Et tu, Rubio? Marco stabs NeverTrump, twists knife

Marco Rubio Clinton tweet

Throughout the 2016 Republican primary season, there was one man who consistently warned that nominating Donald Trump would signal the death knell for the party of limited government: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

He called the billionaire a “con artist” who was not fit for office.

He helped spearhead the “NeverTrump” movement.

He was supposed to be the one principled man in the room. Now, like a modern-day Brutus, he has engaged in a betrayal that has left his supporters speechless.

Marco Rubio NeverTrump tweet

To add insult to injury, Sen. Rubio’s plan to help Trump win the White House comes the same week the billionaire said he wanted to turn the Republican Party into the “worker’s party,” (Yes, “worker’s party”).

Bloomberg reported May 26:

“I asked Trump what he thought the GOP would look like in five years. ‘Love the question,’ he replied. ‘Five, 10 years from now—different party. You’re going to have a worker’s party. A party of people that haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry.’

Marco Rubio is throwing his weight behind a man who wants to fundamentally transform the Republican Party into a “worker’s party.” Let that marinate in your head for a few moments before moving on. Think about it. Turn it around. Consider the long-term implications…

Mr. Trump’s quote demonstrates precisely why “NeverTrump” exists: If the head of the Republican Party is someone who sounds like Karl Marx, never mentions the U.S. Constitution unless prompted, donated to Democrats for most of his adult life, and has literally changed positions on almost every serious policy issue, then “Republican” means nothing. 

Marco Rubio Bill Kristol twitter

Sen. Rubio is being disingenuous when he says voters must choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. If Mr. Rubio was telling the truth about both candidates being unfit for office, then the principled thing to do would be to a.) write in an acceptable candidate, b.) vote for a third-party candidate, c.) not vote — because not lending your support to a field of unacceptable candidates is more honorable then voting for someone you called a “con artist” who is unfit for the job.

At this point it looks like I will be voting for “Giant Meteor” for president. At least Giant Meteor will never lie to me.

Giant Meteor 2016

‘Dilbert’ creator Scott Adams nailed it on Trump’s strategy

Dilbert Trump

A friend of mine asked me earlier this week whether I thought Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States. We had a lengthy discussion on the matter, and then the next day an old Washington Post piece showed up in my Facebook feed that covered much of the same ground. I was amused to find out that “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams and I have many of the same observations about the billionaire. We agree on Trump’s general strategy, but differ in terms of how successful his tactics will be in the general election.

In short, Adams believes Trump will be the next president of the United States. I … don’t know.

The Washington Post reported March 21:

The Manhattan mogul is so deft at the powers of persuasion, Adams believes, that the candidate could have run as a Democrat and, by picking different hot-button issues, still won this presidency. In other words: Trump is such a master linguistic strategist that he could have turned the political chessboard around and still embarrassed the field. …

1. Trump knows people are basically irrational.

“If you see voters as rational you’ll be a terrible politician,” Adams writes on his blog. “People are not wired to be rational. Our brains simply evolved to keep us alive. Brains did not evolve to give us truth. Brains merely give us movies in our minds that keeps us sane and motivated. But none of it is rational or true, except maybe sometimes by coincidence.”

2. Knowing that people are irrational, Trump aims to appeal on an emotional level.

“The evidence is that Trump completely ignores reality and rational thinking in favor of emotional appeal,” Adams writes. “Sure, much of what Trump says makes sense to his supporters, but I assure you that is coincidence. Trump says whatever gets him the result he wants. He understands humans as 90-percent irrational and acts accordingly.”

Adams adds: “People vote based on emotion. Period.”

3. By running on emotion, facts don’t matter.

“While his opponents are losing sleep trying to memorize the names of foreign leaders – in case someone asks – Trump knows that is a waste of time … ,” Adams writes. “There are plenty of important facts Trump does not know. But the reason he doesn’t know those facts is – in part – because he knows facts don’t matter. They never have and they never will. So he ignores them.

“Right in front of you.”

And stating numbers that might not quite be facts nevertheless can anchor those numbers, and facts, in your mind.

