Florida Senator Marco Rubio is terribly predictable.
He may never become U.S. president, but he’s got the poker face necessary for the role of top Commie watchman for the Republican Party.
And he has someone new in his political peephole.
From the moment popular congresswoman Val Demings, Orlando’s first female police chief, declared her candidacy for his seat, instantly becoming the front-runner to win the Democratic primary, Rubio began to build a case that she’s, in his words, “a far-left liberal Democrat.”
Truth, of course, doesn’t matter to Rubio, or his party.
This is a woman whose career — and family life — has been tied to law enforcement for the past 30 years, and who is so respected that she was on centrist Joe Biden’s short list of vice-presidential candidates.
Yet, setting the stage to smear Demings before Hispanic voters who see U.S. politics through the prism of homeland experiences, Rubio ranted on a video pinned at the top of his Twitter account that Demings votes in Congress with “the Marxist squad” and “the socialist [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi.”
Oh, so many red-baiting words, so many big little lies sprinkled into the short video.
For starters, it’s tough to do those two things he alleges at the same time when Pelosi is often sidelining, in a state of annoyance, the so-called “squad” of four left-of-center congresswomen, which doesn’t include Demings.
She has zero to do with the whole squad thing.
But what Demings has done is rise through dogged work and competence, becoming one of the impeachment managers at former President Donald Trump’s landmark impeachment trial on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. And Rubio, who constantly covered up and justified all of Trump’s unprecedented abuses of the office, twice voted against impeachment.
Yes, Demings — born in a two-room wooden Jacksonville house, the youngest of the seven children of a maid and a janitor — is a formidable opponent.
And that’s why this week Rubio has continued to fire away at the fear-mongering.
Now that he’s potentially facing a challenge from a strong Black woman with a remarkable story, Rubio throws out there the preposterous claim that the identity politics that got him elected in the first place are Marxism.
“Marxism divides people into either oppressors or victims, calls for the overthrow an ‘evil’ system & then seizes complete power in the name of ‘fairness,’ he wrote on Twitter. “The old Marxism used class warfare to divide people. The new Marxism uses identity politics. But the goal is the same.” (Note: The periods between sentences are all mine. He doesn’t use them.)
So says a man who rose in politics in Miami crafting the story that he was the son of Cuban exiles — a false one at that. His parents were economic immigrants who came to the United States years before Fidel Castro rose to power.
So says a man who at election time and beyond constantly plays to the suffering of true Cuban exiles who left all they loved behind to gain political advantage over his opponents.
Identity politics in Miami
Marco Rubio wants voters to forget the “vota cubano” campaigns — vote Cuban — that helped him and so many other Cuban Americans win local and state office at a time when mainstream Anglo Miami deeply resented the economic and political rise of Cubans.
What a hypocrite.
Cubans are masters at playing identity politics.
We created our own brand and perfected it in Miami.
And now it’s a feature of Marxism?
Laughable — and dangerous for voters in a state in desperate need of better representation in Washington, D.C., when it comes to real life-or-death issues like access to federal healthcare dollars that are going elsewhere in the country, thanks to people like Rubio, Sen. Rick Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis.
All three have jumped on the Miami-birthed, GOP-adopted bandwagon of calling opponents socialists and communists to avoid debate on life-saving, safety-net issues on which, polls show, voters stand with Democrats.
Florida isn’t in any danger of ever turning Marxist, but it’s in grave danger of losing its collective mind from the constant barrage of extreme right-wing propaganda. The more preposterous the lie, the easier it gets to repeat it — and to get voters to believe it, or to want to believe it in order to justify a vote based on prejudice.
Joseph McCarthy is a baby-faced neophyte next to Marco Rubio.
But his red smear against Demings, however amplified, is a predictable lie.
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