Next up we’ve got Senator “Little” Marco Rubio (R-FL). This variant of what some kindly call “God’s special creatures” is probably the most flagrant disappointment of this election cycle. Before I proceed, I hereby boldly predict that some insufferable boob (pick one, anyone; country’s bursting at the seams) is going to waste no time in correcting me. “No, idiot! You meant to say Jeb Bush’s the biggest disappointment!” And see, this generous cur is actually being so kind as to give me credit for meaning to say the right thing. Only I didn’t. “Didn’t what?” the same nugget of toolbaggery asks. “I didn’t mean Bush, I have zero interest in saying your version of ‘the right thing’ and I didn’t find a single orange kangaroo in Denmark.
Shit! See?! I’m so anxious, I’m so fed up with being surrounded by morons and I’m so desensitized by the obnoxious hordes of useless weirdos (especially here in San Diego) that I just had a typed argument with an asshole that may or may not write me about how wrong I am. They definitely exist, I assure you. The good news is. they’ve still got the Chargers. The bad news? They’ve still got the Chargers. Gets better! They’re likely to bolt (get it? Hahaha!)) to LA (Oakland deserves Oakland) and so “America’s Finest City” will have no choice but to embrace just how spectacularly right I am. In all honesty, my being right when I write is sport to me. Of little doubt is me being far more worthy of what the fans here pay for tickets to see “The Worst Smurfs on Turf.” And don’t you dare try telling me that’s not a better label for the Chargers than “football team.”
Yeah, so going back from the most overrated city in America (also called San Diego) to the most disappointing figure in the 2016 GOP nomination election process: Senator Marco Rubio. It’s bad enough you can’t resist any and all chances to remind us that you and your Senate colleague, the trusTED one, may both be right, but you are the one who is righteous. Worse still was the decision to scrap one-on-one with a brawler and then not actually fight. Good call, Jean Luc Picard.
For a relevant example we need only peer back so far as 2008, where former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) apparently inspired somewhat similar behavior (early on for Rubio) and found himself in eerily similar circumstances in a pair of macro ways.
While their political foundations were obviously a vast deal different, both men faced the prospect of the gallows if their campaign strategies did not pay off. For Giuliani’s part he paid the price for having a stance permissible of civil unions for consenting homosexual adults which today is all but a non-issue outside of the Legislature and the Supreme Court. A second issue which inexplicably hamstrung the former NYC mayor with Evangelical voters in particular was his largely pro-choice stance on abortion. While, yes, yes, the vast majority of regularly-practicing Christians (both Evangelicals and Roman Catholics) are pro-life (with some dispensation ventured for rape and incest), both of his two strongest rivals in the race, Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) were longtime pro-choice politicians (regardless of the mid-campaign flip-flops of both, McCain in 08 & Romney in 12). McCain would go on to win the GOP nomination for president.
Long story short, the Evangelicals (in particular) so vehemently opposed Giuliani for his outspoken support of civil liberties they materially damaged the only candidate who at any point vetted a mathematical chance of defeating then-Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) in 08. In a brilliant show of both hypocrisy and suicidal urges, they would go on to nominate McCain. At any rate, back to “Little” Marco.
On the issues, while Rubio is so staunch in his “every sperm is precious”, pro-life stance that he opposes any and all occasions for abortion, an obvious contrast with Giuliani, he did end up having a prior position come back to haunt him in this POTUS election cycle. “Haunt” is actually a pretty fitting word in a campaign season that feels like every day is Halloween. Hexes and bloody casualties everywhere as the caustic vibes grow more severe and the maturity level has delineated the behavior of human beings one would guess range from the ages of zygote to three.
Marco “Waterboy” Rubio sinned with the whole “Gang of Eight” bit on immigration awhile back. His error here is a bit more intriguing in a way that I can’t quite figure out. In a way it’s rather amusing to see a senator work out what could have been historic immigration reform so soon in his first term and then…ahp! I quit!
