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Conservatives have gotten to the point where they are because they keep trying to out-crazy each other.

The latest example is how, probably in preparation for a 2016 presidential run, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has decided to go all free-capitalist libertarian against his fellow contenders.

That's all well and good for Rubio to try to go as far extreme as he can possible go to try to win the Republican nomination. Unfortunately, as usual, Rubio, like his recent Republican predecessors seeking the presidential nomination, he hasn't exactly...thought out his position fully (to say the least).

Jed Lewison, one of my favorite dailykos writers, had a diary last week about how Rubio recently told CBS News that he opposes minimum wage laws. Here's the link to Jed's diary (hint, they don't get to the minimum wage issue until about three minutes into the interview):

Say what?

That may sound like just another typical Republican falsely trying to position themselves by pandering to the most extreme crackpots in their party, but, as usual, they are going about it by shooting themselves in the foot in doing so.

We're not just talking about opposing an increase in the minimum wage, like most Republicans (because, they claim, it's a "job killer”). This is dramatically different. In fact, it would be interesting to see who the last Republican presidential nominee was who said that they opposed ANY minimum wage.

Lets assume that Rubio does, in fact, win the nomination of those Grand Old Prostitutes in 2016. Just imagine the following scenario:

-At the Democratic convention, the party features speaker after speaker who work for the minimum wage. Each one of them is blunt: If they did not earn at least the minimum wage, they would have to be completely on government and other assistance.

-The Democratic nominee runs an ongoing series of ads focusing on Rubio's ongoing support for tax cuts for the rich...while wanting to eliminate the minimum wage for this country's lowest-paid workers. It features actual...arithmetic...showing exactly how much money a minimum wage worker would receive in a year. It features a single woman with a couple of children who works for the minimum wage. It calculates how much additional government assistance this person would be eligible for if she didn't receive even the current minimum wage. It shows workers in third-world countries toiling in horrible working conditions for 50 cents a day. And, perhaps, it might be appropriate to show a brief, 15 minute documentary at the Democratic national convention regarding the history about how a minimum wage came to be, including child slave labor and all.

So what? Is this a big deal? Or, more precisely, is this any bigger of a deal than any other crazy idea Republican presidential candidates and nominees have said in recent years?

To my way of thinking, the answer is, clearly, yes.

Not only poor people, but the working poor people of this country and most middle class workers in this country know that without requiring employers to pay a minimum wage, a lot of already poor folks would be even poorer.

To the best of my knowledge, there are very few people in this country who actually want to eliminate the minimum wage altogether. This matter shows how extraordinarily and extremely out of touch Rubio is with the vast majority of Americans.

It also demonstrates, once again, that when it comes to choosing whether to support, represent and govern on behalf of average, everyday working Americans or billionaires and millionaires, who control two percent of all American wealth, Rubio will always come down on the side of...billionaires.

This is not just a huge issue regarding fairness. It's a huge issue as far as credibility and trust. Up against any Democratic nominee, this clearly shows that Rubio is not on the side of working Americans, but rather that he's on the side of those who give him and his political party massive amounts of money. And because of that, this is also a campaign finance reform issue.

In short, by straying so far away from today's mainstream political opinion and stating publicly that he is against a minimum wage of any sort, Marco Rubio may have  virtually eliminated himself as a future president, even though he he might have helped to get himself closer to obtaining the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

In my opinion it wasn't Rubio's atrociously horrid performance with his response to the President's 2013 State of the Union message that will be his political undoing. It will be his exremist position of opposing any sort of minimum wage in this country.

While having an argument about whether increasing the minimum wage will help or hurt people and the economy is one thing, it seems to me that a full-throated debate on the merits of having a minimum wage at not a debate Republicans want to have.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, it wouldn't help in the general at all (8+ / 0-)

    but it could help him in the primary. If you want to compete in the Republican primary you have to win a lot of wingnut votes. So he could potentially win the primary and then back away from it after July. It is unlikely to be a central part of the debate in 2016 anyway.

    Plus, so much in an election depends on who your opponent is. If Hillary runs and wins the Democratic nomination I think the Rs are going to have a tough time no matter who they put up. On the other hand, if we have a relatively weak nominee (say a Mike Dukakis of 2016, whoever that might be), then who knows what might happen.

    So no, I don't think almost anything being said in early 2013 is going to eliminate someone from winning an election in late 2016.

  •  Rubio's best bet was VP anyway (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, mindara, Witgren

    And that's a long shot. But Rubio may have blown his VP shot also.

    I am positive that the GOP will not ever nominate anyone for President who is not an older white man. Romney stretched it just by being a Mormon, and they really didn't like him or want to vote for him.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

    by jbeach on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:45:38 PM PST

  •  Who said he had a chance in the first place? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, wdrath, mindara, Catte Nappe

    It seems his qualification was he was Hispanic.

    Unless the party becomes more moderate, expect Rand Paul and the like to be in the lead.

    "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

    by statsone on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:45:56 PM PST

  •  Rubio didn't say he opposes minimum wage laws (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, Catte Nappe

    What he said was "I don't think minimum wage laws work".  You can interpret that many ways, but he didn't say "I oppose minimum wage laws". There are many Republicans who don't think minimum wage laws work, or are economically justified in a free market economy, but accept them as a public policy that isn't going away. The Republicans just try to keep the minimum wage below the market rate for labor, and therefore neuter it's effect, without opposing the concept of a minimum wage in public which would be politically damaging.

