SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-Fla.), headlining Playbook Breakfast yesterday: “The next two years, I'm really hopeful that we can deal with the issue of immigration holistically. … I think it needs to be dealt with comprehensively but not in a comprehensive bill -- in a comprehensive package of bills. … [E]ach of these issues have their own constituencies and deserve to be dealt with squarely for what they are, and I think there is consensus on almost all of them. … [I]t's going to be a lot easier -- not easy, but a lot easier, both politically and from a policy perspective -- to deal with those folks that are here undocumented if you've dealt with these other issues.”Let's try to unpack this nonsense: Rubio thinks immigration should be dealt with comprehensively, but not in a comprehensive way. Instead, it should be done in piecemeal bills, that combined offer some sort of comprehensive solution, but isn't one, because, you know, it's piecemeal.
Republicans are terrified of two things: 1) a browner America that votes heavily Democratic, and 2) their white bigot base. So it figures that their response to the looming immigration battle would be so incoherent. It's a lose-lose for them.
That's why they've trotted out Rubio to try and stymie this new push for reform. Each one of Rubio's piecemeal bills would be blocked and obstructed by a recalcitrant GOP desperate to avoid anything that might reward those lazy brown people who are so lazy that they're stealing all the good jobs. Like picking watermelons in 110 degree temperature during 14-hour days. Lazy shit like that.
As a benefit, each one of those piecemeal bills would earn a fraction of the media attention of a broader truly comprehensive effort, meaning that Republicans could better hide their obstructionist efforts, stemming their losses among the crazy-fast-growing Latino and Asian communities.
President Barack Obama has made clear that immigration reform is a top 2013 priority and congressional Democrats are (mostly) aboard. A bill will be introduced. It'll be up to Republicans to step up and either 1) listen to the obstructionist crazies in their party and piss off the fastest group of voters, or 2) do the right thing, the humane thing, the family values thing, and grant our nation's undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship.
That Rubio—the GOP's leader on immigration—is afraid to do either of the two options above is telling. He and his party remain paralyzed by fear—fear of their own base, and fear of what will happen to them electorally if they don't start reversing their fortunes with Latinos and Asians.