George W. Bush's position on immigration has been consistent and honorable, even when he was clawing his way toward the Republican nomination in 2000, facing conservative audiences who inevitably asked hostile questions about the Mexicans coming across the border. "They just want the same thing for their families as you want for yours," Bush would say—and his empathy paid off in the general elections, in which he won 35% of the Latino vote in 2000 and 40% in 2004. He stood by his principles again last week in his prime-time speech, promising to make a greater effort to protect the border while refusing to cave to conservative pressure against a pathway toward citizenship for the 12 million illegals already here. It can be argued that the position Bush took wasn't very courageous: vast majorities of Americans support it. About 65% favor either a guest-worker program or simple legalization of current illegals, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. But it is never easy going against your party's base. For a Democrat, the equivalent would be opposition to affirmative action.Read it here.
That's Bush all right -- compassionate, empathetic, consistent, honorable, courageous. Even a Clinton lackey like Klein can recognize it. I have nothing but admiration for our President who has had the intelligence, courage and good sense to stand firm against the ideological nutters on both the antiwar Left and the nativist Right.