4. If facts don’t matter, you can’t really be “wrong.”

Trump “doesn’t apologize or correct himself. If you are not trained in persuasion, Trump looks stupid, evil, and maybe crazy,” Adams writes. “If you understand persuasion, Trump is pitch-perfect most of the time. He ignores unnecessary rational thought and objective data and incessantly hammers on what matters (emotions).”

I highly suggest reading the entire piece. Adams’ analysis will be invaluable in the months ahead.

Back in February I concurred with The Federalist’s James Poulos, who likened Trump to the Marvel character “Deadpool.” I said, “It appears, unfortunately, as though the Republican Party will not listen to Poulos’ advice, but instead will continue to ‘agonize’ over Trump.”

Now, Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. That means that we are only left to wonder if Hillary Clinton or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will be able to successfully counter Trump’s strategy — unless there is an X Factor.

I believe the X Factor that Adams did not discuss is the percentage of people who Trump inadvertently filled with irreversible negative emotions while wooing Republican primary voters.

Translation: The billionaire might not be able to make more people irrationally support him than those who now irrationally hate him.

To this day I still believe Marco Rubio would have been the only Republican candidate who would have beat Hillary Clinton in a “normal” election (e.g., no one accuses an opponent’s family member of being linked to the JFK assassination). Mr. Trump, however, is not a normal candidate.

As of now I am not prepared to make any predictions, but I will put on an intellectual poncho. There is no doubt that things will soon get dirtier than the front row of a Blue Man Group performance.

Matt Walsh calls out ‘conservative’ pundits on Trump sell-out

Regular readers of this blog know that I have taken time out of my regular comic book reviews to lament how so-called “conservative” commentators have jumped on a political bandwagon instead of sticking by principles when it comes to Donald Trump.

I have ripped Sean “I have evolved” Hannity. I have ripped Ann Coulter. I have ripped Eric Bolling. What I have not done is make out a comprehensive list as the Blaze’s Matt Walsh did on Tuesday.

Here are just a few choice snippets from Walsh’s piece. Read the whole thing and find the kind of courage that is lacking among many professional pundits:

“SEAN HANNITY: Although I’ve never found Hannity to be terribly interesting, now that his Fox show is nothing more than a ritual adoration ceremony for Donald Trump, it’s become intolerable. Hannity relentlessly fawns over Trump and refuses to challenge him on any of his myriad lies and inconsistencies. Trump has even used Hannity’s show as a platform to praise Planned Parenthood and repeat false, progressive claims that “abortion is a small part of what they do.” Hannity did not challenge him on those assertions. He does not challenge him on anything.

Meanwhile, as Trump receives no criticism from Hannity no matter how many times he mocks the disabled, brags about his adultery, smears his opponents, spews vulgarities, etc., Hannity has not held back in criticizing Trump’s Republican opponents for their “stunning” and “beyond the pale” critiques of Trump.

BILL O’REILLY: He pretends to be a tough and objective journalist, but his prostrations to Trump have been sickening to behold, never more than when he boasted about all the times he and Trump had milkshakes together or when he attempted to rationalize Trump’s plan to murder women and children.

FOX NEWS: All the other dull, blathering Trump sycophants on Fox News, like Andrea Tantaros and Eric Bolling and Kimberly Guilfoyle and other various Trump shills who’ve now taken to declaring that “principles don’t matter.” The Fox morning show team hands airtime to Trump whenever he demands it, and they sit in admiration listening to him blabber on like infatuated school boys pretending to be interested in what the pretty girl in class is saying.”

Donald Trump is currently cruising towards 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the Republican nomination. If that was happening with fair news coverage then it would be one thing — but its not. If the man even looks like he might say something outrageous, then cable news outlets cut to a live-feed of his campaign. When Trump refuses to condemn unacceptable behavior at his rallies, pundits like Bill O’Reilly are there to spin it in a way that won’t offend the man.

Ironic, isn’t it? Mr. “No Spin” is now the very essence of spin.

