Monday, April 20, 2015

Election 2016: Say No to Rubio

Marco Antonio Rubio.jpg
Marco Rubio in 2008 (DavidAll06)
Florida’s junior US Senator Marco Rubio, like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, commanded a great deal of respect with conservative activists. In 2010, Tea Party elements who helped propel his outsider candidacy for the US Senate against more Establishmentarian Republican governor Charlie Crist and the fledging Democratic candidate who had no chance of winning in the Republican leaning Sunshine state. After Christie and McDonnell’s gubernatorial victories especially in a watershed year for conservative insurgents across the country fed up with Big Government getting bigger under President Obama.

The former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Rubio boasted a son-of-immigrants story which rivaled Senator Ted Cruz, Rubio fended off infrequent, off-hand attacks, like misusing his credit card and avoiding payments.

He campaign on entitlement reform, in the state which Washington Post columnist George Will once called “God’s ante-chamber” for the number of senior citizens living there. He defeated the current Republican Governor, who had taken the Obama Kool-Aid stimulus, and hugged him in the process (Christie should have learned from Crist’s example. The “established” GOP candidate lost the primary, then switched Independent, back-pedaling from previous assertions to run and stay.

Rubio’s conservative stats and credentials broke the mold, and he captured the US Senate in a landmark victory. Rubio’s meteoric rise seemed destined to crest and dazzle the political landscape. Hoping to increase Hispanic GOP voter registration, party leaders propped up Rubio following President Obama’s State of the Union speech, only to receive another barrage of empty criticisms after he reached for a  bottle of water during his SOTU Response.

Rubio during SOTU Response (C-SPAN HD)

Following the disappointing 2012 Elections, Rubio still stood his fiscally conservative ground, rejecting the Fiscal Cliff deal, even while his Republican counterparts in the House (including Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan) voted for the deal.

Then came the betrayal. Working with another Gang of Eight in the upper chamber, Rubio cosponsored Immigration “Reform”, bringing along sixty-seven colleagues. Bipartisanship is one thing, but compromise must be based on principle, not politics. US Senator Rand Paul worked on juvenile delinquency reforms with other Democrats, yet still voted against bloated budgets and pushed Right-To-Work legislation in the process. Christie caved to Democratic talking points, and so did Rubio.

The notion that any Congress could trust President Obama, who had engaged in arbitrary lawless changes to his own legislation while rejecting the precedent of prior Congresses, should have dissuaded any federal representative from pursuing immigration policy. Republicans in the House were willing to work with the president to streamline the process, even set up a pathway to citizenship. Yet border security and integrity remained the sine qua non (indispensable condition), and since Obama had already flouted the rule of law with Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, a nightmarish policy which bypassed Congress and unilaterally permitted young(ish) illegal aliens to reside in the country and receive temporary work permits. Charles Krauthammer sounded out this policy for what it really was: “Utter Lawlessness”.

Yet in spite of the infidelity of the President, Rubio felt the pressure from the Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic identity activists, and went along.

Tea Party supporters from 2010 felt betrayed in 2013, and rightfully so. On other notes, where was the legislation on entitlement reform? What about the fiscal discipline? While Rubio has cast reliable votes on life (even sponsoring a bill to end abortion after twenty weeks, much like the Texas law which pink-shoed Wendy Davis failed to filibuster), Rubio’s breach of constitutional integrity and consistency cost him dearly with conservatives.

Granted, he regretted his support and vote for the 2013 Obamacare of Immigration Policy, but Rubio has failed on this front again. Returning to immigration, recent reports confirm, in spite of his communication director’s pleas to the contrary, Rubio supported and argued that Obama’s executive actions have benefitted illegal aliens, and he would not remove them. And he did so in Spanish on a Spanish-speaking television program. Whatever happened to E pluribus unum?

So, one first-term Senator praises another, and upholds his illegal, executive overreach to boot? Ouch! Now more than ever, this country needs leadership. Poor executive judgment, and outright unconstitutional rule from the current commander-in-chief (who plays golf rather than enforcing the law) have pushed this country’s republican core and democratic aspirations to a crisis point.

The last thing this country needs is another executive whose previous experience was relegated to running an office on Capitol Hill. Senator Rubio, now throwing his hat in the ring for the highest executive office in the land, has nothing to offer but a legacy of following the opinions of Washington DC elites.

Rubio embraces "gay" as identity, but not gay marriage? (Slate)

Where does his star power reside, then? Young voters like his youthful exuberance, or do they embrace his seeming softeneness on key stances, like gay marriage?  So, he announces that he would attend a gay wedding. Then he declares on “Face the Nation” that homosexual behavior is not a choice, yet he calls the conduct “sexual preference”. Preference indicates choice, and more research affirms that sexual conduct/attraction is not necessarily genetic. Let no one presume that he could have punted on those media gotcha questions, since Rubio had done so when queried about the age of the earth.

Rubio may steal away his former mentor Jeb Bush’s chances for the 2016 GOP nomination, but for a growing consortium of constitutional conservatives, Rubio’s magic is rubbing off fast. In the words of CNN’s Jake Tapper, Rubio is indeed “the candidate of yesterday”, a politician with conservative credentials misspent, and ultimately lost.

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