I should have known it was going to be a busy week for Republican news when the Republican National Committee was holding its annual summer meetings in Boston. Because whenever you get a group of leading Republicans together to talk about issues, the quotes you get from it are almost always completely ridiculous.
And quite possibly the best comment of the week came from none other than RNC chair Reince Priebus when he said:
“Using the word ‘self-deportation’, it’s a horrific comment to make. I don’t think it has anything to do with our party. When someone makes those comments, obviously, it hurts us.”
Excuse me? Didn’t the 2012 Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, build a part of his campaign on immigration based on the notion of “self-deportation?” You know, the practice where we make life so miserable for anyone living here illegally that they would simply return back to their “home country.”
Wait, what’s that I just saw? Reince Priebus supported the Republican platform of self-deportation—just last year?
Let’s paint this picture.
Just last year the Republican party ran Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate in hopes of defeating President Obama. As it relates to their political stance on immigration during this election, not only did their candidate openly endorse the idea of “self-deportation,” but the party itself supported the idea in the Republican party’s immigration platform.
Yet this past week Priebus called the idea of self-deportation “horrific.”
So–the immigration policy the Republicans supported, and their most recent presidential candidate ran on, was horrific and hurtful? Is that what I’m seeing here?
Well–yeah. But you don’t need to ask me, just look at the comments by Priebus.
But is anyone really shocked by these comments? After all, this is a party that seems to bring out a minority Republicans here and there as their version of, “See, we’re not racist—we have friends who are minorities!”
And while I believe that people can change their views on issues (I’ve changed my views on key issues over the years), I don’t believe an entire political party suddenly changes who they are because they want to—it’s because they have to.
Republicans know they stand absolutely zero change at remaining relevant nationally if they don’t gain more of the Latino vote. They also know they’ll never do that by supporting policies such as “self-deportation” or publicly supporting Republican radicals like Steve King.
Though, I think you would have to be naive if you didn’t feel that privately many Republicans still support these ignorant and horrific policies. Because when radicals like Steve King say that just a year ago most Republicans supported his stance on immigration, yet now they’re distancing themselves from him as quickly as possible, I still believe that privately they agree with his asinine comments.
So as Republicans scramble to “rebrand” themselves as a party in hopes of keeping themselves relevant nationally, I would always urge any independent voter to be very skeptical of any “new stance” taken by Republicans on key issues.
Because it’s one thing for a handful of Republicans to have their ignorant stance on some issues evolve to something that makes more sense. But when an entire political party seems to be “cheerleading,” hoping to get its members to support policies out of fear that their party might face extinction, that’s not truly changing political ideologies—that’s just taking a position of saying anything they can that can possibly give them a chance to win elections.