Our long national nightmare is over......well at least until after the first of the year.
The Grifters Only Party had their little tantrum and shut down the government for two weeks, nearly crashed not only our economy, but the world's, and made us a laughingstock in the eyes of said world, but Marco Rubio and his party didn't get the crazy out of their system yet.
This, apparently, is what Rubio dreams of when he speaks of American Exceptionalism: A country averse to reality. I hate to break it to him, but the American public has NO desire to live on Planet Marco with his merry band of nuts who tried to take the wheel, hit Cruz-control, and send us all careening into the Grand Canyon of derp.
But Rubio and crew aren't giving up yet. No sir. The fat lady hasn't sung yet, and they still want to take away her health care (not to mention her birth control) and send her straight to the poorhouse. They'll take nothing less than scortched earth, thank you very much!
Politico recently reported on revelations about what they called the "Koch's Secret Bank," a group called Freedom Partners which is the funding "sugar daddy" for the conservative causes pushed by the Koch brothers in the 2012 election. The group is behind funding for everything from efforts to kill Obamacare to adding fuel to the anti-choice movement, and then some.
The most unpopular governor perhaps in the history of governors, Florida's Rick Scott, has spoken up in regard to the Supreme Court's decision yesterday striking down the provisions that count in the Voting Rights Act.
He's thrilled by it, and why wouldn't he be? As I said, he's probably the most loathed governor the country has ever known, so naturally anything that will throw up roadblocks between large groups of those who despise him with the heat of a thousand white-hot suns and a voting booth is almost as big a gift to his reelection campaign as those millions in donations by all of his corporate sponsors.
"Any time that we have the opportunity to make our own decisions, I think that's great for our state," the governor said.
His show of restraint must have nearly brought on a hernia.
Now that his Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, who has all the election experience of a beer lobbyist, can erect those barriers, in unison with the Florida legislature, who don't even have to bother writing the legislation to do so, thanks to their ALEC overlords who do it for them. (Katherine Harris, who's probably out there somewhere chowing down on a pricey manicure right about now, eat your heart out.)
Of course the vat of icing on the cake which Scott wasn't allowed to eat too in the general in 2012 is the fact that he and the beer guy can now commence with more voting restrictions "without the Department of Justice looking over our shoulder all the time" to quote the brew-master. He and the GOP attempt at voter suppression, while effective in slowing some, and stopping others from getting to the polls back then, was deemed a failure anyway. That's bound to happen when you're the party that hates everyone who isn't an old white male. If only those old white dudes were the only ones voting, am I right Rick? Ah, but sadly for him, the majority of Americans prefer democracy and like the idea of exercising their right to vote. Crazy, no?
But of course, that won't stop them from trying the same voter restrictions over, and over, and over again with the same negative results. After all, the definition of insanity is now "The Republican Party."
When all that high-fiving going on in Tallahassee dies down, there will be a lot of voters to disenfranchise and discriminate against. While Scott, Detzner, and the Republican Party are certainly experts on hate, discrimination, and cheating, no one is that good. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court decides to do a remake of 2000, (and I certainly wouldn't be surprised if they did) they've got their Democracy-killing work cut out for them.
Yesterday Rick Scott vetoed a bill that would have allowed children of immigrants who aren't citizens to obtain a Florida driver's license. He did so in spite of the fact that only two Republicans opposed the bill as it passed in the Florida House. It passed 36-0 in the Senate. Of course he also said no to it because it was an Obama Administration policy. His action is sure to cause a backlash among Hispanics, but win him approval from the only groups that matter to him: The larger majority of the GOP extremists and big donors.
Recent conventional wisdom among the chattering class said that the Republican Party was attempting "outreach" to Hispanics and minorities, but the truth was they thought cosmetics and Marco Rubio would do the trick while the goal was to keep those groups who don't like their policies from voting.
Enter Rick Scott who has reelection ambitions and the power of the veto club.
Then we have the outreach golden boy Marco Rubio, who entered the immigration debate in an effort to appear as if the GOP really did care about the issue. He was supposed to be "on their side." Not many bought the act, but he kept trying to straddle the fence between the GOP establishment, and the Tea Party extremists crowd anyway, because his political ambitions for higher office drove him all along. Now it seems that his plan not only backfired on him, but forced him to embrace the losing side of the crazy side of the aisle. He's threatening to kill his own immigration bill if it doesn't meet his strict requirements, which was likely the plan all along. Immigration reform on Rubio's terms was lipstick on a pig, to borrow the phrase of another electoral Trojan Horse.
