On Rubio's Reply

by: Mets102

Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 14:50:16 PM EST



Rubio water

While it's the awkward lunge for the water bottle that everyone will remember from Marco Rubio's rebuttal of the State of the Union, what the content and tone of the address convey is significant.  Yes, Rubio flubbed the speech, although what impact that has upon his chances for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination remains to be seen.  However, the defensive tone of the speech, combined with the content, indicates a Republican Party on the ropes that is struggling with messaging and ideas.  That was evident from the moment he opened his mouth and began to speak last night.

At the very outset it was clear that Rubio was on the defensive against what Republicans are correctly perceived as wanting to do.  He discussed what Republicans didn't want to do.  He launched into the same old, and tired, attacks against President Obama.  He effectively called him a communist, socialist, take your pick of various scare tactics used against anyone left of center.  It was straight out of the Republican playbook, but with a tone that made clear the speaker was unsure if those scare tactics would work.  After all, Mitt Romney ran on those exact same scare tactics and he's still Former Gov. Romney, while President Obama just delivered another State of the Union address.

Most remarkable, though, was a prescient criticism of the Rubio rebuttal that I heard, although I forgot the person who mentioned it.  It basically went along these lines:

Marco Rubio just criticized 'big' government by pointing out everything that government has done for him and his family.

Mets102 :: On Rubio's Reply
The disconnect is amazing.  That same contradiction is also indicative of a larger pattern whenever it comes to proposed government cuts.  When asked, generically, Americans say government is too big.  When asked, generically, Americans support spending cuts.  However, when specific programs are mentioned as potential cuts, it becomes impossible to find programs where a majority of Americans support making cuts.

Republicans love to rail about the deficit and how cuts are necessary to close that deficit.  I think some of them, especially in the leadership, finally understand that a majority of Americans made the connection between their financial gimmickry and the deficits we now have.  More and more Americans understand that the large deficits aren't primarily a spending problem, but are primarily a revenue problem.  They are beginning to understand that taxes are government revenues and when taxes are cut, but the large and popular programs are not, deficits result.  Americans would rather the wealthy pay their fair share than cut those programs.  That is the death knell of the Republican economic agenda.

Now, enter Marco Rubio.  He brings an impression of diversity to a party growing increasingly white and male in an electorate that is moving more and more away from that.  He is also very conservative in a nation that is moving away from conservatism.  He is seemingly the ideal Republican spokesperson to counter claims of racism and favoritism towards the rich.  Then he begins to speak.

It's the same Republican agenda, but just repackaged in more flowery language and with a different face on the cover.  He even goes so far as to justify calls for cuts in government by pointing to those very successful government programs that helped him and his family.  He hopes that Americans do not connect the dots and do not care to learn that those very programs were opposed by conservatives and pushed through by liberals.

The current era of conservatism is waning.  A new era of liberalism is beginning to emerge.  This is part of the ebb and flow of our history.  One day in the future this emerging liberal era will wane and a new conservative one will emerge.  There is, however, one other historical lesson to take with that ebb and flow:  the reaction of the conservative eras never manages to completely eradicate the progress made during the liberal ones.  Just keep that little tidbit in mind.

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On Rubio's Reply | 50 comments
If this is who the GOP nominates in 2016... (2.00 / 33)
I'll welcome the development, especially if Secretary Clinton is our nominee.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

The whole arc of the GOP post 2008 is fascinating. (2.00 / 21)
I wish I could remember which elder Republican pundit made the comment "It will take the GOP a decade to recover" on that night in November 2008.

During the past four years I have repeatedly come back to that viewpoint, here and other places where I hang out with progressives.

The Tea Party Period has been embarrassing and painful and caused real harm, but it has been my contention with fair consistency that both its rise and fall have been inevitable early on. My forecast has not likely been as accurate as my memory serves, but it is somewhat safe to say that it has followed a trajectory that has not surprised me at all.

There has been a great deal of angst from the left about the TP and the entire associated GOP meltdown. "This isn't the country I want to live in", "Americans are clods" and similar statements have been quite common. But that hasn't been the case and therefore doesn't indicate a dark and morbid future fo us.

Romney in 2012 and Rubio in 2013 are fairly obvious artifacts against that backdrop. Who else but a manikin like Romney would the GOP run in their failed-state of 2008? Who else but a hapless child would they put forth to rebut our popular president's SOTU in 2013?

