One Republican Senator’s cowardice is the high watermark for being low in modern American politics.
And that is saying a lot.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is a political chameleon, always ready to go whichever way the wind is blowing when it comes to his political positions. He is a man of no beliefs, values, or convictions. To get a sense of how truly disingenuous Marco Rubio is, just consider this anecdote from 2013 when he turned against his own immigration reform bill after feeling pressure from Tea Party reactionaries. His own mother, who called him Tony, called him and left him this voice mail:
“Don’t mess with the immigrants, my son. Please, don’t mess with them. They’re human beings just like us, and they came for the same reasons we came. To work. To improve their lives. So please, don’t mess with them.”
Rubio voted against his own signature immigration reform bill anyways.
During the 2016 elections, Rubio ran against Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primaries and went as far as saying that “a con artist is about to take over the Republican Party” regarding Trump’s candidacy and that he “has a record of sticking to working people for 35 years”. Trump won the election, and Rubio immediately folded into full-blown sycophantic behavior, regularly refusing to condemn his most egregious behavior. During the Republican National Convention, he cowered and encouraged Republicans to vote for the same man he had recently called a “con artist.”
When Trump said that Democratic Congresswomen like Alexandria Ocasio Cortex and Ilhan Omar should “go back” to where they came from, Rubio refused to condemn him. When a caravan of Trump supporters ran supporters of a Biden campaign bus off the road in Texas, Rubio said at a Trump rally in Miami, “we love what they did.”
So, it should come as no surprise that this Republican politician – the same man who spent eight and a half months as the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence which is only one of the most important legislative jobs in the country – is turning in a putrid display of pusillanimity after the MAGA insurrection against America.
Even after the January 6th insurrection, in which Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol chanting “hang Mike Pence” and smearing their feces on the walls, Rubio is still cowering in fear whenever asked to say the slightest criticism of Trump.
When asked on Face the Nation if Trump was wrong in saying Mike Pence could have overturned the 2020 election, Rubio squirmed and turned himself into a pretzel to not outright say that Trump was indeed wrong. His word salad included saying, “If President Trump runs for reelection, I believe he will defeat Joe Biden and I don’t want Kamala Harris to have the power to overturn that election”. It was a pathetic display of sycophantic behavior.
When asked if the January 6th riots were an “insurrection”, Rubio refused to characterize them as such. Rubio’s reasoning is that these individuals never stood a chance of overthrowing the American government, and while no one who is reasonable disputes the idiotic character of those who participated in the events of that day, the participants had the admitted intention of overturning the 2020 election results.
The simple reality is that Rubio can’t bring himself to utter the words “Trump was wrong,” or any criticism of Trump for that matter, because he is a political coward who lives in perpetual fear of upsetting the MAGA base and who only cares about his political prospects.
So, you ask, “why does this make Rubio the ‘King of Cowardice’?”
It’s simple. He’s banally evil. An empty suit just doing his job of being a hypocrite that blows with the political winds.
Floridians would be well served in kicking him out of office this November.
Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. Twitter: @tomaskenn.
This is an opinion column.
is a reported opinion columnist and roving correspondent. He's an elected member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.