I will tell you right off the bat, folks, that this newfound immigration hawkishness from the Texas junior senator is NOT primarily aimed at Marco Rubio. Insofar as his Floridian rival and counterpart is concerned, if anything, it's a defensive measure designed to change the subject from Rubes' deft highlighting the other day of how their respective immigration positions weren't all that dissimilar. The last thing that Cruz, who's positioned himself for months to be the heir to Trumpmania when it began to run out of gas, needs is for it to get out to the GOP electorate that his immigration stance is almost as "squishy" as the opponent he just got through painting as a "moderate" the other day. This "reinvention" on that incendiary issue seeks to hastily "turn the page" in a "nothing to see here, move along" sense.
No, the above is just a happy coincidence that Cruz understandably didn't hesitate to exploit. But this big immigration policy reboot was, I believe, being held in reserve for the point when his campaign judged that the wheels were coming off the Trump express - which they did spectacularly last night. And now Trump has Carson and Rubio sagely and accurately pointing out that his "deportation force" idea is physically and politically impossible, and Cruz picking his pocket on the rest of his phony immigration hardlinedness.
Only question left is how long it will be before Trump refers to Cruz as a "Cuban jumping bean" on Twitter:
In a sweeping new policy blueprint unveiled Friday, Senator Ted Cruz attacked legal and illegal immigration from all angles, proposing to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, increase deportations of [illegal aliens], and slow the flow of visas for foreign workers.
The blueprint mirrored key ideas in rival Donald Trump's immigration plan, such as a border wall, reducing legal immigration, and ending birthright citizenship. It comes as the Republican presidential candidate from Texas is locked in a war of words with Senator Marco Rubio, whose support for immigration reform in 2013 included a pathway to citizenship for [illegal aliens - as did Cruz's at the time].
Cruz laid out his plan in a fiery speech in Orlando in which he slammed the Republican establishment as the "Washington cartel" that favored amnesty....
zzzzzzzz<snort> Whazzat? Sorry, I dozed off there for a moment. Where were we? Oh, yes, Cruz favored a "pathway to citizenship" as well. But he'd prefer all you remaining Trumpsters not to know that.
However, he did not define the term for several hundred supporters attending the event at First Assembly of God.
Aaaaaaand now you know why. The term itself is so radioactively toxic that the actual meaning doesn't really matter for his purposes.
"We're tired of politicians who blow smoke. Enough talk. We're going to solve this problem," he said, drawing cheers from the crowd.
You mean like this smoke-blowing politician, Ted?:
“There is considerable bipartisan agreement outside of Washington that we need to improve and streamline legal immigration so that we can remain a nation that welcomes and celebrates legal immigrants,” Cruz said in an interview with the Washington Examiner during a brief campaign swing through Las Vegas.
“I think it is a mistake for any politician to on the one hand embrace amnesty, embrace a pathway to citizenship for those who are here illegally, and on the other hand seek to restrict or punish legal immigrants,” Cruz continued. “I am the son of an immigrant who came legally from Cuba. [President Ronald] Reagan referred to legal immigrants as Americans by choice and there is no stronger advocate of legal immigration in the U.S. Senate than I am.” [emphasis added]
i.e. the "Washington Cartel".
“I think the right approach is to secure the border, follow the rule of law and embrace and improve legal immigration,” Cruz said.
And he thought the last bit right up until as recently as three days ago at the fourth GOP debate, as part of the biographical side of his candidacy (son of Cuban immigrants making good in the shining city on a hill, etc.). But not anymore, apparently, not when throwing that principle overboard like a Washington Cartel-ist can move him up in the Republican presidential nomination standings.
Now don't misunderstand me, I have no problem with any aspect of this new Cruz immigration policy plank. As I've written before, historically our country has had periods of immigration influx followed by breathing spaces to allow our economy and culture to assimilate them (the proverbial "melting pot") as non-hyphenated Americans. We haven't had any such breathing space for over half a century and the economic and sociocultural strains are growing undeniably apparent. Illegal immigration does need to be eliminated as much as possible (it can't be eliminated entirely) on rule of law grounds alone, but legal immigration needs to be cut back as well. The Cloward-Pivenization of America has to be halted ASAP before we lose our country to these passive invaders and their indigenous enablers.
I just find Ted Cruz to be an....inadequate messenger for this message, almost as much so as Donald Trump. Because whereas Trump is a complete phony on the issue, Cruz is a rank opportunist in the very classic style of the "Washington Cartel" he endlessly berates. He's just as bad as he claims they are while standing there piously condemning them. It's hypocrisy of pharasiacal proportions.
And best of all? Even this new immigration crackdown of his still fudges the matter of what to do with the thirty million illegals that are already here:
Amazingly, his otherwise very detailed plan doesn’t address legalization. There’s language about deporting illegals who have criminal records and there’s vague language about enforcing the law, but Ted Cruz isn’t a guy known for circumlocution. He speaks plainly and eloquently about America’s problems. If he was intent on mass deportation instead of legalization, not only would his plan say that forthrightly, it would be emphasized at the very top in the security section. It isn’t. How come? [emphases added]
I'll tell you how come, Eeyore: Because Ted Cruz is no dummy and knows that deporting thirty million illegal aliens is physically and politically impossible, but he also wants Donald Trump's remaining supporters in order to outflank Marco Rubio and get to a showdown with Ben Carson. So he's making a big, blustering show of being a born-again immigration hawk while hoping that nobody notices that the core of that stance - mass deportations - is nowhere to be found in it, because in this instance, "speaking plainly and eloquently" would mean telling a quarter of the GOP electorate (more or less) that they can't have what Trump has bilked them into believing that he'll deliver to them.
Does anybody still wonder why Carson and Rubio are the most likeable candidates in the race? Agree or disagree, at least they're both honest about their policy positions and don't plunge figurative daggers into their co-partisans' backs. Trump and Cruz really do deserve each other.
Must be why, for all their bilious attacks on everybody else, they still to this day haven't laid so much as a finger on each other. But Trump will have to go after Cruz now, for gimmick infringement at the very least. Won't he?