Monday, May 25, 2015

Afraid of Rubio? They All Scare Me.

Ooohhh! Scary!!! Yes, The New York Times reported last week that many Democrats are most afraid of a presidential match-up between Hillary and...Marco Rubio.


And why? Because...he has a story! Scary!!! And he's good looking. And he's a good speaker. And he's Hispanic and his father came here from Cuba and he won big time races in Florida. And he was once friends with Jeb Bush who might or might not have promised not to run for president in 2016, which would have opened a spot for Rubio but Jeb evidently doubled back on that maybe promise and now Marco's really really really scary angry.


So why am I so, you know, cool about this whole thing? One reason is that once GOP primary voters wake up they'll realize that Rubio represents everything the Republicans oppose in...Obama. Scary!!!

One term Senator. Check
Makes a good speech. Check
In his 40s. Check
Supports an immigration overhaul that, scary, would lead to a path to legal status. Check
Not a lot of foreign policy experience. Check

Another reason is that the GOP base wants a bona-fide conservative with a record of tax cutting, union-busting and border fence building and that's not Rubio.

But aside from that, Democrats should not be singularly afraid of any one candidate. They should be quaking in their boots at the thought of any of the announced or near-announced candidates becoming president. All of them have pledged tax breaks for the wealthy and lower taxes for corporations. They've all pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no credible plan to replace it, keep health care costs down, or to continue to cover those who have already signed up for care. Each one would either strongly advocate for, or at least tolerate, religious objection laws for marriage equality and contraception coverage.

They would all mandate government interference in women's reproductive health issues. They oppose higher minimum wages and believe that public workers pensions are negotiable or expendable. And none of them has any credible plan for world order other than genuflecting in front of Benjamin Netanyahu and calling for American troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria. Not to mention climate change denial and the unwavering support of the NRA.

That's a frightening collection of misguided and misbegotten policies that were derided in the 1980s as outlandish pipe dreams, the subjects of journal articles in the 1990s, adopted as the GOP platform in the aughts and now, as mainstream political thought in the teens.

Making any of them a reality? Scary.

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