February 17, 2013

This past week a number of pols shined. In the Senate, 41 Republicans refused to allow the nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary to be rammed through and held tight in delaying the vote despite caterwauling from the White House and the media. And House and Senate Republicans held tight on the sequester, refusing to convert the president’s own spending cut mechanism into another tax hike with cuts to come later on. But last week no one compared to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).


Sen. Marco Rubio (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Contrary to the mindlessly obsessive coverage by  mainstream media and the Democratic chorus (I repeat myself) over his water sipping, he delivered a boffo response to the State of the Union, followed it up with engaging appearances on the TV morning shows, introduced a school choice bill and caught John Brennan, the nominee for CIA director, in what appears to be false testimony about Ali Harzi, the Tunisian suspect in the Benghazi terror attack.

He also penned an impressive column on President Obama’s failure to lead:

The biggest foreign policy problem facing the United States right now is not too much U.S. engagement, but the danger of a world in which we increasingly refuse to lead. There are few global challenges that can be solved without decisive American leadership.

 

What happens in Syria, where more than 70,000 people are dead after almost two years of fighting, is integral to our interests. The specter of chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorists and being used against U.S. personnel in the region or against U.S. allies should move us toward action even if the humanitarian toll does not . . . .

 

The president’s policies have often, in effect, been to just ignore many of these problems. He seems to believe that if left untouched, they will either go away or be solved by others, without consequences for the American people. Unfortunately, this misguided view is also shared by some in my own party.

In case you missed it, that last part was a jab at a speech delivered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in which he tried to make the case for keeping “containment” of a nuclear-armed Iran as a option.

All of that made for a remarkable week and reaffirmed his role as one of the leading lights in the GOP. So for all that, well done, Sen. Rubio.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.