Jeb Bush and Big Money on the Road to Ruin
by Jim Gillespie
Judge Andrew Hanen threw a spanner in the works this week–at least temporarily–by issuing an injunction prohibiting the White House from following through with two of the key initiatives of Obama’s executive amnesty. Responding to a law suit from the State of Texas and 25 other states, the federal judge in Brownsville enjoined the administration from implementing Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, which would have granted de facto amnesty to an estimated four million people. Hanen also put a stop to the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects from deportation aliens brought to the U.S. as children.
At this outrage, the bloggers-without-borders crowd erupted, as you might imagine, but so did the anything-for-a-buck crowd.
Consider, for example, Tamar Jacoby, the self-styled “conservative” who founded and leads the charmingly titled “Immigration Works USA”, a coalition of “business-friendly” coalitions across 25 states. In an op-ed response written for the LA Times (“Obama set the immigration trap, and the GOP walked in“), Ms. Jacoby admitted that while “her” party had won a battle, it was still certain to lose the immigration war.
To Ms. Jacoby, the bad old Republican party (that is, the one circa 2005), was anti-immigrant and bigoted and all that, but times have changed in the past ten years. “The GOP has undergone a sea change since 2005: a slow, steady, bottom-up rethinking of the immigration issue.” Nowadays, Republicans actually want to open the gates and let immigrants pour in. That way is, in fact, the way to beat Obama. Go him one better and “do the right thing and get credit for it.” In order to win, in other words, just be the first to surrender.
What is Immigration Works USA? Purporting to be pro-business, its board sports the likes of Linda Chavez (buddy to the late Al Shanker) and Andrés Martinez of the New America Foundation, so you wonder if it’s not just a wee bit more pro-immigration than pro-business. At any rate, its aim is to work the business side of the street on the immigration issue and persuade (or, as they say, “educate”) the rest of us into thinking that packing more and more third-world immigrants into the United States is a really good thing.
It may be, from a certain point of view. If your aim as a business is to maximize your profits by paying bottom dollar for labor, then it’s a good thing.
If your aim as a citizen is to get a job, then not so much.
And if you just want to hang on to what’s left of your culture, well, careful there, you might be a bigot.
The IW would like you to think it is the voice of true conservatism these days.
That’s certainly how Tamar Jacoby defines herself. Although admitting that she was raised in a “liberal, cosmopolitan” New York City family and being the author of such books as Someone Else’s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle for Integration and Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What It Means to Be American, Ms. Jacoby insists she really is a conservative. For example, back in 2007 she co-signed an op-ed piece in the Dallas Morning News titled “Conservatives: We Must Band Together on Immigration Bill.” The bill in question was George W. Bush’s 2007 amnesty, which died in the Senate, in spite of the frantic efforts of the “conservative” Jacoby and her band of fellow travelers.
Pop quiz: Who was signer number 2 on that list of worthies (behind Jack Kemp)? Answer: None other than former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Immigration Works USA and Jeb are tight. In Jacoby’s piece this week, she reminds us that “national figures like Jeb Bush…understand the need for far-reaching immigration reform.”
For his part, Jeb–who may not be running for president but actually is–also felt the need to comment on Hanen’s ruling. Jeb took to Facebook for this sage observation: “Last year the president overstepped his executive authority and, in turn, hurt the effort toward a commonsense immigration solution. That’s not leadership. The millions of families affected across the country deserve better.”
And what is leadership? Could it be Far-Reaching Immigration Reform?
The Facebook posting was just a sop to the sheep, of course. If you’re running against Obama-ism, you have to say stuff like that for the rank and file. But when you’re talking to Important People (ie, Big Money and the Kleptoclass–the pols and the donors), as Jeb did earlier this month at an economic conference in Detroit, you say stuff that they want to hear, such as, things about GDP, entrepreneurship, bottom lines, etc. He did utter an unintentional laugher, however, with this: “We should love our country, we should embrace our heritage and we should encourage immigrants to do so as well.” (You have to say stuff like that last part with a straight face, but Jeb is good at that sort of thing.)
The downside of the Detroit speech was that it served to remind us of what he said the LAST time he was in that ruined and bankrupt city. In 2013, he promised that immigrants could “repopulate” Detroit and make it “just as powerful, just as exciting, just as dynamic” as ever. It would no longer, he admitted, “be Polish,” of course, but what the hey. Little People are Little People the world over, right?
As a multimillionaire himself and scion of a gazillionaire family, the former governor is not one of the Little People. He is fond of them, however, and he thinks they should be free to “pursue happiness” and all that. What he can’t understand is why the Little People Who Happen To Be American Citizens don’t embrace open borders. He’s positively bewildered that anyone could oppose unlimited immigration. “It just seems bizarre to me,” he said.
Today, pre-campaigning under the rubric of “reform conservatism” and the Walking-Dead-sounding slogan of “the Right to Rise,” Bush is following a familiar template for Republican presidential hopefuls: (1) Court the pols–the elected politicians and their managers, promoters, and handlers. (2) Get the donor class on board, hopefully before your rivals do. And (3), with that two-headed Judas goat in your camp, lead the sheep to slaughter. What could be simpler? Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough money, right?
By all accounts, Bush is loaded financially and getting more so.
Big Money’s Mike Fernandez, Cuban immigrant and billionaire investor, praised Bush’s stand on immigrants this week, declaring, “We need to welcome this people [immigrants]….They did not come here for anything else other than improving their lives.”
Also singing Jeb’s praises was Spencer Zwick, former finance chairman for the unlamented Romney campaign. Abandoning the 2016 Romney ship that never got to set sail, Zwick declared that Big Money wants amnesty and any serious candidate had better follow Bush’s lead or else.
Pay no attention to the fact that the last entry Zwick backed ran a poor showing. (Or that polls foresee Bush losing to Hillary even in Florida.)
All aboard to defeat and ruin. That’s the way to win, all right.