When trying to show his Establishment bona fides, Rubio likes to invoke Reagan - carefully steering away from the obvious comparisons between his political situation and that of Obama (young Senator, disadvantaged background, etc.). But Rubio and the supposed Establishment these days have moved so far away from Reagan that it's just depressing. Here, let me show you this:
As this spiritual awakening gathers strength, we must remember that many, in good faith, will hold other views. Let us pledge to conduct ourselves with generosity, tolerance and openness towards all. We must respect the rights and views of every American – because we are unshakably committed to democratic values. Our Maker would have us be no less.
That, dear readers, is President Reagan speaking. And not just off the cuff - those are from his remarks to a national gathering of Evangelical Christians. Can you imagine a Cruz or a Rubio speaking words like those? I can't.
Don't get me wrong, I lived under the Reagan Regime and his band of crooks - remember he surpassed Tricky Dick for most sitting and former Cabinet members indicted. I hated him and I loathe much of his legacy. Still do. But if Rubio's going to invoke the Reagan ghost then let's be clear just how big of a lie that is.
That the lie propagates at all is partly a testament to the failure of mainstream media and partly a yardstick by which we can measure how warped our political discourse has become. Yes, it took Obama seven years to go to a mosque and state clearly his belief that all faiths are welcome in America. That's shameful. But I can also see how - if he were President today - Reagan might have acted similarly. I cannot see a President Cruz or President Rubio taking this kind of step.
Back to upcoming politics for a moment - I think we'll be able to judge Rubio's rise by how he does against Kasich. There's an oft-repeated joke that Iowa picks corn and New Hampshire picks presidents. If Rubio can't climb to the second spot in NH it may be because Kasich or Sanders have absorbed the independents that'd come out to vote for him. Both Trump and Cruz have huge negatives with NH voters and I expect them both to fare much worse in NH than polls so far have indicated - that happened in Iowa so it's not particularly novel to suggest it'll happen again. I expect Rubio to place first or second in NH - he's no Reagan but he's rising.