His so-called Watergate boo-boo has tended to obscure the many foolish things Sen. Marco Rubio said the other night in his official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
Jonathan Chait highlights one such bit of nonsense HERE:
If there’s a single line that encapsulates the mindless anti-government doggerel that characterized Marco Rubio’s responseto the State of the Union address it was his flip dismissal of any government response to climate change, because “our government can’t control the weather.”
What does this mean? Let us run through the chain of causality at a level of simplicity that Rubio is capable of grasping:
1. The government has a bunch of rules that control how much coal, oil, and whatnot gets burned.
2. The more greenhouse gasses we burn, the warmer the climate gets. It’s science.
3. The warmer the climate gets, the more frequently we have extreme weather events. This is also science.
Therefore, things the government does, in step 1, eventually produce an outcome of more or fewer extreme weather events, in step 3.
So what’s going on here is that Rubio wants to uphold the Republican position without coming across to non-Republicans as a total yahoo. So he is not directly questioning the carbon-climate link, but instead moving his skepticism to the climate-weather link. Saying “government can’t control the weather” sounds plausible enough — a way to take a position that doesn’t sound completely insane to audiences but is, in fact, completely insane. In this way, it is the quintessential Marco Rubio utterance.