Republican Balloon Boys
We all had fun here with the Chinese Balloon Saga. We even had a good laugh at some Republican kooks' pathetic attempts to look tough as they literally yelled and aimed weapons at the sky.
But some Republican senators wanted us all to know THIS was serious business and they should be taken very seriously.
Marco Rubio Deflated Talking Points
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida appeared on both CNN's "State Of The Union" with Jake Tapper and ABC's "This Week" with Jonathan Karl. Rubio got to the real issue on CNN: What did President Joe Biden know about the balloon and when did he know it?
RUBIO: [...] Why did it take so long for them to disclose this to the American public? [...] I mean, that's an unprecedented flight path. And why did it wait until Wednesday to notify — or Thursday — to talk about it to the American people, knowing people were going to be seeing this thing?
Rubio then speculated some more while admitting he won't know anything until he meets with the US Intelligence agencies this week.
But when Tapper asked Rubio about the reports that Chinese balloons incidents happened at least three times during the Trump presidency, without it ever been disclosed to the American people until now, Rubio tried to find a way out through the Republican talking point that a Republican president would've handled this differently.
RUBIO: [...] Well, the difference is this. Are we aware, have we seen the Chinese fly these balloons in the past? Yes. I think there's even been Twitter pictures of it flying at one point off the coast of the US down south somewhere. The existence of the balloons is not a mystery to people in that field. [...]
Oh, so it's not an "unprecedented" event? And the only reason Republicans are freaking out now is because it distracts from their having no plan about actual issues that affect Americans' daily lives? Ok, Marco.
Rubio tried a different approach with Jonathan Karl.
RUBIO: [...] But there is a symbolic issue at play here. [...] And the message they’re trying to send the world is, look, these guys can’t even do anything about a balloon flying over US airspace. [...]
KARL: But the balloon was shot out of the sky. What do you mean? I mean, the balloon was taken down.
RUBIO: Yeah, and I think they understood that ultimately that would probably be what would happen and then they would make this other statement about "Oh, the US is overreacting. It's just a weather balloon."
So, if we did nothing, we are weak. And if we shot it down, we are overreacting. Got it. Thanks.
Ted Cruz Compliments Biden?
The part-time senator from Texas and full-time podcaster/Cancun tourist appeared on CBS's "Face The Nation" to give his take on the Great Balloon Saga. Cruz, in his usual unlikeable way, began with his patented backhanded compliment maneuver.
CRUZ: Well, listen, I want to start by doing something that I don't do very often, which is commending Joe Biden for actually having the guts to shoot this down. That was the right thing to do. That is absolutely what the president should have done. Unfortunately, he didn't do that until a week after it entered US airspace. [...]
Ted Cruz never fails to remind us that the only bipartisanship consensus in America is everyone hates Ted Cruz.
When In Doubt, Change The Subject
When NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd confronted Republican Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio about the previous Chinese balloon incursions during the Trump administration, Turner quickly tried to shift the focus back to Biden while ignoring that the American public was never informed of the Trump ones until now.
\u201cWATCH: This latest Chinese spy balloon is not the first, House Intel Chair @repmiketurner says.\n\n"The administration already admitted, which I've been briefed on, that China has done this before in the continental U.S. during this president's tenure."\u201d— Meet the Press (@Meet the Press) 1675614955
Obama's Chinese Balloons?!
On "Fox News Sunday," human/crane hybrid and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton had a new person to blame for the three Chinese balloon incidents during the Trump administration.
\u201cTom Cotton tries to blame reports that Chinese balloons also flew over the US during the Trump years on Obama\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1675606690
COTTON: So, I have spoken to a lot of former Trump administration officials. They say they're not aware of anything like this happening during their administration. It's possible maybe that happened first during the Obama administration and the military was told at the time that this is no big deal and they shouldn't raise the alarm bells on it.
Can these motherfuckers leave Barack Obama alone? The man is living his best life windsurfing and enjoying his Eat, Pray, Loveyears with Michelle. It's beyond absurd how Republicans go out of the way to blame a man who hasn't been president for six years now. I know President Obama was a comic book fan, but did Cotton really expect him to jump in the batwing and resolve Trump's Chinese balloon incidents?!
Have a week.
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Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.