The Corner

A “Betrayal”?

There has been some loose talk among conservatives who object to Bush’s immigration proposals about his alleged “betrayal” of them. I think this is foolish for two reasons. First, I agree with Kate’s comment from the other day: Bush really does believe that family values don’t stop at the border, etc. What’s the evidence that he doesn’t? I didn’t like Bush’s education plan either, but I have no doubt that he believes it is possible to reform public education by exerting federal pressure on the system. Second, to be betrayed we have to have been promised something different. Bush never suggested that he was anything but open to immigration and soft on enforcement of the laws. He was trying to pass a more limited version of this proposal two years ago, without anything near this outcry. Conservatives who don’t like it had ample warning.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.