I am sure that there will be other people, probably even on this very site, who will offer you a nuanced, erudite take on Marco Rubio’s stupid comments about President Barack Obama visiting a Mosque in Baltimore this week, but I kind of feel like it’s just time to be blunt about it.
Marco Rubio is a clueless, Islamaphobic demagogue.
In case you missed it, here’s a summary of Rubio’s comments on the mosque visit, per The Huffington Post:
“I’m tired of being divided against each other for political reasons like this president’s done,” Rubio said at a Wednesday campaign stop in Dover, New Hampshire. “Always pitting people against each other. Always! Look at today: He gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.” (source)
So the guy who belongs to the party that is chock-full of politicians telling us that we should be fearful of Muslims because, essentially, they’re not Christians, is going to lecture the world about being divisive? The guy who belongs to the party that calls anyone who believes taxes are a necessary if not unpleasant responsibility of living in a free and open society “socialists” is going to wag his finger at the president for visiting a mosque? What arrogant douchenozzlery.
Someone should pull Marco aside and explain to him that Obama’s visit to a mosque is actually the opposite of dividing us, because he’s showing that there’s nothing and no one to be afraid of at your average mosque. He’s being inclusionary with Muslim Americans, not exclusionary with Christians. But are we really all that surprised that yet another evangelical, born-again conservative Republican is trying to playing the victim and paint Christian conservatives as some kind of picked-on minority — in a country where the birth of their deity’s mythological son is still celebrated as a national holiday, no less?
I’m not surprised, and no one else should be.
Marco is the classic demagogue. He’ll berate the president for “dividing” us while literally in the same sentence he makes anyone who practices the Islamic faith a suspected terrorist. He’s dividing the nation up as he’s excoriating the president for doing so, and of course no one in his party will call him out for it, because they all do it. They all talk to conservative Republican voters like they are part of a separate America. They talk about liberalism like it’s a mental disorder, and they shun anyone who dares to claim — rightly so — that America already embraced socialism to a certain degree decades ago, and since Social Security and Medicare have never missed a payment, all their rhetoric about their demise and failure is just more of the same hot air that they hypocritically chastise the president for dividing us out into the ether with.
Rubio’s also a war monger in the best neoconservative tradition, so his Islamaphobic rhetoric is also a convenient way for him to throw red meat at the base. The way he insists on painting radical Islam as being the most pressing existential threat we face as a nation plays right into his stupid comments about Obama’s mosque visit. He’s playing the post-9/11 world card, and I am positive that to many in the Republican base he is winning them over. After all, forget that since JFK was assassinated more Americans have died from other Americans shooting them than in all wars combined, clearly Islamic terrorism is more threatening to us.
Maybe if Marco and his fellow Republicans weren’t so busy trying to paint liberals as un-American they’d have time to see how hypocritical it is to criticize Obama for being divisive. I doubt it, but perhaps if they just had the ability to get some space from the noise of their rhetoric they’d see how stupid they look and sound. Again, I’m not holding my breath for that outcome, but it’s all I’ve got at this point.