Congressman Patrick Murphy is far from the type of liberal Democrat many of us on the left like to see as the party’s nominee for important offices. He is inexperienced, has a questionable voting record and seems ineffectual on the stump. But beggars cannot be choosers and while I personally never implore progressives to check their principles at the door to vote for the Democratic nominee (Including this year in the Presidential race), I do believe this US Senate race is the most critical we have had in the state of Florida since the fateful 1968 race where the great Governor Leroy Collins was defeated by Ed Gurney.
In Marco Rubio, Florida is currently represented in the United States Senate by a dangerous charlatan. A man so determined to be President and so wed to conservative and neoconservative ideology he is willing to say or do anything to survive and advance politically. Even if that means playing reasonable adult moderate in front of Florida audiences when he makes his once in every six year rounds of the state he claims is his home, but has no affinity for as far as we can tell.
Florida’s Junior Senator has used this state and his office to increase his national profile while skipping work, making dangerously slanderous remarks about the President and tying himself and his vote in the Senate to the most extreme ideological position imaginable. Rubio’s voting record when he bothers to show up to work, doesn’t match his sometimes fluffy rhetoric – it is among the most conservative in either chamber of Congress and among the most right-wing any Senator from Florida has compiled since the days before the New Deal.
Progressives have issues with Congressman Murphy – these are somewhat understandable but perhaps don’t incorporate the reality of the type of district he represented. While Democrats all over the state in 2012 and 2014 were defeated in districts that supported President Obama and Governor Crist, Murphy was elected twice in a district where the top-of-the-ticket Democrat lost.
Following progressive hero Alan Grayson’s 40-plus point defeat in the Democratic Primary for US Senate, many progressives lamented the nomination of Patrick Murphy. In that primary, Grayson and Pam Keith, the third place finisher combined to still finish 25 points behind Murphy. It’s hard to imagine a seriously contested primary where the nominee of the Democratic Party could have performed better than Murphy did. Yet, inexplicably the Democratic Party led by DC-based Democrats including many with Florida ties opted to fold Murphy up rather than to back him as strongly as they could in his effort to oust Rubio.
But here we are, a month after the plug was essentially pulled on Murphy, in a race that is for all intents and purposes a dead heat. Rubio is a largely defined character. If 2/3 to 3/4 of remaining undecided voters cut to Murphy, Rubio will be defeated.
While in most cases holding out to progressive principles is the true moral course, this particular race is different. Rubio is the logically the single most dangerous high elected official in the country currently. A man who has been able to spin his own disastrous defeat in the GOP Presidential primaries into a positive, and someone whose political star has not been extinguished by defeat, but has in fact begun the shine brighter. For Republicans, Rubio represents the ideal Presidential nominee, an anti-Donald Trump. With this in mind, it’s almost certain should he be reelected in Florida that he will be a serious contender, perhaps even the front-runner in 2020.
Politics is one thing, but morality is another. Marco Rubio is a dangerous individual, one who puts his own political survival and ideology ABOVE the interests of our republic. Here is a sampling of quotes from Rubio about the current President and leader of the free world:
“It’s now abundantly clear: Barack Obama has deliberately weakened America,”
“Happiest of all have been America’s enemies,”
“Our president thought he could make America like Luxembourg or Switzerland.”
On the almost-certain next President of the United States, Rubio said:
“[Clinton is] the very person who stood by while the conflict in Syria became the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation, who pushed the ‘reset’ button with Russia even as [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin assaulted the sovereignty of his neighbors and who resorted to half-measures in Libya instead of doing what it would take to prevent terrorists from taking hold — terrorists who ultimately took the lives of four Americans in Benghazi,”
“Not only is Hillary Clinton incompetent, she is a liar.”
Rubio’s attacks on President Obama and Secretary Clinton are part of his tightly-scripted neoconservative point of view on foreign affairs. He sticks to his ideology even if it means conflicting with official American policy. Since election to the Senate in 2010, Rubio has put his own ideological or personal considerations with regards to Cuba and Iran over national security. He has taken the side of foreign governments that seek to influence American policy rather than either backing American policy or giving constructive, non-politicized critiques of this administration. He has not adhered to the policy of stopping critiques at water’s edge. If anything, Rubio has given aid and comfort to our enemies with his politicized attacks against President Obama, which have served to weaken American diplomatic leverage at critical times – such as Secretary Kerry’s historic nuclear deal with Iran and President Obama’s one-in-a lifetime breakthrough with the Cuban government in late 2014.
Stopping Rubio here in Florida is critical. Because if we do not, it might be the country and the world that suffers long-term.
When your neighbor’s daughter or son is sent off to a far-flung place to fight a war which doesn’t impact American national security interests in a Rubio Presidency, remember this election.
When sea rise levels drown out large part of our state causing a humanitarian disaster here at home, remember this election.
When the world is a less safe place ten years from now because President Rubio has destabilized the world and diminished American soft and diplomatic power, remember this election.
The following statement may seem extreme but Floridians do not want to have the same regrets as those in Italy that enabled Mussolini at an early stage or those in Kampuchea that did the same with Pol Pot. While our republic does not allow for Mussolini like seizures of power, Rubio does represent a clear danger to our values. It is immoral to return to office a man who has made the types of statements that are printed above about our current President, a man who puts ideology and selfish political motives above our nation and a man who is willing to say or do just about anything to maintain office and public favor. Rubio is a career politician of the worst sort – he’s been in and around power since he graduated from college and was fast tracked by GOP leaders at every level because of his appeal and his ideological zeal – the same zeal that could do irreparable damage not only to this country, but to the world should he become President.
Progressives in Florida have a moral obligation to stop Marco Rubio. You may not love or even like Patrick Murphy, but he’s currently the only thing standing between us and the potential danger a Rubio Presidency might entail. It’s critical that progressives take a stand in this election.
Thank you for this article. In the same way, Bernie fans need to vote for Hillary. It is a shame that Pam Keith was unable to get attention in the Primary. I hope we can keep her interested in politics…maybe she should consider Attorney General in 2018.
As president of the Broward Chapter of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, and as a firm Bernie Sanders supporter – and now solidly with Hillary Clinton – I view Rubio in much the way Winston Churchill once characterized Adolph Hitler as a “gutter snipe” for his vicious attacks on Hillary and his totally unprincipled rhetoric and voting record. He is dangerous. I am going with Patrick Murphy with no more illusions than what I have about Bill Nelson.
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