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June 17, 2012 8:00 AM The DREAM Act and Strange Bedfellows

By Elon Green

Not long after the White House announced its bombshell immigration directive (Ed wrote about it here), Tara Wall, a Romney adviser, took to CNN and said:

Within the party, there are plenty of opinions about this and I think there’s plenty of time to talk about how we address this. There’s no easy solution and I think he said that all along. He has also said that he’s open to hearing other solutions like the DREAM Act. I think the more he’s heard from others, including Marco Rubio, the more he’s opened to broadening the idea of what we need to do with the folks, the young people, who are here through no fault of their own. If nothing else, we also see today, his opinion is the same, essentially in some degree, to President Obama’s.

This weird, rancid word salad and the sentiment behind it probably will do Mitt Romney no favors. If you slice through the incoherence, Wall’s basically rooting for failure. “[T]here’s no easy solution” suggests that her boss, when confronted with evidence that he would veto the DREAM Act, will chalk it up to the legislation being so darn complicated — which is moderately less pathetic than admitting he’s been mugged by his nativist base.

“There’s plenty of time to talk” means Romney will do his best to never address this during the campaign. Do not expect him to work “Justice delayed is justice denied” into his stump speech. I dare say Romney would rather discuss posthumous baptisms than his stance on immigration.

I’m also intrigued by Wall’s contention that Romney’s “opinion is the same, essentially in some degree, to President Obama’s.” Forget for a moment that it’s a lie: contra Romney, Obama never threatened to veto the DREAM Act.

What interests me is her eagerness to draw a parallel between Romney and Obama. Rick Santorum pulled the same trick when he claimed “President Obama says he has the same position I have on gay marriage.” (This, too, was false.)

I’ve never figured out for whom this rhetorical stunt is intended. Is it supposed to mollify Republican activists? I can’t imagine it does; they tend to oppose Obama simply on principle.

What say you, PA readers?

Comments

  • stormskies on June 17, 2012 8:35 AM:

    Maybe buffoon and pathological liar Romney, and his 'advisers' can get on their campaign buss and drive around in circles while hysterically honking the horn over and over .......

    No that would be an honest statement about who these fucking pigs actually are .....

  • Hedda Peraz on June 17, 2012 8:52 AM:

    DREAM Act? Not gonna fly in my beloved Lone Star (Republican) state.
    Suddenly we will have to pay minimum wage to our formerly illegal yard men/pool boys?
    Not no way, no how, honey!

  • DKDC on June 17, 2012 8:58 AM:

    The phrase "there's plenty of time to talk" means, "If elected, I will never ever lift a finger to pass legislation like this."

  • John B. on June 17, 2012 8:59 AM:

    Wall's comments are in line with this statement from Rubio's office regarding his own DREAM Act proposal: that now (i.e., since Obama's directive is in essence what Rubio had said he intended to propose), the politics have become too complicated to proceed:

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/rubio-bails-on-gop-friendly-dream-act-after

    That suggests to me that Rubio's proposal was never all that earnest to begin with (even though both Democrats and the White House said they would consider supporting it): it would have been offered up as a sop to Latinos and/but allowed to fail; but to offer it NOW really would ensure its failure to gather Republican votes because of their opposition to anything that has Obama's name/approval on it. So Romney can't give full-throated support for this because his base will eat him alive.

    Obama had warned Republicans about this sort of thing ever since the health care debates: the more they oppose anything he proposes, the tighter the corner they paint themselves into, until they either end up doing nothing at all or (again, as with health care) are forced to reconsider legislation they had so adamantly opposed. And now Romney is getting stuck with the consequences.

  • c u n d gulag on June 17, 2012 8:59 AM:

    Mitt is being daring - he's straying off of FOX's reservation today!

    I hope on this mornings ‘Mace the Nation,’ with kindly ancient Boob Sheeeeeshfer, that Mitt gets asked about Obama’s move on immigration, and his stance(s).
    I mean, even Ol' Boob has to ask, right?
    (Don't answer that!)

    Now, if he does, THAT might be fun!

    Skip breakfast though, by the end of the 1/2 hour, you’ll be full – and have enough of waffles to last you a lifetime.

  • Danp on June 17, 2012 9:16 AM:

    I’m also intrigued by Wall’s contention that Romney’s “opinion is the same, essentially in some degree, to President Obama’s.”

    Context is everything. You omitted the most important word - today. Yesterday was a different audience. Tomorrow will be a different audience. But today, whatever works.

  • Barbara on June 17, 2012 9:43 AM:

    There are at least four states where Romney has to try to sound like he is a reasonable guy with respect to Latino immigrants (hence, the "he's not really THAT different from Obama" aside) if he doesn't want Obama's share of the Latino vote to start approaching his share of African American voters: Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina (especially the first of these three). To lose these four states is to lose the election. There are so many quotes from the debates that can be used to create ads to broadcast on Spanish language tv that it's just hard to imagine how narrow the tight rope is that Romney has to walk between now and the election. A narrow electoral tightrope = word salad.

