An undistinguished one-term Senator who used fear, demagoguery and implications of treason to create a national profile. Marco Rubio much like Joseph McCarthy, a man whose values Florida’s Junior Senator no doubt seeks to emulate has been able to get away with accusing members of the sitting administration of what amounts to treason. Rubio also has made it clear that if he were elected President his foreign policy would be based on personal preferences and perhaps even susceptible to manipulation from foreign leaders
Rubio’s rhetoric differs from McCarthy’s in one key respect. While the often uncontrollable Wisconsin Senator couldn’t ever nail the number of alleged communists floating around the corridors of power in Washington or the Army (A fact nicely mocked in the original Manchurian Candidate movie) he only accused President Truman of “harboring” “known communists.” Senator Rubio on the other hand has about as directly as possible accused President Obama of treason or sedition.
“(President Obama) has deliberately weakened America.”
It’s not that I don’t understand some of the valid critiques of President Obama’s foreign policies that Republicans could make, but generally choose not to because it undoes the whole Bush/Cheney doctrine. I understand the disappointment in President Obama’s foreign policy which has been at times very naive and willing to sacrifice American interests for idealistic goals. But this is no different than the naive idealism supported by Marco Rubio of the Bush years which promoted the spread of democracy in the Middle East even though in retrospect it was clearly in American interests to keep the most despotic and right-wing regimes in power if they were secular (like Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Syria) or not associated with major terrorist organizations (Iraq and Egypt). Some people like myself warned before the Invasion of Iraq in 2003 that Iranian influence would grow in the region. This happened, and instead of becoming partners with Iran given the reality, saber-rattling towards Tehran intensified despite the truth that the US had empowered pro-Iranian regimes in both Baghdad and Kabul by use of force. The pivot towards Iran pushed by this administration was badly needed in American foreign policy given where we sit today – realism not idealism and in time it will serve to add layers of security for Israel that they do not currently enjoy.
But Rubio’s goal with these sorts of comments is not to have a foreign policy debate. We learned just twelve days ago on that stage in New Hampshire someone with his minimal intellectual capability is unable to conduct such a discussion, instead choosing to focus on the nitty gritty of policy or logical critiques opted to play on fear and hate – in a similar form but with more refined words than George Wallace in 1968.
Perhaps race-baiting, anti-intellectualism, fear-mongering and applying a personal litmus test for what is truly American or not appeals to some voters. But it is not in the greater good of the country. The media has by in large failed to call out Rubio for being like Donald Trump a candidate with little substance, whose entire platform is based on fear and demagoguery. It is somehow implied in many of the narratives around the Republican Presidential nomination that Rubio is in fact a “mainstream” candidate who is a “safe” choice for Republicans. As I have attempted to demonstrate time and again, from where I sit he might be “safer” for a political party but is more dangerous for the country than any major candidate currently running in either party.
Rubio’s Joe McCarty-like rhetoric is all the more dangerous because he is in position to potentially be nominated by the GOP and become our nation’s leader. Never in the era of American global leadership would this country have someone so ill-mannered, ill-prepared and hostile as its leader. One must feel it is a body blow that American credibility may struggle to recover from. The best bet obviously is to ensure Rubio is stopped in his tracks for good the of our America and our cherished American values.