Beneath the headline “Rubio-Haley new ‘face’ (sic) of Republican Party,” Friday morning’s Post and Courier’s front page displays a photograph of Marco Rubio and Nikki Haley standing on a stage in Spartanburg, SC. A “drop head” right above the photo reads: “Governor’s endorsement amid rumors she could land on GOP ticket shines light on 2 rising stars, may broaden appeal of conservatives.”
I guess the premise is that people hesitant to vote for 21st Century candidates who don’t believe in science will be more likely to vote for 21st Century candidates who don’t believe in science if they’re younger ethic minorities who appear more physically attractive than, say, Mitch McConnell.
I thought it might be interesting, if not instructive, to compare Senator Rubio’s policy positions vis-à-vis Senator McConnell’s. After all, whether or not you accept Darwin’s theory probably has little impact on how you might govern. For all I know, Andrew Jackson believed the earth was flat. Perhaps, we’ll discover more progressive positions that Rubio offers that will appeal to younger voters as the old. white Republican electorate follow Harper Lee and Umberto Eco offstage to that undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.
Let’s start with what I continue to quaintly call global warming.
According to Scientific American’s website, Marco Rubio “believes climate change is happening, but not that it is caused by man.” Here’s a direct quote: “And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.”
Here’s a piece from the USA Today website affiliate Courier Journal on McConnell’s position: “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial board on Thursday that he doesn’t know if climate change is a real problem because he’s ‘not a scientist’ and that he’s more interested in producing cheap energy than worrying about it.”
So, as you can see, Rubio, although not a scientist, does boldly admit that global warming is real whereas McConnell because of his lack of expertise dare not judge.
Nevertheless, they both stand together in their opposition to the Paris Climate accords.
I doubt if these positions are going to get the millennials’ hearts a-thumpin.
Here’s Senator Rubio’s website on his hearty approval of the District of Columbia v. Heller 5-4 ruling on “gun rights.”
The Second Amendment right to bear arms is one of Americans’ most fundamental rights. Indeed, it is a right that reflects our country’s founding values. Opponents of gun rights often maintain that it is outdated, but it is as important as ever, and no one knows that better than America’s law-abiding gun owners. Marco understands the threats facing gun owners in part because he’s a gun-owner himself.
Furthermore, Senator Rubio is dedicated to
- Voting to block the Manchin-Bloomberg expansion of background checks
- Protecting the Second Amendment rights of veterans and their families
- Standing against any federal attempt to ban commonly owned sporting rifles and standard capacity magazines
- Pushing to make concealed-carry permits function like drivers’ licenses, so gun owners’ constitutional rights don’t end at state lines
- Opposing U.S. involvement in the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty
- Working to expand opportunities for sportsmen on federal lands
- Fighting to defund the Department of Justice’s radical “Operation Choke Point” and other federal attacks on law-abiding gun manufacturers and dealers
- Pushing to bring fundamental Second Amendment rights back to D.C. residents
Okay, let’s see if we can come up with some nuanced differences from Senator McConnell.
Darn tooting we can. Here’s what the ultra “conservative” Madison Project has to say about Senator McConnell’s record on guns:
“Here is a sampling of some of McConnell’s shortcomings on gun rights issues:”
- Voted against Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Amendment to block authority under Patriot Act to obtain gun records [RC #82, 5/26/11]
- Voted for an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) prohibiting the sale or transfer of handguns by a licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer unless a secure gun storage or safety device is provided for each handgun. 25 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against it. [RC #17, 02/26/04]
- Voted for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) amendment to spend taxpayer funds for Department of Education grants used to disseminate a gun control agenda in schools and through public service announcements. [RC #32, 03/02/00]
- Voted for Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) Amendment requiring that all guns be sold with trigger locks [RC#122, 5/18/99] Voted for the 1991 Crime Bill (S. 1241), sponsored by then Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), that imposed a waiting period for handguns and a ban on 14 types of assault style weapons. [RC #125, 07/11/91]
- Senator McConnell cut a deal with the Democrats to allow all of Obama’s second term nominees to sail through the Senate. Included in that deal was the confirmation of anti-gun zealot Todd Jones to serve as Director of the ATF.
Despite this apostasy, “The NRA endorsed him anyway, and his relations with that influential group have continued to be good.”
At any rate, it would appear that Mitch McConnell is softer on guns than Marco Rubio.
According to his website, Senator Rubio is for simplifying the tax code and slashing income taxes:
- Cuts taxes, letting taxpayers keep more of their own money instead of sending it to Washington.
- Dramatically simplifies the tax code by eliminating all itemized deductions and tax “extenders.”
- Under Marco’s tax reform plan, the charitable-contribution deduction and a reformed mortgage interest deduction would be available to all taxpayers.
