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The Prosecution of Marco Rubio

The greatest stumbling block …is the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice.”

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 11: Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), speaks at the 2013 Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council, on October 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. The summit, which goes for three days, is attended by a number of Republican senators and high profile conservative voices in American politics. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By Christopher Suprun

Yesterday, here at Eat Pray Vote had an article In Defense of Marco Rubio. The article on his Tillerson confirmation committee vote was well written. Unfortunately, it was a statement that things are not broken so there is no need to fix it. It was a statement to stand down and call to non-arms. It misses the point of where we are right now.

Senator Rubio is defended in the piece because he is the only one being criticized for his vote. Senators Graham and McCain also voted for Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State. The argument goes they have been given a pass, why not Senator Rubio?

The answer is simple. Senator McCain has settled into the role of elder statesman. Senator Graham may one day aspire to a cabinet position, but he will never be President. Neither is seeking higher office. Everyone I know thinks Senator Rubio is running for President again. It is appropriate to hold him to a higher standard then.

The issue for Senator Rubio is not only his Tillerson vote, but his immigration flip flops. I agreed with Senator Rubio being willing to stand up to the Republican party on immigration. Then he backed down.

When I look at Senator Rubio I see a potential Ronald Reagan. I’ve seen him speak in person four times between New Hampshire during the primary and in Texas. I think he could be great, but I am never sure of what he believes. The running joke is Senator Rubio will be great when some pollster comes in to tell him where he stands on issues. Senator Rubio has a great deal of promise. He wastes it when he is not willing to separate himself from the sheep on these issues.

The second argument goes his vote did not matter. Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said he was bringing the matter to the floor regardless of the committee vote. Good for him. He and Majority Leader McConnell can do what they will. It does not mean Senator Rubio can or should offer his salute.

Rex Tillerson is a flawed nominee. Like his boss, he has numerous conflicts of interest that may not be corrected. He has more awards from the Russian federation than the United States.

Senator Rubio may not be able to stop his confirmation with his one vote, but he can deny it to Tillerson. His yes vote was a vote of complacency, not conviction. Respectfully to Senator Rubio, I am looking for energetic leaders, not the complacent. The US Senate may still vote to confirm, but it would then be over the non-endorsement of the Committee. It also sends a message to the entire Trump administration that the Senate will maintain its role. Congress is, after all, a separate, but equal co-branch of government.

The Defense of Marco article makes good points. Ten other Republican Senators voted for Tillerson too. Again, Senator Rubio though is the one likely to run for President. Senator Cruz may run too. Rubio opens an entirely new avenue of support when he votes against Trump corruption.

Since the Trump coronation in Cleveland neither Cruz nor Rubio have stood out. The one who does likely will lead the Republican Party in the aftermath of Donald Trump. I realize Trump won, but I still think he will do generational damage to the GOP brand.

The scary aspect here is Trump is alienating millennial voters who already do not support the GOP. In a New York Times article, Mr. Trump says, “voters who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote.” Mr. Trump is now executive administrator of our country. He is picking and choosing voting rights based on appearance. We need Senators and Representatives willing to stand up to this obvious racism.

I try not to criticize those who go along to get along just for the sake of peace. There is a value in comradery. This administration though is not going to be collegial, though. They are going to hammer anyone who disagrees with them – Democrat or Republican. Now is not the time to appease this behavior.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described the greatest stumbling block in his letter from the Birmingham jail. It wasn’t the “Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice.” We are at a point now where we are denying the truth to provide for temporary peace.

Ms. Castrignano is right. It is much easier to talk the talk. If anyone knows this it is me. It is because she is right on that issue that I wish Senator Rubio would walk the walk. He was just re-elected so does not need to fear voters for six years. He can be a leader for both America and the Republican Party, but this is not it.

She is also right in quoting Winston Churchill about enemies. I do not consider Senator Rubio to be my enemy, but I do worry about the ill effect of Donald Trump in the White House. I would hope Senator Rubio would be willing to step out of his safe zone and challenge President Trump. America needs it, but politically he needs it too. There will come a time when Senator Rubio will run for President again. When he does I hope I can tell voters he was one of those who stood up early, when it was hard to do and fixed our party. If he does that I think voters will trust him to fix America too.



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