The Little Senator's flip-flopping hypocrisy on his own bill has been justified by nonsense.

I really don’t like Marco Rubio.

I admit to being puzzled by my intensely negative – okay, hostile – feelings toward Marco. It is not typical of me to immediately/reflexively/impulsively respond/react to someone in such a strong, pejorative way. It usually takes a little time for me to process his/her words/actions before I walk through the door of the house at “4321 I Can’t Stand The Sight Of You” Street.

But, for whatever reason(s), he’s just not my kind of guy. I don’t like Marco Rubio and, quite frankly, can’t remember a time when I did.

It may have begun when the ambitious young senator lost his nerve, convictions and any hint of personal integrity by infamously bailing on the Gang of Eight Immigration Bill after it passed the Senate in late June, 2013.

A reasonably acceptable, bipartisan starting point for immigration reform, the bill would have eventually provided what we now term “a pathway to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants who are illegally in-country. Which would have made moot the absurd Republican intra-party debate question that has headlined conservative conversation about immigration for the past couple of years: How will we deport 11 million undocumented persons who are currently in the United States?

It is a morally unacceptable idea, a logistically impossible idea and an economically laughable idea—identifying, “rooting out,” “rounding up,” and deporting 11 million people to God only knows where. But the phrases “morally unacceptable,” “logistically impossible” and “economically laughable” and even “God only knows” characterize much of what passes for Republican talking points—the GOP doesn’t really do “policy” any longer—these days.

That the Conservative Crazy Caucus is still talking about deporting those 11 million people signals the unaware/comatose that the Immigration Bill ultimately failed. And, when one studies its failure, Marco Rubio’s name seems to show up in every paragraph.

In the initial framing of the bill, the little senator from Florida cut a bigger profile by, if nothing else, associating with some Senate heavyweights who were part of the Gang of Eight—John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Shumer to name just three. And he oozed—oozed, I tell you— compassion and sincerity for the plight of the undocumented. He seemed, at times, to be everywhere at once, talking up the bill and trying to soothe the rabid hostility sweeping like a fever through the GOP base.

But the Republican Right in the House was throwing gasoline on the firestorm of criticism apropos the bill offering a “pathway to citizenship,” which is anathema to the White Right because, after all, these 11 million people are (1) people of color and (2) probably not attracted to a political party that often characterizes them as being virtually sub-human.

Hence, as the Senate approached its vote in June, 2013, Politico reported that “The Senate’s Gang of Eight” was “out in force to sell its immigration plan to the public, minus one pivotal member: Marco Rubio.” Rubio, who had seemed to be everywhere at once, now seemed to be nowhere at all. He was conspicuously absent from a press conference announcing the bill’s approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was no longer seen in public with fellow Gang members. And, when he refused to say that he would help his Band of Brothers defeat bill-killing amendments offered by far-right Republicans, it became apparent that he had left his seven fellow gang members—each of whom had put himself and his political career on the line to varying degrees and each of whom had kowtowed to Rubio’s interminable efforts to make the bill more palatable to Far Right White voters—twisting in the wind.

As Lauren Fox wrote in the U.S. News & World Report, Marco’s real effort was “to have it both ways on immigration reform…He gets to keep his name on the top of the landmark legislation while simultaneously distancing himself from his own bill…” And, indeed, that’s exactly how Marco and his “handlers” have framed it.

But the truth of it was that, when the Senate passed the bill and sent it to the Thorazine Caucus in the GOP-dominated House, the self-proclaimed brave, courageous, principled and, uh, Catholic/Evangelical Christian stand of Marco Rubio transitioned into a cowardly retreat and stark betrayal of those with whom he had shared a foxhole. Facing the angry angst of Republican nativists whose support he would need in 2016, Marco zipped up his shiny boots and put as much distance as he could between himself and his “convictions.” And then tried to justify deserting both his “principles” and his fellow Gang members by saying, in a voice dripping with affected sincerity, “I just don’t trust Obama.”

To which thinking people everywhere responded by saying, “Huh?”

