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Romney’s Babbling, Jeb Bush is Flip Flopping, and Republicans Remain Utterly Confused

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“I think there has to be some difference between people who come here legally and illegally. It is just a matter of common sense and a matter of the rule of law. If we’re not going to apply the law fairly and consistently, we’re going to have another wave of illegal immigrants coming into the country.” – Jeb Bush


YET AGAIN today, another article comes out laying out the Republican panic over 2012, this one by Maggie Haberman, and what went wrong, who’s to blame, and how to turn everything around. Over the weekend, Mitt and Ann Romney did their Aren’t You Gone Yet? exit interview with Fox News. It was followed by a bombshell from Jeb Bush on immigration reform that proved Republicans are still positively clueless.

Jeb Bush is also crying over spilt milk that long ago went sour, but that’s nothing. Unfortunately for him, he also didn’t learned anything, because on Monday he unloaded his new ploy to try to convince people his last name doesn’t matter by rolling out his new immigration scheme, which is made for the wingnut base, but also to scuttle Marco Rubio’s plans. It’s a 10 on the flip flop meter and shocked immigration reformers.

From TPM:

“Wow,” Marshall Fitz, director of immigration policy at the liberal Center For American Progress, told TPM in an e-mail. “For a guy who has been a luminary on this issue for the GOP, his endorsement of such a regressive policy is deeply troubling.”

The big question going forward, Fitz said, is “whether it cuts Rubio’s legs out from under him” by pressuring his right flank, or merely gives Rubio more power within the bipartisan gang negotiating a bill by demonstrating that conservative concerns about a bill are still a major hurdle that only he can address.

Byron York dissects Jeb Bush’s new book, Immigration Wars, which lays out his “‘no citizenship doctrine.”

Under Bush’s proposal, “those who entered our country illegally as adults and who have committed no additional crimes of significance” would be required to “plead guilty to having committed the crime of illegal entry.” Upon pleading guilty, they would be sentenced to a fine or community service. If anyone who is here illegally – even those who have not committed any “substantial crimes” – does not come forward, Bush and co-author Clint Bolick write, they would “be subject to automatic deportation, unless they choose to return voluntarily to their countries.”

Once an illegal immigrant has pleaded guilty to illegal entry and paid a fine or performed community service, Bush and Bolick write, “they will become eligible to start the process to earn permanent legal residency.” To do that, they will have to learn English, pay taxes, and again, commit no substantial crimes.

Then comes the surprise, at least a surprise coming from Jeb Bush: “Permanent residency in this context, however, should not lead to citizenship. It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences – in this case, that those who violated the laws can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship.” Even those immigrants who had a compelling reason to come to the U.S., Bush argues, “did so knowing that they were violating the law of the land.” Giving them a path to citizenship would be a “reward for conduct that we cannot afford to encourage.”

Looking at Jeb Bush, these guys still don’t get it.

“The weakness that our campaign and that I had is we weren’t effective in taking my message primarily to minority voters.” – Mitt Romney to Chris Wallace.

In his contorted path to citizenship versus path to legalization, Jeb Bush is now for the latter, but not the former, he’s staking out unclaimed territory. It’s just not sinking in that there’s a reason it’s unclaimed. I can’t wait to hear Jeb justify what the Supreme Court may be posed to do by striking down sections of the Voting Rights Act.

But wait… After heads started exploding and continued unabated the last 24 hours, today on “Morning Joe,” Jeb Bush neutered his own plan just laid out in his book.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) told MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday that he would support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants “if you can craft that in law where you can have a path to citizenship where there isn’t an incentive for people to come illegally” – a position that puts him at odds with his new book, out today from Simon & Schuster. [Think Progress]

The Republicans were handed a lesson in 2012 that could not have been more obvious. But that didn’t keep them from holding up the Violence Against Women Act, 22 Republicans, including Marco Rubio, voting against it. Conservative judges of the Supreme Court are poised to pull out parts of the Voting Rights Act, in an act that basically would declare racism is cured in the South. And now Jeb Bush has thrown a political grenade into the tiny tent left after 2012, blowing up what’s left of the men sitting around trying to pick up the few pieces left behind after that debacle.

