A lot of hearts set on Kentucky Senator Rand Paul for 2016 starting breaking when reports began to surface that his immigration position starting moving closer to Jeb Bush than Jeff Sessions. Like so many in the GOP Establishment, Paul now wants to simply get the issue of illegal immigration off the table. “The bottom line is, the Hispanic community, the Latino community is not going to hear us until we get beyond that issue,” Paul said on Tuesday, according to Politico. Last year Sen. Paul had made a bizarre reference to Nazi death camps: “Are they for sending these people home? Do they want us to put them in concentration camps, on buses…?” (The “they” he was referring to is presumably anyone who is pro-enforcement and anti-amnesty.) Why should “they”—or anyone for that matter--have faith that this Administration (or any “mainstream” Republican president) would enforce new immigration laws when they want to largely ignore current enforcement provisions? Why would a middle class worker in Columbus who has seen his wages stagnate, maybe has been laid off a few times, “stand with Rand” if Rand believes that we need a virtually limitless supply of (cheaper) workers from foreign countries? Aren’t immigration laws supposed to exist for the benefit of the American people first and foremost?
The GOP may believe that even if they do embrace amnesty, Republican voters will turn out to vote (R) not matter what in 2016. Counting on anti-Hillary fervor to swamp voter dissatisfaction on issues like immigration is very risky. Millions stayed home in 2012 and the same could happen again. Consider this email from one of my listeners, Jared N., in Colorado Springs: "I’m glad that politicians are outing themselves on immigration. If neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are willing to enforce the laws, then we shouldn't spend a lot of time getting worked up over what happens in the next presidential election. We should keep building our own movement, separate from the two parties. When it makes sense to work with Rand, we will do so. When it makes sense to oppose him, we'll do that too.”
Oh, and one other question to Sen. Paul—what other issues do we need to “get beyond” for the sake of political expediency?