Last night we recorded a terrific installment of the Hinderaker-Ward Experience. As usual these days, we grumbled about the weather. Not that I expect any sympathy from our Southern readers, but did you know that by morning we are expecting six to ten inches of new-fallen snow?
We quickly got past that painful prospect and went on to discuss my ongoing battle with the Washington Post and the Democratic Party; the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision that further liberalized campaign finance rules; my short-lived consideration of a U.S. Senate bid; this week’s Loon and TWIG, and more.
But the highlight was an interview with Senator Marco Rubio on current events in Venezuela. It is astonishing to me that so little attention is being paid to the collapse of a socialist regime on the southern coast of the Caribbean–a regime that is bitterly hostile to the United States and that has engaged in a brutally symbiotic relationship with Cuba’s communist dictatorship: Venezuela sends Cuba cheap oil, and Cuba sends Venezuela thugs and paramilitary units to help keep its population under control.
Millions have demonstrated against Venezuela’s failed, corrupt and brutal government, dozens have been murdered, many more wounded and arrested, the Venezuelan economy is in a state of hyperinflation and complete collapse–it is socialist, so I repeat myself–and the Obama administration is, as usual, AWOL. Meanwhile, the Russians are signing up naval bases in the Caribbean. So this is a great time to get Marco Rubio on the phone. He is one of the few American politicians who are seriously engaged in what is happening in Latin America.
Spending some time on the phone with Marco Rubio, I was struck again by what an extraordinary political talent he is. Like many others, I differed with Rubio on immigration reform, but I don’t think that should blind us to Rubio’s enormous talent, or his essential conservatism. Is there anyone who can convey the basic conservative messages–freedom, opportunity, economic growth, family, faith, peace through strength, and so on–as well as Marco? In my opinion, the answer is No. And at the end of or interview, I asked Marco about where the immigration issue stands now. I doubt that many conservatives, of any stripe, would disagree with his answer.
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