Both Scott and Rubio tried to "relate" to their own version of the everyman with a hard luck story wrapped in a flag. If you closed your eyes you could almost hear a patriotic soundtrack. Scott grew up a poor kid "in the projects." Rubio was the son of "exiles." He was "living the dream" that he wanted for everyone else! His narrative was sloppy though. He couldn't memorize the dates of his family's story, and the dream he benefited from was a far cry from what he proposed for the dreamers of today. His story was as disingenuous as Rick Scott's was laughable in that it resembled Steve Martin's "I was born a poor black child" just a little too closely.
What these two corporate politicians lack in acting skills they make up for in narcissism, and the combination can be lethal to even the smarmiest politician, a goal they've both achieved. Their own political ambitions trump everything else, and they don't care who they hurt or have to trample on to get to the top. Sure, that works some of the time, but when that's all you have, it's not sustainable, and it goes way beyond just immigration. In their world, anyone who isn't a corporate ideologue with deep pockets is a minority, and the GOP gated community tent is getting smaller every day.
These two are poster boys for their entire failing party, and why they're on the verge of extinction. The problem is we need to vote them out of office before they take the rest of the country with them.
Of course, Rubio has made it pretty clear that he feels the same as McConnell does, and his political ambitions trump doing anything to protect Americans, children and adults, from gun violence. To that end, Rubio illustrated his cowardice with the filibuster threat.
Yesterday he doubled down on that when the daughter of the Sandy Hook principal who was killed attempted to contact him. Rubio continued to run scared when he refused to even take a phone call from Erica Lafferty. Lafferty also sent Rubio a message on Twitter, along with the others, saying that she deserved to be heard. When that too was met with silence, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy sent out his own plea on Twitter to Rubio and the others asking them to at least call her back.
The answer? Crickets. Only one, Republican Ted Cruz, eventually did call Lafferty back.
The pressure on Rubio continues to mount as debate on gun legislation begins today in the Senate, and as outside groups begin running ads focusing on he and others who continue to stand with gun manufacturers and groups like the NRA, rather than enacting common sense measures to prevent the next Sandy Hook.
This week, Mayors Against Illegal Guns announced that they will begin "grading" lawmakers on their gun related votes and issues just as the NRA does. Their latest ad shines the spotlight on Marco Rubio.
Rubio may well continue to ignore victims, anyone pleading that he do something to curb gun violence, and the real life consequences of his inaction, but 91% of the country, and his constituents won't. They see him for what he is, and come the next election, he won't be able to ignore the results.
While we're only months into President Obama's second term, the last thing I want to write about at the moment is the next Presidential election, but it's hard to pass up a chance to point out that two of the 2016 hopefuls from the shrinking Stupid Party (not my words, branding from one of their own) seem to be in a battle to appeal to the craziest of crazies in their party.
There's Marco Rubio, the so-called "rising star" who so far is more of a flame out (gulp), and then there's the recently resurfaced Jeb Bush, who for no apparent reason, they refer to as the "smart one" of the Bush clan. As they both jumped into the Presidential hopeful spotlight in recent days and weeks, things haven't gone too well for either of them.
During the 2012 campaign, Jeb sat on the sidelines while critiquing Mitt Romney and the others, and for most of that time, he echoed the conventional wisdom that the GOP had turned into a clown competition, and that they would never get anywhere unless they started acting civilized.
Yeah, that didn't last long.
Jeb entered the spotlight again this week to try and sell his new book. The only problem is that it's a book about immigration, and as everyone now knows, he's taken about three or four (I've lost count) different positions in the space of two days. That's a record, even beating Mitt Romney's flip-flop on positions that differed with the ones he wrote about in his book on health care. No doubt Jeb took a hard right turn off the road of his faux sensible Republican act in order to play to a base that's not just anti-immigration, but anti-anything but white folks (and women) altogether. Now Jeb has been invited to speak at the annual Take Off Your Straightjacket weekend or CPAC, so it's anyone's guess what hoops he'll be jumping through at that little hate-fest.
Since Jeb conveniently popped up with a book on immigration just as Rubio was crowning himself the king of an immigration policy that the GOP is crowing about, but no one has actually seen yet, I suppose it's only natural that Rubio would try and go even lower, after a six pack or two of bottled water.
Also from that same interview, he threw in a veiled threat at possibly blocking yet another nominee, this time for the Environmental Protection Agency, because enforcing regulations that would keep the big polluters from killing us all must not stand as far as Rubio and his donors are concerned. You know the argument, no regulations, free market, big government, and so on.
Who really knows if there's a rivalry between these two, or if at the moment they're just camera ready attention hogs. For all we know, they may think that a double dose of crazy would be just the thing for a two man ticket in 2016, although I'm not sure either of their egos could stand the competition.
Either way, it's going to be interesting to watch them race to the bottom.
On a more serious side however, in the meantime Rubio still wants to take the entire country hostage over the protection of tax cuts for the wealthy while trying to kill the ACA, and anything else that will benefit the country as a whole, while he uses every crisis as an opportunity to raise money from the rich folks he actually works for.