have immigration papers from 2.5 years before Castro's takeover of Cuba.

Not terribly concerned about having been caught in a lie, Rubio retreated into the "family lore" and "I didn't carry around their passports" weaseling that's so familiar to anyone who follows political liars. In other words, he built pathos for his campaign and solidarity with his community around a story he simply made up. The defense that perhaps his parents didn't remember correctly would appear incredibly unconvincing to all but the most stalwart ignoramus. We aren't talking about what day you dropped off your dry cleaning here; we're talking about perhaps the single most important event in Cuba's 20th century history coupled with a relatively major decision to leave the land of your birth for another country. To put it in perspective, I may not remember whether I bought a pair of shoes before or after September 11, 2001, but I can sure as hell tell you where I was living.

He took advantage of the Cuban exile community's trust in his origin story and duped them into thinking he, too, was a product of forced exile, rather than choice. Hell, Castro wasn't even in Cuba when Rubio's parents bid farewell to the island that he cynically claims they were forced to leave.

An even uglier side to this story appears to be the cropping up of yet more "birther" bullshit from those who want to make hay of the fact that Rubio's parents weren't officially U.S. citizens when Marco Rubio was born. So what? He was born in the U.S. and that's good enough to make him a citizen. Rubio may be an opportunistic liar, but he's one of ours still.

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