2016? I can be held account later for forecasting a non-white moderatish (by Tea Party standards) GOP candidate. At any rate, someone who can neither win enough solid Conservative votes nor enough centrist types like myself to get elected. Chris Christie is the most hopeful candidate they could run looking from this early date, but something tells me he won't be the one picked.

2020? We'll see. It is possible that the GOP will be reconstituted enough, that the Boomer Right will have moved on enough, that conservative Millenials will have grown up enough for there to be a good run against the then-sitting Democratic President. But unseating the incumbent is not always a fair fight, so it may well be 2024 before we see another Republican in the White House.

So be wise with your time, my liberal friends. Mets is right about the swing of history here, but the US is not Europe nor heading there anytime soon, so effective governing will require at least the amount of inclusiveness that our current President embraces.  

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Christie will ultimately be doomed... (2.00 / 16)
by the same thing that doomed Charlie Crist:  When his state was in need, Chris Christie put his state first and chose to embrace President Obama.

As for the GOP changing over time, successful parties adapt to the times.  That's how the GOP was able to rebound after the Great Depression and become a party of government again.  That's how Bill Clinton and Democrats became electable in the aftermath of Ronald Reagan.  Both parties swing over time to make themselves more electable.  History suggests that this will cause the GOP to once again move to the left, just as Democrats will once again, eventually, move to the right at the conclusion of the liberal era we are just entering.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.


[ Parent ]
Yep, I think you are right. (2.00 / 12)
Four years isn't enough for them to recover to that point, imho.

Damn, I wish I could remember that GOP pundit. Much older guy in 2008, very bright, and it was as much his tone as his words that stuck with me. "A decade" may have been just a vague statement about "a long time", but I think he was insightful enough to know the political cycle and knowingly or not nailed it about right.

We'll see how they fare by 2018...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
It usually takes several cycles... (2.00 / 14)
for a party to recover to that effect.  Democrats lost three consecutive presidential elections (1980, 1984 and 1988) and Barack Obama was the first Democrat since jimmy Carter to win a majority of the popular vote.  Republicans, meanwhile, lost all but two presidential elections between 1932 and 1964 and both those wins were with Eisenhower at the top of the ticket.  Had Eisenhower, who was courted by both parties and was a moderate, decided to throw his lot in with the Democrats, rather than the Republicans, it's possible that Democrats would have controlled the White House for 36 consecutive years.

Remember, Reagan was the first true conservative in the White House in 48 years when he took office.  The three Republican presidents between Hoover leaving office and then were all moderates.  Even Nixon wasn't exactly a conservative, something even more obvious given today's Republican Party.  Ford, on the other hand, would probably be considered a liberal given his support for a woman's right to choose and marriage equality, along with his opposition to the Iraq war (which was revealed after his death)

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.


[ Parent ]
Ford also issued the executive order against assassinations (2.00 / 9)
of heads of state, and instituted the Earned Income Tax Credit. Almost a DFH!

[ Parent ]
PPP shows Hillary Clinton beating Rubio in Texas (2.00 / 16)
yes, Texas.  

"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter

[ Parent ]
Once Texas flips to the blue column... (2.00 / 13)
and the demographics suggest that it is only a matter of time, it's game, set, match when it comes to presidential elections.  There's no math that works for the GOP with Texas as a blue state.  It's just that 2016 is not expected to be the year that this happens.  Most talk about it being 2020 or 2024 or perhaps as late as 2028.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
it won't happen (2.00 / 10)
until Democrats seriously contend for the state lege. The last redistricting was done with a Republican supermajority and subsequently found to have the intent to discriminate by the DC Circuit Court under the VRA. Texas btw has joined in the suit to overturn that legislation. Our lege will have to take it up this term but at least Democrats took enough seats that the Rs will have to contend with them. I doubt seriously the direction of the court will have any bearing on what the Rs attempt. As long as Rs control state leges they will gerrymander districts and restrict voting rights to skew the elections. And Texas isn't the only state with this problem, just the biggest.

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

[ Parent ]
Gerrymandering can backfire if demographics change fast (2.00 / 10)
As you probably know, the idea behind Republican gerrymandering is to get a lot of narrowly R districts and a few strongly D districts.

Now, what happens if those R districts become a little more Democratic? They flip.


"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter


[ Parent ]
What I took from Rubio's speech was that the GOP (2.00 / 18)
believes that Americans are simply too stupid and inattentive to warrant any real messaging. Just churn out the same old boilerplate material, this time with someone fresh at the podium. Throw in the requisite insults, innuendoes, and tired generalizations. Just phone it in. You're done. That was easy.

