Juvenile: WaPo’s Milbank Calls Prospective Florida GOP Senate Nominee Rubio 'The Anti-Crist'

February 20th, 2010 8:11 AM

The comedic ingenuity that is adorning the pages of The Washington Post these days is astonishing, but not exactly in a good way.

Dana Milbank, one-half of the duo that sent panic throughout the newsroom at the Post last year after producing a video with his colleague Chris Cillizza that suggested President Barack Obama would serve a brew called "Mad Bitch Beer" to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she were to attend a White House-style beer summit, is still at it with the shtick.

In his Feb. 19 "Washington Sketch" column, Milbank declared Marco Rubio, an opponent of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in that state's GOP Senate primary "the anti-Crist." Get it - "anti-Crist," as in "anti-Christ?"

"The anti-Crist came to Washington on Thursday," Milbank wrote. "In the ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Park, they acted as if he were the Messiah. His name: Marco Rubio, the far-right challenger to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in that state's Republican Senate primary. He was the kickoff speaker at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, and he delivered just the message they wanted to hear: anti-taxes, pro Gitmo, anti-Obama, pro-waterboarding."

Clever, right? Perhaps Milbank meant his column to be instructive and give readers a bird's eye view of how members of the so-called elite media intelligentsia view this week's CPAC convention, its attendees and the speakers. Throughout this masterpiece headlined "Republican Marco Rubio is anti-Crist challenging Florida governor in Senate primary," Milbank refers to Rubio as "the anti-Crist" five times like a joke that never gets old.

Milbank has levels the charge that "Rubio and the other CPAC speakers" are not being authentic when they portray themselves as outsiders to the "Washington establishment."

"Rubio and the other CPAC speakers positioned themselves as outsiders to the political establishment -- Rubio derided the ‘political class,' while others condemned the ‘Washington establishment' and the ‘political establishment' -- but in reality conservatives have become the political establishment, or at least the Republican establishment," Milbank wrote.

Only problem is unless Milbank has Tallahassee, where Rubio has served in the Florida legislature, confused with Washington, it's a bit of stretch to declare Rubio part of the "Washington establishment."

Still, there were more shots from Milbank direct toward Rubio, who employed an almost-tired cliché to compare Rubio to the devil and give his readers an illustration of how he saw the prospective Florida GOP U.S. Senate nominee.

"But the real star was the Florida Senate candidate," Milbank continued. "Even before Rubio took the stage, the crowd booed Crist's name when DeMint mentioned it in his introduction. The devil may wear Prada, but the anti-Crist wore a flag pin on his lapel, a Bush-blue tie and a boyish smile. He flashed a victory sign and then began a speech that had so much red meat it was raw."

But clearly Milbank took issue with Rubio's platform, particularly on economic policy and all the revenue streams the federal government has been eyeing to prop up its flailing programs. Rubio won the support of many of the CPAC attendees and apparently that reaction was just enough to demonstrate how wrong these attendees were in Milbank's estimation.

"Rubio's agenda: across-the-board tax cuts, lower corporate tax rates, and abolishing taxes on capital gains, dividends, interest and inheritance. Oh, and reducing the debt, too," Milbank continued. "The crowd reacted as if the anti-Crist had preached the gospel. A man wearing a tricorn hat and carrying a Don't Tread On Me flag repeatedly shouted ‘Amen!' A woman yelled ‘Praise God!' And the others leapt to their feet in waves of ovations."