Rubio's Hypocrisy Is Never MIA
Marco Rubio has been touting his unfounded foreign policy "credentials" ever since he won his Senate seat in 2010. In fact, much of the time he's spent skipping out on crucial votes and committee hearings concerning national security involved making scripted speeches on that very subject, no doubt penned by others.
Today the Washington Post highlights the fact that his national security absenteeism didn't just start when he came to Washington, but is instead just part of a pattern he began while still a lawmaker in Florida:
In the anxious weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Florida House hurriedly assembled an elite group of lawmakers to develop plans to keep the state safe.
A spot on the Select Committee on Security was a mark of prominence in Tallahassee. Some of the airplane hijackers had acquired Florida driver’s licenses and trained at flight schools in the state, and legislators lobbied furiously behind the scenes in hopes of being named to the 12-member panel tasked with addressing the state’s newly exposed vulnerabilities.
It came as little surprise that Marco Rubio, a promising and charismatic young lawmaker from Miami, secured a coveted position on the committee.
Rubio did not give the job the attention that legislative leaders expected. He skipped nearly half of the meetings over the first five months of the panel’s existence, more than any of his colleagues, according to Florida legislature records. He missed hours of expert testimony and was absent for more than 20 votes — prompting the state House speaker who had given him the assignment to express concern, the committee’s chairman said.
At the time, his fellow lawmakers were concerned about his lack of commitment to the committee, where "attendance was a high priority."
However, his absenteeism isn't the only thing that sounds familiar:
At times, Rubio befuddled his colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans. After apologizing for arriving late to a debate in February 2002 about a proposed system to track foreign students, Rubio argued passionately that the proposal would unfairly target law-abiding immigrants, such as those who had entered the country as refugees or to seek political asylum. But he quickly backed down in the face of opposition and, then, despite his publicly stated misgivings, went ahead and voted for the proposal.]
[Rubio’s role on the panel foreshadowed many of the traits that he has been criticized for during his rise to the top tier of the Republican presidential field. The first-term U.S. senator, who has missed more votes than any of his colleagues, has been attacked by some of his rivals for not doing his job. At a debate in October, former Florida governor Jeb Bush charged: “You should be showing up for work.”
Rubio’s positions on the student-tracking proposal followed the same arc as his high-profile role on immigration reform in the U.S. Senate. In both cases, he initially took on his colleagues in favor of immigrant rights, only to publicly wrestle with the issue, then pull back.
This also shows Rubio's pattern of taking a stand on whatever suits him politically at the time. Back then when he did bother to show up, Rubio was concerned about immigrants and refugees being unfairly targeted by the government.
Oh what a difference an election makes.
(The entire Post article, here, is well worth the read.)