Rubio’s rhetoric: Right or wrong?

Marco Rubio has taken a lot of flack from conservatives for pressing Senate Bill 744, the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform.  I have not been thoroughly apprised of the controversy’s details, nor do I especially wish to study a lengthy draft of legislation at this point.  I am curious though, as to how fellow my conservatives respond to the point of this ad that I saw while watching FOX New Sunday yesterday morning:


The outset of the ad is a powerful rhetorical turning of the tables.  We hear Senator Rubio say in a speech delivered April 20, “”Our current immigration system is a disaster.  What we have now is de facto amnesty.”

It’s hard to disagree with this.  The question for Rubio’s critics becomes, what is the better alternative to taking bipartisan action now?  Will there be some GOP tidal wave sweep of Congress in 2014, that will so shock President Obama as to paralyze him, rendering him incapable of vetoing their plan?  Will Congressional Republicans win the pubic opinion war if they are seen once again as obstinate bill scuttlers? Why should we live with the status quo, letting the perfect become the enemy of the good?

Conservatives should pride themselves for living in the real world.  President Obama is desperate for some sort of second term achievement.  Republicans have decent leverage with this incarnation of immigration reform.  It’s  the best opportunity to start fixing the “disaster.”  If we grandstand and fail to work out a politically practical solution, we’ll be subject to the old refrain: “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it.”


About Lewis W
I earned an M.A. in Christian apologetics at Biola University, and occasionally write on ethics, truth, science and politics.

3 Responses to Rubio’s rhetoric: Right or wrong?

  1. Grady says:

    While I’m sure I wouldn’t agree on every aspect of the bill (haven’t looked into it in detail), I have to say that I think Rubio is the best thing the Republican party has going for it right now, despite the party leadership initially opposing him. I’ve heard him speak and seen enough from him to know he’s one of the few men of character, substance, and principles that we currently have in Congress, so while I disagree with him on some issues, I’m willing to fully support him and his decisions until the day I see him turn from those principles.

    It’s not blind support, as you can definitely critique individual decisions, but at least if you know the person shares your principles and will not easily turn from them, you can trust that they’ll make the best decisions they can, according to their beliefs, to follow those principles. Oddly enough, I’d use Joe Lieberman as an example. I disagreed with the man most of the time on how to achieve a certain end, but I at least knew that he, too, was a man of character who shared many of my ideals.

    I guess that’s a long way of saying that, until I take the time to analyze the legislation for myself, I’ll trust Rubio to lead in the right direction.

    • Yes, hopefully we will see his commitment to negotiation that will make the bill acceptable to both sides, and pass. That’s a tall order!

      How do you think Rand Paul compares with Rubio? His drone filibuster, speech at a historically black university, and State of the Union response have elevated him among different Conservative circles. He seems to know what he’s saying, even to the national security wing that he would most readily be at odds with.

      • Grady says:

        I generally like Rand Paul, but I’m also cautious of him. He is usally well spoken, but he’s also said things whenever Ron Paul enters into the conversation that don’t appear to be nearly as well thought out. He seems to be very solid on some ideas while potentially swayable on other issues, if approached by the right people. I know this is just my perception of him, but I see him as someone well grounded in specific foundational ideas that don’t always translate into clear decisions.

        Rubio, on the other hand, has the foundational ideas, but he also appears to have a solid vision of what America should be to be the most prosperous and free, and that vision guides his decisions when the foundational ideas don’t align specifically with one side or the other. I also see Rubio leading a bit like Reagan did, with a masterful way of articulating his vision and getting others excited about the possibilities. He’s able to talk about the greatness of this nation extemporaneously better than any president in my lifetime, excepting Reagan, being able to do with a prepared speech.

        Rand is a solid, rare politician while Rubio, even with his faults, is a unique, once-in-a-generation kind of politician.

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