Mitt Romney and the GOP Caught Between Etch-A-Sketch and Hot Potato

18 Jun

Dios mío, It’s enough to give you whiplash.

The President literally could not get the words of Friday’s announcement out of his mouth before he was heckled by a right-winger posing as a journalist.

Some in the press seem to have bought Marco Rubio’s line that Obama’s announcement has made him reconsider his much anticipated Dream Act Lite. Please. Senator Rubio, already wearing down from Congressman Luis Gutiérrez’s rope-a-dope call on his bluff, had never put pen to paper on his Diet Dream for one simple reason: he knew it would have never gone anywhere given his Republican colleagues’ filibusterismo.

And, of course, there is the fact that Friday’s DHS directives do exactly what Dream Act Zero would have done – provide work permits but not a path to citizenship for young immigrants – there really is no point to his legislation and perhaps no point to the Senator.  The Gentleman from Florida complains that the President’s actions make a permanent solution more difficult, hoping we’ll all forget that he and his party oppose a permanent solution–Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a path to citizenship.

2010 May Day March

2010 Minneapolis May Day March for Immigration Reform. Photo by Rafael Morataya.

The Republican standard-bearer and his surrogates have been flailing, trying to explain his/their position on the Obama policy and on immigration more generally.

The Worst Surrogate Award goes to Rick Santorum, who made the mistake of telling the truth — that Romney’s problem was that he was trying “not to sound like he’s hostile to Latinos.”

Sound like.

Lest we all forget all the ways in which he was openly hostile to Latinos during the primary.

But that was so long ago.  Now, surrogate Tim Pawlenty is walking back Romney’s threat to veto the Dream Act.

One Romney advisor even said over the weekend that the Governor’s position on immigration was the same as Obama’s!

But while even Bill Kristol said that the President’s action was “the right thing to do,” this has not been a seamless Etch-A-Sketch moment.

Asked three times, the candidate himself couldn’t bring himself to say whether or not he’d reverse the President’s order. Come on, Mittens, Bill Kristol’s got your back.  ¿Por qué tan tímido?

Could it be he fears the anti-immigrant base that he played to during the primary, the one whose spokespeople in Congress have been the stumbling block to a permanent solution to our broken immigration system?  And what were those anti-immigrant usual suspects in Congress saying last Friday? Why, they were demanding that a President Romney reverse the policy.

Oh, and the man whose endorsement Mitt Romney sought during the primary — the hateful Sheriff Joe Arpaio – what was he doing the day of the announcement? I haven’t read any reports on his reaction to the policy change, but we’ll cut him some slack for being unavailable: as all this was going down last Friday, he was busy arresting a six year-old immigrant.

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