Marco Rubio

This week the candidates supported by the Tea Party movement will be sworn in to serve in the 112th Congress. Rick Santelli, who almost two years ago first talked about the Tea Party movement on national TV, comments on the arrival of novices to Washington politics: “Thank God!”

For some background on what the Tea Party is all about including Santelli’s famous rant read “Beautiful Chaos” – A Tea Party Manifesto.

The American people are ready for cutting spending and a return to Constitutional government. Now, two months after the November election, we will finally see a Republican majority dominated by the Tea Party in the House of Representatives and senators like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul in the Senate.

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Today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed Marco Rubio and twelve new Republican senators to Washington and made an important decision: he decided to agree on a ban on earmarks, the corrupt practice of inserting a senator’s pet project into a big bill to buy his vote. Earmarks have been opposed by Marco Rubio and other new and current Republicans.

McConnell still justifies his past support for earmarks and contrasts them to the abuses of earmarks by others. Maybe he achieved some good in his earmarks and it is understandable that he wants to save face when agreeing to a position that he wouldn’t have agreed to without the leadership of Senator-elect Marco Rubio, Senator Jim DeMint and others.

McConnell still doesn’t seem to understand the argument that while earmarks are only a “small” part of our spending problem – about $20 billion annually! – they are the gateway drug to bigger spending. They cause senators and representatives to vote for bills they only agree to because they are allowed to insert their earmarks at the last moment without public scrutiny.

For more on the earmark issue read Marco Rubio in Leading Role to Ban Earmarks, the Gateway Drug to Spending.

Before the election, some establishment Republicans like former senator Trent Lott thought they could tame the newly elected Republicans once they got to Washington. This has worked in the past, but with thirteen new Republican senators and at least eighty new Republicans in the House, Tea Party Republicans have a real chance of changing the establishment rather than the establishment changing them.

The next big challenge to the establishment: deciding on who will chair powerful committees in the House and Senate. There are some problematic candidates in the House that we’ll cover soon. This will be future House Speaker John Boehner’s chance to show that he is on board with listening to the American voters.

Watch McConnell welcome the thirteen new Republican senators to Washington. Note how the camera swings to Rubio right at the beginning.

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One of the first decisions Republicans will make next week is whether or not to ban earmarks. The Miami Herald reports that Senator-elect Marco Rubio is playing a leading role in South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint’s campaign to get Republicans to take a principled stand against earmarks. Rubio, DeMint and other Republican senators are challenging Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who supports earmarks.

Earmarks are awards of taxpayer money to specific recipients for specific projects and are a favorite way of politicians to reward supporters in their districts. They tend to be inserted into massive bills at the last momentum to gain additional votes for the larger bill.

Supporters of earmarks argue that they do not make up a large amount of spending. Yes, $20 billion a year does not seem a lot of money in a 4 trillion dollar budget, although that in itself is a sad commentary on runaway government spending.

But earmarks are what Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has called “the gateway drug” to much larger spending. When a senator or representative votes for a $100 billion bill just because he wants a $1 million earmark that he was able to insert into the legislation, the true effect of earmarks extends far beyond the cost of the earmark.

Watch Neil Cavuto and Senator-elect Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania explain the pernicious effect of earmarks:

This will be one of the first tests of whether newly elected senators like Rubio, Toomey and Rand Paul from Kentucky together with current senators like Demint and Coburn can set the Republican Party on a new course.

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Here is the man that frightens Democrats more than any other winner in this week’s election: Senator-elect Marco Rubio from Florida. No one expresses what makes America unique and what we need to do to keep it that way as well as Rubio. The son of Cuban exiles from modest means, Rubio is closer to the immigrant experience than any other current or recent national leader. The 39-year old is a former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, more experienced than Barack Obama had when he became a Senator in 2007.

Rubio does not have Obama’s arrogance and does not want to run for the presidency after just a couple of years in the Senate. Still, he is already a nationally recognized leader and will undoubtedly play an important role in setting the Republican agenda going forward. He and other Republicans elected this week such as South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida Congressman Allen West demonstrate that the Republican Party is a party representing Americans of all backgrounds.

Here is a transcript of the full speech (via Hot Air and Andrew Malcolm):

Hi, I’m Marco Rubio.

With Election Day now behind us, it’s an honor to talk to you about the opportunity before us – an opportunity to put America back on track.

For too long, Washington has taken our country in the wrong direction, bigger government, reckless spending and run-away debt. And though I’m a proud Republican, here is the truth, both parties have been to blame.

This election the American people said enough is enough.That message was loud and clear. We Republicans would be mistaken if we misread these results as simply an embrace of the Republican Party. This Election is a second chance. A second chance for Republicans to be what we said we were going to be.

America is the single greatest nation on earth, a place without equal in the history of….
…all mankind. A place built on free enterprise, where the employee can become the employer. Where small businesses are started every day in a spare bedroom and where someone like me, the son of a bartender and maid, can become a United States Senator.

I know about the unique exceptionalism of our country. Not because I read about it in a book, I’ve seen it through my own eyes. You see, I was raised in a community of exiles, by people who lost their country, people who once had dreams like we do today but had to come to a foreign shore to find them.

