Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is probably feeling a little desperate. He’s seen his image as the Republican Savior get tarnished by his 4-H skit-level performance in the State of the Union response last winter; his work on immigration reform, a bill that was going to catapult him to national prominence as a true statesman, has turned into such a bomb that even he is against the bill that he wrote, and he’s been eclipsed in the Tea Party by the new kid from Texas, ending up in the chorus line of the disastrous shutdown last month singing “Me, Too!” instead of doing a solo.
So all that’s left for him is to go even further to the right, and that means reaching out to the virulent haters and gay-bashers of the Florida Family Policy Council, where he will be a keynoter at a fundraiser for one of their grand wizards. (By now you know that any group with “Family” in their name is like a dictatorship with the word “Democratic” in it, i.e. the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” aka North Korea. It’s a study in irony.)
The Florida Family Policy Council announced today that it will host Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at its 2013 Annual Dinner. The FFPC is led by John Stemberger, the anti-gay activist who most recently helped launch a Boy Scouts splinter group that will ban openly gay youth, and the fundraiser will honor Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver.
Stemberger and Staver are far outside of the mainstream, but with Rubio preparing for a possible presidential run in 2016 he may use this event, much like his speech at the Values Voter Summit, to soothe any doubts about his right-wing credentials.
Stemberger previously chaired Florida for Marriage, which spearheaded the campaign to pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions, and founded the anti-gay Boy Scout alternative Trail Life USA.
Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel has been implicated in the Lisa Miller kidnapping case, where a client kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization.
If Mr. Rubio thinks he can ingratiate himself with the far right with this kind of sucking up, he’s going to be bumping into Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz, who have already landed on this square on the board. He’s also going to find out that going the gay-bashing route is so 1980’s; the majority of Americans now live in states that allow marriage equality, and Hawaii is about to join the ranks.
He really needs to learn how to be a better opportunist.