Jeb dunking on Trump isn’t the ultimate indignity. This is the ultimate indignity:
— Eric Cantor (@EricCantor) August 25, 2016
I’m sure Ted Cruz is itching to issue his own I-told-you so (publicly, that is, not privately) but he’s taken enough damage on the right for not endorsing Trump at the convention that he can’t afford to double down now by mocking him. For former Cruz staffers, though, it’s a different story. Here’s Rick Tyler, who served as his campaign spokesman for several months during the primaries, tweaking the title of Coulter’s new “In Trump We Trust” book:
— Rick Tyler (@rickwtyler) August 25, 2016
And then we come to Jeb, who’s been waiting for revenge for months. Energy level here: High.
“Well, I can only say that whatever his views are this morning, they might change this afternoon, and they were different than they were last night, and they’ll be different tomorrow,” the former Florida governor said on WABC radio’s Election Central with Rita Cosby.
Bush, who was one of Trump’s most vocal critics when he ran against him during the Republican primary, continued, saying, “I can’t comment on his views, because his views are… they seem to be ever, ever-changing, depending on what crowd he’s in front of. Sounds like a typical politician, by the way, where you get in front of one crowd and say one thing, and then say something else to another crowd that may want to hear a different view. All the things that Donald Trump railed against, he seems to be morphing into — it’s kind of disturbing.”
“He doesn’t believe in things, this is all a game,” added Bush.
I don’t want to jab Jeb during his moment of glory but can he — and Trump — please stop pushing this silly “legalization, not citizenship” idea? I understand the political appeal of wanting to legalize illegals while denying them citizenship. It’s a compromise gesture and it reassures conservatives who are wary of a deal with the left that amnesty isn’t going to mean adding millions of new Democrat-supporting Latino voters to the rolls right away. Legalization without citizenship is definitely more salable than a path to citizenship is. Jeb made the point last month, though, that one of the corrosive things about Trump is that he’s prone to making promises that won’t be kept, and that once he breaks them it’s going to further disillusion Americans who are already disillusioned about the political process. Well, same goes for Jeb’s legalization plan: The parties will eventually cave and promote legalized illegals to full citizenship because electoral reality will require them to. It’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise, that some illegals might remain forever as a class of permanent residents who can never aspire to vote. Conservatives who buy that are going to be stabbed in the back again.
The best you can say for legalization without citizenship, I think, is that it’ll give border hawks time to adjust to the reality that 11 million illegals aren’t going home after all. Once they’re here for a few years as legal residents, presumably opposition to granting them full citizenship will soften too (especially if there’s better enforcement against new illegals entering the country happening at the same time). It’s a way to ease righties into accepting that illegals who have been amnestized are going to end up as citizens. Which, I’m sure, is why Bush likes it. Trump? Probably hasn’t a clue. He may sincerely believe that legalized illegals will be cut off from citizenship forever. I guess Kellyanne Conway can wait until 2020 to have that chat with him.