For some their dreams were answered here in America, but many others found a new dream. To leave their children with the kinds of opportunities they themselves never had. And that is what we must do as a nation. To fulfill our sacred obligation to leave the next generation of Americans a better America than the one we inherited. And that is what this election was about.

In the past two years, Republicans listened to the American people and what they said is that it was time for a course correction.

The past two years provided a frightening glimpse at what could become of our great nation if we continue down the current path: wasteful spending, a growing debt and a government reaching ever further into our lives, even into our health care decisions.

It is nothing short of a path to ruin, a path that threatens to diminish us as a nation and a people. One that makes America not exceptional, not unique, but more like the rest of the world.

As Republicans, here is what our commitment should be to you. Our focus must not be simply winning elections. It must be to ensure the next generation inherits a strong, free and prosperous America.

We will govern as public servants who understand that re-election is simply a byproduct of good public service and good ideas. And most importantly, we will stand up and offer an alternative to the policies coming out of Washington for the past two years.

The challenges are too great, too generational in scope for us to be merely opponents of bad policies. Instead, we will put forward bold ideas and have the courage to fight for them. This means preventing a massive tax increase scheduled to hit every American taxpayer at the end of the year. It means repealing and replacing the disastrous health care bill. It means simplifying our tax code, and tackling a debt that is pushing us to the brink of our own Greece-like day of reckoning.

For many of us coming to Washington for the first time and others returning to serve, it’s a long way from home. A long way from the people whose eyes we looked into at town halls, at diners or roundtables, and promised that this time it would be different. That if you elected Republicans to office again, we would not squander the chance you gave us, and we must not.

Because nothing less than the identity of our country and what kind of future we will leave our children is at stake. That is our commitment and from you we ask this. Hold us accountable to the ideas and principles we campaigned on.

This is our second chance to get this right. To make the right decisions and the tough calls and to leave our children what they deserve – the freest and most exceptional society in all of human history.

Thank you for listening, God bless you and your family, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

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If you live in San Francisco and are not a committed socialist this election must have been very depressing: Jerry Brown is governor again, Barbara “Don’t Call Me Ma’am” Boxer is still a senator from California and Nancy Pelosi still represents San Francisco residents in the House of Representatives.

But there is more. This one will upset your children. San Francisco has banned McDonald’s Happy Meals, at least in the form they are served in the rest of the country.

In recognition, Reason TV has awarded its latest Nanny of the Month award to San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored what Hot Air calls the “Mom’s Too Dumb To Decide What Her Kid Eats Act.”

This month’s top busybody is the pol who sponsored the ordinance to make happy meals sad, the one who hopes his “food justice” agenda goes nationwide.

Presenting the Nanny of the Month for October 2010: San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar!

What is wrong with California?

There was a time when California was the most innovative, entrepreneurial place in the United States. We fondly remember that great Californian who once was governor of the state and went on to become the greatest president of the 20th century – Ronald Reagan.

California and particularly San Francisco are good places to check what the left wants to do next to the entire country. The state of California is a giant pilot program that demonstrates the results of socialist policies. Whether it is high taxes, reckless spending, excessive regulation, cap-and-tax carbon legislation or what Eric Mar calls “food justice”, when it comes to bad leftist ideas in California you get to have them all.

Over the past couple of years, courts have diverted water from California’s once great agriculture to protect one subspecies of a small fish. Unemployment in the agricultural region of the Central Valley has reached Great-Depression-era levels. Companies and the jobs they provide are fleeing California for states with a more business-friendly climates like Texas, Arizona and Florida.

But maybe it is not such a bad thing that Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxes and other Democrats still win in California. They provide a great example that should scare straight people in the rest of the country who still flirt with Democratic socialism. Today, it was reported that Nancy Pelosi wants to hang on to be the House Minority Leader. Together with President Obama, and Nevada’s Harry Reid, Pelosi forms a national trio from which more and more Americans recoil.

Too bad California did not legalize marijuana. More pot heads voting in the next election should have made the California experience even scarier.

If you do live in California and are unhappy with your state becoming to America what Greece is to Europe, maybe we can start a welcome program for California exiles here in Florida. We already have exiles from places like communist Cuba and we value the contributions they make to our state.

We too have sunny weather. For disasters we have hurricanes, which you can see coming and prepare for, instead of earthquakes, which take you by surprise.

In this election, Florida has driven Democrats from all statewide offices with the exception of Senator Bill Nelson who we will replace in 2012. Both houses of our state legislature have Republican super majorities. There is no state income tax. Real estate is a bargain again. Our governor-elect, Rick Scott, has a plan to make Florida a model of free market innovation and we just sent Marco Rubio, a son of Cuban exiles, to Washington. Senator-elect Rubio is widely considered one of two or three rising superstar in the conservative movement with the qualities to be President one day if he chooses to run. Democrats are already having regular nightmares about Rubio.

So come on over to Florida and live the dream you thought you could have in California.

It is a shame that as a result of the already ongoing exodus from California, the loony left will become a bigger share of the remaining population of voters. We’ll still enjoy your great wines and visit to see magnificent sites like Yosemite, but increasingly visiting California will be more like visiting a strange impoverished country that has failed to take advantage of all its natural advantages.

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