GOP delegates March 16

It is refreshing to see writers like Mr. Walsh, who care more about the truth than getting invites to appear on The O’Reilly Factor. I can not tell you how many people I met when I lived in Washington, D.C., who would demonize their own mother if they thought it could get them an interview with Sean Hannity or some other talking head.

I implore all principled conservatives to take note of the individuals who talked a big game for years, only to abandon everything they claimed to stand for when it really mattered.

‘Trump Coalition’ skillfully explained by Limbaugh

Donald Trump has been the Republican front-runner since August. He has maintained his lead despite blistering criticism from Democrats, fellow Republicans, and cable news pundits on a daily basis. One of the few famous individuals who has a firm grasp of Trump’s appeal is Rush Limbaugh. On Thursday he offered one of the clearest, most concise and plain-spoken explanations of the “Trump Coalition” to date.

Limbaugh said:

The Tea Party was not the result of some strategic plan launched by somebody out of nowhere. It was a spontaneous eruption of mostly people that had never been professionally, formally involved in politics before. It dates to the Obama stimulus deal in 2009 but really began to coalesce with Obamacare. Those two things sent the big message to the Tea Party people, what would become known as the Tea Party people. That is, there was no longer any concern for what this government was spending. There was no longer any concern for the danger that that was going to cause. …

The Tea Party had a lot of Democrats in it. The Tea Party had a lot of minorities. The Tea Party had a bunch of people from a cross section, a demographic cross section. But you don’t know that because you were told it was nothing but a malcontent conservatives and disaffected Republicans and what have you, because it was easier to criticize ’em that way.

There’s so many missed opportunities for the Republican Party here. It’s actually frightening to make a list of ’em all. The Republican Party could be owning the show. …

I know the Republican Party mocked the Tea Party. They worked with the Democrats and the media to smear them, just like is happening now with the Trump coalition. The key point here is who they are. As I have been trying to say, the majority of Trump’s support base are not Republican conservatives. There are a lot of them, but it’s not the majority.

I was at the original tea party rallies in Washington, D.C., and Rush is 100 percent correct. I worked at a conservative nonprofit organization and got to meet the waves of people who were entering the political realm for the first time. They seemed to innately know that America was at a dangerous crossroads.

The tea party had many people just like me — individuals whose conservatism is shaped by an understanding of free-market economics, documents like The Federalist Papers, and a fidelity to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

However, the tea party also had plenty of people who have no time to be academics because they have two jobs to hold down, kids to get to soccer practice, and any number of other responsibilities. All they know is that powerful groups are trying to fundamentally transform America into something at odds with its founding.

Elitists in the nation’s capital scoffed at those they no-doubt viewed as “rabble.” I know because my job within Washington often brought me into contact with said elitists. One of my favorite stories involves getting into an argument with one well-connected Washington insider who said to me, “Do you know who I am?! I’m the maître d of the conservative movement!”

Ask yourself this question: How well has “the maître d of the conservative movement” and his friends done their job? I’d say, not too well.

The “Trump Coalition” is an odious group to Democrats and Republicans in Washington, which is ironic because they are responsible for its creation.

The “Trump Coalition” sees President Obama on the left saying things like the Islamic State group has nothing to do with Islam, and on the right they see Republican “leaders” who are really good at mumbling about the Constitution, but really bad at limiting the size of the federal government.

I wrote on Donald Trump in 2011 while people like “the maître d of the conservative movement” was heading panels at black tie events, which were little more than exercises in self-congratulation. It is now 2016, I left much of that world behind, and now sit with my popcorn as “the maître d” and his friends stew over the “Trump Coalition” they helped create.

Ann Coulter, conservative surfer, rides Trump wave for book sales; pundit exposed by Charles Cooke

Ann Coulter Hannity Charles CookeThe spike in popularity of ersatz conservative Donald Trump has its fair share of downsides, but it also has an upside: opportunists like conservative wave surfer Ann Coulter, whose idea of Reaganesque was once Chris Christie, are exposed.

National Review’s Charles Cooke faced off against Ms. Coulter on Thursday night and exposed the “collective insanity” of so-called conservative pundits, who now gloss over every bit of evidence that The Donald is merely a Trump in conservative clothing (e.g., Clinton campaign contributions).

