Admittedly, Rubes isn't in the best position to throw the amnesty rock at Trump through his own mortgaged glass house, but at least he had the stones to do it anyway, unlike Jeb Bush at the debate last week, instead of saying something like, "The welcome mat I have in front of the door to my Senate office is a better rug than Trump's". Actually, the closest parallel is to yesterday's Chris Christie kick to Rubio's jewels on the exact same charge. Won't be as effective because of the glass house factor and therefore won't help the young Florida senator as much as it may have Double-C, but it is a public service in reminding everybody of Trump's at-best ambivalence in illegal immigration, and at worst, enthusiastic support of it:
Senator Marco Rubio on Wednesday slammed Donald Trump's record on immigration, saying he only became a hardliner on the issue once he started running for president....
"Well first of all, Donald was a supporter of amnesty and the DREAM Act, he changed his position on those issues just to run for president," Rubio said on Fox News' America's Newsroom.
Indeed, he did. It's as National Review's Jim Geraghty said (paraphrased) in a more general sense way back in June when Trump declared his candidacy with that Apollo-Creed-in-Rocky IV entrance: "Donald Trump became a 'conservative' about ten seconds before he came down those stairs". And that applies to illegal immigration just as much as every other issue. It still appalls me to this day that he has so easily fooled so many Republican voters with nothing more than aiming his oral cannon at the GOP "establishment". You can talk about the frustration of the conservative grassroots and the "establishment cockroaches" and all that rotgut all you want, but it does not absolve Tea Party Trumpsters of their responsibility to be responsible and vigilant voters who vet each and every candidate and hold their feet to the fire (an expression I hear endlessly from TPers when applied to the "establishment" - and rightfully so - but vanishes when it comes to the billionaire slumlord, who, at least up until very recently, has gotten cut a total pass).
Is Marco Rubio a hypocrite in these comments? You betcha. But that doesn't change the fact that he's absolutely right about Trump on amnesty.
“Republicans didn’t have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians,” the billionaire developer says.
“The Democrats didn’t have a policy for dealing with illegal [aliens], but what they did have going for them is they weren’t mean-spirited about it,” Trump says. “They didn’t know what the policy was, but what they were is they were kind.”…
“[Mitt Romney] had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal,” Trump says. “It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote,” Trump notes. “He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.” [emphases added]
And what was "self-deportation"? Using economic incentives to incentivize illegals going back where the came from because they wouldn't be able to profit from coming here illegally. You'd think a "master" businessman like Trump would understand economic incentives.
But he also kept asking, “Can’t you just become a citizen if you want to?” No, we can’t, the [extrem]ists said, there’s no process for that. Trump was reflective, the [extrem]ists said…
Trump said he knew the work of [illegal] people is what makes his golf courses and hotels great.
“At the end of the day, what we’re looking at is a value proposition for America,” Tijerino said to Trump at the end of the meeting, referring to immigration legislation.
“You’ve convinced me,” Trump said to the delight of the [extrem]ists in the room.
“We all smiled at each other and said, ‘Wow, we did it, we got this guy to change his mind,’” Pacheco said. [emphases added]
No, you didn't, Senor Pacheco; the first emphasized phrase above ought to make that blindingly clear.
2015 (back in the summer):
Bill O’Reilly: Now, the [thirty] million illegal aliens already in the United States, what do you do with them?
Donald Trump: I think right now you’re going to have to do something. It’s hard to generalize, but you’re going to have to look at the individual people, see how they’ve done, see how productive they’ve been, see what their references are, and then make a decision.
Bill O’Reilly: All right, on a case-by-case — going to take a long time and a lot of people.
Donald Trump: A long time, but you know, you have some great, productive people that came.
You have to give them a path. You have twenty million, thirty million, nobody knows what it is. It used to be eleven million. Now, today I hear it’s eleven, but I don’t think it’s eleven. I actually heard you probably have thirty million. You have to give them a path, and you have to make it possible for them to succeed. You have to do that. [emphases added]
Oh, we do, do we? This from the same man that insisted to his Tea Party audiences that "we" - or rather, "he" - will deport them all.
