Arizona Tower of Babble
Fittingly enough for a bi-lingual issue, the debate over Arizona’s arrest-an-immigrant law is becoming a confusion of tongues with ideologues speaking in unfamiliar ways.
While some Democrats unsurprisingly invoke Nazi Germany and apartheid, Republicans from Jeb Bush and Karl Rove to Tea Party hero Marco Rubio are groping for less flamboyant language to distance themselves from the effort to turn the American Melting Pot into a Grand Canyon of division.
The Bush dynasty’s heir-in-waiting complains about its “unintended consequences” (to a moderate presidential candidate, among others, no doubt). “It’s difficult,” says Bush III, “to imagine how you’re going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant.”
W’s Turd Blossom finds “some constitutional problems with the bill,” while Axis of Evil phrasemaker Michael Gerson calls it “understandable–and dreadful,” huffing that “chaos at the border is not an argument for states to take control of American immigration policy.”
Post-Bush Republicans are having even more trouble distancing themselves from the Arizona crackdown without attracting anti-incumbent ire.
Lindsey Graham flatly calls it “unacceptable” and “un-American,” but his best Senate friend, John McCain, facing conservative primary opposition in his reelection campaign there, stalls for time. “I haven’t had a chance to look at all the aspects,” says the former Maverick, “but I do understand why the Legislature would act.”
The most delicate balancing act is that of Rubio, a Cuban-American running for the Senate in Florida as the Hard Right’s poster boy…