Mr. Cooke said the following while appearing on Fox News:

“I have to say that I’m just astonished by the collective insanity that seems to have marked the conservative movement over the past couple of months. Donald Trump, who has put forth no plan whatsoever except to pretend that Mexico is going to pay for a wall, is being taken seriously. […] I think what the objections are is that you have a man in the Republican debate who praises single-payer. You have a man still talking about funding Planned Parenthood. You have a man who has flip-flopped perhaps on the wealth tax and on gun control. A man, who on any other circumstances, would have been laughed at through the primary. […]

He said on this show … that he was fine with the progressive income tax. … The day before he suggested he was in favor of a flat tax. Literally 24 hours before. He’s making it up as he goes along and we are all falling it for some reason. […] He cozied up to Hillary Clinton and he gave the Democrats a bunch of money. […] Is pro-assault weapons ban now pro-gun? He was in favor, on the record, of an assault records ban. Is that now pro-gun?”

Boom. Mr. Cooke dropped a series of intellectual tactical nukes on Ms. Coulter’s head. Her ally, Sean Hannity, sat in silence while it happened. She, on the other hand, was left to come up with a list of tortured responses that revealed that the one thing Ann Coulter knows best is where her book sales come from. If you want to be a best-selling conservative author, then one way to do it is to shamelessly ride whatever wave the most rabid right-wing activists are on.

Here are a few of Mrs. Coulter’s attempts to parry Mr. Cooke’s blows:

        • “I don’t think voters go out and think, ‘well, he’s been consistent for 20 years on this.’”
        • “As far as I know, he’s never been anti-gun.”
        • “He’s not a politician. He’s not familiar with all the deceptive ways Planned Parenthood will sneak through funding for abortion.”
        • “He was at the Republican National Convention talking like a conservative.”

Chris Christie is now a “RINO” to pundits like Anne Coulter, but Donald Trump is somehow a conservative. Crony capitalism is the mark of a fake conservative, but yet it’s no big deal that Donald Trump epitomizes crony capitalism. Republicans in Congress can’t be trusted, but the guy who donated to Hillary Clinton multiple times can. Donald Trump showing up to a convention and “talking like a conservative” is now proof that he is a conservative. The willful ignorance is astounding.

Trump Democrat donationsFor individuals who just want a president with no filter, Donald Trump makes sense. For individuals who just want to make the Republican establishment pay for looking down on the Tea Party, Donald Trump make sense. For individuals who just want to burn the whole system to the ground, Donald Trump (and Bernie Sanders) make sense. There are legitimate reasons for backing Donald Trump, but citing his “conservative” credentials is not one of them.

The truth of the matter is this: Certain conservative talk show hosts and their favorite pundits are a.) scared that Donald Trump will direct his fire at them if he is criticized, or b.) want to curry favor with the billionaire because he has money, power, connections, and he probably throws great parties.

Principled leadership is what America needs to thrive, but right now a lot of people seem to think it’s a man who calls all of his critics “losers.” Sadly, Ann Coulter and her friends in the media have decided to stoke the flames of anger for ratings and book sales instead of setting the Republican Party up for success.

Update: Tell me again why any Republican would want Ann Coulter as a political ambassador.

Coulter Trump Abortion Tweet

Imagine if Donald Trump read Francis de Sales: Man deported 5 times admits to Kate Steinle murder

Francisco SanchezOnly days after Donald Trump essentially painted the vast majority of Mexican illegal immigrants as rapists and murderers, Kate Steinle, 32, was gunned down by one in broad daylight. The federal government had deported the man five times. San Francisco is a sanctuary city and refused to hand over the suspect when it had the chance.

Kate SteinleReporter Cornell Barnard was able to interview apprehended suspect Francisco Sanchez on Sunday.

A local ABC Affiliate reported:

[Francisco Sanchez] says he was wandering on Pier 14 after taking sleeping pills he found in a dumpster.

