Yesterday, in a scathing editorial, a pillar of the Florida conservative (and Republican) establishment, the Orlando Sentinel, got something off its chest. "We’ve been waiting," wrote the editors, "a decade for Rubio to do the right thing." And endorsing him and his brethren, not just for that decade but for decades and decades before. Until one of the Obama races, the Orlando Sentinel had only endorsed conservative Republicans for president. It won't surprise me, even after this editorial if they wind up endorsing Rubio again. No matter what they said yesterday, he's the political incarnation of the Orlando Sentinel editorial board. Even if they are a little disappointed in him right now.
I guess at least some of the editors discovered the real Li'l Marco on May 21 when he tweeted that he's voting against the independent, nonpartisan sedition commission that seems to be so feared by Republicans. "That’s the least surprising news since Rubio voted against convicting Donald Trump after the former president encouraged the insurrection, the clearest case for impeachment and removal of a president in U.S. history," they wrote.
Maybe they should have paid more attention to Alan Grayson-- and maybe should going forward, though I'm not counting on it. "Rubio is just another Stockholm-Syndrome Republican held hostage by Donald Trump for so long that he is no longer capable of independent thought," said Grayson last night. "Rubio realizes that Trump, or any member of Trump’s family, can beat him in a GOP Florida primary by 50 points, and that fear dictates everything he says and everything he does. Even when seditious lunatics sack the Capitol-- his place of work for the past 10 years-- all he can do is make his pathetic convoluted political calculations that all come down to how best he can kiss Trump’s rear end."
The Sentinel may even finally agree-- at least for the moment. "We always hold out hope Rubio will do the right thing and he almost always disappoints," declared the editors. Earlier this week, the Miami Herald’s editorial board gamely encouraged Rubio to change his mind and support the bipartisan proposal to create a bipartisan panel to dig into the most serious domestic threat to the republic since the Civil War. Why do we need a commission? Consider these words:
...That’s not from the Herald’s editorial. That’s what Rubio himself said less than two weeks ago.
Sorry to say it, but Marco Rubio is beyond hope.
Before the insurrection, we, too, took a few stabs at encouraging Rubio to do the right thing.
...Rubio had us halfway believing he wouldn’t yank the ball away again when he offered the justification we quoted earlier, telling The Dispatch, a conservative online magazine, that he was open to a special, 9/11-style commission to investigate the insurrection.
“My general feeling is that if we can have a serious examination of the events leading up to, occurring, and in the aftermath of that day, we should do it,” Rubio said. He went on to say the commission didn’t need to delve into last summer’s racial unrest, as other Republicans had suggested.
That was May 18. On May 19 the House voted in favor of the commission, with 35 Republicans (two from Florida) joining the Democrats.
Just two days later, Rubio tweeted out a video deriding the bipartisan proposal as “a partisan joke.”
...In the history of this nation we’ve never seen the likes of what happened on Jan. 6. And yet, somehow, that doesn’t merit an extraordinary inquiry into why and how it happened so that, as Rubio recently put it, such a thing would “never happen again.”
Rubio’s stated reasons are phony. He’s afraid an honest inquiry would make his party look worse than it already does ahead of the midterm elections.
Even more terrifying to him is the prospect of getting primaried if he stands up to the party. Just look at all the Trump family members flocking to Florida. Any one of them could step right in and probably squash Rubio like a bug if he gets out of line.
It’s time to surrender any hope that Rubio will ever do the right thing if there’s any risk involved.
Over the years, one of the many things I learned from Alan Grayson was an appreciation for the author Philip Dick. Grayson, who is about to launch a campaign for Rubio's Senate seat is working on an e-mail to his supporters, "What Separates Us from the Replicants?" to which he responds "Empathy." He launches right into a couple of paragraphs about one of his favorite topics Dick's brilliant 1968 book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? "It’s about 'replicants'," wrote Grayson, "who are almost perfect replicas of human beings; they lack only one thing: Empathy.
He went on to explain-- and he's said this to me before-- that in his time in public office he learned that the most important quality in an elected official, as in any human being, is that precise quality: empathy. "More important than intelligence," said the brilliant Harvard-graduate with multiple degree, "or determination, or strength, or open-mindedness, or experience, or patience. Empathy. Honest concern for the well-being of others. The ability to understand what other people are going through. That deep sense of that could be me, There-But-For-The-Grace-of-Chance-Go-I. Philip Dick said that that’s what separates us from the replicants. And he was right."
I've know Grayson for many years. He's a man who lives his life by empathy. Marco Rubio-- probably has never given it a moment's thought. Grayson's campaign is about justice, equality, compassion and peace. Rubio has a record that is antithetical to all of those values.
I want to ask you to contribute to Grayson's campaign-- and for something very specific. He wants to run a Trump ad-- and ad Trump ran in the 2016 Florida presidential primary. It was a powerful ad then-- and Trump mopped the floor with Rubio-- forcing him out of the presidential race. On primary day, Trump beat him 1,079,870 (45.7%) to 638,661 (27.0%). Trump won every county in the state except, narrowly, Miami-Dade, Rubio's hometown." This is the ad Trump used to destroy Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign:
Corrupt Marco Rubio has spent years defrauding the people of Florida.
As a legislator, he flipped on a key vote, after making a quick $200,000 from selling his house to the mother of the bill’s lobbyist.
He used a Republican Party’s credit card to pave his driveway, and to live it up in Las Vegas. When he got caught, he said that he had used the wrong credit card.
But he had used the same Republican Party card for six flights between Miami and Tallahassee. And then he billed the state for the same airline tickets, and pocketed the cash until, once again, he got caught.
On top of it all, Rubio has been a total no-show in the US Senate, with the worst voting record of all.
Marco Rubio, another all-talk, no action politician.
Like it? Use the thermometer above to contribute what you can to Grayson's campaign so he can run it. "Needless to say, the Democratic Party didn’t have the guts to run this ad against Rubio in 2016, when Rubio dropped back into his Senate race," wrote Grayson. But I do.... Let’s put the screws to Marco Rubio-- just like Donald Trump did. I definitely approve that message."