No shit, the cat got the backing, got a bipartisan accord together and then, almost as quickly as it was assembled, he abandoned it. And now can hardly be made to admit doing so. And President Obama has (when the mood struck) mercilessly ridiculed Rubio for it. Can he really be blamed? You not only have the chance to become legendary for such brilliant work as a first-term senator but, when faced with having to actually freely work with the Democratic Party on, uh, bipartisan legislation…it gets to be too much for you?! I hope they’re ribbing you on that at your 69th birthday party roast.
To paraphrase (in my defense he’s said the same thing in several forms at the debates, to the press, et cetera): “My thinking was that I simply needed to ensure a reasonably good bill passed the [historically more liberal] Senate. Then, I knew that anything that needed tweaking and adjusting would happen before it got through the [historically more conservative] House.”
The senator has spent the better part of the past few weeks attacking those without principle, who aren’t who they say they are and so forth. I’m not saying this makes him Benedict Arnold or Chelsea Manning, but it’s a bizarre move from someone who dreamt so deeply of that very legislative achievement, of real immigration reform. He had an opportunity to not only have the full-fledged support of all but the most cynical Republicans and a chunk of the Democrats to bring about true change for the millions of immigrants stuck in a paradoxical limbo. And now, years after his inexplicable bolt from the room, he’s performing acts of gamesmanship with his non-answer. In retrospect, it’s difficult for me to say that he had the best interest(s) of anyone or anything in mind save one: his own.
His next hiccup came not in the form of waiting too long to take The Donald seriously. Conversely, nobody who wasn’t a habitual user of PCP and wasn’t dropped head-first into lead-based paint repeatedly on “accident” by their stepfather took him seriously. In fact, it was only recently that both heavy PCP users and toddlers under similar forms of duress actually polled in the majority for saying The Donald was, in fact, “fo’ real now.” Interestingly enough, Rubio has continued his support for Federal mandatory minimums in all specified categories except for drug addiction. As a result, under his plan, only the toddler would be arrested. His poor stepfather, in the throes of a PCP binge and withstanding eleven gunshots screams to the cameras at the scene by the San Diego PD squad car: “Why did you have to make me angry? WHY?!”
Regardless of rebellious toddlers and the stepfathers afflicted with them, Rubio gets a mulligan for not reacting quickly enough to the ever-burgeoning severity of ‘Merikan society’s suicidal urges. Where Rubio erred splinters off at that point. Bear in mind that Rubio’s reprehensible slide headlong into the squalor with Trump reached critical mass with an infamous high school quip of his own regarding the size of Trump’s phallus, but that’s been beaten so thoroughly that I’m gonna let it just lay there.
Sure, Rubio’s not alone in holding his breath for the Trump bubble to burst, but he would go on to synthesize a variant of Giuliani’s gravest misstep in terms of not taking the earlier states as seriously as should’ve been done. While Rubio did put forth a modicum of effort in Iowa, New Hampshire & Co., it wasn’t until faced with the devastating prospect of 3rd & 4th place finishes across the board and a mortifying, skipping CD moment at the New Hampshire debate that the senator finally roused himself long enough from his apparent slumber. Rubio didn’t mitigate the damage fully until after Governor Christie (R-NJ) dropped out and endorsed Trump. Since then every time Christie’s been seen publically he looks like he just ate Snookie in a few bites. Or is it licks? Maybe he shared some with Trump and that’s how he caught the “Day Glo Orangitis” skin affliction. Christie’s time as Governor of New Jersey clearly enabled him to build up an immunity to the ailment, which Rubio cruelly criticized as looking like a bad spray tan. For shame, Marco!
Then there’s Christie, just standing there beside Trump. The eyes glazed-over, open mouth, heavy breathing, post KFC buffet look really doesn’t bode well for a guy who just did what Trump said Romney was willing to do in 2012. Looks like we found out who really stands the risk of scarring rugburn on both knees.
