Marco Rubio has been as silent as a Trappist monk lately. He's refused to hold town-hall meetings, declined to criticize Donald Trump's Muslim ban, and wouldn't even join the Republicans calling for Jeff Sessions' recusal from a Russia probe over his lies about meeting Moscow's ambassador.
Regarding Trumpcare, which would leave 24 million Americans without insurance, including millions of his own constituents in Miami, Rubio has effectively said nada.
But don't worry: Marco still has some hot takes to share! In fact, yesterday he was eager to condemn rapper Snoop Dogg's latest video — in which Tha Doggfather tamely fires a novelty gun at a clown who looks like Trump — to a film crew from TMZ:
"Snoop shouldn't have done that," Rubio told the celebrity gossip site. “We’ve had presidents assassinated before in this country, so anything like that, people should really be careful about that kind of thing.”
What a bold stance from Florida's junior senator, and what courage to speak up on such a pressing issue.
Rubio has had a long, friendly relationship with TMZ and has come to a kind of understanding with the site: Its reporters are welcome to ambush him at the airport as long as they ask him for opinions about pop culture. It's been a win-win: The site gets some political headlines, and Rubio gets to look culturally hip on topics like LeBron James and the Oscars.
Their latest tag team made some sense: Snoop was already getting heat in conservative circles for his video with Canadian music group BadBadNotGood, "Lavender." Yes, Snoop points a gun at a Trumpian clown and pulls the trigger so a "bang" banner emerges:
It's a pointed video and a fine piece of pop culture to hold an opinion about.
But Rubio's whole TMZ routine was a lot cuter when the senator wasn't enabling Trump to enact xenophobic legislation and dismantle America's health-care safety net while literally running away from constituents who'd like to talk to their elected official about the plans.
Yesterday the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that 24 million people will lose or drop insurance under Trumpcare. That would disproportionately hurt Miami-Dade, the county with the single most Obamacare enrollees in the nation.
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Yet to date, Rubio has expressed only mild reservations about the bill and noted he expects the House's version to change before it reaches the Senate.
This has become Rubio's go-to game plan in the Trump era: Avoid any tough choices or true pushback against the president while offering mildly interesting sound bites.
That is, unless the question is about pop culture! Then Rubio would be happy to take a real stand.