Clearly bothered, Marco Rubio responds to Val Demings’ Senate run with insults and arrogance

After tweeting last month that she's "seriously considering" running for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat, Rep. Val Demings, of Florida, confirmed on Wednesday that she's more than seriously considering it: she announced she's running. "I'm running for U.S. Senate because I will never tire of standing up for what is right," Demings said in a tweet. "Never tire of serving Florida. Never tire of doing good.”

In a 2 minute and 58 second campaign video, Demings said when asked where she got her "tireless faith that things can always get better," she got it in Jacksonville, Florida. "When you grow up in the South, poor, black, and female, you have to have faith in progress and opportunity," Demings said. “My father was a janitor, and my mother was a maid. She said, ‘Val, never grow tired of doing good. Never tire. Work hard, not just for yourself but for others.’”

I'm running for U.S. Senate because I will never tire of standing up for what is right. Never tire of serving Florida. Never tire of doing good. Join my campaign today: https://t.co/rHVPBuSzKU pic.twitter.com/HuWB80Mrxh

— Val Demings (@valdemings) June 9, 2021

Demings, a former Orlando police chief and the first woman to hold the title, was a House manager in former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, and she has been an important voice in seeking accountability for his embarrassing response to the coronavirus pandemic. Rubio voted to protect Trump in the face of his second impeachment trial for inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol in January. A month earlier, the Florida Republican helped himself to a COVID-19 vaccination in short supply in his state at the time. 

He responded to Demings’ campaign announcement with the predictable arrogance and insults of a Florida Republican. “Look, I’ve always known that my opponent for the Senate was gonna be a far-left, liberal Democrat. Today, we just found out which one of them Chuck Schumer’s picked,” Rubio said in a video shared Wednesday on Twitter. “I’m looking forward to this campaign because it’s going to offer the people of Florida a very clear difference.”

No matter who wins the democratic Senate primary in #Florida my opponent will be a far left extremist#Sayfie #flpol pic.twitter.com/quy0pMUHS6

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 9, 2021

Rubio went on to call Demings a “do nothing House member with not a single significant legislative achievement in her time in Congress.” “By comparison one nonpartisan group ranked me the most effective Republican in the entire Senate,” Rubio said. He is referring to a ranking released by the Center for Effective Lawmaking in March that based his ranking on “107 bills he put forward, ten of which passed the Senate, and six of which became law” under the 116th Congress. Let’s not forget, the senator had a majority-Republican Senate working in his favor.

Federal voting rights legislation top of Democrats' agenda is being held up in the Senate by a filibuster requiring 60 votes instead of a simple majority for a vote on proposed legislation. The filibuster has been used as a partisan weapon for decades,” Demings told the Orlando Sentinel. “We were not elected to be obstructionists. … We were elected to get things done. And when we talk about protecting some of the most basic rights in this country, the filibuster blocks those things, and we need to get rid of it.”

But beyond the filibuster, the more important question with regards to Rubio’s legislative record boasted as effective is: Does an effective Republican equate to what’s best for most Floridians? The answer to that is a clear no. 

In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law legislation on "disruptive protests" that could put protesters in jail for up to 15 years if police determine at least nine people took part in a riot. “Under this bill, peaceful protesters could be arrested and charged with a third-degree felony for ‘committing a riot’ even if they did not engage in any disorderly and violent conduct,” the ACLU of Florida said in a news release. “It would also prohibit local governments from determining how to allocate funding for police reform to address critical needs in their local communities and seek to protect counter-protesters from civil liability if they injure or kill a protester.” 

State legislators also passed a bill requiring voters to submit requests each election cycle to vote by mail."It would require voters to submit vote-by-mail requests each election cycle, restrict secure vote-by-mail drop boxes, and demand sensitive personal information from voters requesting a mail ballot,” the ACLU of Florida wrote in a news release. “Like the law recently passed in Georgia, this bill also criminalizes people who provide food or water to Floridians waiting in line to vote.”

Rubio has done nothing to enact the kind of federal legislation that would combat state-level voter suppression or anti-protest measures. “Marco Rubio voted against stimulus checks, he voted against COVID relief for our schools and our small businesses,” Demings said in the Orlando Sentinel. “And he voted against helping those on the frontlines, our first responders or teachers, our health care workers.” 

RELATED: Val Demings says she's 'seriously considering' running against Marco Rubio

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Postal Service warned 46 states last month that their elections are in jeopardy

The U.S. Postal Service sent letters to 46 states and Washington, D.C. warning that it cannot guarantee that mailed-in ballots for the November election will arrive in time to be counted. The Washington Post got the letter through a records request. The letters were sent at the end of July from Thomas J. Marshall, general counsel and executive vice president of the Postal Service, but were planned before Louis DeJoy, Trump campaign donor and willing lackey, got his appointment in June, according to the Post. (Here's the letter sent to Minnesota's Security of State Steve Simon on July 29.)

Seven states, with a total of 40 million voters, got a narrow warning saying that for some voters, ballots could be delayed. But 40 other states—representing 186 million voters and including the battlegrounds of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida—got the more serious warning "that their long-standing deadlines for requesting, returning or counting ballots were 'incongruous' with mail service and that voters who send ballots in close to those deadlines may become disenfranchised." Some states have scrambled to move their deadlines, either bringing forward deadlines for requesting and casting ballots or setting deadlines for when the ballots have to be received and to begin tabulating them. This opens states up to legal challenges, which we've already seen the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee (they're basically one and the same) undertake. There are now some 60 suits in at least two dozen states over the issue of mail-in voting. Republicans are suing in Pennsylvania and Nevada to stop the states from setting up drop boxes for ballots. They're suing to retain strict photo ID and signature requirements for absentee ballots. They're suing to make sure getting a ballot to the elections office on time is as onerous for people as possible.

And they're sabotaging the Postal Service. Even removing mail boxes from the blue areas of red states, in this case Montana, where the blue boxes have been disappearing from the state's college towns and most populated areas, like some in Missoula "[a]cross from the center of University of Montana," and "[d]owntown in front of a large senior citizen living facility and several office buildings."

Vice News has also reported on Postal Service internal documents it obtained outlining existing plans to slow down the mail sorting process by removing sorting machines. The Postal Service originally proposed removing 20% of the machines but revised the plan down to 15%, taking 502 out of service according to the document Motherboard received. One document is dated May 15, suggesting that the plan was in the works before DeJoy took the position. But those documents are not reflective of how this is playing out, according to the Post.

They've obtained a grievance filed by the American Postal Workers Union that says the Postal Service has removed 671 mail sorting machines from across the country since June, concentrated in high-population areas. That represents a reduction in national mail sorting capacity of 21.4 million pieces of mail per hour. But the Vice disclosures make it clear that the plan to start hobbling the Postal Service has been in the works for months—DeJoy just stepped in to carry it all out. And then some. It's hard to know whether the warning from Marshall, the general counsel, to the states was a genuine attempt to save this election or an effort to stoke more panic.

What is clear, though, is that this requires immediate action from across the board—from state AGs to try to get injunctions to stop this interference with the mail (a federal offense, by the way) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who could start immediate investigations and impeachment proceedings against DeJoy. Waiting until Sept. 17 to have him come to the House for a hearing on all this is not acceptable.