- Creates a new $2,000 (individual) / $4,000 (married filing jointly) refundable personal tax credit in place of the standard deduction: Credit phases out beginning above $150,000 (individual) / $300,000 (married filing jointly) and would be unavailable to taxpayers with an annual income in excess of $200,000 (individual) / $400,000 (married filing jointly).
- Eliminates the Marriage Penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
- Consolidates the maze of higher education tax incentives into a single, $2,500 universal tax credit for the first four years of post-secondary education and costs related to eligible job skill training. The credit phases out between 400 – 500 percent above the Federal Poverty Level (roughly $97,000 – $121,250 for a family of four).
- Addresses the tax treatment of health care as part of a comprehensive effort to repeal and replace Obamacare with consumer-centered reforms. The plan repeals all 21 Obamacare taxes.
McConnell’s votes on taxes.
- Comprehensive tax reform can work if it’s revenue-neutral. (Jul 2013)
- 1977 AdWatch: Horse Sense understands when tax cuts are real. (Sep 2010)
- Resolve to lower capital gains taxes. (Aug 2008)
- Voted NO on increasing tax rate for people earning over $1 million. (Mar 2008)
- Voted YES on allowing AMT reduction without budget offset. (Mar 2008)
- Voted YES on raising the Death Tax exemption to $5M from $1M. (Feb 2008)
- Voted YES on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. (Mar 2007)
- Voted YES on raising estate tax exemption to $5 million. (Mar 2007)
- Voted YES on supporting permanence of estate tax cuts. (Aug 2006)
- Voted YES on permanently repealing the `death tax`. (Jun 2006)
- Voted NO on $47B for military by repealing capital gains tax cut. (Feb 2006)
- Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Feb 2006)
- Voted YES on extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. (Nov 2005)
- Voted YES on $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. (May 2003)
- Voted NO on reducing marriage penalty instead of cutting top tax rates. (May 2001)
- Voted NO on increasing tax deductions for college tuition. (May 2001)
- Voted YES on eliminating the ‘marriage penalty’. (Jul 2000)
- Voted YES on across-the-board spending cut. (Oct 1999)
- Voted YES on requiring super-majority for raising taxes. (Apr 1998)
- Rated 76% by NTU, indicating a “Taxpayer’s Friend” on tax votes. (Dec 2003)
- Rated 0% by the CTJ, indicating opposition to progressive taxation. (Dec 2006)
- Taxpayer Protection Pledge: no new taxes. (Aug 2010)
- Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. (Jan 2012)
Yawn. Both favor slashing taxes for the wealthiest taxpayers, which, if you believe in history and math, doesn’t stimulate the economy but leads to massive deficits.
Let’s transition to something less bloodless. Social issues.
In the first Fox debate Senator Rubio seemed to suggest that he doesn’t favor any exemptions for abortion, including, incest, rape, or the health of the mother.
Kelly: “You favor a rape and incest exception to abortion bans. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York just said yesterday those exceptions are preposterous. He said they discriminate against an entire class of human beings. If you believe that life begins at conception, as you say you do, how do you justify ending a life just because it begins violently, through no fault of the baby?”
Rubio: “Well, Megyn, first of all, I’m not sure that that’s a correct assessment of my record. I would go on to add that I believe all –”
Kelly: “You don’t favor a rape and incest exception?”
Rubio: “I have never said that. And I have never advocated that. What I have advocated is that we pass a law in this country that says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection. In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States.”
However, more recently, he’s been walking back from that rather draconian view. Here’s what his website has to say.
Protecting life [except for capital punishment] defines who we want to be as a society. All life [except for those on death row] is worthy of protection, and all life enjoys God’s love.
Marco believes that Roe v. Wade was not only morally wrong, but it was a poorly decided legal precedent and should be overturned.
Marco has a record of supporting pro-life policies [like capital punishment], and will continue to do so in public and private life.
Marco believes that as a nation we must always come down on the side of life [except in cases of capital punishment]. We must speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.
Can you guess McConnell’s views on abortion?
That’s right; he’s against abortion, as evidenced by his spearheading the 20 week ban in the Senate, but but does allow exceptions for the life of the mother.
So once again, it appears that Marco Rubio is to the right of Mitch McConnell.
Even though their dire predictions about how the Affordable Care Act would wreak havoc to healthcare and the economy has proven patently false, both continue to advocate its abolishment.
Marco wants a “market-driven” alternative.
They hate it!!!
They love him!!!!
Marco, the son of immigrants himself and despite his being a one-time member of the Gang of Eight, is essentially anti-immigration and especially against détente with Cuba.
Mitch wins this battle. He was not a member of the Gang of Eight.
Essentially, there’s not much difference between Rubio and McConnell – except that McConnell’s attendance is much, much superior to Marco Rubio’s, whose chronic truancy dates back to his days as a Florida legislator.
So, to return to the Post and Courier’s headline’s, what about him might broaden Conservative’s appeal to younger voters? His Latin good looks?
I doubt it. Here’s the cat all the young voters are swooning over.