Friday, April 27, 2012

Rubio defends Dream Act motives

The New York Times' Lizette Alvarez has a terrific read on Marco Rubio's alternative to the Dream Act, which has provoked displeasure from both conservatives and liberals.

There's an obvious middle bear quality to it. Conservatives think it goes too far; liberals not far enough, and for largely political purposes, neither side is likely to budge.

But this extract is particularly important for 2012 purposes (ea).

Senator Rubio shrugged off criticism that his plan is a political ploy to attract Hispanics and not a serious legislative effort to help students here illegally.

“Taking something like this on politically has just as many pitfalls as it has advantages,” he said.

At first glance, that seems a little disingenuous, since the plan has big benefits for a general election.

But within the context of a political career, Rubio is absolutely right -- it's a big risk for him.

If he runs for president in 2016, crafting and supporting this bill would hurt him badly in a primary. Not a general. But a primary.

We saw how angry conservatives were over Rick Perry's Dream Act and overall rhetoric on immigration (ironically, Mitt Romney was the leader of the outrage), and Rubio would be in store for even more cannon fire.

So in the context of a 2012 general election, no, it's not dangerous. In the context of the rest of his career, yes, it is.