It's entirely possible that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) heard the expression "don't quit your day job" and took it too literally.
The far-right Floridian, more so than other senators running for president, just doesn't show up
for work much anymore. After five years in Congress, Rubio doesn't even like his job
, and he makes no real effort
to do it effectively -- choosing instead to routinely skip votes, briefings, hearings, and practically all day-to-day tasks.
The senator has even begun fudging relevant details, insisting over the weekend, “We do all the intelligence briefings." The claim was untrue
-- Rubio doesn't attend all the intelligence briefings, and even if he dispatches aides to appear in his place, there are some classified briefings that staffers are not allowed into.
It's against this backdrop that the editorial board of the Sun-Sentinel
, one of Florida's largest newspapers, is urging Rubio to resign
Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We've got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government. If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it. Let us elect someone who wants to be there and earn an honest dollar for an honest day's work. Don't leave us without one of our two representatives in the Senate for the next 15 months or so. You are paid $174,000 per year to represent us, to fight for us, to solve our problems.... You are ripping us off, senator.
Keep in mind, the editorial board of the Sun-Sentinel endorsed
Rubio's election in 2010. No one can accuse the paper of having some kind of reflexive bias against the no-show senator.
Today's editorial added:
Look, a lot us are frustrated by our jobs and office politics. But we still show up for work every day to earn a paycheck. By choosing to stay in the Senate and get the publicity, perks and pay that go with the position -- without doing the work -- you are taking advantage of us. [...] Your job is to represent Floridians in the Senate. Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it.
Ordinarily when a member of Congress is facing pressure to resign, he or she is caught up in some kind of scandal. This is not the case with Rubio. He's not accused of doing something wrong; he's accused of not doing anything.
I can appreciate why Rubio's defenders find all of this frustrating. After all, senators who run for president necessarily miss a lot of work. That's true of senators from both parties, and it's not at all unique to this election cycle.
The problem for the junior senator from Florida is that he's never really been a Senate workhorse, even when he was not yet a national candidate, and now he's reached the point at which he misses more work than other White House hopefuls running at the same time.
For that matter, we haven't heard the other senators on the presidential campaign trail saying things like
, “This should actually be the rule in the entire government – if you aren’t not doing your job, you should be fired.”