By Ron Marr
Of all the distasteful sights and sounds that have accompanied the 2016 elections, none have bothered me more than the asinine behavior of Florida's Marco Rubio.
We expect Donald Trump to speak with brash disregard, to throw insults, to say anything and everything and not give a damn what people think. This has always been the Trump style; he hasn't changed one iota because he seeks to occupy the Oval Office. Similarly, Ted Cruz hasn't altered his modus operandi in the slightest. He's always been a bit of a bomb thrower when it comes to dealing with the Republican establishment. He's always tended toward the evangelical, and his career shows him to be at the far right of the conservative spectrum.
Rubio, on the other hand, seems to be whatever his well-heeled private supporters, and the aging leaders of the National Republican Committee, wish him to be. His stated positions (illegal immigration being a prime example) appear to alter depending upon the group to which he is speaking.
But, that's not what bothers me most about the critter I now view as Florida's most famous reptile.
My beef with Rubio is that he's not his own man. The professional demeanor he tried to project over the past few months is now a distant memory. His commercials and speeches would be funny if they weren't so pathetic. Rubio, red-faced and angry, huffing and puffing as if his financial backers had just made him run 50 wind-sprints, grabs the microphone and begins to yell.
"Donald Trump is a con man," he says.
"Donald Trump will destroy the Republican party," he cries.
"Donald Trump has a bad spray-tan and small hands," blathers the village idiot
"Donald Trump supports the Klan," he whines.
Three of these comments are so juvenile they're not worth discussing, however the destruction of the present incarnation of the Republican party is not something I necessarily view as a negative. As it stands now, the Republican party is little different from the Democratic party. Its sole purpose is to fulfill the wishes of what has come to be known as the donor class, the ruling elites. It exists to do the bidding of self-proclaimed American royalty, the societal sub-culture that refers to the geography between the east and west coasts as "Flyover Country." These people, whether they are from Hollywood or Wall Street, view average Americans as rubes and hicks, folks who chew their tongues and don their shoes and socks in that order.
So, I'm laughing about Rubio's well-deserved failures in the primaries. Woo hoo . . . he won Minnesota. Party down, Marco, for I'm sure the folks who pull your little puppet strings are less than thrilled.
On the other side, Trump killed and Ted Cruz was no slouch either. I don't even come close to agreeing with everything either of these guys say, and if I did I'd have to take a hard look at my decision-making ability. I've always said that, if I agree with 50% of what I hear from a politician, I'll probably vote for him/her. Right now I'm at about 48% believability for Cruz, and about 52% for Trump (in contrast, my agreement quotient with Hillary or Bernie is in the triple negatives).
It would probably take a lot of behind-the-scenes skullduggery for Rubio to win the nomination, but don't be surprised if the concept of a contested or brokered convention becomes a reality. If It does, and if his handlers do manage to buy the prize, I won't even bother to leave the house on election day. Here's why.
Marco Rubio is a sure loser in the general election. He's a younger version of Bob Dole and John McCain. He may even be less interesting and than Dole and McCain, and I didn't think that was possible. There's just nothing there. He's a cardboard cut-out, a wax figure. Hillary Clinton would win in a landslide.
I'm not sure if Cruz could take down Hillary Clinton; I tend to think that his religious leanings would turn off enough voters to earn him critical losses in crucial states. Trump though, despite conventional wisdom and the belief of analysts and pundits, would absolutely clean her clock.
I could tell you why right now, but I'm not going to. That's for another column . . . probably in a couple of weeks.
All I will say is this. Don't believe a word you hear out of Marco Rubio. Ignore his mud-slinging commercials (which are running non-stop in Missouri and Kansas . . . apparently he now has all the Jeb Bush ad money). His platform largely consists of the argument that the only person fit to be president MUST come with the stamp of approval from powerful groups and individuals who wish you to sit down, shut up and gratefully accept the scraps that fall from their luxurious tables.
Thanks to Marco Rubio, I'm leaning toward voting for Trump. The latter is loud and harsh and says impolite things. He also makes the Republican National Committee cringe. That amuses the hell out of me.
I can take loud and politically incorrect. I'll never accept phony.