    Regarding Rubio he is young and will have many chances to run for POTUS at some point beyond 2016. Rubio is in an awkward spot because his Senate term is also up in 2016.  

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:49:42 PM PST

    • is subject to interpretation... (0+ / 0-)

      ...but it seems to me that if you say that you don't think minimum wage laws are opposed to them, because...why would you support something that you think doesn't work?

      It seems to me that this issue will be problemmatic for Rubio (unless, of course, he backtracks as says something more like what you're talking about...that he questions whether these work, but doesn't oppose them (which sounds a me))

      •  wdrath - I don't agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There are many programs, and public polices, that politicians don't think work well or are inefficient but are such a part of the social fabric that politicians support them. My guess is that Rubio thinks that the minimum wage isn't needed, but would never propose ending them because they are institutionalized and aren't going away. What Rubio will do is never vote to raise the minimum wage, but will never say he opposes them.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:15:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm all for that. Just think how much cheaper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, Losty

    the pizza from Papa John's would be (excuse me while I retch for a bit).

    As long as teabaggers call the shots in the republican party, there is almost no limit to how low one can go with this fucking rhetoric.  But come the general election, unless we have a turnout problem, a Rubio candidacy will be toast (fingers crossed).

    Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. Carl Sagan

    by sjburnman on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:50:22 PM PST

  •  He's not white enough nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The only thing Republicans will be creating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, a2nite

    is nominees. The Presidency is now more or less out of reach. I think also that Rubio's lousy SOTU counter was the thing that really sank him. He's just another Bobby Jindal as Jon Stewart pointed out. Rubio tried to laugh it off, but the public is used to bad auditions. That's what American Idol is for, after all. Rubio flunked the audition. He's out.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:57:17 PM PST

  •  2024 isn't so far away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    he's a young guy

  •  (L-e-w-i-s-o-n) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot

    by paulitics on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:59:17 PM PST

  •  But they're still counting on the fact that he's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, Losty

    Hispanic, however, there's a huge difference between being Cuban and being Mexican or Dominican or El Salvadoran....Republicans are never going to get that very huge, very unbreachable divide because all they care about are having "tokens" in their party.

    "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

    by mindara on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:23:06 PM PST

  •  Well, these are Republicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, a2nite, Losty

    Mitt Romney stated that on his visit to a factory in China that had crummy living conditions for the workers, the factory owner told him that the barbed-wire fencing was to keep OUT all those people who would otherwise sneak in and pretend to work there....and Romeny BELIEVED him!

    I do remember Michelle 'Crazy Eyes' Bachmann saying that we could fix unemployment overnight if we just eliminated the minimum wage. Didn't go into the details on how that would work, but you can figure it out.

    And the whole 'screw the workers' campaign strategy worked so well in 2012.

    I say, lets encourage them.

    "Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

    by Annie B on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:29:39 PM PST

  •  Rubio was never going to be a candidate, he's just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, a2nite

    a convenient and obedient follower of the master. Rubio is essentially done. I was surprised that Republicans picked Rubio for SOTU response since he has pretty much lost his usefulness for Republicans (especially after more Cuban-Americans voted for the Democratic presidential candidate than for the Republican one - the first time ever!) and I expect he will be getting the Colin Powell treatment any day now.

    How do Republicans keep finding Blacks, women, Hispanics and many other "undesirables" (to them at least) willing to do their bidding - until they are no longer useful and get more than dumped, usually excoriated and debased.

    How do they keep finding people that are not just willing to serve the master, but ready to be excoriated and humiliated by the master?

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:34:09 PM PST

    •  Conservative affirmative action program.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wdrath, DefendOurConstitution

      as long as you say what old bitter White people want to hear the conservative affirmative action program is great if you're a lightweight mediocre who happens to be a person of color, case in point: Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindel, Tim Scott, and of course Marco Rubio.

  •  there's a lot of money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, a2nite

    floating around in Republican circles.

  •  never say never (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, a2nite

    Republicans have done much summer things

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:42:48 PM PST

  •  George W. Bush got elected. Twice. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I will not put ANYTHING past this country after that.

    •  he served two terms... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      am not sure he was actually ever elected by the People of the United States...had all of the votes been 2000, all evidence shows that Bush actually lost that election.

      Similarly...if it weren't for a lot of Republican shenanigans to disenfranchise as many voters as possible in Ohio in 2004...and if everyone who actually wanted to vote there were able to do not sure George Walker Bush actually was elected by the People of the United States that year, either.

      Having said that, you're right...George Walker Bush served as president for two apparently, anything's possible.

    •  Right, and that is actually the GOPs downfall (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans think voters have amnesia. I heard SE Cupp the other day say for example say that the GOP should take up the banner of advocacy for the poor, since because poverty has gone up during Obama's presidency it's his fault. No one who lived through the Bush years would ever take such a thing seriously. (They also think voters are stupid, who can be convinced that Paul Ryan's greatest wish of savaging anti-poverty programs in some Ayn Rand wet dream makes him an advocate for the poor, but I digress.)

      Their refusal to have their reckoning with the Bush years and insistence that they must simply come up with better ways to sell policies associated with Bush will continue to work to their detriment and our advantage for as long as the people who were old enough to be paying attention during Bush's second term in particular are still around to vote.

      Remember also that Bush got reelected because gay married terrorists. Remember that base baiting anti-marriage equality amendment business? We've changed a lot since then as a country, and I'd say his second term was as much a catalyst for that as anything.

  •  He never had a chance at being prez (0+ / 0-)

    BUT the longer his party continues to delude itself into thinking otherwise the better off we'll be.

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