The Tea Party made Marco Rubio, and now they want to break him

There seems to be a news story every day making this point. The Tea Party rally (thinly, and hilariously disguised as a press conference) in Washington on Wednesday was more dramatic evidence that the Republican coalition is seriously, seriously riven between those groups that still believe in some level of compromise across the ideological divide in order to pass some bills (and some level of political pragmatism about the urgency of competing for the growing Latino vote) and those, epitomized by the Tea Party, who believe that every issue is an existential battle between good and evil.

Good does not compromise with evil.

As reported by Dana Milbank, the Tea Partiers are demanding the political blood of Sen. Marco Rubio for his role in crafting a compromise bill on immigration. Rubio rose on Tea Party support, but that was yesterday. Today, the Tea Partiers booed every mention of his name, and someone in the crowd shouted “Primary Rubio.” This is, of course, the ultimate political threat that the Tea Party presents to the party with whom it is loosely allied. A divisive Republican primary, in which candidates compete for Tea Party support, often produces a nominee who cannot win a general election, especially in a purplish state like Florida.

One thing you have to hand to these guys. They stand on principle, know what they are against and they do not trifle with political expediency.

Wrote Milbank:

“The speed with which the tea party turned on Rubio is stunning, beginning earlier this year with complaints from conservative commentators and now open mockery at a Capitol Hill rally.”

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Greg Laden on 06/21/2013 - 12:37 pm.


    This is what civilization looks like when it takes a vacation.

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/21/2013 - 02:02 pm.

    …..Peoples do not judge in the same way as courts of law; they do not hand down sentences, they throw thunderbolts; they do not condemn kings, they drop them back into the void; and this justice is worth just as much as that of the courts….
    Maximilien Robespierre

  3. Submitted by Peder DeFor on 06/23/2013 - 01:25 pm.


    Sorry, this has nothing to do with compromise. This isn’t because Rubio has staked out some middle ground between two viewpoints and that isn’t acceptable. The Tea Party has turned on Rubio because they think he’s supporting a terrible bill. They think that the proposed bill will be a repeat of 1986 where general amnesty was granted without any real efforts taken to keep future illegal immigrants out. (Note, I’m not any kind of expert in this area, but I do believe that their fears are genuine.)
    As to general compromise, the Tea Party wants politicians to stay strong on the items that it most believes in. Reduced spending, first of all, but also plenty of other good government things like basic responsibility. A politician should face some heat if they don’t understand the legislation they’re supporting. If that means an automatic ‘no’ vote for any 1000 page bill that is pushed at them with only minutes to vote, so be it. We’d be better off with a more thoughtful approach to legislating.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/23/2013 - 08:53 pm.

    I believe

    …the thought came originally from Mark Twain, but I’d be happy to be corrected if I’m in error. The thought, with no attempt to actually quote it, is that we get the government we deserve.

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