More like Marco FUBIO, amirite?

Earlier this week, I happened to pick up a copy of The F-Word, Jesse Sheidlower’s brief history and dictionary of the most versatile word in the English language — a word I have to semi-censor on this site because Google runs our ads, and Google is a bunch of prudes.

I have found the book to be instructive in evaluating last night’s Republican debate.

The F-word is a fantastic word because it can be used in practically any context. It can be a noun (“Marco Rubio is a nervous little f*cker”), a verb (“Marco Rubio f*cked up last night”), an adjective (“It’s about f*cking time Marco Rubio ended his campaign”), an adverb (“Marco Rubio talks too f*cking fast”) or an infix (“Marco Rubio told the mayor of Miami, who has endorsed his candidacy, that we’re going to have to let his city sink into the sea. Fan-f*cking-tastic.”). As Lewis Black explains in the book’s foreword, “for many of us — and you New Yorkers know who you are — f*ck isn’t even a word, it’s a comma.”

Marco Rubio, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Marco Rubio, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

As in, “Marco Rubio, f*ck, what’s he still doing here?”

The F-word is ubiquitous to the point at which it’s made it into some of our favorite acronyms, from middle school shorthand like WTF, FML and OMFG to the military’s list of “FU” terms like SNAFU, TARFU, FUBB and FUBAR. Seek, it seems, and ye shall f*cking find. The F-Word amounts to as comprehensive a list of f*ck in all of its possible variations, with some particularly creative creations (such as South Park’s “uncle-f*cker“) intentionally excluded due to lack of common usage. That list of entries, from A to Z, is 270 pages long.

One of those entries is the acronym FUBIO. There are actually a couple of different ways to spell out FUBIO, with slightly different meanings: Urban Dictionary’s entry is “F*ck You, Buddy, I’m Out,” while Sheidlower’s entry is for the military expression, “F*ck You, Bub, It’s Over,” which he attributes to soldiers’ post-war attitude in 1946. Either way, FUBIO seems to encapsulate the state of the things for the candidate whose name nearly matches the acronym: Marco Rubio is almost done running for president. Halle-f*cking-lujah.

It’s unclear who’s going to say which version of FUBIO first — Rubio or the voters — but someone’s about to say it. Facing what seems to be an insurmountable lead in his home state of Florida, Rubio doesn’t have a path to victory, and last night’s debate suggested that, well, he knows he’s kinda f*cked. He steered clear of Donald Trump for most of the night, aside from one back-and-forth on American relations with Cuba — a subject about which Trump clearly knew nothing. Rather than attacking the one candidate who’s ahead of him in his must-win state, Rubio rehashed the optimistic themes from early in his campaign — themes that he has to have known fell flat the first time. All told, Rubio had the demeanor of a candidate who wanted to die with what little dignity he had left.

Whether he holds out until Florida voters tell him to f*ck off on Tuesday, or whether he f*cks off on his own volition before then, Marco Rubio is on his way out. And his exit couldn’t come soon enough. This is a guy who has suggested that the LGBT community is not only undeserving of equal rights, but is actively un-American. He is openly dismissive of restrictions on the right to vote, even though his own brother-in-law is currently disenfranchised due to a past felony conviction. His tax plan would blow a multi-trillion dollar hole in the deficit while being specifically tailored to exclude low-income families from many of its benefits. He has promised to start at least two major wars while expanding the surveillance state beyond what even Donald Trump has advocated.

And did I mention that he told the mayor of Miami, who endorsed him for president, that we’re going to have to let his city SINK INTO THE F*CKING SEA???

So Marco Rubio is almost out. Good f*cking riddance. F*ck him and the Koch-backed horse he rode in on.

Marco Rubio? More like Marco FUBIO, amirite?

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • ComradeRutherford

    Hear, hear!

  • Rick B

    That’s what has to happen if you have a political party committed presenting a candidate, but the establishment cannot accept any potentially competent individuals to run for President.

    Essentially the GOP has thrown up it’s hands, stopped anyone with true power and competence from running, and said to whoever is crazy enough to remain “Go try to find an electorate you can please. That strategy of the GOP previously led to Gingrich, a shell-shocked former naval aviator, a Bishop in a rather strange cult (Romney) and at one time in the far past, Goldwater.

    The GOP money people don’t want anyone they can’t control as President. Ike was the last one they had to swallow.

  • Rick B

    Rubio – With several false promotions already under his belt.

  • Zangetsu zangetsu

    Gold, pure gold.

  • The_Fixer

    Yes, Marco is the living example of the Peter Principle in action.

    Drumpfo der Clown is the same way – he is completely out of his depth. When not bragging or otherwise feeding his ego, he’s got nuttin’.

