When Lanhee Chen left Rubio, he was but the learner.
Now he is the master.
And every bit as ridiculous.
You oldsters out there may remember that, on his way to becoming the Inevitable Republican Nominee and the redeemer of David Brooks' disintegrating reputation, Marco Rubio stopped by The Daily Show to hang out and shoot the shit about, y'know, whatever, with Jon Stewart.
At least that appeared to be his plan. (Here's a poorly recorded moment, it's no longer available at Comedy Central and of course was not allowed in any official quality on YouTube)
Mr. Stewart had other ideas which I wrote about shortly after I stopped laughing:
In case you missed Jon Stewart's award-verging "interview" with Marco Rubio, here is your rush transcript of Senator Rubio's answer to Jon Stewart every single time Mr. Stewart tried very respectfully to point out that Senator Rubio was, um, lying, and that the relentless, pathological obstructiveness of the Republican Party was unmatched by anything Democrats have done in modern history.
"Well, you know, both sides..."
"Both Democrats and Republicans..."
"That's just politics..."
"The Democrats left us no choice..."
"Democrats and Republicans..."
"Both Democrats and Republicans..."
And so forth, to the point of being comical.
Like every other Republican culture war criminal, Senator Rubio has been conditioned within an inch of his life to always answer any question about the unique perfidy and hypocrisy of his political Party with the Big Lie of Centrism and to refuse to stop repeating the Big Lie of Centrism until the questions stop regardless of circumstances...
Well here we are, six years and one racist orange evil chaotic later. And now it is Former Marco Rubio staffer, Lanhee Chen's, time to step out into the spotlight while his former boss hides in the Senate cloakroom waiting for Mitch McConnell to tell him what he should pretend to stand for today.
Mr. Chen has learned the Magic Words at the foot of the master, and the result of his attempts to deploy them in hostile territory are, in their own way, damn near as entertaining as his former employer's frantic, sweaty weaseling six years ago.
And the results are damn near as entertaining:
LANHEE CHEN, (Former Marco Rubio staffer): Obviously, the big issue here is the separation of the campaign itself and the message of the campaign from these massive outside groups that spend all of this money, these trends are, indeed, very, very troubling and they do end up shining a spotlight on massive individual donors on both sides.
JASON KANDER (Director, Let America Vote): Lahnee has done a good job here, Chris, of getting the term "both sides" in here three times. I have to give him credit. If anybody was playing at home, cross that off your bingo card. Lahnee got in "both sides" three times. One side thinks this is crazy. One side says this is not how it's supposed to work. One side says we should change these rules.
CHRIS HAYES: That's right.
KANDER: I'm glad to be on that side.
HAYES: We should also note to Lahnee's point in terms of how the system works, the Citizens United ruling came about because of a lawsuit by Mitch McConnell. And he said it's one of the proudest things he has ever done in his life. And it is the position, the ideological position of the Republican Party. Lahnee, correct me if I'm wrong, it's the ideology of the Republican Party that Citizens United is right and this is how it should work.
CHEN: Yes, I think that's right. There are Republicans, if you want to call them "First Amendment absolutists" that believe corporate speech is just as protectable as individual speech because corporations and individuals are indistinguishable. We've had this discussion on this show before, I think, Chris. But, look, it is the case that most Republicans believe Citizens United was correctly decided. Not all but most. That's right.
MAYA WILEY, Former US Attorney: Can I just say this is really important? The fact that we call corporations, "people" is actually one of the ways we did that is through one of the post-Civil War amendments that was supposed to protect black people's citizenship in this country. And what we've seen -- some research shows that more Supreme Court precedent has gone to protecting corporations than Black people. At the same time we have all this voter suppression, whether it's voter ID Laws or eliminating early voting or making it more difficult for people to register through any of the ways that opens up the avenues for democratic practice, at the same time we've seen a pullback from that, we've also seen the floodgates of essentially a very few, very wealthy people being able to influence politics in a dramatic way.
I'm not boogieing up to the sportsbook window to collect my winnings just yet, but it certainly seems that at least a few more people on teevee are becoming a lot more vigilant about calling out Both Siderism on-camera as the toxic joke that it is.
And to them I say, keep up the good work!