As Americans - and voters and taxpayers - we didn't deserve anything better. When people speak to me like that - whether they're politicians, salespeople, potential business partners, or other people who want something from me - I get the picture. I remember. And I take my business elsewhere.  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


"Rubio's Pathetic, Exhausted, Vapid Response" (2.00 / 26)
Andrew Sullivan's analysis

This was an intellectually exhausted speech that represents the intellectual bankruptcy of contemporary Republicanism. It was a series of Reaganite truisms that had a role to play in reinvigorating America after liberal over-reach in the 1960s and 1970s. It had precious little new in it. If reciting these platitudes in Spanish is what the GOP thinks will bring it back to anything faintly resembling political or intellectual relevance, they are more deluded than even I imagined.

The ebb and flow of history is indeed important to remember....I just hope the voting public will be able to see through the lies and propaganda in the next election.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives


H/T to Sully. (2.00 / 18)
Not always a fan of him, but sometimes he nails it.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I read Sullivan as one of my sane conservative sources (2.00 / 13)
Of course I don't always agree with him, I am a liberal democrat but I need to understand a rational counterpoint.  He can be a bit obsessive at times and the religious stuff I just skip but I do find him interesting.

[ Parent ]
All that stuff you voted against in November... (2.00 / 22)
we wanna still do it so we'll have this guy spew it and maybe some of you idiots will see it our way!!!

That was sad...but considering he should have been giving the Tea Party response...did we expect better? Wiser?


Yep... My exact thought... (2.00 / 17)
This was no different than some Republican stump speech from the election.

Maybe they haven't realized it yet... But they lost that election. The American people are not buying the B.S. they are selling.  

Vote for me and all of your wildest dreams will come true!


[ Parent ]
yeah, it's gotta' be tough addressing the nation knowing (2.00 / 13)
"they're really not into you.'(giggle)


time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
It bears repeating, because Republicans are history-challenged. (2.00 / 23)
... large deficits aren't primarily a spending problem, but are primarily a revenue problem

Democratic President Bill Clinton left office with a budget surplus. Republican President George W. Bush turned right around and gave the PROJECTED budget surpluses for the next 10 years away to the wealthiest Americans. No, let's not invest any of that in our infrastructure or to help businesses stay competitive in a global economy by funding Green Energy projects or universal health care like Canada has. Shortchange our future by giving it all away to people who don't need it.

That is "conservatism". That is the product that Marco Rubio's party is trying to sell.

It is not surprising that he gets all dry-mouthed trying to find words to dress that up.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


I agree with you interpretation of what he said, ... (2.00 / 20)
... but it is equally important to see how he said it.

What I saw was a man whose body language was not supporting the content of the material he was presenting.  He wasn't just "mailing it in", he was visibly uncomfortable with what he was saying.  If I were to guess, Rubio would be more in agreement with your observations than any of us would be comfortable with.

Rubio had to have seen the SOTU speech prior to his "rebuttal".  Whoever wrote Rubio's speech had anticipated a blistering, partisan, "my way or the highway" attack on the Republican party.  They thought they were going to get a stump speech, and decided to respond in kind.  Instead the President didn't go the stump route, he chose the "leader" approach (with a dollop of emotion at the end).  Rubio's handlers were negligent in not editing out the easily fact checked hypocrisy of the statements he was going to make.  But Rubio knew that he was going to whiff, he was going to whiff in both Spanish and English, and there wasn't anything he could do about it.


Yup. He had that "Dan Quayle in the headlights" look. (2.00 / 18)


I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all. -- William O. Douglas

[ Parent ]
Great observation, Hey338Too... (2.00 / 20)
What I saw was a man whose body language was not supporting the content of the material he was presenting.  He wasn't just "mailing it in", he was visibly uncomfortable with what he was saying.  If I were to guess, Rubio would be more in agreement with your observations than any of us would be comfortable with.

However... when one finds themselves deployed to serve as the messenger of abhorrent viewpoints, the morally proper response would be to turn down the opportunity. Instead, Rubio has demonstrated that his forehead should be tattooed with "This Space For Rent". It will take him a long while to prove that he has - and will stand up for - views of his own.  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
LOL @ "This Space For Rent" (2.00 / 7)
"Space" definitely applies ...

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
My apologies - "your" instead of "you" in the title (2.00 / 11)


[ Parent ]
I thought you were just being hip... (2.00 / 10)
;~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Good read. (2.00 / 15)
If I were to guess, Rubio would be more in agreement with your observations than any of us would be comfortable with.