Whether Trump is a hardcore amnestyist or will simply say anything to anybody to get elected like a <GASP> professional politician - something that I seem to remember Tea Partiers detesting with every fiber of their beings - this man is the antithesis of what conservatives ought to want to see in and from their 2016 presidential nominee.
And The Donald's issue "flexibility" is, of course, not limited to illegal immigration:
GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump would not be a pro-growth president, according to a new white paper by the conservative Club for Growth....
"Though he's never previously run for elected office, Donald Trump has written and spoken extensively about taxes, trade, entitlements, and government regulations," said Club President David McIntosh.
"Trump has held anti-growth positions on each of those issues prior to 2015, and still defends a massive government role in healthcare, a mostly hands-off approach to entitlement reform, and protectionist policies that would likely spark trade wars and lead to higher business and consumer costs," McIntosh added.
The billionaire businessman's "hostility towards free trade is unmatched by any other major presidential candidate, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders," the far-left self-avowed "democratic socialist" seeking the Democrat nomination, the white paper read.
He also has advocated universal, government-run health care, a massive new "wealth" tax, and the abuse of eminent domain for commercial development, the Club says.
The paper notes Trump's past praise for Democrat [candidate] Hillary Clinton and that he told CNN in a 2004 interview he most identifies with Democrats.
He also has donated to Democrats and to "anti-growth Republicans who later left the party," such as former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, according to the Club. [emphases added]
This ought to matter to Tea Partiers. All of it. It is a resume of a liberal-left commie bastard, or at the very least an unprincipled mercenary whose only agenda is himself and his bank accounts - something I was under the impression Tea Partiers also loathed with a fiery passion. So how the hell is it that the candidate with so many issue stances and opportunistic flip-flopping and flagrant character defects is still a moderately-close second in the Republican race? I mean, come on, he donated to Sorry Charlie Crist, for Frigg's sake.
But let's think this all the way through. Why is Trump not running for the Democrat nomination? Well, one would automatically conclude that a rich businessman seeking the nomination of a party whose members harbor erotic fantasies of hanging rich businessmen upside-down from the nearest lampposts in order to skin them alive would make that a bad idea. And one would be right, although I don't see any substantive difference between a Trump and a Ted Kennedy or John Kerry or the Clintons for that matter, other than the business each is in (real estate for Trump, politics for the others - and now Trump wants to add the latter to his business portfolio). Yet Trump is still a liberal Democrat, and his only other option is running as a Republican in a party dominated by the Tea Party. That wouldn't seem to be a workable option either. But he recognized them as his way in, illegal immigration as the (heh) "pathway to partisanship" as it were, and that their over-emotionalism - i.e. raging anger at all the wrong people - could be exploited to provide him with a big enough base of support that would last long enough to either carry him to the nomination or else win him enough delegates to play kingmaker - or queenmaker, since Trump's warm and cordial relationship with La Clinton Nostra is no secret, and Trump would be better suited to serve as Hillary's Ross Perot-esque spoiler than Perot himself ever was for her husband.
But in order to accomplish that, Trump would first have to enter the GOP race and lure away enough gullible conservative voters to later take them with him when he bolts for an independent general election run that splits the center-right vote and puts Hillary Clinton back in the White House.
It's not a complicated scenario to figure out, and it is the one that makes the most sense and fits all the facts. Or at least it isn't a complicated scenario for voters who are still reasoning instead of raging, thinking instead of "fighting," and focused on restoring the Republic instead of sticking it to the "establishment".
I'm not quite as cynical about getting through to Trump supporters as Allahpundit is, given the inception of his slow fade as more Americans start paying serious attention to the nomination race. That's why now is precisely the time to pour on the facts about what Donald Trump is and what he is not - namely, a Democrat and Republican, respectively. Will GOP voters listen?
They'd better. Although if they don't, I'll be intensely looking forward to their betrayal-rage about a year and a half from now. And you better bet your sweet asses I'll have those five magic words locked, loaded, and ready to go.