  • Ron Byers on June 17, 2012 9:59 AM:

    In order to protect the sensibilities of a shrinking number of older white men the Republicans have been forced to declare war on senior citizens on medicare, women, blacks, young people, and hispanics. They better hope their voter suppression efforts are way more successful than can be imagined. Maybe the supreme court will rule that only white men with property can vote, or something like that. Otherwise Obama is painting Mitt and the rest of the Republicans into a very tight corner. Not even Chuck Todd will be able to turn this election into a horse race.

  • bleh on June 17, 2012 10:44 AM:

    Standard behavior for a politician confronting an unpleasant issue: he's fuzzing his position. The more you say different things, the more likely people will hear what they want to hear, and the more likely someone bringing up his statement that is unpopular is some context or group will be challenged by someone who has heard the version that is popular there.

    He's muddying the water. That's all.

  • bluestatedon on June 17, 2012 10:57 AM:

    This issue is just one on a long list that makes me bang my head in frustration at the near-criminal communications and messaging ineptitude of Obama and the national Democrats. None of them have apparently had the clue to use an incredibly potent weapon against Romney and the yammering jackasses in the GOP and at Fox: Ronald Reagan's statement endorsing amnesty made during a 1984 debate with Mondale. That should have been a prominent part of Obama's initial speech, and it should be part of every Democrat's response to the GOP fear-mongering. Make the Republicans either endorse Saint Ronnie's view, or make them publicly repudiate their hero. I guess doing so would be considered mean or something.

  • majun on June 17, 2012 10:57 AM:

    " Is it supposed to mollify Republican activists? I can’t imagine it does; they tend to oppose Obama simply on principle."

    No - they don't oppose Obama on principle - they oppose him because the activist base is so completely influenced by the descendants of the Dixiecrat base that the GOP inherited after passage of the Civil Right Act of 1964, that they cannot accept a man with dark skin as POTUS. They oppose him because they are, at heart, racists.

  • Mimikatz on June 17, 2012 11:08 AM:

    The "My position is just like Obama's" is for white suburbanites who want to be reassured he isn't a bigot. The victim group and the GOP base know the truth; this is for the"moderates" who don't.

  • martin on June 17, 2012 11:14 AM:

    Plenty of time to talk is the Romney version of "More research is needed."

  • PTate in MN on June 17, 2012 11:19 AM:

    "...his opinion is the same, essentially in some degree, to President Obama's."

    My decoder ring spit out this translation just before exploding: "Hey, Hispanics, Mitt Romney is JUST like President Obama except when he isn't. You don't need to vote for the black socialist."

  • JR on June 17, 2012 11:43 AM:

    Romney is fighting against giving any specifics, period. His campaign line, in a nutshell, is: Trust me... I'll get specific after I'm elected.

  • exlibra on June 17, 2012 2:10 PM:

    Shorter R-money (and Rubio): mean Obama pulled the rug from under me! Call the waaaaambulance!

    "Scots tohoti". Sounds like a beginning of a "parsimonious Scot" joke (A Scot comes into a bar, and says to a hottie siting there...)

  • Patango on June 17, 2012 2:38 PM:

    Mimikatz on June 17, 2012 11:08 AM:

    ""The "My position is just like Obama's" is for white suburbanites who want to be reassured he isn't a bigot. The victim group and the GOP base know the truth; this is for the"moderates" who don't.""

    Great points here , And it helps that it is mixed in a word salad , I would add that the romney team are doing the same thing to these moderates on economic issues , they hear romney has the same stance as obama on the auto bailout , so why not just vote for romney ? Since they are both patently the same?? ..When in fact romney is just a freakin lair ...My sister voted for obama , but is a staunch goper at heart , it is dog whistles like these that will give her the OK to vote romney , both parties are the same , so why vote for the other guy?

    bleh on June 17, 2012 10:44 AM:

    ""Standard behavior for a politician confronting an unpleasant issue: he's fuzzing his position.
    He's muddying the water. That's all.""

    Can you imagine what these statements will look like by oct.? Little focus group sentences injected into whatever the subject might be , saying yes and no on the same subject in the same paragraph 3 different times , with MSM journalist having the same confused word salad look on their face, no matter what comes out of their mouth , because their producer is telling them in their ear to work in a blip about next weeks BACHELORETTE tv program some how ...The print media just have no excuse at all tho

  • mudwall jackson on June 17, 2012 2:54 PM:

    bluestatedon,

    your point that reagan's words would be a powerful weapon to counter republican opposition might have some validity except for one small problem. st. ronnie has become more myth than reality in today's fact-free republican party. he's become a shape shifter who takes on whatever form today's right-wing orthodoxy demands, no matter what he might have actually said or done 30 years ago. obama could quote reagan word for word and the republicans would ignore it altogether or chalk it up as a blasphemous lie by that liberal-socialist-commie-muslim-kenyan pretender.