The Problem With the Marc Rubio Non-Scandal

As it’s campaign season, our political press corps has decided to focus on what’s really important: Republican candidate and senator Marc Rubio’s personal finances. The mainstream story line–which attempts to gin up scandal by arguing Rubio’s profligate ways (he bought a boat while he had some tight money times)–as usual misses the real problems with Rubio’s habits. The first problem is that it distracts people from his extremist policy views, which will do far more damage to the country than a Rubio family bankruptcy ever would. Second, Lance Mannion identifies what this says about his character (boldface mine):

When I look at Rubio’s financial history I see him for what he is, typical Republican ladder-puller, because I don’t see his life in politics apart from his life at home. While Rubio was using money he earned through the great good fortune of having had the parents he had to climb out of the hole he dug for himself because of his very un-average ambitions, he was working to deny help to people who were in trouble through no fault of their own because they’d lost their jobs, been bilked by second mortgage scams they’d fallen for because they needed money to eat and keep the lights on, gone broke trying to pay medical bills, watched their retirement funds disappear in the stock market crash, and found themselves the owners of homes they could no longer afford and couldn’t sell even at an $18,000 loss like Rubio had to take when he sold one of his three.

Not only was he working to deny them help, he was working and has worked to make things harder for them.

And he’s promising to continue that work as President because he’s a Republican and that’s what Republican politicians do no matter how well they handle their own money.

They work to hurt people.

People who aren’t rich, that is.

They work to take money away from people who don’t have any to spare and give it to people who already have far more than need to buy a dozen speedboats.

But there’s a third issue which is the hypocrisy over wants and needs. If a poor person behaves impulsively, even once, that’s construed as evidence that said poor person is utterly irresponsible–and that all poor people are irresponsible. But someone like Rubio gets in over his head–and is bailed out by a rich person giving him a bullshit book contract–and… nothing.

There’s a double standard of about irresponsibility that needs to be knocked down. Maybe the next time some conservative caterwauls about the person in the grocery store line who bought some non-poor people food with food stamps, he’ll consider Rubio’s profligacy.

Could have been a teachable moment, as the kids used to say.

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