Thursday, June 9, 2016

Go French yourself!

Frenching a rack of lamb. Via FineCooking.
Weird little confluence of developments: on the one hand the remarkable story that came out in USA Today this afternoon—

Donald Trump casts himself as a protector of workers and jobs, but a USA TODAY NETWORK investigation found hundreds of people – carpenters, dishwashers, painters, even his own lawyers – who say he didn’t pay them for their work.

—and on the other (h/t Alex.S in comments at Lawyers Guns & Money) a peculiar little news scoop from an organ that doesn't exactly do news, Dr. Kristol's Weekly Standard, which reveals that even though Senator Marco Rubio supports the presidential candidate of Donald Trump, as he announced a month ago now, he still believes what he said about Trump last February:
"I stand by everything I said during the campaign," the Florida senator told THE WEEKLY STANDARD on Thursday when asked if he still believes Trump cannot be trusted with access to the country's nuclear weapons codes.
Sure I think he's an "erratic individual" and "someone who's spent his entire career sticking it to working people" and "a con man", but does that mean I wouldn't vote for him?

And here's the peculiar part: the language in the February CNN report to which the Weekly Standard links for those quotes anticipates today's USA Today story in a remarkably prescient and precise way:
"Donald Trump has spent forty years sticking it to the little guy or longer. And every time one of those businesses of his failed, you know who ["how" in the badly edited original] didn't get paid? The little guy that was working for him."
You bet. As we read in USA Today:

a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.
Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages.
And there's lots more where that came from.

Little Marco (I don't know why I keep doing that—oh yes I do, it's the Cuban Heels) isn't at all interested in talking about these things; he's taken a sudden liking to doing some of that senatoring stuff:
"I just don't have anything new to add to the campaign. When I'm here in the Capitol I'm trying to focus on my work," Rubio said. "Now I'm focused on [things] like Zika. Write a story on Zika."
Bizarrely, he actually seems to be telling something very similar to the truth on this: Miami is "ground zero" for an outbreak of the Zika virus in the US, and Rubio is literally running around Washington defying the McConnell consensus according to which no Republican should cooperate with President Obama even to save citizens and their babies from this terrifying new health threat. And he's been saying it for weeks. Which is—I hasten to add—not a bad thing in itself

I have no doubt he's sincere on this, too, but he is also doing some very elaborate positioning here, displaying himself as to some tiny extent in a real national emergency like the kind of Republican old Tom Friedman was begging for the other day, who has some minimal interest in, like, governing. Not too much! Only for totally insidious and inexorable plagues! But all the same open to the concept that government can be used for stuff voters need, in very special circumstances.

Which is also, as it happens, where the Weekly Standard faction is, more or less, and has been for a couple of years at least. And Rubio was always that program's beloved baby boy, though of course you didn't see much of that during the primary campaign, when he was working to make sure everybody saw him as just as anarchical as the competition.

Anyway I'm wondering if this isn't all some kind of Kristolline anti-Trump orchestration going on—if Rubio is getting—ah—Frenched, so to speak. It looks a little too skillful for a Kristol product, and yet just as doomed to failure as if it were all his.

Cross-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog.

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