Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s governor and yet another 2016 presidential hopeful, is once again groovin’ to the sweet sounds of the Immigration Metronome. According to the Wall Street Journal, while at a private dinner with a group of New Hampshire Republicans, Walker floated the possibility of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. If this is really the case, it could be a pretty bold move for a Comic Sans candidate who, as recently as this month, is on the record against “amnesty” in any form.
So far, Republicans seem impressed with Walker’s spineless refusal to answer simple questions and totally undaunted by his ever-changing shifts in policy. Republicans in key states are finding these qualities to be downright cuddly. For instance, Walker wouldn’t answer whether he believes in evolution, and that suits GOP voters just fine. Belief in evolution is a private matter between a man, his God, and carbon. But how will John Q. Buckley Republican respond to this apparent change of heart on immigration? I mean, they already have to press “1” for English. How much more suffering can they endure?
Immigration presents a prickly issue for GOP presidential aspirants who have to kiss the ring of Rep. Steve King, Iowa’s insane xenophobic gatekeeper, yet also have to eventually appeal to Americans who don’t agree with demonizing every neighborly Hispanic person or building a 2,000-mile electrified moat to keep them scary browns out. But upon hearing about Walker’s allegedly throwback (albeit Reagan-ish) immigration stance, some conservatives immediately summoned their day laborers to come hither with the fainting couches.
Fortunately, the courageous absentee governor had spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski clarify that the Walker crew is calling backsies on any alleged comments involving the word “citizenship,” since Walker was using his Indoor Private Gathering Voice and not his Primary Stump Speech Cadence. And you’ll have to take her word for it since no audio will be provided to the press. Kukowski maintains that Walker has been consistent about prioritizing a secure border and has been open to a “pathway to legal status,” which is not citizenship, but its own category that could be called something like “American Lite.”
And while Kukowski is insistent about her boss’ consistency, Walker’s track record says otherwise:
At a 2002 Mexican Independence Day event in Milwaukee, Wis., Mr. Walker, then the county executive, signed a resolution that praised the economic and civic contributions of undocumented immigrants and called for “a new program similar to the Federal amnesty program enacted by Congress in 1986.”
In 2006 Mr. Walker signed another county resolution backing the immigration proposal authored by Sens. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Ted Kennedy (D., Mass.) that would have granted legal status to many illegal immigrants.
Walker then flirted with a pathway to citizenship in 2013 before recently coming clean to Fox News, in a rare on-the-record flip flop, that his position had changed and he’s not in favor of any amnesty for illegal immigrants.
So if you’re scoring at home, Walker began his immigration journey as pro-path to citizenship, was abruptly ushered by some Minutemen through a “No Amnesty” wormhole, possibly took a brief detour back to pro-citizenship, before finally reaching the Definitely No Citizenship But Probably Legal Status Promised Land.
It’s all very confusing and an appropriate follow-up question might be to ask this duplicitous pile of smirk for his definition of “amnesty,” but that’s easier said than done these days. On Friday, Walker, who’s supposedly the governor of a state called “Wisconsin,” was in Texas for a timely border tour with governor bro Gregg Abbott. And staying true to his recent pattern, Walker refused to take questions.
As Walker remains stubbornly resilient in the face of unsolicited media requests, it’s worth wondering if Walker’s dickish lack of conviction will derail his prospects or bring him to glory. Virtually the only thing that Walker stands by is that, while Wisconsin’s vanishing middle class may be collateral, he bravely stood up to ISIS by screwing over organized labor.
A vote for anyone else is like picketing for the terrorists. Where do you stand, America?