Proving just how inept the White House is at communicating its message on illegal immigration is this bizarre talking point out of a Wall Street Journal op-ed today, penned by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman:

“Hispanics are also the fastest growing segment of our population. Salsa outsells ketchup and tacos outsell hot dogs. One out of eight people under 35 in Nebraska is Hispanic.”

I’m not exactly sure what the salsa vs. ketchup argument is supposed to prove. I’m a white woman (full disclosure: over the age of 35 and not living in Nebraska) who eats more salsa than ketchup. And I’ve probably consumed more tacos this year than hot dogs. So what’s the point?

Here’s something for Mehlman and Bush to chew on: If you put Velveeta cheese and a jar of salsa in a bowl and microwave it, you get chili con queso dip. Makes you think, doesn’t it? 

I’ll tell you what: It makes me think. It makes me think the Bush administration has completely lost its marbles!

With his arrogant, condescending, clueless statement this week attacking conservatives who oppose the current immigration bill by suggesting they aren’t doing what’s best for America, President George W. Bush handed the GOP presidential candidates a gift on a silver platter — if any of them has the guts to accept it.

Yes, President Bush did for Republicans what they’ve had trouble mustering up the nerve to do for themselves: pick a fight with Dubya. And let me be the first to borrow a phrase from John Kerry circa 2004: “Bring … it … on!”

There’s an interesting article posted on The New Yorker’s website about the state of the GOP, entitled, “Party Unfaithful: The Republican implosion.” In it, Newt Gingrich breaks down the successful campaign of France’s new president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

“’What’s fascinating about Sarkozy is that you have an incumbent cabinet member of a very unpopular twelve-year Presidency, who over the last three years became the clear advocate of fundamental change, running against an attractive woman’ — the Socialist leader Ségolène Royal — ‘who is the head of the opposition,’ Gingrich went on. ‘In a country that wanted to say, “Not them,” he managed to switch the identity of the “them.” He said, “I’m different from Chirac, and she’s not. If you want more of the same, you should vote for her.” It was a Lincoln-quality strategic decision.’”

And so it must go with the winning Republican presidential nominee on the issue of illegal immigration and open borders. If you want more of Bush’s policy on immigration, vote for the Democrat. Of course, this will require a GOP nominee with “guts enough” to follow his own instinct. That quote — “guts enough” — is Fred Thompson circa May 30, 2007.