Sen. Marco Rubio ‘kneecaps’ fellow conservatives

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Rubio“Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is running a campaign-style press operation to push an immigration overhaul, a fitting move for a politician who needs it to bolster a rumored 2016 presidential bid,” Roll Call reports this morning. “Rubio’s Senate office has adopted a rapid-response strategy similar to Obama for America’s vaunted 2012 tactics,” Roll Call continues.

Unfortunately, tactics are not the only thing Rubio is borrowing from the Obama campaign.

The liberal news site Talking Points Memo reports that not only is Rubio trying to persuade wayward Republicans to support amnesty, but he is also trying to “kneecap the other side” by painting them as “extremists.” “One of immigration reform’s biggest advantages politically is that it draws financial and grassroots support from a wide array of business and activist causes, while there are few interests outside of the populist right bankrolling opposition to a bill. But just to be safe, conservatives are organizing a widespread campaign to discredit anti-immigration groups,” TPM reports.

The wider conservative movement is taking note of Rubio’s talking points and tactics. National Review‘s Victor Davis Hanson writes:


The strange thing about the Republican members in the Gang of Eight debate is that to ram through immigration legislation, they and their supporters are beginning to adopt the same sort of tactics that we have seen used by the Left during the fights over Obamacare and gun control: obfuscate the issue by imprecise vocabulary and ahistorical allusions; demonize your opponents with all sorts of crazy accusations of quasi-tolerance of “slavery” to abortion; create a false sort of urgency (we are supposed to pass this very minute the huge and mostly unread immigration bill in the manner of the huge and unread Obamacare bill); and speak loftily of principles and humanitarianism when the issue is mostly driven by electoral politics and demography.


And Red State‘s Erick Erickson adds:


The damage Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Bush staffers did in 2005-2006 has not been undone. They called many Republicans bigots and racists who were not, but who stood in the way of their comprehensive approach to immigration. That created a great deal of distrust and animosity on this issue. Instead of trying to understand the legitimate concerns of those who opposed their plan, they tarred and feathered them all. Without ever trying to heal those wounds, those behind this latest push are tearing open new wounds.


So far, Rubio seems dead set on repeating the exact same mistakes President Reagan made on immigration policy, and President Bush made on tactics. He appears to have learned nothing from history. Hopefully Republicans are not doomed to repeat it.

Conn Carroll

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