Is there a new word coming?
Ryan Sager discovers that Fred Thompson had taken different positions on immigration than his current one. In April of 2006 and March of 2007, he firmly was to the left of the current bill. For example, he opposed the fence:
that’s a technical problem. In this day and age, I would not think you would have to use bricks and mortar to get that job done. But we ought to do everything that we can to get it done to the extent that we can
And argued that you needed to let people stay:
I mean, there’s really no good solution. So what do you do? You have to start over. Well, I’m concerned about the next 12 million or 20 million. So that’s why enforcement, and enforcement at the border, has to be primary.
So every candidate, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson all have expressed support for the old McCain-Kennedy bill. Now, only John McCain stands by the new bill.
And this matters. Jim Geraghty argues that it does not and says:
The base doesn’t care if somebody whose previous stance was “hooray for illegals” suddenly changes his opinion; they want somebody to stop the bill! If Ted Kennedy suddenly was hit on the head, had a total personality inversion, and started leading the fight against this bill and killed it, the conservative base would say, "You know, there was always something I liked about that hard-drinking sonofagun."
But this clearly isn’t right. There is no question that the status quo involves the government not implementing the law. If a candidate used to support "amnesty", then flip-flopped to oppose this bill, and the bill is stopped… What makes you think that they would actually enforce the law as president? They essentially lied once. What is to stop them from reverting to their conscience rather than political pressure? Especially when president after president has proved susceptible to the political pressure from business and labor to maintain the status quo?