Marco Rubio at CPAC: More fluff and dangerous rhetoric

rubiocpac14In what is becoming an annual rite of passage, Florida’s Junior Senator Marco Rubio gave yet another speech at CPAC which was designed to incite the conservative base against the President and impress his friends in the media. Rubio’s national profile which is the highest of any member of congress elected for the first time in the last four years continues to drive a media frenzy anytime he opens his mouth. The former Florida House Speaker has been a favorite among ideological conservative insiders on the national level since his early  days in the Florida Legislature. His rise which has been unimpeded has made him the unofficial  conservative wing of the GOP spokesperson on any number of issues. (Particularly after the Senate retirement of Jim DeMint.)

Excerpts below are from with my commentary below. I will admit much of my commentary is based on the assumption that Rubio is attacking the administration with his statements. He may claim he was just giving a broad overview of US policy but the forum he choose to deliver them to makes me believe they were shots at President Obama and my analysis is based on that assumption.

“There is only one nation on Earth capable of rallying and bringing together the fee people on this planet to stand up to the spread of totalitarians. The United Nation cannot do this — in fact, they cannot do anything,” Rubio said to applause.

This point I actually agree with. The United Nations is a largely useless organization  when it comes to resolving disputes involving great powers, especially with Russia and China having a veto over Security Council resolutions. However, this has become a regular Republican talking point for 20 years. In the 1996 Presidential campaign, Bob Dole’s greatest applause line in his nomination acceptance speech was when he bashed Bill Clinton for being too close to the UN Secretary General. In reality, Clinton was in the process of engineering the removal of that very Secretary General and the insertion one with a more balanced mindset in his place. President Obama hasn’t wasted his time with the UN regarding Libya, Syria and Ukraine unless he has absolutely had to. So Rubio while correct is misrepresenting the position of this administration and the previous Democratic administration. The feeling that some liberal activists have about the legitimacy of the UN is NOT shared by more Americans in either political party.


Rubio described the possible world that could emerge, should the United States fail to lead — one “where North Korea can blow up California or the west coast of the United States with a nuclear weapon” or China controls the South China Sea.

“Without American engagement,” he said, that world is “not just a possibility, it is a real probability.”

This is absolutely contradictory. First off China doesn’t control the South China Sea yet. We might want to pretend they do to fire up conservatives who want to believe President Obama “lost” China, but this is simply wrong. As far as North Korea is concerned, engagement using our allies and whatever leverage we have with China is the best policy and the current administration is doing that already. He wants engagement but we are already heavily engaged right now.

The senator added, “That doesn’t mean we’re going to be in 15 wars… It also doesn’t mean we can solve every conflict.” However, he said, “We cannot ignore the reality of who we are.”

If Rubio were not who he were, this would actually make sense. However the undermining of US global leadership is bi-product of an unwise, unpopular war of choice in Iraq orchestrated by the Bush administration and its relationship with individuals connected to the Iraqi opposition and to Iran. “Who we are,” changed in the eyes of our allies and people around the globe who previously saw the United States as a shining light and beacon of hope because of Bush’s Iraq folly. The blunder of the Iraq War is a 25,000 foot peak the US is trying to get out from under in terms of global leadership. For the current administration it has been that much more difficult to build an effective coalition on anything because of the residual damage from Iraq. It is Rubio’s ideological allies who put the United States in an unenviable position globally, NOT the current administration.

(President Obama) “feels he can influence events by the sheer force of his personality.”

Another common conservative critique which is more of a fantasy of theirs than anything else. Besides, having a good relationship with foreign heads of state is critical to diplomacy and coalition building. A line designed for applause at CPAC but an irresponsible throwaway from someone the media pays attention to when are in the midst of major international crisis.


  1. Every time this man opens his mouth he sounds more stupid and uninformed. God save us from Rubio as president.


  2. You may not like it but his standing has recovered after the immigration troubles and he’s a string contender again for 2016.


  3. His star will fade eventually …


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