The serial stupid is really rather stunning, especially for Jeb Bush.

All this to try to do an end around on Chris Christie for 2016.

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12 Responses to Romney’s Babbling, Jeb Bush is Flip Flopping, and Republicans Remain Utterly Confused

  1. thoreau March 5, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    how do you dismantle the ‘Voting Rights Act!’ . . .
    five white-guys in the majority? well might as well be
    5, cause you know how he’s gonna vote.

  2. Art Pronin March 5, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    I agree. Once Jeb was a feared candidate but not much these days.

    • Taylor Marsh March 5, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      You extrapolated something from my piece that is not there, Art, so I’m not sure what you’re agreeing with, unless it’s general GOP confusion and chaos.

  3. secularhumanizinevoluter March 5, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    I must say I am thoroughly enjoying the self destruction derby that is the GOP these days. If you listen to squawk radio the wingnuts are getting more fever brained and gibbering by the minute. AND through in the gem of them eating their own and you have a fun run up to 14!!

  4. Joyce Arnold March 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Republican chaos and disintegration on the national stage — I wonder how long it will last, and wonder how the Democrats use it.

    • jinbaltimore March 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      The Democrats will use it to “reform” the Social Safety Net, of course!

      • jinbaltimore March 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

        “In telephone calls over the weekend, Obama raised the issue of cutting entitlement programs, which include Medicare, the healthcare program for the elderly and disabled, and Social Security retirement benefits.

        ‘I will continue to seek out partners on the other side of the aisle so that we can create the kind of balanced approach of spending cuts, revenues, entitlement reform that everybody knows is the right way to do things,’ he said at the start of a Cabinet meeting on Monday.”

        …that EVERYBODY knows…um, no.

        • PeggySue March 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

          Sadly true. Just a convenient excuse to do what Obama has been itching to do from the start–that pesky but legacy winning Entitlement Reform.

          The Jeb Bush reversal was a stunner. And then he flip flops again. The Republicans keep saying it’s all a messaging thing–what message? I did hear part of the Romney interview with his wife Ann chiming in that we didn’t get a chance to see the ‘real’ Romney. You mean one exists? The man twisted himself a thousand times to satisfy his base, and then complains we didn’t see the ‘real’ him. Yes, we did. The 47% comment was as clear as day and not what normal people would call a ‘private conversation” when he was talking before a group of well-heeled donors. His mistake was confusing the servers at the affair for blind, deaf and dumb robots.

          Btw and OT: did anyone catch the Charlie Rose show last night? Paul Krugman and Joe Scarborough debating the US economy. Just when you think you’ve seen and heard everything, something truly bizarre pops up.

          • jinbaltimore March 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

            “His mistake was confusing the servers at the affair for blind, deaf and dumb robots.”

            Perfect! Who would think servers could be people too!

          • spincitysd March 6, 2013 at 3:59 am #

            Romney also managed to miss the technology revolution too. It amazes me how technologically illiterate our elites are. Obama got badly burned when his bible and guns quote was unleashed into public space, and that was way back in 2008 when Blackberrys were cool. Today iPhones and their Android clones can stream all kinds of real time political damage. And even lowly wait-staff can purchase a Pay-Go phone that can reach out and put the hurt on a candidate. The video that put Multiple Choice Mitt out of our misery was shot by a small smart phone that was easily concealed and more easily released on the Wild, Whacky and Wooly Web. Privacy is dead people, there are no more behind closed door, just between us, conversations. Well, at least not if you insist on catering those conversations.

  5. spincitysd March 6, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    I would not get too comfortable with the meme of “Republicans in disarray” remember in 2009 the Republicans were seen as wrong footed too. Then came Sister Sara and the TEA Party response that clobbered the Donkeys in 2010. I would keep my powder dry and see what happens in 2014. I constantly worry about the ability of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  6. secularhumanizinevoluter March 6, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    “Then came Sister Sara and the TEA Party response that clobbered the Donkeys in 2010.”

    Sorry spin, what clobbered the Dems in 10 was President Obama’s dismal performance that caused new voters and ideological progs and libs to stay home. The repugnantKLAN/teabaggers didn’t garner a single vote that didn’t vote for them last time.

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