Now that the pressure is off him, his presidential run having gone up in flames, Marco Rubio is more relaxed and the experts at POLITICO Caucus believe he won the debate in Miami. Of course, these activists, strategists, and operatives have far less knowledge of what base voters want to hear than what they themselves want want to hear.
But Rubio always has been on his game of grandstanding. Thursday night was no exception when he remarked
I'll tell you what the good deal now, it's already codified. Here's a good deal -- Cuba has free elections, Cuba stops putting people in jail for speaking out, Cuba has freedom of the press, Cuba kicks out the Russians from Lourdes (ph) and kicks out the Chinese listening station in Berupal (ph) Cuba stops helping North Korea evade U.N. sanctions, Cuba takes all of those fugitives of America justice, including that cop killer from New Jersey, and send her back to the United States and to jail where she belongs. And you know what? Then we can have a relationship with Cuba. That's a good deal.
If each of those things really is necessary, we would have to reassess diplomatic relations with a few significant nations..
We never would have to have a relationship with a nation whose government treats its female citizens "like children" who cannot travel, work, or leave their home without permission from a man, and cannot drive; which bans all public gatherings, violation of which subjects the individual to imprisonment; denies access to independent human rights organizations and prersecutes individuals who contact Amnesty International; which has jailed an individual who has used Twitter to criticize its Ministry of Justice; imprisoned and beaten a blogger who has questioned religious authorities; and which discriminates against a religious minority in access to government services and employment.
Our nation never would establish diplomatic relations with that nation or publicly support placing it in charge of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.
We wouldn't, that is, unless that nation is Saudi Arabia, which still hasn't explained its likely involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
That part about Saudi Arabia being a theocracy probably appeals to Senator Rubio. Still, if the conditions he sets down for Cuba were applied generally, the USA would have to end diplomatic relationships with dozens of countries. Denunciation of Havana is safe politics, especially in the absence of an acknowledgement that the regime has been propped up for a long time by the remittances sent to Cubans from relatives in south Florida.
Rubio's performance in the debate was designed to convince the media and the GOP establishment that, whatever the size of his genitals, he is the serious, thoughtful, and knowledgeable government official they once thought he was. He may have conned them, but he is still a big bag of feathers.
Release the 28 pages!