That’s led us to a remarkable moment in American politics. A junior senator who is considered a future star of his party is taking the lead on an issue that offers almost no foreseeable political gain with the party’s base.

Why? I think it’s pretty simple: because Rubio cares about the issue, understands its importance, and sees that we’re at one of those critical contingent moments when a representative can step up and help solve what has seemed like an intractable problem and effect change that will impact the people he represents.

Heath Thompson, a Rubio confident, says, “this really isn’t about politics for him. I know that’s a cliché that we all say during campaigns, but that’s how he is. This is entirely about Marco following his principles, and doing what he thinks is right. Is that popular or politically advantageous? Maybe, maybe not. It doesn’t matter.”

Thompson’s right. When you are a Republican and the National Review is putting your face and name on the cover with the word Folly while Jim DeMint (who Rubio has called a “great man” and a “mentor”) claims your “amnesty” plan would cost $6.3 trillion, you are not going down the path of less resistance.