If you listen to Marco Rubio in the GOP presidential debates, he can sound overwhelmingly impressive.
He’s obviously very intelligent, quick on his feet and super-articulate.
But the case against him is strong on several fronts – much more than the fact that he is emerging as the new consensus candidate for the Republican establishment in the wake of the Jeb Bush implosion.
It also goes far beyond his tone-deaf insistence on “comprehensive immigration reform” (read: amnesty) as a key member of the Gang of Eight.
It’s more disturbing than his classic neocon interventionist policy of regime change at all costs in Syria – while also fighting ISIS, the biggest threat to the presidency of Bashar Assad.
It’s worse than what appears to me to be his apparent ineligibility for the White House as the son of two – not one – non-citizens at the time of his birth.
A new question for me is this: If he’s as smart as he appears, why did Rubio just name to his advisory panel on matters of religious liberty Rick Warren?
I got to know Rick Warren several years ago when he was visiting Syria’s Bashar Assad, the man Rubio is hell-bent on deposing, and proclaiming him to be a true guardian of religious liberty.
It wasn’t true that Assad was a religious-liberties icon then, nor is it true that he is the monster Rubio and Barack Obama portray him as now. By Middle East standards, he’s just your average anti-Semitic, authoritarian thug. As a religious minority himself (Alawite), he is an enemy of the predominantly Sunni Middle East majority. In his favor, he doesn’t persecute Christians. Neither does he permit Jews to visit his country, as we found out when a former WND reporter tried. He is also a strong ally of Iran – one might even accurately describe him at this point in his regime as a “puppet” of the Revolutionary Islamic Republic on the verge of joining the nuclear club.
With Warren’s track record of coddling Assad and Rubio’s desire to eliminate him from this earthly plane, something doesn’t make sense here. Perhaps Rubio is willing to overlook such a minor difference in perspective because of the Southern California mega-church leader’s influence and popularity among mostly unsophisticated evangelicals.
But the choice of Warren as a guru on religious-liberty issues is even more disturbing for another reason.
The biggest threat to religious liberty in the world today – in fact all liberty – is the one posed by Islamic jihadist ideology and force.
For many years now, Warren has been about the work of “building bridges” with some of the worst examples of Islamic jihadist ideology and force.
For instance, in 2009, as part of an effort for dialogue with Muslims and cooperation on humanitarian projects, Warren was the keynote speaker at the…