The continued desire of Florida’s first-term Junior Senator to put national interests above Florida, and specifically the national interests of the most reactionary portions of the GOP electorate leaves our state without adequate representation in the nation’s capital. Even when voting like conservative Republicans Senators Connie Mack and Mel Martinez were closely attuned to local issues and interests. Rubio on the other hand continues to prove that he is not.
This past week Rubio announced his opposition to the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the head of the Federal Reserve. In recent weeks, Florida’s Junior Senator has been outspoken in his criticism of the Obama Administration led efforts to make an agreement with Iran regarding the Islamic Republic’s Nuclear program.
Senator Marco Rubio continued his dogmatic adherence to ideological talking points and dogma with his vote October against a bipartisan bill to reopen the Government and in May against a bi-partisan bill that would secure millions of dollars for Everglades restoration and other water projects in the state. In joining only 12 other Senators in his “no” vote Rubio offered several amendments including one related to the burgeoning IRS scandal and used his time on the floor to lob some pretty weighty accusations towards the administration.
What is especially galling is that every predictable statement of a knee-jerk right-wing position or extreme partisan position taken by Rubio is met with national media attention and analysis. Marco Rubio has not yet earned a senior statesman type profile where his every position and public speech is elevated to a national level. Yet he is being afforded such a stature by the national press most notably the Washington Post and Politico.
Rubio has begun articulating a narrative that says Obama’s administration is pushing a culture of “intimidation.” It is ironic since Rubio and his henchmen used intimidation to great impact while House Speaker, even harassing activists and volunteers who dared stand before House committees and question the Speaker’s agenda, particularly on education and taxation issues. By comparison, the Obama Administration regardless of what is being alleged by partisan motivated attack dogs is tame.
In March, I wrote that the challenge for Rubio was to somehow keep the Republican Party desperate for him while continuing to play his cards correctly with BOTH national Republican power brokers/media elites AND the fundamentalist Iowa caucus goers. Rubio had the conservative activists where he wanted but his immigration reform proposals have caused a backlash with those who appeared to be his base for a potential Presidential campaign. So as a reaction, Rubio has begun overcompensating for his immigration stand.
But Rubio the astute pol, mixing below the belt attacks on the President with a reactionary voting record could keep both the GOP establishment and Tea Party clamoring for him with this combination of rhetoric and votes. The national media is playing its part in fueling Rubio’s support by elevating his profile. Time will tell whether or not this formula will continue to work.
But in the meantime, Florida is deprived the type of representation we are sccustomened to in Washington. While our Junior Senator grandstands and postures for the media and right-wing ideologues, the state is forced to make do with a single senator that is focused on the state’s issues. That is bad news for every citizen of the state regardless of ideology or party registration.
What happened to the State of Florida??? Yoo hoo, Marco…you represent the people of FLORIDA…who are OVERWHELMINGLY in favor of immigration reform. They were so happy when YOU were put on the committee. Thrilled when the joint proposal came out…only to have you “change your mind,” when the tea party people rebuked you. Florida does not need a representative working on his own future…a la Charlie Crist…Florida needs someone to solve immigration, protect the Everglades, secure our water supply, and take a pro-active stand on Climate Change. Get off of your soapbox, roll up your sleeves, and work for US !!!!