November 20, 2012

Florida Senator Rubio Panders To Right-Wing Extremists


Ever since President Obama was re-elected, there have been countless stories about soul searching within the Republican party, to figure out how they lost. I’ve heard about a civil war within the party between the establishment and tea-baggers, and I’ve read many stories about how the GOP must mend the wounds with Latinos.

When the talk turns to immigration, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is often mentioned as a politician who wants to address the problem, because he is a Cuban-American and a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

Senator Rubio traveled to Iowa this past weekend, to speak at a fete for the Iowa Republican governor’s birthday. The Iowa trip fueled speculation that he’s testing the waters for 2016.

In an interview he granted GQ magazine that was released Monday, he was asked how old the earth is. The writer was obviously trying to put Rubio into either the creationist camp that believes what the Bible says, or the science camp that relies on empirical evidence.

Kevin Robillard writes for Politico, and he recounted the interview.

“I’m not a scientist, man,” Rubio told the magazine. “I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.

“At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says,” he continued. “Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”

The question of the Earth’s age and its origins are an occasional flare-up in the culture wars. Using radiometric dating, scientists have determine the earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old. But fundamentalist Christians hold that the Earth was created in six days, as detailed in the Bible.
The way I see it Senator Rubio is pandering to the religious right-wing extremists in his party. If a politician doesn’t believe in science, he has no place in Congress, let alone the White House.

The Senator from Florida was in the news in October 2011 because his biography was “embellished.”

This flawed politician is going to save the Republican party? I think NOT.

If this is the best that the GOP can do, they are really in trouble.


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