If the Republicans are allowed to pull off this bit of trompe d’oeil, nothing about American politics will improve. They will be encouraged, as they have been for 40 years, to surround their retrograde policy ideas with misdirection and distraction, as they profit from nativism and xenophobia and paranoid fantasies while pretending they are not. Marco Rubio is merely a pretty new wrapper for most of the same ideas that Steve King expresses more baldly. He is — in every sense, now — a cover story. That shouldn’t be enough. -Charles Pierce on the GOP establishment’s rebranding effort
Here’s Time magazine’s stupefying cover
I’m old enough to remember when Paul Ryan and the Young Guns were the party’s saviors. Rubio will be no different. And when he delivers the Republican rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union Address, I expect he will have his own “volcano monitoring” moment.