Rubio’s replication of Giuliani’s “Florida” strategy may have him following the aforementioned governor and mayor out the door and into the dusty confines of GOP POTUS nomination history. The former NYC mayor, realizing Iowa and South Carolina weren’t necessarily bastions for centrist (or center-left if you’re a naysayer) Republicans, was met with surprising defeat in New Hampshire. He placed nearly all of his emphasis on winning Florida. Shock of all shocks, however, Florida not only can’t count numbers but they also can’t be counted on to pick the only Republican capable of beating Obama. Giuliani finished 3rd and withdrew from the race.
As for Rubio, very little data beyond the end of February has emerged from reliable polls in Florida. There are, granted, some nationally-syndicated polls showing Rubio closing the gap with Trump a bit while others show Trump with a twenty-point lead, I reject all of the ones current stemming from outside Florida. Why? Because it’s a very different state than what most people from outside of the South believe. For instance, if you guess term “Floribama” is a quip about the Crimson Tide/Gators rivalry, you have no business opining about Florida in general, least of all its politics. No offense, but you’re probably also of the conviction that Texas is part of the South. No, Texas is Texas. Texas claims the South when it’s convenient for them, hence the love/hate relationship with the real/the rest (dependent, again, on circumstances) of the South.
Super Tuesday was tough and “Super Sunday” (lame, uninventive) was worse. Rubio managed to pull off a win in Minnesota that was soured by reflections on his Democratic counterpart in victory being Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The other bright spot came in the last votes tallied to date: Puerto Rico. All three of the islands’ non-voting (WTF, mate?!) delegates endorsed Rubio, and Trump having amassed a mere 13% to finish second, the Floridian’s 70+ percentage secured him sole possession of all 23 of the U.S. Territory’s delegates. Whether this massive margin, albeit in a minor-stakes event (Rubio was the only candidate to bother campaigning in PR) indicates there’s a real chance Rubio can make a comeback remains to be seen. “Underdog” may have felt like an overreach, a cliché (if you will) when he used it way earlier, but it’s now officially appropriate to label him as such. Kasich? Not so much, but we’ll leave the children to run riot amongst themselves soon enough. The question for Rubio, again, isn’t whether his romp in Puerto Rico improves the odds, and the question isn’t even just if he can win on his home turf. The real query, one that only Rubio (not the Senator, the candidate for POTUS) can answer: can he parlay his rout of everyone else in Puerto Rico into solidifying Hispanic support in the south (he’s from Miami-Dade), make inroads in Jacksonville and Orlando (he’s strong in urban areas) and blunt his rivals’ strength in the panhandle enough to get a win? Miami goes to Rubio without question, and while Cruz is opening up ten offices in the Sunshine State, their own son is weak in rural areas nationwide and an equally better performer in cities, so central Florida looks more promising. The Panhandle (just look at a map of the whole state and you’ll get it) has smaller towns, the blue-collar crowd and a significant military presence as well as the rural areas both there in The Panhandle (areas such as Destin, Navarre, Pensacola, et al) and the (less frequent) small town locales southward. The micro-query here is not about prying enough of those votes away from Cruz and Trump to win. For reasons we can debate all day and still it wouldn’t matter because, in the end, the song remains the same: whether it’s Louisiana or Maine, people a significant distance away from even a small city just don’t support Rubio. Similarly, the governor of Ohio isn’t welcome either so, when the lanes shrink to two, it becomes a two-man race. And so, Rubio’s winning Florida or not, his last-gasp litmus test being unofficially administered by the Republican establishment, actually contains three possible outcomes (opposed to the two touted elsewhere): 1) he wins, thereby breathing unforeseen and massive fresh air (with ‘roids!) into his campaign. Plus, it’s a winner-take-all state and those 99 delegates will send him way over the 200-mark and making his 3rd place status look much more promising as things begin to swing to the West. 2) He loses; even a 2nd place finish where there are six recounts and he loses, in the end, by a Bernie Sanders-like eight or nine votes…he gets no delegates out of his home state, the death march plays, the money dries up, Rubio ponders