By Doug Porter
You know things are getting bad when Howard Kurtz at Fox News says Republicans are freaking out over The Donald. The billionaire reality show host has disrupted the hopes of the conservative elite of a youngish version of Saint Reagan to preside over the final dismemberment of the New Deal.
Kurtz: “At family dinners and New Year’s parties, in conference calls and at private lunches, longtime Republicans are expressing a growing fear that the coming election could be shattering for the party, or reshape it in ways that leave it unrecognizable.”
Given that the rising popularity of Senator Ted Cruz is also distasteful to the party faithful, his colleague Marco Rubio is emerging as the next great white hope. To that end, coteries of conventional conservatives have been rolled out as campaign co-chairs in several states, including San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer as one of seven California surrogates for the Florida Republican.
From the Times of San Diego:
“Marco Rubio knows that it is not about where you came from, or what your last name is, but that in America anyone can succeed,” Faulconer said Friday about the U.S. senator from Florida. “He has the vision and the record to lead and strengthen the American Dream for everyone.”
Though the San Diego mayoral election is nonpartisan, Faulconer is a Republican.
Other co-chairs include Sen. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel; Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber; Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Riverside; Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford; Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto; and Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita.
Here’s State Senator Jim Nielson, quoted in the Los Angeles Times:
“Marco Rubio has a gift that few since California’s own Ronald Reagan have embodied: the ability to bring Americans of all backgrounds together to solve our country’s problems. He is a once-in-a-generation leader that our country needs”
Given that San Diego’s Mayor has signed on to the Rubio campaign, it might be instructive to see just exactly who and what Faulconer is supporting.
Education: Indoctrination Camps for the Left
Here’s Hoffstra University professor Alan Singer, writing in the Huffington Post:
According to Senator Rubio, liberal arts colleges are “indoctrination camps” that are only kept in business because the political left wants to protect “all their friends” that “work there.” This comes from a Presidential candidate whose political life has been kept afloat for years by one major campaign donor, Norman Braman, a billionaire Florida car dealer who also employees Rubio’s wife as a “consultant.” Braman pledged $10 million to the Rubio Presidential campaign and over the years has hired Rubio as a lawyer at his company, Braman Management, donated $100,00 toward Rubio’s salary as an instructor at Florida International College in Miami, and gave Rubio use of his private plane.
Apparently Rubio is sensitive to the problem of huge college debt because in 2008 he owed close to $150,000 on student loans. Rubio accrued this debt while drifting through three colleges, Tarkio College, a religious school in Missouri that later went bankrupt, Santa Fe Community College in Gainsville, Florida, and the University of Florida. His law degree is from the University of Miami. In high school, according to an ABC News report, Rubio was a “C” student who used to sneak out of school to drink, which might explain his later difficulties in college.
Rubio claimed he was finally able to pay off his student loans in 2012 with proceeds from the publication of a book, An American Son, described by the Wall Street Journal as “a piece with other quickie books written by still-climbing politicians: cautious, on-message and heavily tilted toward the most recent big campaign.” How Rubio earned $150,000 on this book, published by a right-wing press, remains a political mystery. The book sold only 7,800 copies in hard cover and about 35,000 in paperback. I wonder if this was another Braman intervention.
The ‘Worst Nightmare’ for Women
It’s hard to believe that he’s “the worst nightmare for women” out of all the neanderthals contending for the Republican nomination, but when Planned Parenthood hands Rubio that title, ya gotta sit up and pay attention.
“Marco Rubio’s American dream is a woman’s worst nightmare,” Dawn Laguens, vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement.
“If he had his way — women wouldn’t be able to access safe, legal abortion — even in cases of rape and incest,” she continued.
Rubio’s presidential campaign has a new television ad out taking President Barack Obama to task for doing more to support Planned Parenthood funding, saying he’d rather fund abortions than America’s troops. The Florida Senator knocks the recent release of 17 detainees from Guantanamo Bay, as well as the president’s support for Planned Parenthood and tighter gun laws. “Barack Obama released terrorists from Guantanamo, and now they are plotting to attack us,” Rubio says in the ad. “Instead of fighting to fund our troops, he fights to fund Planned Parenthood.”
Climate Change: Another Left-Wing Plot
Mayor Kevin Faulconer may have given lip service to mitigating greenhouse gases, but if his man makes it to the White House, San Diego shouldn’t be looking to Washington for any support.
Rubio, according to Scientific American, believes any laws passed based on the understanding that humans are responsible for climate change will destroy our economy.
He made the news recently with this statement about the President’s environmental initiatives:
“While ISIS is beheading people and burning them in cages, he says climate change is our greatest threat.”
InsideClimate News and other media outlets have documented how Exxon knew as far back as 1977 how greenhouse gas emissions could impact climate change, made a choice not to act and even funded organizations disseminating misinformation.
Exxon is currently facing an investigation from the New York attorney general into whether it lied to the public and investors about the risks of human-caused climate change.
This is kind of a big deal. There have been calls for a federal investigation, both in the congress and by Democratic presidential candidates.
When asked by Annika Barth, a New Hampshire resident and freshman at American University, if he would support a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation on all that Exxon knew about climate change, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio referred to the investigation as “nothing but a left-wing effort to demonize industries in America.”
