In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, Marco Rubio was asked how old he thought the Earth was. His answer is an object lesson in how not to answer stupid questions.
I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.
Good job, Marco. The problem is not that he’s encouraging creationism (frankly, if people want to teach their kids nonsense, that’s great – they’ll make obedient servants for the future educated class to which my children will belong). The problem is that Marco Rubio is apparently unable to answer a flaky (and loaded) question without presenting himself as a rube to the middle-of-the-road swing voters that the Republicans need to win if they ever want to re-achieve relevance. God, if he’s a bright prospect for the future of their party, the Republicans are doomed. Doomed!
The following is the letter that the Republican National Committee should send out to any would-be Presidential contenders to learn from Rubio’s mistake:
Dear would-be Republican Presidential Candidates,
In response to a recent interview by an unnamed one of you, the Republican National Committee would like to provide the following guidelines (the “Rubio Rules”) to assist in answering questions about the age of the Earth.
The proper answer to a reporter about the age of the Earth does not include ANY of the following words: (i) “recorded history”, (ii) “Bible”, (iii) “theologians”, (iv) “faith”, or (v) “7 days”*, “6 days” , or any reference to “days” at all, unless preceded by 1.645 trillion (note, this exception also creates an opportunity for a joke about the size of the current deficit).**
There are, in fact, only two proper answers (with a third variation) to this question: (i) “4.5 billion years, give or take a few million.” (ii) “Old. What kind of stupid question was that? If you’re going to ask grade 9 science questions, why am I wasting my time talking to you. You fucking hack. Why don’t you go interview my daughter about Justin Bieber. Goof.” If dealing with relatively savvy Washington insiders, a third variation – (iii) “Older than Senator Byrd. Barely.” – might be acceptable, provided it is followed up by one of answers (i) or (ii).
Please note that the failure to comply with the Rubio Rules WILL result in your being forced to sit on Clint Eastwood’s stool during his monologue at our next nomination convention, while wearing a dunce cap.
The Republican National Committee
* Senator Rubio, the book of Genesis provides that the Earth was created in 6 days, not 7. Get with the program. We would like to invite you to our Mark Foley/Larry Craig Remedial Christianity Course, put on for the benefit of some of the members/former members of our social conservative caucus.
**Pursuant to our earlier memo regarding the Akin Rule, these words probably shouldn’t be found in answers relating to abortion or rape, either.