Marco Rubio Is Pitch Perfect on Libya and Birthers
March 31, 2011 2 Comments
Freshman Florida Senator Marco Rubio is young, inexperienced, and, so far, very impressive. The resemblance to the president is striking, and for many of the same reasons I said in 2007 that I might support an Obama candidacy — in 20 years — Rubio is not properly a candidate for president of the United States in 2012. Thankfully, despite the media’s adolescent obsession with treating American politics like American Idol, Rubio has the presence of mind to disavow any presidential ambitions in 2012.
Meanwhile, Rubio is demonstrating a remarkably refreshing leadership style for a guy currently occupying a Senate basement office. On two matters, Rubio is articulate and forthright on issues yielding too much squishiness:
- On Libya, Rubio says straightforwardly Qaddafi must go, and we must ensure it — in conspicuous contrast to the president’s “hmmm, Qaddafi must go, but we’re not about ‘regime change,’ like that regrettable Iraq thing we did, so as we ‘hand off’ this exercise to NATO (!), whatever happens happens, and we have deniability, but not really, since I authorized secret CIA missions in Libya, so the world knows what we’re up to, but we’re not doing a war thing…”
In fact, Rubio has sent a rather bold letter to Senate leadership staking out a very clear position about American interests in ensuring Qaddafi is taken down. President Obama tells us repeatedly, not without some sympathy from me, the issues are complex. But however complex the issues, superpower leadership (well, any leadership) is about articulating a goal and doing the work to achieve it. There’s no leadership percentage in pretending to stand by hoping that “a goal” (“not ours”) gets done, and secretly (but not) pursuing that goal (not ours) so that everybody ultimately knows either somebody else succeeds or we fail.
- On the president’s birth and religion, thank you Senator Rubio. Please continue to be instantly dismissive of this cringe-inducing distraction.
Barely was his ABC interviewer’s question out than Rubio insisted, “that’s a waste of time.” “He says he’s a Christian. He’s a Christian. And I do believe he was born in the United States. And I don’t think any of those things are the reason why America’s in trouble.”
Amen. Never mind the mind-boggling meritlessness of the birther nonsense. So what if it were true? Would it have anything whatever to do with the range of challenges facing this country today? Not a whit. That’s admirable focus by the junior senator from Florida.