Senator and failed presidential candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL) participated in an interview with The Economist in which he said he's starting a new "reform conservative movement" to tackle problems that Trump and the Republican party he's a member of aren't really addressing.
That may sound promising if it were coming from almost anyone else.
Rubio demonstrated in this interview that he's capable of accurately diagnosing problems and then pronouncing that nothing Congress or Trump is doing is going to help, but there's another problem with Rubio's new movement.
The president’s scheme to revive the 1970s economy through protectionism and deregulation is unrealistic, as Mr Rubio—who these days dares not criticise Mr Trump—cannot help but acknowledge. “The future is going to happen,” he says. “I have no problem with bringing back American car-manufacturing facilities, but, whether they’re American robots or Mexican robots, they’re going to be highly automated.” Most Republican congressmen meanwhile remain entranced by the limited-government shibboleths he has shaken off, as his fight over the tax bill revealed. Mr Rubio’s proposal, to double the tax credit to $2,000 per child and pay for it by making a small increase to the corporate rate his party wanted, was decried by some Republicans as socialism. The watered-down version they accepted, as the price of Mr Rubio’s support for the bill, excluded the poorest families. “There is still a lot of thinking on the right that if big corporations are happy, they’re going to take the money they’re saving and reinvest it in American workers,” he says. “In fact they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; there’s no evidence whatsoever that the money’s been massively poured back into the American worker.”
This all checks out, but the problem with Rubio's "reform conservative movement" is that he's leading it. The problem is him.
Rubio voted for the $1.5 trillion tax cut that corporations are using to buy back shares and pay dividends. He voted to repeal Obamacare. He has voted for the entire conservative agenda.
Rubio even voted against his own immigration reform bill.
I believe it would be a good thing if we actually had a reasonable conservative opposition party capable of compromising, but we don't have that and we haven't had that in a very long time. I have no doubt that Rubio is not the only Republican Senator who can see the writing on the wall, but just like him they're unwilling to break from their party and actually take a stand on anything.
Rubio is absolutely right about the economy of the future and his party's tax cuts, but it doesn't matter until he's willing to do literally one thing about it.