    Cruz? Well, he’s out of his depth when you consider that he is batshit insane. Kasich? A TEA partier who would just as soon destroy the government rather than make it better.

    Congratulations, Republicans. Your most popular candidates, as well as the one who is bringing up the rear, are all flatly unqualified for the office that they seek.

  • There are many, including myself, who felt Rubio never really had a shot at the nomination, never mind the presidency. I’m not saying I’d do any better in a clutch situation like that, but his water bottle lunge during his SOTU rebuttal was typical for him in how in stressful situations, he gets out beyond the end of himself, then panics and chokes.

    There were, for example, several graceful ways he could have paused his speech and taken the drink of water he clearly needed. Jokingly, casually, matter-of-fact, whatever. Instead he was so focused on believing he had no choice but to push on to the end, he pushed himself to the point of public embarrassment when the physical discomfort and emotional distress became too much. He proceeded from a false assumption — “I can’t stop for a second” — and it cost him. And there’s no second chance at a first impression.

    Given Rubio’s one and only Senatorial accomplishment was the crafting of a failed immigration reform bill he felt compelled to disavow, he walked into the presidential campaign with only one strength: A number of establishment GOP leaders thought he was their version of Obama. Young, personable, passionate and more or less ideologically compliant to the current far-right conservative dogma. A man without a super-deep record to be used against him.

    But under it all, the guy who panics and chokes was still there, as was the fact he had no signature accomplishments at all, not even as a Florida state legislator. Campaigning is by definition an extended public performance. If reports are to be believed, most of the time he did prove able to think on his feet and not sound robotic…but not when it really mattered, particularly on the debate stage. And say what you will about the fact current debates aren’t really debates at all, they do still seem to serve a useful function in terms of weeding out those clearly unprepared for the spotlight. For example, both Jim Stockdale and Sarah Palin demonstrated obvious unfitness for the vice presidency. Some presidential candidates like Herman Cain, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina merely cemented terrible impressions that they also were not fit for high office.

    In Rubio being promoted as a viable candidate, it was like the GOP leaders looked at Obama — junior Senator from a high-population state — and took all the wrong lessons as to why he managed to be elected President. To recycle an old comparison, the Republicans saw Obama as Captain James T. Kirk — brash, bold, rule-breaking, too young for command, and more flash than substance — when Lt. Cmdr Spock was the better parallel — brilliant, calculating, emotionally controlled and sometimes too cerebral (plus a significant blind-spot when it comes to assessing the malign intentions of others).

    The GOP leaders and campaign wonks seemed to think if Rubio was programmed with the right talking points and sound bites, and being less visibly nuts than Trump or Cruz, he could coast to the nomination. Unfortunately, Rubio rose to the level of his own incompetence: Like I said, he chokes under pressure. No doubt his public speaking trainers taught him to fall back on certain key phrases and remarks, delivered with passion and enthusiasm, as a go-to strategy when unsure what to do or say.

    Unfortunately, this was noticed and not just by Chris Christie. While every politician delivers the same stump speech repeatedly with just minor variations, apparently Rubio would unconsciously repeat statements and phrases during the same speech. And doubly-unfortunate, because when called on it, rather than breaking pattern and responding like a human being, Rubio’s panic drained away all the other things he could have said other than “Let’s dispel (sic) with this fiction that Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.” Then in the days following, Rubio did the same thing during one of his stump speeches when he repeated almost verbatim three times in a row some weird remark about “instilling values in our children in the 21st century” and his go-to phrase involving throat-ramming of values he finds objectionable.

    On top of all this, he made a number of unforced errors and strategy decisions that turned into crippling blunders. For example, deciding to commit more time to campaigning and almost no time to being a Senator was a strategic choice which later bit him in the ass, as his missed vote count rose ever higher. One of his biggest mistakes though was when Rubio let it be known he didn’t think his Senate job was worth doing at all. It didn’t occur to him he was pulling a Palin, doing that. I get it, sometimes to grab the brass ring, you have to leave the safe perch and take a chance…but when your reach isn’t sufficient, an embarrassing disaster is inevitable.

    The fact he’s failed miserably actually isn’t due to his appallingly far radical right positions. Those are required features in today’s GOP. His failure is because he’s a shitty politician who rose beyond the level of his own incompetence.

  • ComradeRutherford

    I saw a few minutes of the GOP ‘debate’ last night, and It was odd to see Rubio seeming to be the rational one. Creepy.

  • dommyluc

    And when the time comes, he’s suck on Trump’s balls just like the rest of them. Rubio isn’t even Jell-O. He aspires to be Jell-O.
    And people talk about Democrats not having any spine.

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