You may well be exactly right. He certainly was uncomfortable as hell. My end state was feeling sorry for him, it was among the worst bits of public speaking I've seen in recent years. He didn't sell it because he didn't actually believe it.

Maybe he will change parties?

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
no thanks (2.00 / 13)
I lived through the exodus of bigots from the Democratic Party with Reagan and can say that the Party has never not been better for it. I wouldn't mind a similiar exodus of non-bigot Obama Republicans if such a thing were to happen but the bigots can stay right where they are.  

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

[ Parent ]
Exactly!! (2.00 / 10)
There were those lured by the dog whistle from Philadelphia Mississippi and they can stay in the Republican party. Good riddance!!

But there were plenty more who were just tricked by the fancy rhetoric. The current Republican party can't hide their end game.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
All Mr. Rubio needs to do is look at how things worked out... (2.00 / 12)
... for Mr. Hagel to make that calculation.  Not that I feel bad for him, but he's pretty much cast his lot with the republicans.  

[ Parent ]
Slow down there, sparky. (2.00 / 15)
He didn't sell it because he didn't actually believe it.

Maybe he will change parties?

Rubio might have been uncomfortable for any particular reason, including the really hot lights that made him sweat like Nixon, but there is zero reason to believe Mr. Votes-lockstep-with-the-GOP doesn't wholeheartedly believe every policy he uttered.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Just to add , since nobody else has, that he had just (2.00 / 12)
that day voted against VAWA and among his first sentences was a support for the Pro Life group, if I heard him correctly. Didn't he begin by saying something about respecting/loving life at all stages? Not sure both of these would endear him to women. To my mind, the vote against VAWA was racist since many of the objections had  to do with protecting Native American women. If I am wrong, please correct me.I want to be sure to have my facts right.

[ Parent ]
From Rubio's website ... (2.00 / 13)
... Unfortunately, I could not support the final, entire legislation that contains new provisions that could have potentially adverse consequences.  Specifically, this bill would mandate the diversion of a portion of funding from domestic violence programs to sexual assault programs, although there's no evidence to suggest this shift will result in a greater number of convictions. These funding decisions should be left up to the state-based coalitions that understand local needs best, but instead this new legislation would put those decisions into the hands of distant Washington bureaucrats in the Department of Justice. Additionally, I have concerns regarding the conferring of criminal jurisdiction to some Indian tribal governments over all persons in Indian country, including non-Indians. http://www.rubio.senate.gov/pu...  



"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
I should add that I am very fortunate (2.00 / 11)
in that I have never suffered violence. However, I do know women who have and the consequent devastation they have felt has been horrific. Just horrific. That some might deny them recourse is, to me, shocking.  

[ Parent ]
"sweat like Nixon" (2.00 / 8)
that's a keeper, right there.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I watched that debate (2.00 / 8)
my family didn't believe me when I told them Nixon wasn't going to win that election and their reaction was not dissimiliar to the public wailings of the wing nut contingent since Obama was re-elected. I'm okay with missing the exploding heads if they'd had to live long enough to see a black man win the presidency.

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

[ Parent ]
I appropriated the gist of a BJer comment. (2.00 / 3)
:)

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Republicans *chose* to misread the pre-SOTU clues. (2.00 / 15)
From Mitch McConnell demanding partisan approaches and pre-bemoaning President Obama's words to John Boehner pre-calling him a gutless coward for being unwilling to push back against his own party ... who he agrees with !!

The thing most obvious to me is that the Republicans put on the Tea Party tricorn hats in 2009 and they must have pulled them over their ears because they are now tone deaf. The fancy words of Ronald Reagan that drew so many Democrats to the Republican party in the 80s have been replaced by screeching. It is not surprising that his speech did not resonate.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
hey338too, i think you nailed it. (2.00 / 13)
'Whoever wrote Rubio's speech had anticipated a blistering, partisan, "my way or the highway" attack on the Republican party.  They thought they were going to get a stump speech, and decided to respond in kind.'

i happened to catch a part of Morning Joe yesterday morning and as always, they had the usual suspect from Politico on and he was asked what he expected from Obama in his SOTU.

'he's going to try and make the Republicans look ridiculous again.'

the tone of Obama's speech was not at all what they were expecting, Rubio knew it and he didn't stand a chance and compeletely lost his composure.

heh, would love to have been a fly on the wall.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
So in essence, the guy from Politico was right... (2.00 / 10)
... and the President didn't need to work very hard to do it.

