It’s the least surprising news of this or any other recent day, and it’s appropriate that it’s being reported by the official Conservative Establishment bulletin board named Fred Barnes:

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today agreed to be the lead sponsor of a Senate bill to ban abortion after an unborn child is 20 weeks old. A similar measure passed the House last month and a state version is now being debated in the Texas legislature, where it is likely to be approved.

It never takes Fred that long to get all agit-proppy, particularly on this subject:

With Rubio’s presence, the bill is certain to gain enormous media attention and thus more national visibility for the issue of limiting late term abortions. Right-to-life groups have urged Rubio to take the lead on the issue, believing he would be the strongest possible advocate in the Senate. Several sources confirmed he’d agreed.

More to the point, the doomed bill will gain “enormous media attention” for Rubio as the champion of the Invincible Conservative Base on an issue the ICB feels even more strongly about than immigration.

This is the first of many compensatory damages Rubio will pay to his former admirers in the conservative movement for the sin/crime of championing the Gang of Eight bill. This one is easy since Rubio’s been a stone antichoicer all along, but in general I think it’s going to be a good long while before we hear words like “bipartisan” or “compromise” fall from his lips. He’s going to be so far under the thumb of Jim DeMint that you won’t be able to see him.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.