Pretend for a minute that we’re back to 2013 and President Obama has just won his second term in office. The news media is saturated with the strong possibility that several Obama administration operatives, including more than one member of his cabinet, have been colluding with the Russians. There is evidence that the Russians may have hacked into Republican National Committee files, and have also helped the president’s chances in winning the 2012 election.
Remember, we’re just pretending so let’s continue this fantasy trip… The president’s secretary of state, who was a former CEO at a large petroleum company and has done business with the Russians in the past, has been decorated by Vladimir Putin with Russia’s Order of Friendship for his “big contribution to developing cooperation in the energy sector.” In this ongoing imaginary case, even Obama’s attorney general had apparent conversations with the Russians right before the elections, but denied it before a congressional subcommittee, only later to plead ignorance, deny he lied, and admit that his answer may have been taken out of context. This pretend world I am writing about has Obama working with a Democratic Party majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Interestingly, Democrats in both chambers are doing everything in their power to look the other way. They are attempting to steer focus to the “illegal” leaks to the media coming from bureaucrats inside the administration. All the while, the Republicans are screaming holy hell. “Our country is colluding with the Russians,” they say. “Putin is pulling Obama’s puppet strings, and Democrats won’t let us investigate!”
This novelesque occurrence appears to be out of a book written by Robert Ludlum. It is, sadly, what is currently happening in Washington, except the president is Donald Trump and we have the Republicans turning a blind-eye to too many coincidences that deserve to be investigated. And the Democrats… well, some are screaming, but the Democrats still want to blame Hillary’s loss to the Russians…
Which brings me to Miami’s own members of Congress: Sen. Marco Rubio, and U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo (In photo at top, except for Rubio). Where on earth have they been during this ongoing Russia scandal that just may undo the Trump White House they like to criticize publicly (when convenient), but are privately trying to cozy up to?
If the current White House tenant had been Obama, Little Marco, Ileana, Mario and Carlos would probably be found in every Miami street corner blaming Obama for selling out to the communists and spewing 20-second soundbites to media that allow them to confuse their voters. Fidel and Cuba would have played a prominent role, I am sure.
Instead, on February 28, hours before Trump’s first State of the Union speech, Ros-Lehtinen, Curbelo and Diaz-Balart, along with 226 other Republicans, in a procedural vote in the House of Representatives, blocked an attempt by the House Democrats which would have forced President Trump to turn over his IRS tax returns, which have been made public by every president since Gerald Ford in 1973. Trump has refused to do so.
Why are the returns important?
The reasons are many, but for starters, in the Trump case, it allows the American public to peruse where the president is doing business — and if there might be a conflict of interest in the business he is doing. For example, deals that might include the Russian government, or interests involving Russia, to the detriment of the United States.
Ros-Lehtinen, Curbelo and Diaz-Balart don’t seem to care… or once again are demonstrating that their only interest is themselves and the advancement of their political careers, and how it might benefit THEM. As for Senator Rubio, whose Little Marco moniker fits him best, I find it hard to believe that he respects even himself.
And Ros-Lehtinen and Curbelo, who chose not to vote for Trump for president, even against the hated Hillary Clinton, have become enablers of a president who lies and cheats and stands against principles they claim to believe in.
Or how much more hypocritical can you get than Ros-Lehtinen, who said after the Trump administration’s move to lift protections for transgender students: “This lamentable decision can lead to hostile treatment of transgender students and studies have shown that bullying and harassment can be detrimental to the emotional and physical well-being of teenagers.” Ros-Lehtinen’s son, Rodrigo, is a transgender person.
Ros-Lehtinen and Curbelo have both spoken against the Trump administration in matters dealing with immigration. Still they vote with the bell-cow Republicans.
Their actions in Congress and here in Miami remind me of something John Lennon once wrote of people like them: “One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.”
Here’s a fair warning for the next election where these names appear on the ballot(s): Ros-Lehtinen, Curbelo, Diaz-Balart and Little Marco (he prefers this to Rubio): Vote at your own risk.