In My Opinion

Fabiola Santiago: Down the Republican rabbit hole

I tumbled down the rabbit hole of Twitter by clicking on a retweet by a Miami Republican — and landed in one of those “anything is possible” corners of our political Wonderland.

The Republican National Committee celebrated center stage on its webpage Hispanic Heritage Month with mucho boasting of a line-up of “first” Hispanic elected officials who are Republican — but not a word about immigration reform.

Not a word, despite the bipartisan bill waiting on House action, or the new bill filed by Miami’s Rep. Joe Garcia and fellow Democrats.

The rest of the RNC page portrayed the federal government shutdown as the fault of President Obama and his administration.

They claimed Obama was “making a show of closing down streets and monuments widely used by the public” and ordering those formerly nice park rangers to “make life as difficult for people as we can” in an ever-evil ploy to push House Speaker John Boehner to do his job and call a vote to fund the government.

No word anywhere, though, about the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in which 60 percent of Americans said they would vote to boot out of Congress every single sitting member right now.

But nothing, as I followed the yellow brick road, would achieve the level of fantasy as the video of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio calling God into the fray.

He spoke Friday to the Values Voter Summit — which, if like Alice, you have learned to read the upside down clues in Wonderland, you know is another ultra-conservative forum.

Rubio didn’t mention immigration reform — his own work on the bill passed by the Senate or anyone else’s — and he didn’t spice his talk with a word of Spanish. Not even “ hola,” having learned from the experience of naïve Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who got heckled last June — “learn to speak English!” — when he attempted to add an offensive dash of bilingual color to his talk before another tea party audience.

No, Rubio is too smart for that. He talked about God — and His role in shaping things up in Washington.

“I believe Jesus Christ is God,” Rubio said.

And Alice thought: The evangelical leaders hoping, praying — and waging an unprecedented campaign in Florida on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform — believe this, too.

But while God may not have abandoned immigrants, it looks like Rubio and his fellow Republicans have, all too afraid to antagonize the right-wing faction of the Republican Party that has brought the country to its knees.

“I want you to know something,” Rubio said. “Despite everything that is going wrong in our country today, I believe with all my heart that God is not done with America yet. I believe with all my heart that God still destines for us an even better future and the opportunity to continue to serve as an inspiration to the world.”

I don’t know about the world, but the 49 visiting Russian journalists, scientists and educators invited by Congress to see our democracy in action this week told The Washington Post: “Inconceivable. A joke. Maybe you will come to communism soon!”

And with that, I made a mad dash for the rabbit hole back to reality.

Read more Fabiola Santiago stories from the Miami Herald

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