Rubio 2016 — Back to the Drawing Board

From Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo:

“Rubio’s vulnerability is so great in part because he staked so much on immigration reform as a way to loft himself to the top tier of 2016 GOP candidates. But the other part is because there was so little to the man in the first place absent his fortuitous would-be positioning as the young new Hispanic face of a Republican party reeling from a reputation for having little to no traction with America’s burgeoning non-white population.

“Remember, Rubio was basically an accidental Senator, swept up in the floodtide of the 2010 Tea Party mid-term, though it’s true that many careers start that way.

“Now that it’s clear that the base of the GOP – as expressed in the House GOP’s diehard desire to kill reform – is emphatically not on board with the Senate immigration bill to which he tied his fate, his whole plan for the 2016 run is basically in a shambles and his support among conservatives is falling rapidly.

“If you’ve watched over recent weeks, Rubio has been casting around for basically any right wing position to grab on to.

“So now Rubio seems trapped, on the wrong side of his party’s base on a key issue – and one that looks unlikely even to deliver legislation that might have bipartisanship traction with middle-ground voters. It’s one thing to say ‘I bucked my party to bring change the country needs’, another to say ‘I bucked my party on change my country needs but it actually didn’t pan out. Sorry.’ And now he’s forced to become some sort of hyperactive conservative wild man – what he wasn’t supposed to be – in order to recoup ground on the right that likely can’t be salvaged.”
Emphasis added.


Rubio Sorry He Crossed Immigration Rubicon?

“The very issue Rubio…thought would be a game-changing, legacy-builder looks like a big liability for the Florida senator, at least right now.  In the process, the self-confident presidential hopeful suddenly looks wobbly, even a little weak, as he searches for what’s next.

“Rubio appears to have miscalculated how much Republican support he could win in the Senate – and how much conservative backlash he could avoid outside of it. And now he feels stuck. Conservative intellectual leaders – notably Rich Lowry of National Review… and Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard — are crusading against his bill, backed by the vast majority of conservatives in the House.”

From “Marco Rubio Stumbles,” Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, Politico

Bottom Line on Immigration Reform

From “Immigration reform heads for slow death,” Mike Allen and Jim VendeHei, Politico:

“Republicans walked away from their 2012 debacle hell-bent on fixing their problems with Hispanics. Now, they appear hell-bent on making them worse.

“In private conversations, top Republicans on Capitol Hill now predict comprehensive immigration reform will die a slow, months-long death in the House. Like with background checks for gun buyers, the conventional wisdom that the party would never kill immigration reform, and risk further alienating Hispanic voters, was always wrong — and ignored the reality that most House Republicans are white conservatives representing mostly white districts.

“These members, and the vast majority of their voters, couldn’t care less whether Marco Rubio, Bill O’Reilly and Karl Rove say this is smart politics and policy.”

So we see the conflict between the GOP winning the House and winning the Senate and the White House.  For now, that conflict is nowhere near getting solved.  Fine with me…
The calculation after 2012 from national strategists like Rove was that the GOP couldn’t waiver on abortion.  In fact, the famous post-mortem the RNC did on the election doesn’t even mention abortion.  The plan was to continue to throw women under the bus and try to bring Hispanics on board, thinking that wouldn’t cost them the Evangelicals the way any moderation on abortion would.  So now there’s really no plan.

RIP, Immigration Reform

NBC’s Chuck Todd said on Meet the Press that “the White House doesn’t see a path” to immigration reform.

Given the make-up of the  Insane Asylum House of Representatives, I think that’s right.  The GOP senators who supported the just-passed bill went out on a limb for nothing, and it’s a very long drop.

Marco Rubio can still get the GOP nomination in 2016, he’s just going to have to make a fool of himself, as McCain did to get the nod in 2008.  McCain had to say that he no longer supported his own immigration bill from 2006.   Not exactly a “Profiles in Courage” moment, but the base bought it.

Quote of the Day

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo on immigration reform:

“Senate Democrats need to start seriously considering whether they’re getting played by the Gang of 8 charade.

“This morning Sen. Schumer (D-NY) said we should expect to see a bill this week. But Senator Graham says more like ‘in the next couple of weeks.’ And the crowd around Rubio is chattering that it may well take longer….

“You start to see what at least some folks are trying to do here. Drag this out, drag this out, drag this out. So as the thing gets bogged down you get the sand kicked in the eyes of the public about who’s on which side and who’s trying to prevent anything from happening.

“Much more of this and it would be silly for Senate Dems and the White House not to just introduce a bill and let the public see who’s for it and against it.”

I would just add that eels think Rubio is slippery.

Sorry Your Child Is Dead, But We’re Really Busy

FL Sen. Marco Rubio said on Fox News today that Congress wont have time for gun legislation in this term.

I thought if Newtown didn’t change things, then nothing will.  So now I think nothing will.

What we need is for gun owners and non-gun owners to come together and align themselves against the nut jobs who don’t just want appropriate weapons to hunt or protect themselves or shoot for fun at a range, but want military arsenals to fight the government.

Fiscal Cliff Deal Passes Senate

The Biden-McConnell deal passed the Senate 89-8.  Both D’s and R’s were among those opposed.

The Democrats who voted against it were Tom Carper of Delaware, Tom Harkin of Iowa, and Michael Bennet of Colorado.  The Republicans who voted against it were Mike Lee of Utah, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Marco Rubio  of Florida.

Given that wide, bipartisan margin of victory, it will be tough for the House to turn down the deal.