“Think about that for a minute,” the New York Times’, Jeremy Peters said. “This guy was the great hope for the tea party. He was the tea party senator. And now he’s being booed at their rallies?”
Yep, Marco Rubio who sailed into the Senate in 2010 with the feverish backing of the Tea Party is now persona non grata with what can only be called his former base. The cause of this disenchantment? Well it’s the Gang of 8 immigration reform bill that Rubio has become the face of. In his effort to save the Republican Party from a future demographic hell where the largest growing minority population in the country will continue to vote heavily for democrats due to GOP race baiting, Rubio has been thanked for his efforts by being booed and referred to as a RINO.
Oh, it’s hard out there for an out of step Right Winger. Arguably, Rubio has shown some measure of courage in taking this effort on. He’s smart enough to understand the math and realize that if the GOP keeps losing Hispanics by 70-30 margins, the Republican Party not only will have a near impossible time in national elections, but more and more in state and local elections as well. Unfortunately for Rubio, common sense has never been a bellwether concern for the Tea Party. To avoid the issue is short-term electoral difficulty, but long-term electoral suicide. It’s not that Latinos and Hispanics are single issue voters. On the contrary, they care as much about the economy and issues like health care (where they are very pro-Obamacare) as well. It’s just that you can’t keep telling an entire group of people that “we don’t like you” and think that you can ever win them over. And that is exactly what the Republican Party is doing.
In truth, the battle is probably already been lost and at this point can at best be mitigated. But mitigated it must be if the GOP wants to remain a viable party. It is true that much of the damage has already been done. Adding more Hispanic citizenship will probably lead to more democratic voters as opposed to republican ones. However, the GOP has no hope if they don’t embrace the inevitable.
When the Tea Party surge began just after President Obama’s inaugural in 2008, the GOP was only to quick to embrace the short-term benefit of the low info, racially insensitive, and factually challenged movement for the immediate electoral gains it would provide. In 2010 they were rewarded by flipping the House their way. Unfortunately, now they have to deal with the intransigent fruit of the Tea Party loins. The Ted Cruzs, Jason Chaffetzs, and about 80 members of the House who have made John Boehner the most irrelevant Speaker in modern history.
Essentially, the chickens have come home to roost.
Joe Scarborough and Jeremy Peters discuss Rubio’s fall from Tea Party grace below.