Politico Attacks Rubio for Tweeting Proverbs, the 'Most Republican Part of the Bible'

Politico's Joel Baden attacked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday, accusing him of tweeting "the most Republican part of the Bible," namely the book of Proverbs.

"Proverbs is notable in that it presents a fairly consistent view of the world: The righteous are rewarded, and the wicked are punished," Baden argued, chiding Rubio. He compared "some of the statements in Proverbs" to statements from "modern-day conservative policymakers."

"In short: Proverbs is probably the most Republican book of the entire Bible."

Rubio had the perfect response to this attack. "Proverbs is the Republican part of the Bible? I don't think Solomon had yet joined the GOP when he wrote the first 29 chapters of Proverbs," the Florida senator tweeted.

But Baden's argument is wrong for other reasons as well. Most importantly, the Politico author described Proverbs as having a "harsh, almost social Darwinist worldview." By encouraging young men to be virtuous and promising them success for doing so, the book of Proverbs may seem to suggest that the rich have earned their status while the poor deserve to be poor. The lesson, Baden suggested, is that the poor should be neglected and the rich treated with honor.

To an actual reader of Proverbs, this statement is laughable. Proverbs 24:23 condemns this "partiality in judgement."

Proverbs 22:22-23 says, "Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life." Proverbs 31:9 says, "Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Then there's this promise: "If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever" (Proverbs 29:14).

Proverbs 22:2 emphasizes the equal dignity of poor and rich. Proverbs 28:6 says, "Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways." If the book truly had the kind of social Darwinist vision Baden suggested, it should be impossible for a man of integrity to be poor (as Proverbs clearly says).

Finally, the very definition of righteousness involves protecting the poor. Proverbs 29:7 says, "A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge."

Even accepting Baden's ridiculous premise that all Republicans are social Darwinists, was Barack Obama secretly a Republican when he quoted Proverbs 28:1 in his remarks at the National Peace Officers' Memorial on May 15, 2010? "The wicked flee when no man pursueth; but the righteous are as bold as a lion," Obama declared. Does this inspiring verse suggest social Darwinism?