Jun 16, 2015

Hilarious Meme Compares Driving Records of Marco Rubio and Ted Kennedy [Meme]

By on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

From US News:
There are many things to ask the many, many people running for president in 2016 – things that actually might help voters suss out the field and get a sense of how potential commanders-in-chief might respond to the myriad crises and policy questions that the occupant of the Oval Office must face every day.

And yet, The New York Times, presumably one of the best sources of journalism the U.S. has to offer, has opted to spend reporters’ time and newspaper ink on an utterly insignificant and petty topic: the four – count ’em, four! – traffic citations Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio has gotten, going back to 1997.
That’s less than one every four years, for the math-challenged. And they were not anything shocking – no DWIs or driving a car into a plate glass storefront or mimicking one of those high-speed stunts featured in TV commercials with the warning: do not attempt. Nope, these were just your garden variety traffic violations, caught not by a human-being police officer, but a red light camera, cash-strapped municipalities’ own version of a drone.
With a tortured lede that attempts to connect Rubio’s rush to the top of the political world with a rush to get ahead on the road, the Times chronicles how both the 2016 GOP presidential candidate and his wife, Jeanette Rubio, have racked up tickets and have been forced to attend remedial driving school. The driving record of Ms. Rubio – who does not hold elected office, does not drive a school bus and is not running for president – was described as “even messier” than that of the Florida senator.
I’m all for vetting presidential candidates, examining their records and their character (as long as “character” is not used as a lame justification for voyeurism or unwarranted invasion of privacy). But seriously? Traffic tickets?

Part of the problem is the ease of collecting public documents and the hyper-pressure to reveal any detail about a candidate for office. (The Times has denied suggestions that the information came from a Democratic opposition research leak.) Even before Chinese hackers collected information on U.S. federal government employees, it was pretty easy for Web-savvy people to find all sorts of public, if relatively meaningless, information about individuals. And when one is vetting a presidential candidate or even just writing a profile of a political figure, due diligence dictates going through available documents, including personal financial disclosures, arrest records, real estate holdings and of course, voting and campaign finance records. The point is to look for violations or conflicts of interest. And if you find something newsworthy, you report it. The standard is not to report something – anything – just to prove you looked for it successfully.
If Rubio’s driving record becomes any kind of test of what person we’ll choose to run the country starting in 2017, we’re in trouble as a nation. But as for Rubio, the question is moot. If he indeed becomes president, he won’t be doing his own driving, anyway.


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