And then there’s this, from the Huffington Post:
GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) earned the endorsement of the Senate’s most prominent climate change skeptic on Saturday.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who famously brought a snowball to the Senate floor last year in order to claim that climate change is a “hoax,” announced his support for the Florida senator, as first reported by The Oklahoman
A Man of Variable Convictions on Immigration
At one point in time Marco Rubio was considered one of the ‘reasonable Republicans’ when it came to immigration reform. In 2013 he co-sponsored the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” (S. 744), bipartisan legislation that included pathway to citizenship for immigrants, reforms to the immigrant visa process, 700 miles of pedestrian fencing on the southern U.S. border and more than 38,000 trained full-time active duty Border Patrol agents on the southern border.
Since entering the campaign for President, Rubio has run hard and fast from his previous positions.
The Boston Globe quoted Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, a prominent conservative who serves as the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), [Rubio] “was Joshua leading the people into the Promised Land of immigration. Then, right when we were on the Jordan River, he pivoted. He looked back to the desert. All of the sudden he pivoted; he took his foot out of the water.”
From CBS News:
Just as the White House recently launched large-scale raids to deport Central American immigrants, immigration also took center stage at a GOP policy summit Saturday, with protesters taking aim at Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
“Marco Rubio wants to deport me!” one man yelled during a wave of protests that broke out at the Jack Kemp Foundation’s forum in South Carolina, where several Republican candidates gathered to discuss ideas for fighting poverty.
Other pro-immigrant demonstrators voicing various chants — including shouts of “undocumented and unafraid” and “Rubio doesn’t represent our community” — crashed the summit six times, cutting in on a panel featuring the Florida senator and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The End Times Theocracy
Rubio’s other positions are likewise predictable, in that they kowtow to the unreasonable wing of the Republican Party…. Obama wants to “take way our guns…” Less taxes on the rich are the road to prosperity… Cuts in benefits and raising the retirement age for Social Security (but only for younger folks, wink, wink)…
…But the really scary stuff about Marco Rubio comes when you examine his pandering to the fundamentalist crowd. This past week he was endorsed by evangelical megachurch Pastor Rick Warren, who has a strong sway over Christians, especially Southern Baptists.
At the New Civil Rights Movement, they say Rubio’s ad campaign aimed at the fundie crowd “shows what his true agenda really is: a right-wing Christian theocracy.”
The New York Times notes “some Christian conservatives remain wary, in part because of his ties to the New York financier Paul Singer, one of the biggest contributors to efforts to legalize gay marriage.” That shouldn’t concern them, given that Rubio’s voting record proves he is a “hard core conservative,” and an exceptionally anti-gay Republican.
Rightly observing that “candidates like Rubio run ads like these because they work,” Americablog’s Jon Green notes “a significant chunk of Republican voters in Iowa (and throughout the country, for that matter)” are not “as concerned with whether Rubio’s tax plan is regressive so long as they trust that he had Jesus on his mind when his team put the plan together.”
This ad should actually frighten even the most devout Christians, because it says he will be a President and Commander-in-Chief who uses the word of God to govern, and that his goal is, in fact, to be with God “for all time.”
The State of the City
Mayor Faulconer has had an extended honeymoon with San Diegans, due in no small part to his relentless PR campaign and an adversity to conflict, both on the part of local politicians and voters.
Liam Dillon has a piece up at Medium about Faulconer that cites a poll commissioned by “local business groups” and done by John Nienstedt at Competitive Edge showing 58% of voters labeling themselves as “Very Liberal” Approve (Strongly/Somewhat) of the Mayor.
This was the big takeaway. Faulconer is talking a great game and many believe his engagement efforts are sincere. But he’s yet to put forward major policy goals targeted toward minority groups or publicly speak out against rhetoric from the national Republican party that’s turning off Latinos, Muslims and others. If he’s going to lead his party out of the wilderness and into the city, he’s going to have to deliver on issues that affect people’s lives.
You gotta give Faulconer credit for non-stop campaigning, but he can’t run from what his party stands for. And his chosen candidate for the highest office in the United States is only slightly less extreme that Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.
Does his support of Marco Rubio mean he’ll endorse (or not oppose) the policies of his candidate? Is Faulconer just babysitting San Diego on the way to a career in national politics?
We need to ask.
The primary in California is June
5th 7th. Mayor Faulconer’s State of the City speech is Thursday, January 14th.
RIP David Bowie
It feels like we lost something elemental, as if an entire color is gone. #DavidBowie
— Carrie Brownstein (@Carrie_Rachel) January 11, 2016
On This Day: 1936 – Nearly two weeks into a sit-down strike at GM’s Fisher Body Plant No. 2 in Flint, Mich., workers battled police when they try to prevent the strikers from receiving food deliveries from thousands of supporters on the outside. Sixteen strikers and spectators and 11 police were injured. Most of the strikers were hit by buckshot fired by police riot guns; the police were injured principally by thrown nuts, bolts, door hinges and other auto parts. The incident became known as the “Battle of the Running Bulls” 1964 – U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report that said that smoking cigarettes was a definite health hazard. 1992 – Paul Simon began a concert tour in South Africa. He was the first international star to perform in South Africa following the end of the UN cultural boycott.
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