Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is in an awkward political position. On the one hand, he’s an ambitious far-right Republican with national aspirations, who has generally enjoyed the fawning support of his party’s base. On the other, Rubio helped write the comprehensive immigration reform bill that right-wing activists have decided they hate, and they aren’t inclined to forgive him.
Indeed, at a recent Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill, activists were heard booing whenever Rubio’s name came up. These are, of course, the same activists who helped elect the Floridian in 2010, and who Rubio will need when he seeks national office.
What to do? Rubio seems to think he has a solution: if the GOP’s far-right base is unhappy with him sponsoring something they hate, he’ll balance that out by sponsoring something else they love.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will introduce a bill in the Senate banning abortions 20 weeks after conception, the Weekly Standard reported Tuesday.
According to the Weekly Standard report, Rubio will announce his sponsorship of the measure after Congress returns from the July 4 recess.
If this sounds familiar, a 20-week ban was recently championed by Rubio’s Republican allies in the House, who approved Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-Ariz.) bill two weeks ago.
Would Rubio’s 20-week ban pass the Senate? No. Could it get President Obama’s signature? No. So why bother? Because Rubio seems to think he has some ground to make up on the right, and the way to do that is by pushing legally dubious restrictions on women’s reproductive rights.
Taken together, it’s hard not to notice what the Republican Party and its activist base consider truly important in 2013. Look no further than Texas and North Carolina and Alabama and Kansas and Indiana and South Dakota and Mississippi and the U.S. House and soon the U.S. Senate.
Remember when Republicans spent 2010 running around the country asking, “Where are the jobs?” They got elected, shifted their attention to the culture war, and haven’t asked the question since.