Tag: Marco Rubio

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I don’t care much whether the Republican candidate is Cruz or Rubio. Either would be preferable to Clinton/Sanders or Trump, and I don’t expect either to shake the foundations if elected.  That said, the pre-election polling that indicates voters in general prefer Rubio to Cruz is not significant. Why? Because current polls are asking people […]

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Lines in the Sand


After reading Dave and Claire’s pieces about how they’d vote if the race comes down to a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I thought I’d throw my own two cents into the ring. Here goes: I ain’t voting for either. I think they’d both be disasters and I’m honestly not sure whether the vindictive, corrupt pol or the bloviating, crony billionaire would do more harm to the country (I can argue it either way). As such, I’ll be either staying home or looking for a third-party challenger in whom I can have some confidence, and encouraging others to do the same. It’ll be the first time I don’t vote for a Republican for president.

Does this make me a disloyal Republican? It does, and I’m okay with that. We all should be willing to walk away at some point. Promising never to do otherwise is an invitation to be taken for granted, and in personal relationships, we generally call such arrangements abuse. The Republican Party exists as a vehicle for conservative ideas about governance; if the driver’s been thrown out, I see no reason to stay with the new one if I think he’s taking us off a cliff.

Now, I suspect some of you are thinking that it’s wrong of me to say Trump is a line I won’t cross, even while I’d support Rubio despite his history with the Gang of Eight. Obviously, I disagree: Despite thinking Rubio was on the wrong side, and it’s a real stain on his record and judgement, it’s just not a dealbreaker for me. Moreover, this is one of the few issues where Republicans have consistently shown that they’re willing to take the gloves off against a president they otherwise esteem. Given that history and Rubio’s on the matter, I think he’s unlikely to try again and we can outmaneuver him if he does.

The Worst Debate Yet


little bully bullying older boyOkay, confession first. I didn’t watch the entire debate, but I watched part of the first hour and the whole last hour. And I agree with many of the posts I see today: Rubio and Cruz have to go after Trump to capture the votes of those who haven’t become enamored with him.

But there’s something else happening here, and it frankly disheartens me: We are watching the further demise of the position of president in this country as we watch these candidates slug it out.

Both Cruz and Rubio sounded to me like angry school kids on the playground trying to fight off the bully. Yes, Trump is a bully, and why should I care if others beat up on him? In one sense, I don’t care. There’s a part of me that wants them to beat him into submission. But the process is nauseating, and it’s undignified, and it’s ugly. Yes, I am probably condemning the whole debate process, and we’re stuck with it, so we have to do the best we can under these circumstances. But the image of Rubio in particular of a boy flailing his arms, then covering his head, yelling mean and nasty words back — that’s what’s numbing my brain. So I’m really struggling.

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How can Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz undermine Trump with undecided voters who find him appealing? I don’t expect them to set aside their personal rivalry to unite against him; that’s sadly not human nature. But the senators can walk and chew gum at the same time. They both need to weaken Trump, and it can be done. Neither his ceiling nor […]

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If you’ve been following the internet immigration debate, you’ve probably by now seen or heard of the Eagle Forum memo from Ed Martin to Phyllis Schlafly on the Gang of Eight. This piece has been widely circulated as a devastating indictment of Marco Rubio’s character and immigration record. The memo deserves no such credit. I began researching […]

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“The Most Consequential Election” and The Big Enchilada


shutterstock_230787199It’s been said so many times that the phrase scarcely retains meaning: “This presidential election is one of the most consequential in our lifetimes.” Everybody says that about every presidential election, but only hindsight can reveal whether or not that is true.

2008 was obviously important, but for reasons which don’t look good at the end of the day. We don’t need to rehash that. Many people consider the election of 2000 to have been consequential but — with 20/20 hindsight — its attendant issues appear quotidian in comparison to the nation’s problems today. Remember: we were coming off of a decade of relative peace and extraordinary prosperity. Americans faced a choice between two relatively moderate Southerners, both scions of political dynasties. Consequently, the election hinged more on in-group signalling than it did expressions of stark ideological difference.

Contemplate how different things are now: Al Gore’s militaristic clone Jim Webb couldn’t thread the needle in the Democratic primaries, and George W. Bush’s actual brother is an afterthought in the Republican contest.