Now that he’s running for a spot on the Republican presidential ticket, Marco doesn’t talk about a “pathway to citizenship.” He talks in hazy terms about “a process” that “in 10 or 12 years” might lead to “a broader debate about…should we allow some of them to apply for green cards and eventual citizenship.” In other words, his primary concern is no longer “bringing people out of the shadows” but that elusive trope that the White Right calls “border security.” And Donald Trump’s ludicrous wall along the southern border—which will be paid for, of course, by Mexico—has become, for Marco, a viable option, though Marco calls it a “fence” and not a “wall.” One supposes he wants to have it both ways again; i.e., on the one hand, the belligerent tough-guy who will keep the “foreigners” out but, on the other hand, the compassionate evangelical who will do so not with concrete but with chain-link or split-rail.

By the way, Marco’s communications director, Alex Conant, responded to skeptics in the press by saying that “Marco’s principles on immigration reform have not changed.”

To which thinking people everywhere responded by saying, “Huh?”

Whenever I hear Marco Rubio accuse another candidate of being a “liar,” of being “willing to say or do anything in order to get elected,” I laugh so hard at his shape-shifting, flip-flopping, outright-lying hypocrisy that it frightens my dogs—and they are right hefty hounds not easily frightened.

Marco’s Christ-like care for America’s undocumented community didn’t stop with his betrayal of the Gang of Eight or his abandonment of his, uh, “principles.” He has most recently extended his version of Christian charity to those who have benefited greatly from President Obama’s DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—initiative.

Marco has always said that a Rubio presidency would end DACA.  But, before GOP presidential politics got down-and-dirty, he said DACA should die in stages.  It would be unfair, he said, to just suddenly tell people they no longer have a job or can no longer continue their studies.

But Marco, perhaps compensating for his little-boy looks, tried to affect a hard-edged, hard-assed persona when he began to face the hordes of white carnivores who make up the GOP base.  Hence, DACA joined the host of other Obama-era policies/programs that Marco has vowed to “undo” on his first day as president.

So much, I guess, for not just telling someone, suddenly and out-of-the-blue, that they no longer have a job or can no longer continue their studies.

On Friday, February 3, President Obama visited Muslims celebrating their Day of Prayer at the mosque of the Islamic Society of Baltimore. David Brooks of the NYTimes, no great fan of Mr. Obama, applauded the president who “looked into people’s eyes and gave a wonderful speech reasserting their place as Americans.”  You can read the text of it here.

While thoughtful Americans of every race, ethnicity and religion applauded both the president’s visit and his warm, meditative remarks, Republican officials and their White Right base wore out the pages of their thesauri searching for new invectives they could throw at him. But Marco came up with perhaps the most startling and hypocritical critique of Mr. Obama. The speech, he said, was another example of the president building walls between Americans instead of tearing them down.

To which thinking people everywhere responded by saying, “Huh?”

Rubio continued by calling Mr. Obama the “Divider-in-Chief” and, incredibly, accused him of being “the most divisive president in American history.”  Worse, he virtually charged the president with treason, implying that he knows “what Obama is up to” and that the “what” he is “up to” involves a purposeful plot “to bring America down to the level of other countries” so that it will be ripe for picking.

This from an immature, career-climbing child of immigrant parents who himself would divide—by race, ethnicity, socio-economic position and citizenship papers—what could be a glorious mix of 21st-century Americans such as we have never before seen.

I really don’t like Marco Rubio. There is a briefcase full of reasons other than those I’ve mentioned, but these constitute a pretty good start: He is a hypocrite. A flip-flopper. Unprincipled and prone to lace up his Nikes and run from what, five minutes before, was a “core conviction.” He lacks graciousness. He lacks compassion. He is a liar.

I don’t need anymore than that to make up my mind about the little fellow wearing the shiny black boots with elevator heels.

2 COMMENTS

    • Thanks, Sue. Actually, I enjoy musing about the crazies who populate the ranks of the Grand Old Party and enjoy even more the opportunity to put those musings to paper—or, as my son reminds me to say, “in written form on the internet.” Though his terming of the process doesn’t take into account the fact that I actually write them out on Big Chief yellow legal pads before I, uh, “put those musings in written form on the internet.” As you might infer, he is more than impatient with a father who is not tech-savvy in the least.

      I appreciate Quiet Mike for the chance to do this stuff and am glad you’re a site reader. I enjoyed reading the columns on the site a long time before taking a shot at writing for it. Keep the Faith!

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