He claims he kicked the gun into the San Francisco Bay, lit up a cigarette, and walked off, not knowing he shot someone until he was arrested by police hours later. Sanchez reportedly first told police he was shooting at sea lions.

He appeared frail and nervous when he talked about returning to the U.S. after being deported back to his native Mexico five times.

Barnard: “Why did you keep coming back to the U.S., why did you come back to San Francisco?”
Sanchez: “Because I was looking for jobs in the restaurant or roofing, landscaping, or construction.”

Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials.

Mr. Trump was one of only a few high-profile individuals to bring attention to this story when he tweeted it Friday night. Sadly, it doesn’t matter how much truth there is to a man’s message if his delivery convinces others that he is a bad person.

Trump TWTConsider what Francis de Sales said in “Treatise on the Love of God”:

“We dislike imitating those we hate even in their good qualities. The Lacedaemonians would not follow the good counsel of an evil man unless some good man stated it after him.

On the contrary, we cannot help conforming ourselves to those we love. It is in this sense, I think, that the great apostle says that ‘the law is not made for the just.’ In fact, the just man is not just unless he has holy love. If he has love, there is no need to urge him on with the rigor of the law, since love is a more cogent teacher and solicitor to persuade a heart possessing it to obey the will and intentions of its beloved. Love is a magistrate who exercises his authority without noise, without bailiffs or sergeants-at-arms, but merely by that mutual complacence whereby, just as we find pleasure in God, so also we reciprocally desire to please Him.” — Francis de Sales.

Yes, it is possible to learn a thing or two from men who lived in the late 1500s and early 1600s.

If you have an important message to deliver to a skeptical audience, then it is crucial that the vehicle for that message not come across as a bully, a jerk, a racist or an evil man.

I am not saying that Mr. Trump is any of those things, but the way he carries himself in front of a microphone makes it incredibly easy for his detractors to make such a case.

Large scale illegal immigration brings with it a whole host of (often deadly) problems. When you have “sanctuary cities,” criminals will gladly take politicians up on the offer. Innocent people pay the price for officials who do not take the rule of law seriously. That is why we need serious and articulate men and women to explain what is going on to the American people.

It is not good enough to simply be correct when speaking on public policy issues like illegal immigration; one must also be able to show empathy. Sadly, too many people who are right on the issue seem to have little to zero empathy for the millions who are trying to flee dysfunctional and oppressive hell holes.

People will often vote for a man with horrendous public policy ideas if he seems like he cares about his constituents. People will often not vote for the man with great public policy ideas if he seems cold, detached or weird. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Republican Party could run a candidate who actually had good ideas and he or she exuded the kind of empathy skills that could win over Independents and Democrats?

Perhaps if Donald Trump read the works of Saint Francis de Sales years ago, then he could have been that man.

Rubio hit piece by The New York Times: An insult to all responsible adults with student loan bills

Marco RubioThe New York Times recently followed up its weird story on Marco Rubio’s traffic violation history with another on his personal finances. At the end of the day the newest piece essentially boils down to: Marco Rubio is unfit to be president because he’s just like the vast majority of responsible adults with large student loan bills. If Marco Rubio was like most politicians, who mysteriously become millionaires soon after arriving in Washington, D.C., then he might have the chops to be the next commander in chief.

The New York Times reported June 9:

Mr. Rubio entered public life in a deep financial hole of his own making.

Soon after he was elected to the Legislature in 2000, he reported a net worth of zero, about $150,000 in student loan debt, and $30,000 in what he called assorted credit and retail debt.

It was the inauspicious start to a decade of big financial ups and downs. In interviews, friends and advisers describe Mr. Rubio as a young politician entering public life just out of law school, whose charisma and stardom quickly outstripped his financial acumen, leaving him unprepared to manage the expensive campaigns and lucrative career opportunities that came his way.

How dare Mr. Rubio, the son of a Cuban immigrant bartender and a hotel worker, not have the financial acumen in his 20s of Tony Robbins in his 40s.

