There was a time when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker actually supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but Walker is running for president for Pete's sake.
Some of the conservative boosters Walker needs to win over are skeptical of his position on immigrantion so he's tacking as far right as he can as quickly as he can.
Walker revealed yesterday that he's been seeking advice from Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), one of the biggest xenophobes in Congress this side of Steve King.
"In terms of legal immigration, how we need to approach that going forward is saying -- the next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages. Because the more I’ve talked to folks, I’ve talked to [Alabama Sen. Jeff] Sessions and others out there -- but it is a fundamentally lost issue by many in elected positions today -- is what is this doing for American workers looking for jobs, what is this doing to wages. And we need to have that be at the forefront of our discussion going forward," Walker said in an interview with Glenn Beck, according to Breitbart News.
It's one thing for Walker to flip flop and criticize illegal immigration, but for him to criticize legal immigration is not just another ballpark but another zip code. And if he's been listening to Jeff Sessions, I think we know why.
Among other things, Jeff Sessions opposes comprehensive immigration reform because, according to him, immigrants (who don't actually receive assistance) are a blight on the social safety net (that he also wants to dismantle). Sessions has long opposed immigration reform dating back to the Bush administration and, as the chairman of Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, Sessions demanded that funding for the Department of Homeland Security be tied to a repeal of the president's executive orders and the deportation of all DREAMers.
Many are pointing out today that the current crop of Republican presidential candidates apparently don't understand that the Republican party has fared progressively worse among Latino voters over the past two presidential election cycles because of positions like those espoused by Jeff Sessions and Steve King, but I'm not sure that's entirely true.
They may know just how toxic these positions are in a national election, but it's a catch 22 for them. Winning primaries and becoming the nominee requires that you pander to nativists and nationalists, but unfortunately for them you can't unring that bell when primary season is over.
Whether they truly believe it or not, these are the positions they state publicly to advance within the party, and if Democrats had someone on their side climbing the party ranks by pandering to the lunatic fringe in this manner, I would be embarrassed and I would call them out for it.
I don't believe we'll see another Republican in the White House for a generation because that's how long it may take the party to get over its racism if they ever do.