Marco Rubio is less a U.S. senator than a wide-eyed college freshman, lost in the gleaming halls of his institution, deeply curious but frankly very confused and a little frightened by his ignorance.
Sure, the people of Florida elected him based on his promise to serve as a brake on Donald Trump's wildest plans, but now that he's back in the Senate, it's becoming clear he's not there to make bold pronouncements or to vote against any of Trump's plans. He's on a journey of discovery, man, just trying to get a deeper understanding of the universe.
Take, for instance, Trump's executive order banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries, a move that sparked widespread chaos and outrage around the globe over the weekend. The order was many things: abhorrent, anti-American, unconstitutional. But it certainly was not confusing.
The religious motivation was so clear that a federal judge quickly put an emergency stay on it. It was so clear that conservative senators such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham joined a half-dozen other GOP senators in condemning it. It was so clear that tens of thousands of protesters joined pro bono attorneys at airports around the nation to fight it all weekend.
But poor Marco Rubio finds himself too confused to take a stand. After a weekend of outrage and chaos, Rubio finally weighed in on the order late last night on Facebook by essentially declining to say whether he thinks it's OK to religiously discriminate against travelers coming to the United States. He admits he's "uneasy" about the plan but needs more information before he can risk having an actual opinion about it.
"Given the broad scope and nature of these policy changes, we have some unanswered questions and concerns," Rubio writes in a joint statement with fellow Republican Sen. Tim Scott. "We are seeking clarity on the changes to the Visa Waiver program."
Yes, if only there were some clarity about what was happening, then Rubio would be prepared to take a stand on whether it's OK to forbid legal permanent residents and green-card-holders from entering the States based only on their religion and place of birth. Could anyone help poor Marco with this?
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While we're at it, if there are any scientists willing to explain global warming to him, please help him on his four-year quest for answers to that exceedingly complex question.
Here's Rubio's full co-statement on Trump's executive order:
After reviewing the recent Executive Orders, it is clear to us that some of what is being said and reported about the scope and implications of these measures is misleading. However, it is also clear that the manner in which these measures were crafted and implemented have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the last few days.
We generally support additional vetting for many of those entering our country from nations where the United States has identified there are serious concerns regarding terrorist activities and planning. But given the broad scope and nature of these policy changes, we have some unanswered questions and concerns.
We are seeking clarity on the changes to the Visa Waiver program, which is critical to the economies of our respective states.
And we are uneasy about the potential impact of these measures on our military and our diplomatic personnel abroad, as well as those who put their lives on the line to work with us.
We are both committed to doing what we must to keep America safe. We are equally committed to the defense of religious liberty and our tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution. Like so many Americans, we are both guided by our belief that when we stand before our Creator to face judgment, He will say that “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."
That is why we intend to do all we can to both keep America safe, and keep America special.
Someone help Marco.