Do you see how it works with The New York Times? If a (Republican) man from humble beginnings claws his way into successful circles, then he has put himself into a “deep financial hole of his own making.” If a (Republican) man with a large bank account runs for office, then he’s out of touch and cannot be trusted (e.g., Mitt Romney).

Question: Am I in a “deep financial hole” that should cause employers to question my ability to handle money? I currently owe $52,328.16 in student loans that were raked up as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California and a graduate student at American University in Washington, D.C.

Student LoanAnswer: No. The reason is because, like Marco Rubio and millions of other Americans, I used my education and work experience to obtain human capital. I have never missed a payment. If I lost my job tomorrow, then I would still find employment capable of paying the bills. I have saved money for a “rainy day,” and have a retirement account. It is absurd to suggest that a sitting U.S. senator with a law degree and a winning personality is somehow a financial liability because he has a mortgage, student loan debt, and car payments.

On some level, The New York Times’ coverage of the Rubio campaign comes across less as a hit job and more like a warning to Hillary Clinton: this guy is going to be tough to sink through the traditional means of personal destruction. Tell your A-Team to get creative with the slime tactics.

If parking tickets and student loan bills are the best The New York Times can come up with on Mr. Rubio, then he has positioned himself quite well. Regardless, he should expect the coverage to get even worse as desperation sets in. Democrats cannot afford to have a good-looking, well-spoken, bilingual minority become the face of the Republican Party. Partisan media hacks will do their best to destroy him, no matter how much sleaze the effort requires.

Update: Reader Patrick brought up the idea of a “Speed Rubio” poster in response to The New York Times’ traffic ticket story. I think that would be an amazing idea.

Go Speed Rubio

Marco Rubio asked ‘dum-dum’ questions by Chris Wallace playing The Great Gazoo

Chris WallaceAnyone who watched The Flintstones growing up remembers The Great Gazoo. He was an annoying green alien who had all sorts of magical powers. He called Fred and Barney “dum-dums” when, in fact, he was usually the dumb one. The media’s recent obsession with asking Republicans if the Iraq War was a “mistake” — as if we all had Gazoo’s ability to travel through time, or that the Iraq we see today was inevitable based solely on one decision — is absurd. It’s infantile. Marco Rubio tried to use logic and reason to bust through Mr. Wallace’s Gazoo skull on Sunday, but failed.

Mediaite reported Sunday:

In perhaps the closest cable news has ever come to a genuine Abbott and Costello bit, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace attempted to get an answer out of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) over whether he would have invaded Iraq, and also who was on first.

Wallace repeatedly asked Rubio whether he would have invaded Iraq knowing what he knows now, and Rubio continued to answer according to the intelligence available in 2002. They went around this loop about half a dozen times.

In short, Mr. Wallace was unable to see the difference between the question “Was it a mistake to invade Iraq in 2003?” and “Would you have invaded Iraq if a little green alien told you beforehand that there were not huge stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s possession?”

Marco Rubio has answered “no” to the first question and “no” to different variations of the second question, but for some reason the media refuses to acknowledge the difference between the two.

What would Iraq have looked like if President Obama had secured a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq? Even former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta has criticized the president for how he handled the draw down and exit of U.S. troops in December, 2011.

What would Iraq look like today if Mr. Obama didn’t treat the Islamic State group — which he called a “J.V. team” in June, 2014 — as a “local” problem? What would Iraq look like if on September 9, 2014 — when Mr. Obama said he didn’t have a strategy for dealing with the Islamic State group — he was actually prepared?

Chain reactionThe point isn’t to put all the blame on Mr. Obama for what Iraq looks like today — the point is to show that the premise of the “Was it a mistake?” question is incredibly flawed. The popular answer is to just say “Yes. It was a mistake, and I would not have invaded Iraq if I was president in 2003,” but that isn’t the answer any serious presidential candidate would give.

Some reasons include:  a.) intelligence work on tyrannical police states is by its very nature based on murky evidence, and b.) no one running for president at this time received the intelligence briefings George W. Bush did (in a post-9/11 world, no less).

