January 17, 2016

Chuck Todd hosted the candidate parade on Meet the Press, but his interview with Marco Rubio stood out to me as one which should disqualify young Marco from any federal office, and the presidency in particular.

Young Marco thinks diplomacy is for wimps. He's much more interested in using our military as cannon fodder, and that's just the beginning.

When asked by Chuck Todd about the release of American hostages from Iran, Rubio was ready with the canned answer.

"I don't think these Americans should have ever been in prison. They didn't do anything wrong. They are hostages. And so now we have a president that has traded hostages in exchange for prisoners who did commit a crime and were convicted after due process and a trial and everything of that sort," Rubio said.

I think young Marco should have a look at the trade more carefully, now that details are being reported publicly. Perhaps if he attended the security briefings on negotiations with Iran, he might have gleaned even more information.

Iranian negotiators presented the American team with a list of more than a dozen Iranians, "mostly dual nationals who were either convicted or charged in our courts," the first official said. "We whittled down the list to exclude anyone who was charged with a crime related to violence or terrorism.”

Then the deflection began. "And by the way," he continued, "The case of Bob Levinson remains unresolved. The Iranians, I believe, know where he is, and they are not cooperating."

Levinson was working for the CIA as a contractor after he retired from the FBI when he disappeared during George W. Bush's presidency. Spies are generally frowned upon, whether official or under contract to a private firm. Still, I too hope they can locate him and bring him back someday. Let's not make the victory a defeat over that, though.

"At the end of the day when I am President," Rubio declared, "I will repeal the deal with Iran."

He continued, "It will end when I am President, and we're going to reimpose sanctions. And if Iran tries to build a nuclear weapon program, we will stop it."

Iran just turned over 98 percent of their uranium, cemented their reactor, and let inspectors in to make sure it was done properly, which it was. They are subjecting themselves to 24/7 inspections at any time, and have complied with the letter and spirit of the agreement. If Marco Rubio is so concerned about how it appears to make a deal with certain conditions, how does he think backtracking on this deal would look?

"It will be like Ronald Reagan where as soon as he took office, the hostages were released from Iran," Rubio puffed. "We would impose additional sanctions."

That's his story, and he's sticking to it, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Even when Chuck Todd pressed him on it, Rubio just dug in. Let this sink in.

"Well, we would have given them sanctions, crippling sanctions," Rubio supposed.

Yes, well. We did that. And those sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table, where we wanted them.

"In fact, there would have never even been a discussion on these deals until they were released. Iran needs more from us than we need from them," he concluded.

Not so much, unless you're cool with Iran having nukes and aiming them straight at Israel, Marco.

There is so much swaggering in this interview that it's almost unwatchable, but if you look behind the bluster, there's just a terrified egomaniac who has been convinced he's qualified to lead the most powerful country in the world.

It's pathetic, just like the entire 2016 Republican field.


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