Florida Senator Marco Rubio is a rapidly rising star within the Republican Party. Widely touted as a rock-ribbed “conservative” by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, ecstasy can be heard in more than one prominent Republican voice when it muses upon Rubio’s presidential prospects.
All of the hype aside, Rubio is about as conservative as John McCain.
Granted, stylistically speaking, there are dramatic differences between the young, crisp, charismatic Rubio and the aged, debilitated, insipid McCain. And unlike the latter, the former has mastered the kind of rhetoric in which self-avowed “conservatives” of the mainstream variety have been trading for years.
Yet as far as substance is concerned, Rubio isn’t appreciably different from the McCains of the GOP. On no issue is this more obvious than that of immigration.
Like McCain, Rubio is foolish enough to think that the salvation of the Republican Party lies in its ability to woo Hispanic voters. And like McCain, Rubio thinks that if only Republicans pander to Hispanics by granting amnesty to the 11 or 15 or 20 million illegal Hispanic immigrants living within the United States, then these newly baptized citizens will flock to the polls to vote straight “R’s.”
Like McCain, Rubio apparently fails to grasp the fact that out-Democrating the Democrats on this issue, or even working with them on it, promises to come at the cost of obliterating his own party. He is just as gullible as McCain for evidently failing to realize that the Democrats, rightly, have every confidence that amnesty will guarantee their party’s reign for evermore.
Rubio is just like McCain in trying to have his cake and eat it too when it comes to amnesty. In spite of supporting the latter, he would have us believe that he does so only begrudgingly, and only because the Democrats will see to it that it becomes law anyhow. So, as long as it is going to happen in any event, Rubio will make sure that its evils are minimized.
This is the position that Rubio conveyed on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show recently. Rush regularly heaps praise upon Rubio. This day was no exception. He lauded Rubio for “recognizing reality,” for recognizing that as long as the Democrats were going to get their way on amnesty, Republicans like himself may as well make the most of it.
As the conservative writer Debbie Schlussel was quick to note, neither Rush nor Rubio can be credited here with peddling conservatism. There are, however, richly deserving of blame for pulling a con-job.
On her website, Schlussel blasts Rush for “pimping” Rubio’s “Snoop Dogg defense” of his stance on amnesty. She refers to the rapper’s claim that while he would never force children to smoke marijuana, he wouldn’t hesitate to teach them how to smoke it. After all, they are going to wind up smoking it anyhow, right? Mine as well make sure that they do it correctly, safely. Schlussel writes: “I call it [Rubio’s argument for amnesty] the Snoop Dogg defense because it’s the same old thing we hear from liberals and reprobates time and time again when they want to ease penalties for criminals and those engaged in anti-social, anti-American behavior.”
Schlussel also reminds us that conservatives, including Rush, used to argue tirelessly against this kind of argument, especially as it pertained to youth sex. When those on the left favored free condom distribution in public schools on the grounds that, since kids were going to have sex anyway, we may as well make sure that they do so “safely,” neither Rush nor many others on the right were having any of it. But if they gave the left then the same treatment that Rush insists upon giving Rubio now, then, Schlussel remarks, they should be “congratulating schools for teaching young kids how to use condoms and giving them birth control.”
Furthermore, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham is Lindsay Grahamnesty thanks to Rush. For years, Graham has argued on behalf of precisely the sort of amnesty plan that Rubio is now pushing. For his efforts, Rush (rightly) ridiculed him. But now he sings hosannas to Rubio for “recognizing reality.” As Schlussel observes, the only thing that accounts for this inconsistency on his part is that “Rush is in the tank for Rubio [.]” Along with his colleagues, Rush buys “into the false idea of Rubio as the pristine, ‘conservative,’ great Hispanic hope to rescue the GOP from death.”
Schlussel’s conclusion is blunt: “Marco Rubio is not on our side on this. And neither is Rush.” She warns us against confusing “partisans and personalities” with “principles and those who consistently hold them.”
Translation: Don’t confuse faux conservatives with real conservatives.