Suicide or sanity: Bush v. Rubio on immigration in a CPAC showdown

While some focus on the freak show aspects of the coming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting — does anyone really care what Sarah Palin will say, and is anyone except joyous Democrats and suicidal Republicans not yet bored by what Ted Cruz says? — the real show will lie in the Bush v. Rubio battle over immigration. Former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, who is likely running for president, has fired an anti-immigration shot over the bow of current Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is likely running for president, by opposing a path to citizenship on immigration. Democrats are joyous.

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Jeb Bush, the opportunist bro of the highly unpopular former President George W. Bush, recently supported a path to citizenship in immigration reform until ambition beckoned and opportunity arose. Yours truly is surprised. I had thought the man who wants to be Bush 45 would be more serious and statesmanlike and try to spread the wings of the GOP to wider appeal, rather than dangle red meat to CPAC in ways that alienate the powerful Hispanic vote, which brings joy to Texas Democrats, Florida Democrats, Arizona Democrats, New Mexico Democrats, Nevada Democrats and national Democrats everywhere.

Candidly, I do not understand the Bush strategy. Sure, he helps himself in GOP primaries with red meat to the far right. But by doing so, he walks in the footsteps of the man who recently called for voluntary deportation and was shellacked by Barack Obama.

Further alienating Hispanics is not a good plan for the GOP, but the GOP has lost most recent national elections because they chose — like Mitt Romney did, like Bush does — a bad plan.

It will be interesting to watch how tough and solid Rubio is on immigration at CPAC.

It will be equally interesting to watch the CPAC crowd. Will they cheer Bush, boo Rubio, and further doom national Republicans? Will Rubio fold when confronted? Or will Rubio be a strong leader and speak to CPAC as Bill Clinton once spoke to Sister Souljah, as I recently suggested would be the best path to GOP revival?

Meanwhile, Texas Democrats are excited, while Florida Democrats are eyeing polls that show they could win a big victory in the 2014 election for governor, and let’s put Arizona on the list of future blue states. Thank you, Jeb Bush, they say.

From POTUS to Pelosi, Democrats will offer immigration plans with far more appeal to Hispanics than Bush or Rubio.

Sarah who?

Ted what?

No, the real show is Rubio v. Bush. At CPAC Democrats are rooting for Bush, while a certain Democratic gentlelady makes her plans to win a realigning landslide in 2016.

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