Saturday, October 31, 2015

Yes, Rubio's A Two-Bit Grifter But I Hope He Doesn't Resign


The Orlando Sentinel is a pretty conservative newspaper. They endorsed Rubio when he ran for the Senate and they endorsed Romney when he tried preventing Obama from being reelected in 2012. And last year they backed right-wing GOP incumbents John Mica, Bill Posey and Daniel "Taliban Dan" Webster, as well as a right-wing Tea Party challenger to Alan Grayson, Carol Platt (who Grayson went on to beat 54-43%). But, as you know by now, the Sentinel called on Rubio to either start doing his job in the Senate or to resign.
Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator this year. His seat is regularly empty for floor votes, committee meetings and intelligence briefings. He says he's MIA from his J-O-B because he finds it frustrating and wants to be president, instead.

"I'm not missing votes because I'm on vacation," he told CNN on Sunday. "I'm running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again."

Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We've got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government.

If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it.

...You are paid $174,000 per year to represent us, to fight for us, to solve our problems. Plus you take a $10,000 federal subsidy-- declined by some in the Senate-- to participate in one of the Obamacare health plans, though you are a big critic of Obamacare.

You are ripping us off, senator.

...Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it.

Instead, he launched into a blistering attack against the Sentinel at the CNBC debate in Boulder on Wednesday. Watch his well-prepared, memorized little speech that went over so well with a dumb-as-shit audience reacting as if the Sentinel was the Berkeley Barb:

The Sentinel decided to not let Rubio's dishonest response go unanswered. So they kicked his ass again:
For a guy who keeps talking about a new kind of politics, Marco Rubio is falling back on the oldest dodge in the political playbook.

Blame the media.

The public deserved better from Florida's senator at Wednesday's Republican debate.

Instead, Rubio dodged the concern-- expressed by this editorial board-- about his poor Senate attendance record, the worst of anybody's. Neither did he address our call for him to resign rather than continue to leave one of Florida's two Senate seats mostly vacant as he campaigns for the presidency over the next year.

Instead, he smiled and said: "I read that editorial today with great amusement. It's actually evidence of the bias that exists in the American media."

As proof, Rubio noted that the Sun Sentinel hadn't called for then-Sens. Barack Obama and John Kerry to resign when they chalked up even worse attendance records while running for president.

While surprised to hear Rubio put himself in the same league as Obama and Kerry, we'd point out that Obama and Kerry were not our senators, and we don't recall them saying they hated their jobs in the Senate.

Rubio, on the other hand, is our senator. And as such, he is accountable to Florida voters.

...[E]ever since he got to Washington, it seems Rubio has been running for higher office. Almost immediately, he authored a book to introduce himself to the nation. And after demonstrating the courage to sponsor a bill that would comprehensively reform our nation's immigration law-- his lone signature piece of legislation-- he backed off, because of politics.

Now, Rubio says he finds the Senate frustrating, that our nation's greatest deliberative chamber moves too slowly and that he wants out. Instead, he says he wants to be president because he could make change happen faster.

But here's a question to consider: If Rubio found his Senate job so frustrating that he almost immediately backed off his promises, what's to say history won't repeat itself if he were to win the White House?

Look, we're all frustrated by the dysfunction in Washington. But on the night he won a three-way race for the Senate, Rubio promised Floridians it was "a second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be."

Rubio said he was going to fight for us and heaven knows, we've got big issues that need attention. But because he is off and running for the presidency, we find it incredibly hard to get Rubio's ear. The people of Florida, who know him best, deserve better.

If Rubio wants to be president, he should go for it, give it all he's got, full steam ahead. But the demands of the presidential campaign have proven too great for him to do his day job.

Given that, Rubio should resign his Senate and let our governor appoint someone who has the time and desire to not only serve constituents, but to attend the committee hearings, the intelligence briefings, and yes, the floor votes on the big challenges facing our nation.
On second thought... America is better off with Rubio not working than having a crooked extremist like Rick Scott appoint some far right lunatic who would be voting. Don't let the Orlando Sentinel push you around, Marco! This morning, writing for Salon, Elias Isquith went where the mass media never treads: Marco Rubio being as much an intellectual fraud as Paul Ryan has always been. He laughed in the face of David Brooks' assertion that Ryan & Rubio are not "celebrity candidates" but rather "wonks."
[I]t’s Rubio’s block grant idea that really gives the game away, signaling how superficial is his concern for America’s downtrodden and how thin is his knowledge of public policy intended to combat poverty. Block-granting the welfare state is an old, old idea and one of the reasons it hasn’t been able to catch on as much as conservatives would like is because, well, it doesn’t work. States don’t use their no-strings-attached funding to innovate, it turns out. Often, they just spend it on someone else (ideally, someone who might vote for them during the next election).

So Rubio’s wonk résumé is about as paltry as Ryan’s. Both men are essentially pushing the same policies that have dominated the GOP since the Reaganite ’80s and both men are mostly able to obscure this by relying on the press’s ingrained desire to find a wonky conservative for “balance.” Both men are also good talkers-- better than even most politicians-- who know that a largely innumerate political press is easily impressed by a confident-sounding sale featuring charts and graphs (which they usually don’t understand).

Yet, crucially, neither man is patently embarrassing. And, to Brooks, appearances ultimately matter more than anything else. “Voters don’t have to know the details of their nominee’s agenda,” he writes, “but they have to know that the candidate is capable of having an agenda.” Rubio and Ryan seem like they’re capable of speaking at length in coherent and connected sentences. For the Times pundit who rocketed to fame in part by celebrating George W. Bush, that is, evidently, more than enough.

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