whether or not he can still figure a way into the May 1st deadline of running for re-election as senator and withdraws from the Presidential race. 3) He loses, and inexplicably decides to stay in the race. Even a loss by 1% is still a loss with zero delegates in a winner-take-all primary like Florida. As the race tightens in Ohio, the center-right senator enough appeal to true centrist/moderates in Kasich’s vein to take just enough support, diluting the pool and Kasich loses an agonizingly close race but, more importantly, Trump wins the Governor’s home state. Coupled with Florida, The Donald is just shy of 50% of the total delegate count he needs to secure the Republican nomination for the POTUS election. Last but certainly not least for the young, charismatic senator from Florida, Rubio has won the enduring hatred of both the GOP establishment and true centrists for not getting out of the race after Florida, and Tea Partyers continue to despise him for taking votes away from Cruz. Some among the Tea Party hate his guts possibly for even existing at all. [See: Boehner, John (R-OH)]
Cool factor: Rubio is one of the most frustrating characters to appear on the nation’s political stage in recent memory. He’s young, handsome with an equally passable sense of style (I actually liked his boots!) and by all means charismatic. Yet his unwillingness to continue support for a viable compromise on immigration reform due to the sudden support the measure received from his Democratic Party counterparts (for lack of a better explanation) coupled with his refusal now to elaborate more thoroughly and his descent into Trump territory (quips about his markedly bad spray tan were tolerable but a penis joke? Really Marco?) is nearly unforgivable. I truly expected more from someone who was supposed to be a bright, young consensus-maker who, in the end, is a young, manipulative political fox clearly more interested in scoring points any way he can (hence getting into the mud with Trump) than in maintaining any semblance of dignity after his (seemingly) inevitable loss in the primary. And you gave up a Senate seat for what again? Not cool. Notwithstanding, one good turn deserves another and so it is that Marco’s most annoying trait of all must be brought out of the slop he so thoroughly enjoyed with the man we expected to be there (Trump): not his water obsession, not his hyperhidrosis, not his Joker-like licking of his lips, no, no. This’ll seem pretty obvious once I point it out here, and that is his remarkably juvenile tendency to repeat himself ad nauseam when he feels he’s been clever enough to warrant it. And this time, when I refer to being childish, or “juvenile”, we’re going way back to early grade school. We’ve all had a nephew or a friend’s little brother (this seems to be a very male trait) who, upon eliciting a genuine chuckle, for instance, from the grown-ups around him, he feels compelled to drive the joke into the proverbial ground because, well, if it was funny once it has gotta be funny another thirty-seven times in the same evening, right? Do I really need to elaborate beyond “Obama knows what he’s doing” and “Donald Trump is a con artist?” Oh but I must, because I swear on the dishonor of the Patron Saint of Betrayals, Judas Iscariot, he has referenced the name “Ronald Reagan” so many times he has broken, shattered and/or violated every possible diehard Reagan Republican statute of limitations for uttering that dead man’s name…I…I just want to find a nice, stained and treated (think battle-hardened & battle-ready) wooden spoon and make like angry Granny Tranny with her misbehavin’ youngin’s and…redden his buttocks.
Comfortable in Cleveland: It’ll be hot and muggy, and the Senator’s propensity for sweating and consuming copious amounts of water will be on full display but, sadly, it will go largely unnoticed if current trends persist. Only a win in Florida helps him retain any chance of mattering in Cleveland. We’ll see.
Would call someone a “c**t” under [blank] circumstances: foments the vitriol in the room by going a step farther than Governor Bush (R-FL) by flinging his fair share of poo with Trump, so much so that Cruz seemed at a bit of a loss the last two debates, leaving Kasich nothing less than right about being the only mature person left in the field. Would probably make the off-handed remark labeling Trump’s female family after a couple of Italian margaritas increase his perspiration to a critical mass. Due to being a lightweight, though, others overhear him and he later explains he merely wanted to throw an idea out there for others to digest. Like his similar explanation on his abandoned immigration project, no one would believe him.