Republican Senator Marco Rubio has some explaining to do. For days he’s been tweeting an increasingly aggressive and hostile narrative toward Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, which was his prerogative, until he posted a bloody and violent threat today that has caused an uproar.
Marco Rubio posted a tweet this afternoon with two photos of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The first photo shows Gaddafi sitting on a gold chair and smiling. The second photo shows Gaddafi being beaten to death by his own people, his face and clothes covered in blood.
Rubio didn’t include any words with the photos. But his previous tweet two hours earlier was a rant about Venezuela’s Maduro, so there’s no question that the Gaddafi photo is intended as a message to Maduro. Rubio may be intending to warn Maduro that his people will end up killing him if he refuses to give up power. But there’s another interpretation here: one could argue that Rubio is calling for Maduro to be beaten to death. And because Rubio is a U.S. Senator, he’s making that call on behalf of the United States.
Whatever you think of Maduro or Gaddafi, this is nonetheless a stunning tweet by Marco Rubio. We think Maduro is awful, and we’re glad a brutal dictator like Gaddafi is no longer walking the planet. But if we tweeted a violent image of Gaddafi being beaten to death, in clear reference to the possibility of Maduro also getting beaten to death, we’re pretty sure we’d get suspended from Twitter or worse.
Marco Rubio’s problem isn’t just that he’s a lightweight and a weakling and a dummy. It’s that when he occasionally tries to beat his chest and prove how strong he is, he ends up going completely off the rails. When Rubio was losing the 2016 presidential election, he resorted to making dick jokes about his opponent. It was like watching a clueless child flailing around on an adult stage.
Now Rubio is trying to take a Trump-like stance toward Maduro, and he’s done it in grotesquely inappropriate (and violently dangerous) fashion. Rubio has shown consistently poor judgment, and this is the last straw; he should resign. We’re not going to post the violent image in question, but you can find it here, unless Rubio has deleted it by now.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report