'Growing' in Office, Before You Take Office

By Mark Krikorian on November 25, 2009

Rich Lowry of National Review tells a great story about the brief period years ago when he toyed with the idea of running for mayor of New York:

Shortly after the mayoral speculation began, a woman stopped me in my apartment building to ask if I were going to run. It turned out that she was that rarity, a right-wing Manhattanite. But soon enough she was asking me what I thought of rent control. I tried to dodge, saying I needed to study the issue further. She pressed me, then said she'd never vote for me if I wanted to end rent control since she lived in a rent-controlled apartment. Watching perhaps my only vote in Manhattan disappear, I immediately told her that any solution would have to grandfather in current residents of rent-controlled apartments. So there I was, about 48 hours into my mayoral flirtation, already selling out. The temptation to tell people what they want to hear is just extremely powerful, especially if you want their support.

Apropos of that, the Wall Street Journal reports today on Lou Dobbs's nascent campaign for Senate (or president):

In a little-noticed interview Friday, Mr. Dobbs told Spanish-language network Telemundo he now supports a plan to legalize millions of undocumented workers, a stance he long lambasted as an unfair "amnesty." . . .

Mr. Dobbs twice mentioned a possible legalization plan for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., saying at one point that "we need the ability to legalize illegal immigrants under certain conditions."

Mr. Dobbs couldn't be reached Tuesday. Spokesman Bob Dilenschneider said Mr. Dobbs draws a distinction between illegal immigrants who have committed crimes since arriving in the U.S. and those who are "living upright, positive and constructive lives" who should be "integrated" into society. He said Mr. Dobbs recognizes the political importance of Latinos and is "smoothing the water and clearing the air."

Now, this isn't quite as surprising as it may seem. Dobbs has always been a supporter of mass immigration, it's just illegal immigration that he used to complain about — that was better than anyone else in the mainstream media, for sure, but if you keep following the string you'll end up supporting either mass immigration, regardless of status, or low immigration, likewise regardless of status. Dobbs's (and many others') approach to immigration of "legal, good/illegal, bad" is logically untenable.

The amusing thing is that his "growth" isn't going to help him in any case — the open-borders crowd won't believe him and immigration hawks will dismiss him as just another McCain-style phony maverick.