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Marco Rubio reaches for water during the 2013 GOP SOTU response
The Savior
The Obama administration "leaked" their immigration reform proposal over the weekend and Republican Savior Marco Rubio immediately declared it DOA , even though the two plans differ little.

Both plans immediately grant protected legal status to undocumented immigrants, both require lengthy waits until citizenship could be granted, both grant more visas, both require employers to employ verification proposals to avoid hiring new undocumented immigrants, both have DREAM Act-style provisions to legalizing immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors, and both require beefing up of border security.

One difference is that the Savior's plan prevents those immigrants from earning citizenship until the border is declared secure. And since Republicans don't want 10-13 million new predominantly Democratic Latinos to vote, Republicans hope that certification never gets granted. But other than that, there's no difference, something that didn't escape Team Red:

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions issued a press release on Monday saying, "Unfortunately, the leaked [Obama] plan is little different in its substance from the Gang of 8 plan, which is also unlikely to withstand scrutiny... Perhaps this leak, and what it reveals, may mark the beginning of the collapse of this new scheme to force through a fatally flawed plan." The Washington Examiner's Conn Carroll was not impressed either, asking, "What’s the difference between Obama and Rubio on immigration exactly?" The Daily Caller's Mickey Kaus thinks there's little difference. Iowa evangelical Bryan Fischer calls it the "Obama-Rubio amnesty plan." [...]

Limbaugh is scared that Rubio and the rest of "our guys" will get tagged with unpopular immigration reform while "Obama gets his immigration plan in the mix without any of his fingerprints on it" by leaking it to USA Today.


I'm not sure what the hell Limbaugh is even blabbering about, given that comprehensive immigration reform isn't just hyper-popular, but it's popular with Republicans too! And if it's unpopular for Republicans, why would it be popular for Obama? Ahh, wingnut logic. That's the problem with living in a bubble, and conservatives have mastered the art of the bubble.

But that leaves Rubio and the rest of the GOP's reformers in a bind. On the one hand, they know they'll never win another national election in their lifetimes unless fast-growing Latino and Asian voters start casting votes for Republicans. On the other hand, they are members of a xenophobic party built on a foundation of racism (the infamous Southern Strategy). How do you reconcile those two?

Rubio is doing the best he can, pounding the table and frothing at the mouth at that DEAD ON ARRIVAL Obama plan (how daaaaare him?)! Why, Obama's plan is NOTHING like Rubio's sensible perfectly conservative plan that ... does the same thing. Well, there is that thing about border enforcement, but to conservatives that's just a minor detail (and one that will bite them in the end).

If Rubio was hoping to trick the xenophobes in his party into backing his approach, he'll need to significantly improve his acting chops. Calling Obama a Kenyan might do the trick.

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