FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
They are Our Tools. Not Our Friends.
The Senate will likely soon pass an immigration bill that is neither very good if you favor increased legal immigration, decreased legal immigration, decreased illegal immigration, decreased government interference in private business, nor if we are to be honest anything that anyone who is not a Senator would ever describe as a solution to our long-standing immigration experience/problem/catastrophe/your noun here. As a friend of this site put it, “The miracle of this particular bill is that it’s absolutely terrible no matter what side you’re on within the conservative milieu.”
The House, in an ahistoric turn of events, will be where this terrible legislation comes to meet its demise, after which President Obama will show the rise-above-the-noise, non-partisan tone he brought to Washington to demagogue the bill relentlessly. For this, we will have Republicans in the Senate to thank.
As one of those Senate Republicans is a former Presidential nominee and another is clearly angling for the spot, I think it is important to understand something that we will all promptly forget in two years’ time.
Every single Republican politician elected to statewide or national office is our enemy.
Now, lest I be accused of dropping that little nugget without 2,000+ words to follow, allow me to explain.
We do not send our best and brightest to Congress, to the Governorship, to the Presidency, indeed, anywhere. Our best and brightest tend to want to make money, have families, have normal lives, and not cheat relentlessly on their spouses. The people we send to elected office tend to want power, not be overly concerned about their family, eschew normal lives, and relentlessly cheat on their spouses.
They’re also usually kinda stupid.
Right there is a natural segue to John McCain. McCain’s family life is widely believed in Arizona to be, let us be gentle, “strained.” He is not a smart man. He is a man who believes very strongly that what he believes is right is self-evidently right, and he is usually incensed when his party can’t see that his latest temper-tantrum is merely wisdom. He spent a significant part of the time period 2000-2008 telling anyone who would listen that his party was composed of irrational bigots who were irrational because they didn’t agree with him and bigots because they didn’t agree with him, to wide media applause; and then when the media faithfully repeated Obama’s line about McCain wanting to arrest and deport Mexicans en masse, he was absolutely shocked.
And we nominated him for the Presidency. Shows how smart we are.
Today, by all appearances, two Muslim immigrants — one dead — are the leading suspects in the mass murder and terror acts in Boston, including, this is important to remember, the murder of an 8 year old boy and the dismemberment of his sister. It may or may not be true that their faith guided them to — apparently — murder and wound innocents en masse, then murder police officers. They are, however, immigrants, green card holders, and this should make us at least briefly pause and ask, “Gee, does our immigration system need an overhaul to keep radical terrorists out?”
Even if the answer is no, good government practice suggests we should ask the question.
Enter Marco Rubio.
“The situation in Boston is still developing and it’s too soon to jump to conclusions, let alone use the tragedy to make political points …
“There are legitimate policy questions to ask and answer about what role our immigration system played, if any, in what happened.
“Regardless of the circumstances in Boston, immigration reform that strengthens our borders and gives us a better accounting of who is in our country and why will improve our national security,” [Alex] Conant said. “Americans will reject any attempt to tie the losers responsible for the attacks in Boston with the millions of law-abiding immigrants currently living in the US and those hoping to immigrate here in the future.”
Facially, this is stupid and insulting on several levels — do we call mass-murderers “losers” now? who is saying that Chechnyan murderers are the same as Hispanic day workers? — but let’s skip past that for a moment, and even the fact that Rubio should be dressing Conant down right now for dumb.
Rubio was Jeb Bush’s pick to run for the Senate in 2010. Because of the Bush-Crist wars that were underway in the Florida GOP, it was assumed that Crist would run for Governor and Rubio for Senate, Crist to show the party and the world he didn’t need Jeb Bush’s coattails, Rubio because he clearly had ambitions beyond the Florida legislature and Bush’s backing.
Rubio had a bit of a reputation of being an open-borders guy, and given the state, regardless of your position, no one should begrudge him that or the tacking right he did to win the nomination. But it’s important to remember that RedState and a lot of others — but crucially RedState, courtesy of Erick — backed him early and hard, and he won, even when Crist decided to prove he could beat Bush on Bush’s chosen ground. The right’s endorsements have Rubio critical early momentum, and he of course won.
And oh how we loved him at first.
But with the immigration monstrosity before us — and I stress again that my problems are not the made-up ones about cell phone giveaways, but rather that it fixes no problem from any angle and just sets us up all over again — is Rubio’s baby now. He has claimed it as his own. He wants and needs it for the Presidency and by God he will push it.
He is now defending it despite the fact that its passage is being glided along the Obamacare path — short turnaround for massive bill before vote — something against which he explicitly campaigned. He is carefully insulting some of the same people who helped him get where he is. He is putting it all aside to go for the big, shiny ring.
This is perfectly normal.
Every, single GOP papabile for 2016 is or will do the same thing. (Chris Christie has already taken to knifing the right, hopefully not for appetizers.) This is what they do to get ahead. They run as Republicans long enough to get a national stage, then they run as Democrats, then they’re surprised when they find out that the real Democrat has all of the structural advantages.
Remember this come 2015 and 2016. We’ll have to pick a loser then. Just remember, he hates you more than you’ll ever hate him.