Floridians weren't surprised to learn this past year that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio could still rival a slug with his lack of a backbone. Admittedly, we did elect him even after all that folding he did in 2016 – remember when he got all riled up and called Donald Trump a "dangerous con man" who shouldn't even breathe near America's nuclear codes, then endorsed him for president? How could we forget the time he used the massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse to jump-start his dying Senate career, then remained a perpetual hypocrite by campaigning with anti-gay religious zealots? Or when he did absolutely nothing in the following months to prevent future mass shootings except to mutter the obligatory "thoughts and prayers" and continue to take money from the NRA?
But, surprising even us, Rubio crawled ever deeper into the invertebrate mollusk shell he calls home in 2017. After posturing during the campaign that he would stand up to President Trump, Florida's junior senator spent these past 12 months limp-noodling his way onto the floor. Every day after his daily serving of arroz con mango a la Trump, Rubio just kept tweeting Bible verses, which at this point feels like a secret message the real Marquito is silently screaming from the sunken place. It was actually hard to narrow this down to just five, but here are five times Rubio was utterly useless as our senator.
1. Helping working people: We had a hearty chuckle that turned into a resounding shriek this year when the New York Times called Rubio "a longtime champion of the working class." Really? He voted multiple times for failed Obamacare repeals that would have left 32 million people uninsured, effectively ruining the lives of thousands of poor, sick Floridians who could die because they can't afford health care. More recently, Rubio managed to trick his Republican cohorts into thinking he actually wouldn't vote for a $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations and the wealthy unless child tax credits were expanded. They gave in to his bluff and awarded families earning between $25,000 and $40,000 an extra pittance of $300 per kid. Thanks, Lil' Marco!
2. Standing up for immigrants: In 2012, Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, positioned himself as their savior when he joined the Gang of Eight to push comprehensive immigration reform for the 11 million undocumented people who live in the U.S. The minute he sniffed backlash from conservatives that might hamper his political dreams, he dropped his support. This year, as the Trump administration pulled the rug out from under DACA recipients and began deporting them, Rubio called the Obama-era program unconstitutional and offered bare minimum support to undocumented youth from the sidelines.
3. Serving as Trump's check and balance: Ha. Haha. Haaaaaaa. It was one thing when Rubio rubber-stamped Trump's nominee, Betsy DeVos, as Education Secretary after her family gave him thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Pretty unethical, but whatevs. It got worse when Rubio was praised universally for badgering Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his confirmation hearing, making it exasperatingly clear that the former ExxonMobil CEO was being evasive in his answers on Russia's record of human rights abuses – then turned around and voted for him anyway. It wasn't surprising later when Rubio basically shielded Trump with his body during a hearing questioning fired FBI director James Comey.
4. Standing up for sexual assault victims: It was particularly vexing to watch Rubio expressly call on his colleague Al Franken to resign after multiple women accused him of groping and sexual harassment – because for a whole ass year, the senator has stood behind a man accused by at least 19 women of gross sexual assault. Trump literally has an entire tape talking about his preferred method of groping and Rubio hasn't made a peep about that. Way to make a movement about exposing abusers partisan.
5. Meeting with constituents: Rubio did a lot of stupid shit this year, but one of the most hilarious was watching him go to extreme lengths to avoid his constituents. For a year now, protesters across Florida have been trying in vain to see their senator face-to-face at a town hall meeting. Rubio has refused, saying activists would "heckle and scream" at him in front of cameras. In turn, protesters have chased him at an airport, confronted him after his university class and shut down a few of his state offices. So much for being a servant of the people.