Elliot: New ideas reign, or rain


The great thing about time is that it always comes back to bite you, at least in this hash-tag-ridden version of the universe.

You don’t think so? Just wait.

Take Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the man of tomorrow who has had some problems with time in the past (See: What year, exactly, did his parents emigrate from Cuba?)

Rubio says he’s the presidential candidate of tomorrow, not yesterday, the voice of the 21st century. Well, that’s good, because we all know the 21st century needs a voice, because, being a new century and all, it hasn’t learned to speak yet.

As opposed to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, which sit around in the old folks’ home and babble away like the wine-dark sea bracing the wine-lit beach.

Or something like that. (Sorry, Homer, but steal from the best, as Mark Twain is still mummering in some corner of the universe.)

So why does Rubio sound so much like yesterday? Well, to be fair, not so much like yesterday, and not so much like last week, and not even so much like last year or the year before.

He sounds like the 1980s.

Which, you have to admit, is not yesterday, today, or tomorrow.

Rubio would like cut taxes for the rich, beef up defense spending, and do away with Obamacare. Yeah, I know; these new ideas just keep on coming.

Though frankly, he sounds like the great Republican Ghost of the Past, Ronald Reagan. Yeah, that’s what the 21st century needs, some more Reagan.

In health care in particular, Rubio has a curious record. In 2008, when he was speaker of the Florida House, he pushed a market-based health plan called Florida Health Choices. “It’s about competition, it’s about choice, and it’s about the marketplace,” he told the Palm Beach Post, according to the folks at the Rachel Maddow blog.

And Florida Health Choices has been a roaring success. After opening last year, it now boasts 80 sign-ups.

Yeah, you heard that right — 80. This, in a state of 20 million or 21 million people. And it’s only cost the state $2.4 million for those 80 people.

Sounds fiscally sound to me, senator. Got any more new ideas for tomorrow? Or next week?

Not to pick on Rubio or anything, because there’s always Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is also running for president. (Why doesn’t anyone walk for president? Seems like a lot less effort.)

As far as new ideas go, Cruz, has one: taking up arms against the government:

“The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn’t for just protecting hunting rights, and it’s not only to safeguard your right to target practice. It is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny — for the protection of liberty,” Cruz wrote in a fundraising email recently.

So he seemingly wants to return to 1861, when Southerners decided to take up arms against the United States. How well did that work out? (How do you spell Appomattox?)

I don’t know about you, but all these new ideas are making me dizzy. I think I’ll go pick some thyme.

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