strange bedfellows

I Guess Marco Rubio Is My Hero Now

Photo: Graeme Jennings/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Like many of my fellow Americans, I was still groggy on Tuesday afternoon, two days after having my sleep schedule thrown off once again by our collective decision to have our clocks “spring forward” for no good reason. So I was not able to fully process this tweet when a colleague dropped it in our Slack room.

My first thought: Oh my God, it’s happening! [Insert Ron Paul GIF.] My second: I guess Marco Rubio is my hero now?

Yes, it seems we have the Florida senator to thank for this joyous, unexpected development. Per Politico:

Just two days after the nation’s latest stressful “spring forward” to the later sunsets of daylight saving time, the Senate unanimously and surprisingly passed Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) bill to lock the clocks.

The quick and consequential move happened so fast that several senators said afterward they were unaware of what had just happened.

Shortly after the Senate came back from a recess for a GOP lunch and a Democratic visit to the White House, Rubio took to the floor and passed a bill with a name befitting his state, the Sunshine Protection Act.

“If we can get this passed, we don’t have to keep doing this stupidity anymore,” Rubio said. “Why we would enshrine this in our laws and keep it for so long is beyond me.”

I am no fan of Senator Rubio (see: my decade’s worth of blog posts mocking him for everything from wisecracking about waterboarding Hillary Clinton to pretending he’s too busy to COVID-test for President Biden’s State of the Union). But for several years, I have been joking that if Rubio actually completed his quest to eliminate America’s biannual clock switch, I would have no choice but to support him.

Ending clock switching is one of my top political concerns. (Okay, I definitely care more about reproductive rights and America not devolving into a dictatorship, but it’s up there.) My reasoning is simple: Winter is tough enough, and changing the clocks so it gets dark at 4:30 p.m. in the New York area makes me want to die. Therefore, when I became aware several years ago that there were like-minded people calling on Congress to make this change, I decided to support them blindly — and I really mean blindly.

“Are we in DST?” another colleague asked just after this news broke. You’d think that as someone who’s passionate about this issue, I would know. But I don’t. Nobody knows! As far as I’m concerned, that’s the way it should be. We’ve already wasted too much of our precious time disrupting our sleep cycles, resetting clocks, and adjusting understandably cranky children onto new sleep cycles. I draw the line at learning useless terms for this godforsaken practice. I’ve also stopped trying to calculate what time I should go to bed to mitigate the effects of the switch. Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford put it best:

In this spirit, I’m also not really bothering to engage in any arguments against the Senate bill. “The U.S. Tried Daylight Savings Time in the ’70s. People Hated It,” according to The Washingtonian. “It saves energy,” reports the U.S. Department of Transportation. I don’t care. All I need to hear is that I will no longer be plunged into darkness in the middle of a winter afternoon.

So thank you, Senator Rubio, for looking past all the mean things I’ve said about you and advancing this important issue. When the House and President Biden finally enact our vision for a literally brighter tomorrow, I will raise a glass in your honor. (But there’s still no way in hell I’m voting for you in 2024.)

I Guess Marco Rubio Is My Hero Now