Since last November’s electoral defeat, Republicans have been engaged in a self-described “rebranding” effort. Maybe they do need a little more pizzazz, but simply slapping new labels on bad ideas is not going to impress the voters.
The latest transparent rebranding idea comes from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who has decided it would be a neat idea to take the Democrats’ DREAM Act bill, call it the KIDS Act, and market as something new and improved. The KIDS Act hasn’t actually been written yet, but based on the pre-rollout hype, it sounds about as different from the DREAM Act as Hertz is from Avis.
We’ve seen this movie before – in fact, very recently. Marco Rubio spent the last few months insisting that the Gang of Eight amnesty bill – a knock-off of the failed 1986 amnesty bill – wasn’t an amnesty. Or, witness Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) describe how he supports a vastly different approach to immigration reform than the one taken by the Gang of Eight, and then go on to describe the identical amnesty-first, enforcement-later plan passed by the Senate.
Cantor is not satisfied with repackaging an old product that has been sitting on the shelf for 13 years. He adds the imprimatur of the Founding Fathers to his amnesty pitch. “One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents,” the majority leader told the American Enterprise Institute a few months ago.
Really? That was one of the great founding principles of our nation? No, of course children should not be punished for the mistakes of their parents, but that doesn’t mean we need to reward children for the mistakes of their parents.
But even more deceptive than the new name and the fresh coat of paint Cantor is seeking to put on the DREAM Act (a bill he voted against in 2010), is the intent of his effort. The bill he is getting set to offer in the House is nothing more than a vehicle to get to a conference committee with the Senate. That’s where he, Ryan, and a few others can go behind closed doors with Harry Reid and the Gang of Eight and come out with a much broader amnesty bill – which they will rebrand as something totally new and different and, of course, not amnesty.