I don’t read Steve M.’s blog every day, but I read it often enough that I think I recognize a mantra when I see it. Steve uses a lens to interpret the right, and it seems to have a lot of explanatory power. It basically works like this: the right revels in annoying us, and the more a right-wing mouthpiece annoys us, the more popular they will get. So, for example, if you can’t figure out why Marco Rubio isn’t more popular among wingnuts, the answer is that we think he’s a harmless, mildly corrupt, non-entity. He does nothing to raise our blood pressure and isn’t even obnoxious enough to arouse our contempt.

Besides the obvious problem (Rubio used to support immigration reform), Rubio is struggling because he “wears his ideology lightly.” He’d be doing much better if Republicans thought he scared Paul Waldman and the rest of us liberals and lefties, the way Scott Walker does.

Of course Walker impresses GOP voters: his union-busting, electoral victories, and mutually beneficial relationship with the Koch brothers drive us nuts. Republican voters love that. By contrast, when has Rubio ever left us sputtering with rage? When has he gotten the better of us?

Ben Carson is popular on the right because he launched an attack on President Obama at the ostensibly apolitical National Prayer Breakfast. Chris Christie used to be popular on the right because he fought unions and publicly dressed down teachers and other critics. That’s how you win favor on the right — and Rubio doesn’t do it.

The easiest thing for Rubio to do to remedy this is to ramp up The Stupid substantially. He made a good start of it this week by saying some painfully idiotic things about the Middle East. That got him some positive attention from the morons.

This is a good start, but he needs to start saying things that aren’t merely addled but that cause actual cramps in normally functioning brains. The bigger and more brutal the logical fallacy the better. He’ll get extra points for thinking up things that are so insane that we can’t even imagine how he came up with them in the first place. I am looking at Louie Gohmert and terror babies here. David Vitter understands.

In any case, unless and until Rubio truly embraces Steve M’s theory of wingnut politics, he’s going to be stuck at the back of the pack.

[Cross-posted at Progress Pond]

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com