It hasn’t been a good week for Republican Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). First, Ann Coulter called him the Doctor Kervorkian of the Republican Party for supporting immigration reform.
Then, on Sunday, Rubio embarrassed himself – badly – by suggesting a Bushian Syria policy that depends on finding the good guys and working with them.
That wasn’t all, for another hammer was about to fall, this wielded by fellow Republican, California’s Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who said, “Rubio is so mixed up and so confused. I think he has given up his rightful place to advise any of us in Washington what to do, and he’s given up any right to be trusted by the American people.”
That’s language usually reserved by Republicans for President Obama.
Seriously, criticism by a Republican doesn’t get any worse than that.
Rubio’s mistake was saying,
Let’s be clear. Nobody is talking about preventing the legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence.
Rohrabacher did a Coulter in response to this:
This is just a lot of weasel words that Rubio and these people are throwing in. They’re going to legalize the status of people here illegally. Once they do that, that is an amnesty. And once they do that, there will be no border security improvements. It’ll all be a facade.
Let’s not forget that in May, Rubio, apparently channeling Sarah Palin, demanded that the non-existent IRS Commissioner resign. Or that in April he was forced to admit he opposed a gun control bill that he hadn’t even bothered to read.
It wasn’t long ago that Marco Rubio was the bright young hero of the Republican Party, a young McCarthy in the making (which alone should have endeared him to Ann Coulter) and a potential 2016 candidate and the GOP’s access to the Hispanic vote – even though he was less popular with Hispanics than President George W. Bush (29 to 23 percent).
At this point, any Hispanic votes garnered by Rubio would be offset by the loss of the racist lilly-white base.
Let’s face it: these people did not want a black man in the White House. They are not going to stand for a Hispanic.
As Jason Easley wrote here in April, “Only a party that is operating from a completely race based mindset would think that the elevation of Marco Rubio to Hispanic show pony/gimmick is a good idea.”
Clearly, making Rubio the face of immigration reform has backfired and he has become a target of ridicule instead, not all of it related to immigration but all of it due to any discernible ability to articulate his politics and beliefs.
The GOP hasn’t clued in to a glaring defect in their thinking: that it is difficult to position yourself as a champion of minorities while fielding dullards as your point-men or -women and while being pushed into the KKK section of the political landscape by Tea Party racists and moralizing religious fanatics.
To be fair, Marco Rubio never stood a chance of succeeding in his appointed role as Hispanic Messiah. Even in March, the bigoted Rand Paul was leading Rubio in polls, showing the base really doesn’t care when establishment Republicans think. And that fact might itself be irrelevant as neither man stands a chance against Hilary Clinton.
A worse harbinger yet, Nate Silver, who predicted the outcome of the 2012 election, pointed to Rubio as being as unelectable as Mitt Romney.
At this point, Rubio seems more a sacrificial lamb than the eternal hero, that security guy on Star Trek away teams whose sole job it is to be killed. Using Rubio in that way would at least have shown some method to the GOP’s madness but that sort of credit is undeserved.
They seem really to have genuinely thought their initial impressions after catastrophic defeat in 2012 that some charisma would make their stupidity look good, was a workable strategy. The GOP seems to abound with charismatic young men saying truly reprehensible things.
What the GOP will never learn – Tea Party to establishment – is that smiling while giving the finger to the American doesn’t change the message and I think we all get the GOP’s message in giving us Marco Rubio.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.