I'm calling it -- the R nominee for President is going to be Rick Perry.
Romney's campaign is over, it just hasn't happened yet.
The GOP basically wants anybody but Romney for their nominee. Romney is too good a politician, though. He's smooth, he's unflappable, he's quick with answers. Everyone has been trying to trip him up on everything from Mormonism being a cult to his time as governor and he just doesn't drop.
During the Las Vegas debate last week, Perry brought up Romney hiring illegal immigrants for yard care. This is old hat, actually, Romney was hit by it during his 2008 campaign as well. The R's have made a huge issue over illegal immigrants. During the debate, they even had to answer the question about illegal immigrants who enter the US illegally, have a kid, and that kid is considered a natural born citizen.
Keep in mind, politicians aren't really going to do anything about illegal immigrants. The reason is simple -- it is a permanent underclass that can be exploited and will never become a credible social threat. So many businesses employ them, so many people in the upper strata hire them, so many places use them because they are cheaper than temps and you don't have to train them (my place of work needed some work done and brought in a labor company. We found out after the fact that one of them was an illegal. The guy wasn't trained on the equipment the company said he was and caused about $35,000 in building damage. He left the building before it was discovered and, what do you know, the labor company doesn't have any official documentation on the guy or even know his real name or location, leaving my employer to eat the bill), give them benefits or even minimum wage, and if they give you shit, you can just I-9 them. And they still come back because, as lousy as the pay and treatment is, it still beats what they get in Mexico.
With all this strum und drang, something bad was going to happen to one candidate on the subject of illegal immigration, one that would have the voting base they court shit themselves and abandon them. My money was on Perry. He's from Texas, right on the border. Target rich environment. Perry was already getting nailed by Romney for providing education to what are called "anchor babies," babies born in the US to illegal immigrant parents.
Nope. Backed the wrong pony. Romney is the one getting nailed. Romney is usually pretty cool and collected, but the one place his composure cracked during the debate was when Perry brought up the illegal immigrants who tended to his yard. Romney at one point turned and said, "Anderson?", seeking intervention from moderator Anderson Cooper.
It's an open wound. And everybody's getting ready to pick at it.
A fast item came skittering across the Peter G newsdesk. The Los Angeles Times has examined the health care reform act Romney signed into law as governor of Massachusetts in 2006. And it contains a provision that allows medical care for illegals and undocumented workers in the state.
That sound you hear is Romney campaign going Hindenburg.
I mentioned the primary rule of political debates is to never show any weakness, because it shows where you can be attacked. Just like Herman Cain, Romney revealed his Achilles' heal. And with this detail, his goose is cooked.
Romney's people are already in spin mode, saying that the provision in question doesn't explicitly extend benefits to illegals. It's just that it can be interpreted that way and it's too late to change the law now. Bullshit. Romney was governor of a heavily Democratic state, which wants to extend aid to illegals. There's no way this made it out of committee without that wording being exactly what they wanted. Once again, people want this permanent underclass. This way, supporters of illegals could say they got them social benefits, those that need the support of those who oppose can say they didn't mean it that way. Everybody gets what they want and gets plausible deniability that they intended and engineered it for exactly that end.
It's a shame Romney's campaign is going to be derailed by this issue. Longtime readers know I hate Romney with a passion. Just his support of outlawing abortion despite it being the circumstances that killed his sister-in-law incise me no end. And yet, despite all the legitimate reasons to hate Romney, to not support him, to find a candidate worth supporting instead of him, it's going to be this one hot button issue that does him in.
This is the problem with modern politics. People don't do the right thing anymore, just the popular thing. And it's not just the politicians guilty of this, it's us voters as well.