Marco Rubio retracts PIPA, SOPA support, redefines flip-flop
The Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (Pipa) have been abandoned by some major supporters in Congress. Florida senator Marco Rubio (R), son of Cuban exiles (or were they?) was actually a cosponsor of the bills before he withdrew support yesterday.
Congress received tons of pressure from a coordinated effort by a variety of websites, led most visibly by Wikipedia, to demonstrate how the Internet would look should the legislation pass and to raise the profile of SOPA and PIPA bills to those outside of the tech community, who have been fighting these bills since they were first introduced in October.
The change of heart on Rubio's part is just another example of his tendency to bend his views to popular sentiment.
I guess I shouldn't be shocked, this is the same man who was elected by the populist Tea Party, a movement built on anger and backlash to President Obama more than it was ever built on ideas or common sense. But it is scary that Rubio has become a sweetheart in the Republican party. His name has been mentioned consistently as a strong candidate for Vice President, with Republicans hoping that on the strength of his name alone, he may help them capture some of the Latino vote (yes, they do think we are this dumb). The young senator has been inconsistent with his political views--he was first for, then against, both Arizona's SB 1070 bill, and the privatization of social security--and he fudged his own family history, claiming his parents fled Fidel's revolution when they actually immigrated to Florida in 1957, two whole years before Castro came into power. I have serious reservations about whether or not he actually has the experience or the skills to be the number two in the White House.
When he fist co-sponsored PIPA, Rubio stated that it was, "Important to protect American ingenuity, ideas and jobs from being stolen through Internet piracy, much of it occurring overseas through rogue websites in China." But in response to the massive online protests and an outpouring of public sentiment against the bill, Rubio announced last night that he no longer supported the legislation. It's just another example of Rubio flip-flopping in the face of public pressure. Hey, at least this time, it was for the good of his constituents.
Image via Gage Skidmore/flickr