[ Parent ]
that was my immediate thought when i heard his prediction. (2.00 / 10)
Republicans don't need any help in that department.

unfortunately it was about 5:30 am and i inadvertantly let out a loud guffaw, woke up my wife. :-/


time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
Quote of the Day (2.00 / 17)
On the SOTU episode generally:


John Boehner looked like he needed a drink more than Marco Rubio ever did.

Charles P. Pierce - The Audacity of Shame Esquire 13 Feb 13

I've been chuckling over that line all morning.


HA! (2.00 / 12)
Now, that's going to have me chuckling all night... ;~)

It's been an incredibly long and hard day (for primarily positive reasons) and I can feel the muscles in my face sagging. That was the first honest laugh I've had since early coffee.

The Cybersecurity EO is very good, imho. It certainly supports everything I and my expanding cadre have been working on.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Rubio's Presidential Aspirations (2.00 / 12)
 photo tumblr_mhbasnfNEY1qg39ewo1_500.gif

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


"No such thing as bad press"? (2.00 / 12)
Rubio Celebrates Gain In Twitter Followers After SOTU Water Break
Marco Rubio @marcorubio

Picked up over 13,000 new followers on #twitter since last night! Im going to start drinking #water in the middle of all of my speeches!
8:47 PM - 13 Feb 13

Seems to me that a lot of those 13,000 new followers are comedians looking for new material.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


Same thing on Fox News and NASCAR ratings... (2.00 / 11)


[ Parent ]
His lunge for hydration came at the perfect point (2.00 / 9)
highlighting a line about false choices.  This can and should be pushed, for false choices are the currency of the contemporary GOP appeal.

Capitalism or socialism/communism

Social safety net or individual responsibility

Strong military or reliance on the good will of others (which is how they understand diplomacy)

Civil liberties or religious liberty (they position the former as undermining the latter)

Regulation or prosperity

Strong families or acceptance of same-sex families

We could go on and on and on with their misleading manichaeanisms.  It's all part of the same attempt to portray themselves as wearing the white hats.  Fact is, few progressives want full nationalization of banks and industry.  Few progressives, even while in favor of defense cuts and drone strikes, want a weak military.  Few progressives want religious institutions repressed by the law.  Few progressives want the government to disarm the citizenry.  Yet these are exactly the "false choices" that Rubio decries and attributes to the President.  And in doing so, constructs the same tired false choices about the Presidents agenda.  There's a word for this: "hypocrisy."  I hope that Democrats use this clip as an opening to demonstrate that hypocrisy.  Rubio, and his colleagues, seem  pretty exercised about false choices for a political movement that depends upon constructing them.  Maybe they are afraid that Americans will continue to reject these dishonest formulations and recognize the true choice between them and the agenda they are trying to defeat with lies.  

The future is unwritten


Rubio is very representative of old school Miami Cuban (2.00 / 12)
thought. He's played the exile from communism meme to the max (though Univision busted him for his lies about when his family came here - which was pre Castro)

The good news is that young Cuban Americans are discarding the politics of their grandparents and becoming Democrats, which is more in line with other Spanish speaking/ancestry groups.

The R's are making a big mistake pushing Rubio to the forefront in hopes that he will snag them some latino love.

It ain't happening.  But they are pretty clueless about "Latino" other than the fact that they want to get rid of the browns (read "illegals" - their term)  


"If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

Bernice Johnson Reagon


Repeating what I posted at Rumproast (2.00 / 7)
Regarding the Aqualunge:

Furtive.  That's the word for it.  Furtive, and awkwardly so.

Yeh,that's really going to enhance his presidential prospects, all right.

Boy done Jindalled himself.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.


Good news for Rubio!! (2.00 / 6)
Colbert To Rubio: Don't Worry, Nobody Remembers You Gave A Speech (with VIDEO)
"The long awaited State of the Rubio given by Florida Senator and board certified MINORITY ...


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


LOL LOL LOL (2.00 / 6)
Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station perfectly sums up Rubio:


Supposedly Rubio is a leading candidate for a shot at the Republican nomination in 2016, but last night he looked more like a nervous freshman high schooler trying out for the debate club. On her worst day, dizzy from a concussion and seething at her husband's ongoing Shenanigans, Hillary Clinton would eat this kid alive and screaming and then use his polished bones for toothpicks.

From Preemptive Pessimism Isn't A Plan, his masterful dissection of the GOP response to the SOTU.

If you have yet to make the acquaintance of Jim Wright, I strongly urge you to hie thee hence.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.


On Rubio's Reply | 50 comments
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