Remember all the build-up around the Facebook IPO? Investors wondered when it would happen and how they could get in on it. People were scrambling to be part of the action. Then, it happened, and it flopped. Marco Rubio is fast turning into the Facebook IPO of the United States Senate. There was hype, there was hope, there was sizzle…but there’s been no steak.
In his first year in the Senate, Marco Rubio did … what exactly? He was sworn in on Jan. 3, 2011, and didn’t even deliver his first Senate floor speech until June 14. Conversely, Rand Paul and Mike Lee joined the Senate on the same day, hit the ground running and haven’t stopped running since.
Not everyone has to be Paul or Lee, and we can argue their success (but not their impact). But as a senator, Marco Rubio hasn’t lived up to half the hype. The proclaimed “savior of the conservative movement” is in the midst of selling it out for a handful of empty promises and feel-good platitudes.
The face for the “Gang of 8” senators on “comprehensive immigration reform” has done more spinning than a top lately and seems dangerously unfamiliar with the legislation. He has said areas of the bill, written by Democrats led by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., needs improvement, but almost nothing he’s said about it is accurate.
A good friend of mine, a high-ranking Republican aide in the Senate, told me a popular joke on Capitol Hill is that Sen. Schumer let Rubio write the talking points while his staff wrote the bill. It would be funny were it not proving so accurate.
Rubio told Hugh Hewett, “A lot of Republicans want to be supportive of something, but need to be able to go back home and tell people that they have taken serious steps to make sure this never happens again.” But therein lies the rub.
Former Attorney General Edwin Meese, who was there the last time we granted blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants in 1986, notes that amnesty was not automatic then, just as the “Gang of 8” claims it is not automatic now. He writes, “Immigrants had to satisfy various requirements along the way. They had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible.”
If that sounds familiar that’s because it nearly identical to what we’re being promised this time around…only this time it’s for real! By the way, want to buy a bridge?
As Meese puts it, “The ’86 reform bill also had supposedly “rigorous” border security and immigration law enforcement provisions. So how did that pan out? On the day Reagan signed “comprehensive” reform into law, only one thing changed: Millions of unlawful immigrants gained “legal” status. The promised crackdowns on security and enforcement never happened. Only amnesty prevailed.”
Rubio has admitted amnesty comes first. And, as is the case with everything government does, if something isn’t delivered right away it ain’t coming.
This rush to “do something” is more a rush to do what Democrats want rather than what’s best for the country.
There is broad bipartisan agreement on several points. Our immigration system must be streamlined. We need to increase the number of high-skilled H1B Visas and strengthen the border. But, for some reason, Rubio isn’t pushing for – and Democrats won’t vote to pass – these provisions without the inclusion of amnesty and eventual citizenship for all illegal immigrants. They all agree these points are in the best interests of the nation, but Democrats won’t even allow a vote on them individually without amnesty being a part of the package.
They do this because they know there are millions of new Democrat voters at the end of this rainbow. Democrats are, in essence, refusing to pass provisions they admit will strengthen the nation simply to increase their hold on power.
But more shocking than that is the fact Marco Rubio is standing with them.
And even more shocking than that is the lack of Rubio or any member of the “Gang” from either party asking the most important question of all – Is this bill actually good for America?
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., took to the floor of the Senate and asked some of the most important questions that, sadly, have not been asked by “Gang” members or the mainstream media. Sessions asked, “Will it help the millions of middle-class working Americans who need jobs, need pay raises, need to be able to have health care and retirement benefits?”
It might seem shocking that a senator who has been touting “comprehensive” reform with amnesty at its heart hasn’t addressed this most important question, but Rubio hasn’t.
Sen. Sessions asked, “Has anybody considered that if we bring in more people than the economy can absorb, this will create unemployment, place people on welfare and dependency, deny men and women the ability to produce an income sufficient to take care of their families, make them dependent on the State because we simply don’t have enough jobs?”
Thank God Jeff Sessions is there to ask that question, because Marco Rubio hasn’t.
Democrats have. And they know the answer. They know that at the end of this process lie millions of new Democrat voters and millions more Americans dependent upon government. That is why they’re holding hostage important reforms majorities agree on.
It’s not too late. Rubio is key. He has said continually he’d walk away from this bill if it can’t deliver on the promises he has made on its behalf. It won’t, but he’s yet to walk. If he does, “comprehensive” action is done, and we would stand a chance to get the good without the bad. If he doesn’t, if he continues with his inability to recognize or unwillingness to acknowledge reality, we are witnessing the end of a promising and much-hyped career that was aiming for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. but will end up being ranked with the Facebook IPO and “New Coke” as history’s greatest also-rans.
The choice is his.
Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.