Marco Rubio kept cool and won by a knockout

alex jones rubio

Don’t you wish Marco Rubio had just turned around and popped that InfoWars doofus Alex Jones right in his piehole?

I sure do.

I’ll bet Alex Jones was hoping for that too.

I’ll bet he was praying to be arrested.

It would have been ratings gold.

But Rubio, Florida’s junior U.S. Senator, handled his confrontation with that graceless twit in the U.S. Senate halls Wednesday the way a civilized person should and won by a knockout without throwing a punch. Jones will have to settle for being tweeted around the world and being a hero again to the residents of Wingnut Nation.

Yes, I said it.

If you listen to Alex Jones on the radio or internet for anything other than amusement, or if you think one scintilla of what he says is true, you might be a wingnut.

It’s probably a good time to remember that President Donald Trump, has said of Jones, “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.”

When the Founding Fathers decided freedom of speech is important, I’m not sure they imagined someone like Alex Jones would come along and spout that the Sandy Hook massacre of school children, the Oklahoma City bombing, and 9/11 were either hoaxes or inside jobs by the government.

Actually, the question of freedom is what started Wednesday’s confrontation.

Rubio was speaking with reporters about his concerns that China is suppressing sites like Facebook and Twitter, and thus eroding free speech. Facebook and YouTube have banned Jones and Twitter may eventually do the same.

So, Jones crashed the news conference and yelled, “The Democrats are doing what you say China does” as part of a movement to stifle conservatives.

“Republicans are acting like it isn’t happening,” Jones shouted. “Thank God [President] Trump is.”

Jones is free to say whatever he wants — no matter how hurtful or damaging. There are a lot of ways for Jones to be heard. And with an audience his size, I’m not sure he can make much of a case for being suppressed.

It’s tempting to write him off as a carnival clown, but Jones is a leading spreader of paranoia about the so-called Deep State. The scary part of that is, a statistically significant number of people believe it exists.

A Monmouth University poll in March found there is “a large bipartisan majority who feel that national policy is being manipulated or directed by a Deep State of unelected government officials.”

Trump has complained about the Deep State being at work in the Russia investigation and other areas.

In June, Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz complained that House Speaker Paul Ryan was siding with the Deep State for defending the FBI’s contention it did not embed a spy in Trump’s presidential campaign.

When Ohio Congressman and Trump supporter Jim Jordan was under scrutiny for allegedly keeping quiet about accusations of sexual misconduct by a team doctor at Ohio State when Jordan was a wrestling coach there, he blamed … yeah.

Deep State.

Anyway, it was refreshing to see Rubio win the day by warning Jones, “Hey don’t touch me again, man, I’m asking you not to touch me” after he was patted on the shoulder by the boor.

I still wish Rubio had punched him.

Sure, it would have wrong. But it would have been epic.

No jury of sane people would have convicted him.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


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