To add insult to injury, this is the line of questioning Republicans can expect to receive as long as Jeb Bush hangs around. The media would love nothing more than to talk about George W. Bush from now until election day. It may not be fair, but that is political reality. It is rather selfish for Mr. Bush to run for president when he knows that the media will keep everyone — particularly the Republican Party — mired in the past in order to assist its preferred (Democratic) candidate.

If Marco Rubio wants to win the Republican nomination, then he needs to do a better job swatting down the media’s multitude of Great Gazoos. He survived Chris Wallace’s weird line of questioning, but it was awkward. Let’s hope that he has learned from this experience and comes up with a strategy for navigating future minefields of inane questioning.

Marco Rubio enters 2016 race: There are officially zero reasons to support Jeb Bush

Marco RubioFlorida Senator Marco Rubio has entered the 2016 race for the White House, which means that there are officially no reasons for Republicans to care about anything Jeb Bush has to say. Only people who are fascinated by political dynasties and those who are obsessed with the past will be left in Mr. Bush’s corner, no matter how much of Karl Rove’s money he brings to the table.

The Associated Press reported Monday, April 13:

MIAMI (AP) — Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday took on Hillary Rodham Clinton in his first words as a presidential candidate, telling top donors he is running for the Republican nomination because the 2016 race for the White House should be about the future, not the past.

The first-term Republican from Florida, 43, also told his most generous backers that he feels “uniquely qualified” to pitch his Republican Party as one that will defend the American Dream.

Nothing could send a worse message about the state of American culture than if the 2016 American election was between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. If the Republican Party wants to get trounced (again) this next presidential election, then it will nominate a crusty old white man with the last name “Bush.”

Jeb Bush APIf the Republican Party wants to have any chance at winning, then it will nominate an intelligent, charismatic, conservative man who really is the American Dream personified — who also happens to be good looking. Mr. Rubio also gets bonus points for having tried to work with Senate Democrats on immigration, even though they stabbed him in the back.

If conservatives refuse to cut the guy with Cuban immigrant parents some slack for being the lone adult in the room on immigration reform, then they deserve to lose.

CPAC denies Log Cabin Republicans again; 80 percent friends now 20 percent enemies

The Conservative Political Action Conference will be held Feb. 25th – 28th, and once again the Log Cabin Republicans have been given the cold shoulder. In the world of CPAC organizers, someone who is 80 percent your friend is 20 percent your enemy.

The Huffington Post reported Thursday:

WASHINGTON — The wave of progress on LGBT rights has yet to reach the halls of the unsuitably named Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

For yet another year, the Conservative Political Action Conference will exclude from its list of sponsors the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative group that advocates for gay rights. The conference has increasingly become an exhibition for the movement’s more bombastic characters, but it remains one of the more high-profile conservative events each year, providing a window into the id of the Republican Party at a given moment. Several potential presidential candidates, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), are slated to attend this year’s conference, which will be held next week.

Pro-gay rights conservatives who hoped they’d get to participate in CPAC in a more formal way this year were disappointed when the answer came back from the event’s sponsor, the American Conservative Union.

This blog has been consistent for years when it comes to shutting down debate — it’s a loser. It’s a loser when NPR and other media outlets shut down the comments section of controversial topics, and it’s a loser when conservatives at the ACU find weasel ways to deny the Log Cabin Republicans a voice at CPAC.

If an organization of gay men agrees with me on national defense, fiscal policy, education, and a wide range of social issues — but it disagrees with me on the definition of marriage — it would be incredibly strange for of me to make that group feel unwelcome in my company. Denying the Log Cabin Republicans a sponsorship at CPAC is just as tone deaf as Mitt Romney saying his ideal immigration policy would force Hispanic families to “self deport” (i.e., Maybe if we make your life miserable enough, then you’ll just go back to where you came from).

Note: Jesus didn’t walk away from troubled souls — he walked towards them. Social conservatives shouldn’t fight to exclude a group that agrees with 80 percent of the conservative platform — they should fight to have the booth directly next to them.

It’s a sad day when CPAC will welcome Ron Paul fans who push nightmarish foreign policy ideas into its annual conference, but then kick the Log Cabin Republicans to the curb.