The “Mall Gift” Who Wants to be President

Marco Rubio, the freshman Senator from Florida, now wants to be president. He touts his foreign policy experience, his experience in the Senate and his experience in the Florida House.

Let’s anatomize his experience.

In 2010, Marco Rubio was voted to represent Florida as one of the state’s two senators. Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which he took an oath to uphold, begins with Section 1: “All Legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

In order for a bill to become law, it has to pass both chambers of Congress. All appropriation bills must originate in the House of Representatives with the Senate approving all appropriation bills. This is the job of a Senator: to vote on bills, to include appropriation bills, that then go to the President for approval or veto. In order to represent Florida and the people of Florida, he has to be there to vote.

And his record… in 2015, he missed keys votes on legislation, even legislation he originally co-sponsored. Here’s a brief breakdown:

  • January 6: Co-sponsors S1 Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline
  • January 29: Did not vote on the Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline (that he co-sponsored)
  • May 12: Did not vote on HR1314 Bipartisan Budget Act 2015
  • June 2: Voted against* HR2048 Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring (USA Freedom) Act of 2015: this act prohibits the bulk collection of data and requires the FBI to show reasonable cause to a judge for approval to collect information on specific individuals. (*Yes he showed up to vote, but not on the principles he now espouses.)
  • September 30: Did not vote on HR719 Continuing Appropriations Act 2016
  • October 1: Did not vote on HR2029 Military Construction and Veteran Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 2016
  • October 7: Did not vote on HR1735 National Defense Authorization Act for FY2016
  • October 22: Did not vote on S. Amendment 2564 Prohibits Liability Immunity for Corporations that Break User Agreements
  • October 26: Co-sponsors S.J. Res24 A Joint Resolution Providing for Congressional Disapproval under Chapter 8 of Title 5, Unites States Code, of a Rule Submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency Relating to “Carbon Pollution.”
  • October 26: Co-Sponsors S.J. Res23 A Joint Resolution Providing for Congressional Disapproval Under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of a Rule Submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency Relating to “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified and Reconstructed Stationary Source: Electric Utility Generating Units”
  • November 17: Does not vote on the two aforementioned Resolutions he co-sponsored.
  • October 27: Does not vote on S754 Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) of 2015
  • November 5: Does not vote on HR2685 Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2016

This is just in the last year, 2015. His statement to Iowa voters that he has a 90% attendance record is pure elephant dung as reflected by his voting record just in 2015. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good tale; after all, most voters don’t bother to check facts. They see a some-what good looking young man who speaks well and seems likable, so he must be telling the truth, right? Does this seem just a little bit familiar (think 2008)?

In an October 25 CNN interview, he was asked about his voting record, or lack thereof, and his response was one of arrogance.

“A lot of these votes don’t mean anything because the president will veto it,” he answered.

Really, that’s his answer. The president will veto the bills; therefore, why show up?

During the December CNN debate, he attacked Ted Cruz for voting against the National Defense Re-authorization Act – a bill that funds the troops, according to Rubio – because it contained a provision that would allow the federal government to indefinitely detain any American without due process.

– Yet, wait for it… Rubio did not even bother showing up to vote this past year for the NDRA.

Rubio’s response was at the debate, “If you are an American citizen and you decide to join up with ISIS we are not going to read you your Miranda rights…” is another pile of elephant dung and a red herring because all that’s required is for the federal government to deem an American citizen a “terrorist” without proof and then to hold that American indefinitely without due process.

And he fancies himself a Constitutional Conservative – he must be reading Cuba’s Constitution because he surely isn’t reading the U.S. Constitution.

Back to the CNN interview, his justification for missing so many votes is that “Voting is not the only part of the Senate job. I mean, the most important thing a senator does is constituent service. We’re still involved in looking out for Florida’s issues.”

Again, for a man who touts the Constitution, it seems he is in need of a refresher course because as a U.S. Senator, his job is to represent Florida’s interests by showing up to vote on proposed legislation. However, he claims that he’s fully briefed and therefore, it’s all okay.

“I was just there this Tuesday. I got fully briefed and caught up on everything that’s happening in the world. I’m fully aware…. (I have a) staffer assigned to intelligence,” he said in the interview.

Only an elected official can one get away with not showing up to do his job or showing up once a week to get briefed and still have a job. But I digress.

Taking his position to its logical conclusion, if he thinks it’s wasteful to cast a vote because the president will veto it anyway, what will he do should Democrats regain control of the House and Senate and he’s president? Not show up for work because it would be a waste since Congress wouldn’t pass anything he supports?

Moving on to his touted foreign policy experience.

The Conservative Solutions PAC is running an ad that states, “FACT: Marco Rubio’s attended more classified national security briefings this year than any other candidate. TRUTH: (Marco Rubio’s a) recognized foreign policy expert who will keep America safe.”

In other words, because Rubio has attended intelligence briefings, meetings which require no action, he is a foreign policy expert. Ignoring the fact that the ad doesn’t say who considers Rubio a foreign expert – maybe his staffer assigned to intelligence –  just that he is considered a foreign expert Well, let’s consider the claim of his expertise because he’s attended briefings…

Making that claim – that Rubio is a foreign policy expert because he’s attended briefings – is like saying I’m an ace pilot because I attend flight briefings.

Again, all this seems just too familiar.

Now for his record in the Florida House.

He blocked bills that made it out of committees with strong bi-partisan support such as a bill that would have allowed the deportation of up to 5,000 illegal immigrants in prison after they served half their sentence. He also blocked enforcement proposals such as a bill requiring employers to check workers’ status; a bill mandating increased cooperation between local law enforcement and federal agencies; bills that would have penalized farmers and government contractors discovered hiring illegal immigrants; and proposals requiring local police to notify federal authorities after arresting illegal immigrants, and stricter regulations on public benefits for illegal immigrants.

But hey, he played football as a youngster and that taught him a good many things… as he said in an interview in his hometown last year.

His experience is more along the lines of dishing out elephant dung with the hope that voters will accept it by the shovels, and to date, he’s been right.

As voters, it is important to look beyond the fancy rhetoric that rolls off his slick tongue and look at the record upon which he stands, not the record (and principles) he claims to stand upon, because his record clearly indicates that the only principle he subscribes to is the one that gets him elected.

This nation elected another Senator eight years ago with a similar background, who also spoke well and appealed to people’s emotions – let’s not make the same mistake again. Or as the title of this musing states, we don’t need another “mall gift” occupying the White House: pretty on the outside, but empty on the inside.

“The reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History by appraising them of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experiences of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views. Thomas Jefferson – Notes on the State of Virginia 1781-1785

 

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