Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Marco Rubio Has Always Been On The Road To Nowhere


Trumpf couldn't have invented a better prop for himself

Last night was pretty brutal for Rubio. Last I checked he was in last place in Mississippi, struggling to stay above 5% of the vote, and totally shut out of any delegates. And in last place in Michigan-- by a lot, again, shut out of delegates.
Herr Trumpf- 36.5%-- 25 delegates
Cruz- 24.9%-- 17 delegates
Kasich- 24.3%-- 17 delegates
Rubio- 9.3%-- 0 delegates
At least Rubio came in 3rd-- instead of 4th-- in Idaho and Hawaii, although, again, no delegates in either state. Obviously all those Nazis and white supremacists in Idaho buoyed Cruz and Herr Trumpf. Kootenai County (the home of neo-Nazi centers Hayden Lake and Coeur d'Alene) was see-sawing back and forth all night between the two fascist-oriented candidates Herr Trumpf and Ted Cruz, although in the end the county went for Cruz with 53.2%. This morning, Politico was describing Rubio's situation as a death spiral and just after midnight, the Wall Street Journal noted that Little Marco "wasn’t expected to win any of the four states that voted Tuesday, but he sure had a lot to lose. And he did, everywhere and badly" and that "[q]ueasy donors chattered into the night about whether he would abandon his bid before the Florida contest next Tuesday to avoid an embarrassing home-state loss."

Maybe Rubio can run for president some other time but 2016 is not going to be his year-- nor should it be. He's proven himself to be uniquely unqualified for high public office and the country-- and Florida-- are better off getting him out of the Senate as well. Recent contested primaries and caucuses have shown definitively that Republican voters are not buying the infatuation with him the corporate media has tried to gin up in the service of the Republican Establishment. Yes, he won Puerto Rico, but that territory was uncontested by the other candidates. He came in dead last in Maine, not even breaking double digits, a weak 3rd in Texas, third in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Alaska, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. These are Republican heartland states... and he was fighting Kasich for 3rd place, not Trumpf or Cruz for 1st place. The latest PPP survey from Florida has him trailing Herr Trumpf 45-25%, with significantly lower favorability than Trumpf. Even in a head-to-head match up with Trumpf, Fliorida Republicans pick Trumpf 52-38%, a devastating statistic, which helps explain why some campaign staffers are urging him to get out before he's humiliated in his home state. And now Cruz is working on finishing him off in his own state and getting him out of the race entirely. "Little Marco" caught on even faster than "low energy" caught on for the Jebster.

Right-wing journalist Ben Domenech, writing for the right-wing website, The Federalist already published his Rubio obituary. "He should have done better. On paper, Marco Rubio looks like a consensus candidate, the perfect sort of Republican to put up against Hillary Clinton. On the trail, he is eloquent and has had a charismatic run over the past few weeks. The good endorsements have all gone his way. The establishment lane has been cleared of all but John Kasich. The donor class was heading solidly in his direction. The prediction markets saw him as the consensus not-Trump in the race... [but] he is not the candidate suited for the moment, with a message for the times and a campaign operation up to the challenge. His approach was built on the assumptions in the GOP post-2012 autopsy, and his data-based analytics were used more for messaging than individualized."

The op-ed this week from Rubio's hometown paper, the Sun-Sentinel explaining why they couldn't endorse any of the Republican candidates for president, goes right into the real weaknesses that would have predicted to anyone that Rubio was a dead-end candidate, conjured up by rich old white men as the (entirely hollow) Republican version of Barack Obama. "The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board is not going to make an endorsement in Florida's March 15 Republican presidential primary because the kind of person who should be running is not in the race." They say the only only remotely qualified is Kasich but that even he didn't earn their endorsement. As for Rubio, this must have stung:
If you think Marco Rubio can unite the Republican Party under a winning banner, vote for him. But remember that he has almost no experience and has done little but run for office. Then, when he gets in office, he doesn't go to work very much. He holds the worst attendance record in the U.S. Senate.

Because Rubio has failed to do his job as a senator, broken the promises he made to Floridians and backed away from his lone signature piece of legislation on immigration, we cannot endorse him for president.

Without question, Rubio has a great personal story and tremendous political skills. He is smart and knows the issues beyond the talking points, no matter that one rote debate performance.

But Rubio is not the new-age Republican he claims to be. His positions on abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, gun control, government surveillance and Cuba are those of yesteryear. And unlike Trump, Rubio is reliant on big donors who will expect big favors down the road.

Rubio's strongest suit appears to be foreign policy, but his neoconservative views should give voters pause. In an October interview about ISIS, for example, he advocated a no-fly zone over Syria that would take down any Russian jets there, too. Asked if he thought a military conflict with Russia would scare the American people, he said, "Sure. But the consequences of not doing anything would scare them even more."

Let us be clear: war with Russia is the last thing this war-weary nation wants and it was alarming to hear Rubio so cavalierly roll the dice. Fortunately, more considered minds from the U.S., Russia and other powers last month negotiated a cessation of hostilities in Syria's civil war.

We recognize that Rubio and Ted Cruz are the party's best shot at stopping Trump. If Rubio can secure Florida's winner-take-all primary, and certain other cards play out, perhaps Trump won't cross the finish line and another candidate can emerge at a brokered convention.

But a vote for Rubio should be more than a protest vote.

Rubio lacks the experience, work ethic and gravitas needed to be president. He has not earned your vote.

Ultimately, the justification to Republicans for the Rubio campaign was that he wanted to start more wars in the Middle East-- he's the only presidential candidate demonstrably to the right of Hillary on foreign policy-- and he wanted to promulgate economic and fiscal policies that would allow the wealthy to pay lower taxes. If reducing capital gains taxes and more wars are your top reasons for choosing a president, Rubio would have made some sense. He isn't elderly in body but he was, first and foremost, always the Young Fogey with tired, very standard and very much rejected ideas. Over $70 million Republican dollars wasted on this idiot's ego trip. That's money that could have done a lot of damage in November.

Road To Nowhere

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