Monday, January 23, 2017

"Little Marco" Comes Up Small

In a Facebook post this morning, Florida Senator Marco Rubio commended Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, but noted Tillerson

did not condemn Russia’s repeated violations of the Minsk II agreement. While he condemned Russia for ‘supporting Syrian forces that brutally violate the laws of war,’ he refused to publicly acknowledge that Vladimir Putin has committed war crimes. Despite his extensive experience in Russia and his personal relationship with many of its leaders, he claimed he did not have sufficient information to determine whether Putin and his cronies were responsible for ordering the murder of countless dissidents, journalists, and political opponents. He indicated he would support sanctions on Putin for meddling in our elections only if they met the impossible condition that they not affect U.S. businesses operating in Russia. While he stated that the ‘status quo’ should be maintained for now on sanctions put in place following Putin’s illegal taking of Crimea, he was unwilling to firmly commit to maintaining them so long as Russia continues to occupy Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Human rights violations in China, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia are well documented in the latest annual Human Rights Report produced by the State Department, but Mr. Tillerson testified he ‘would need to have greater information’ before acknowledging them, and said he would not rely on ‘what I read in the papers.’ Identifying certain actions as human rights violations is an integral part of the secretary of state’s job, but Mr. Tillerson implied that speaking out on human rights would hinder his ability to do his job as the nation’s chief diplomat.

After that bill of particulars, Rubio- who was considered by Democrats the lone Republican who might vote in the Foreign Relations Committee against the nominee- remarked "despite my reservations, I will support Mr. Tillerson’s nomination in committee and in the full Senate."

Rubio was the last holdout against a unified front of committee Republicans planning to vote for Tillerson.  However, among left-leaning bloggers and activists, there was little or no hope that Rubio would buck his Party.  Like virtually every GOP politician, the man who was patronizingly mocked by Donald Trump in  "don't worry about it, little Marco." is now all-in for Vladimir Putin's guy.

In his unsuccessful bid to unseat the Senator, Democrat Patrick Murphy stated "Marco Rubio stands for nothing but his own pursuit of power."  Little did he know that would turn out to be borderline generous.

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