No, the RNC Shouldn’t Cut Trump Loose


With bottles and chairs flying, tables being overturned, and the player piano shot full of holes, I decided to duck out of Time for the RNC to Cut Trump Loose and make a commonsense plea. As appealing as it would be to disappear Donald, having the referees pull a fast one would only validate Trump’s presence in the race. His base would become even more energized and would probably gain recruits. In kicking Trump to the curb, Republicans would sacrifice whatever leverage and influence they have on the Trump campaign. Furthermore, the eventual Republican nominee would be tainted by the party’s heavy-handed and desperate tactics. The party itself would be irreversibly damaged. The RNC’s actions would make the Dem’s superdelegates look like a model of democracy.

As others have pointed out, the GOP is already damaged, and most of the damage was self-inflicted, but I won’t elaborate on that here. If the GOP is to recover, it can’t resort to administrative tricks. It will need candidates who are serious about saving it. I’m looking at you, Marco and Ted.

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Now that Jeb is out of the race, it’s official – Senator Marco Rubio is the new Great Establishment Hope. Former senator, presidential candidate, and all around GOP establishment hack Bob Dole has endorsed Senator Rubio for President.  Senator Dole, whose inspired (cough, cough) campaign for President in 1996 gave us four more years of […]

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Immigration Is Not a Deal Breaker for Rubio


Sen. Marco Rubio’s involvement in the Gang of Eight attempt to pass comprehensive immigration reform has been one of his campaign’s biggest stumbling blocks. This, and and his refusal to disavow some form of “amnesty,” has left him vulnerable and at odds with the base. The only way for Rubio to win the nomination — so the theory goes — is to take a hardline on immigration.

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The GOP establishment hates Cruz and Cruz thinks they are a big problem for the country.  If the endorsements and party support pour in to Rubio’s camp (as is now expected since Bush has dropped out) then this might stiffen Cruz’s resistance to the possible later decision of when to leave the race.  Preview Open

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Electability vs. Execution


Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 9.31.11 PMOne of my favorite films is the 1990 cult classic Joe Versus the Volcano, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. I’m not asking you to agree with me about the quality of the film (if you don’t, you’re just wrong), but I think there’s a message for supporters of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

The first scene of the movie features Joe (Hanks) showing up to work for his truly awful job with his truly awful boss. While watching Joe settle in for the morning, we’re treated to a nails-on-chalkboard monologue of the boss arguing on the phone. Here’s the scene. The abbreviated transcript goes roughly like this:

Boss: I know he can get the job … but can he do the job? Harry … yeah Harry…but can he do the job? I know he can get the job, but can he do the job? I’m not arguing that with you. I am not arguing that with you. I’m not arguing that with you. Yeah Harry I know he can get the job but can he do the job?

Gov. Haley to Endorse Rubio


Rubio-HaleyBig news out of South Carolina. Popular Gov. Nikki Haley will endorse Sen. Marco Rubio in the GOP presidential race:

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will win South Carolina’s most Republican coveted endorsement of the 2016 presidential race when Gov. Nikki Haley announces her support at a Chapin rally on Wednesday evening, a source with knowledge of the governor’s decision told The State.

Haley, the state’s most popular GOP politician in polls, has decided to back the establishment candidate considered to be in best position to challenge Republican front-runners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Rubio: Man-Boy Candidate Promises Less of the Same

By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45071058

Marco Rubio by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0.

While a boy’s face on a man’s body may be the romantic ideal for some, it serves only to reinforce Republican primary voters’ skepticism about Sen. Marco Rubio’s lack of skepticism about government interventionism. The Florida senator’s political instincts have led him to believe, among other things, that the US immigration crisis can only be addressed through comprehensive reform, a mutually-exclusive term favored by pundits, progressives, and “soft values” Republicans like Rubio.

Power, Limited Government, and Marco Rubio


Marco Rubio in 2009  by DavidAll06 – via Flickr

Every conservative candidate says the government has too much power … until he enters government and tastes it for himself. This is not a problem of one specific political party, political class, or establishment, and it is not a problem solved by electing an outsider. It is an age-old problem of human nature. A candidate may condemn presidential overreach on the campaign trail — perhaps even believing his own words — but won’t be able to relinquish the reins of power once handed them, or to let go and allow Congress and the states to work their will.