In what almost reads like an obituary for Sen. Marco Rubio, a columnist for the conservative Bulwark speculated that the Florida Republican’s once-promising political future seems at an end after years of “flip-flopping’ on key issues exposing him as a callow opportunist seeking to remain “relevant.”
According to the Bulwark’s Shay Katiri, Rubio — once considered a rising star in the Republican Party — has instead crashed and burned in spectacular fashion.
“Marco Rubio is our great republic’s most overrated senator—which is really saying something, since pretty much everyone in America, left, right, and center, thinks he’s a joke,” Katiroi wrote at the start.
Stating Rubio was “supposed to be the future of the Republican Party—the principled yet pragmatic, charismatic conservative who appealed to all factions,” the columnist said the Republican up-and-comer instead proved to be “as Jeb Bush’s inner circle warned everybody who would listen—an opportunist and a charlatan.”
Katiri writes that Rubio’s career since joining the Senate has been to throw any principles to the side and take the path of least resistance, equating him with a quote attributed to the 19th-century French socialist Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin that states: “There go the people; I must follow them, for I am their leader.”
“After Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 presidential election, there was immediate speculation that Rubio would be a prime contender for the Republican nomination in 2016. He was young, good-looking, Hispanic, and able to articulate conservative arguments in an intelligent, passionate, winsome way,” the columnist wrote, before detailing the Florida senator’s history of chasing after policies that, in some cases, conflicted with his own stated beliefs.
“Rubio’s world changed after 2016. He became a senator with no further political prospects. There are no presidential elections happening anytime soon that he could run for. The base is completely Trumpified,” he wrote. “He remains unforgiven for his attacks on Trump, despite apologizing for them, and is resented by the Never Trumpers for becoming Trumpy. Being characteristically a squish, he can be neither a fierce Trump critic like Justin Amash nor a full-on Trump cheerleader like Lindsey Graham. Rubio follows the base, so of course he opposed calling witnesses for the Trump impeachment trial, but no amount of groveling and ingratiating ever seems to bring him closer to Trump’s orbit—at least not yet.”
Summing up Rubio’s career as it stands today, Katiri wrote:” Rubio was a failed candidate. He was also once a rising star. It is sad to see how he has proven to be petty, regretful, a dud of a legislator, and a flip-flopper. Lindsey Graham put it best, describing Rubio in 2016: ‘I’m not saying that he would change his positions, but he would change his positions.'”
“Rubio’s instincts for politics are like Napoleon’s instincts at war: He is an operational genius, but he has no long-term strategic foresight. He opts for what is convenient at this very moment, even if it might hurt him in the future. He will take any side of the issue that polls 51 percent with the base,” he continued before concluding, “This isn’t leadership. But it does keep a political career ticking along, devoid of achievement, to gripe another day.”
You can read the whole devastating profile here.
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