The Corner

Trust Me

Jonah’s right that the chief issue between the Republican baseand the White House on immigration is trust, or lack thereof. As Peggy Noonan wrote last year, “Americans don’t trust ‘comprehensive plans,’ because they don’t trust the comprehensive planners.” Ironically, if the president had begun a vigorous enforcment program the day after taking office, he would have accrued enough credibility to have gotten his amnesty by now, however much I might not have liked it. But that was never going to happen because in addition to Jonah’s point about the administration having a tin ear for the politics of the issue, the president is opposed — morally and emotionally repelled — by the idea of enforcing the border with Mexico. It’s just uncompassionate, in his view, and nothing’s going to change that. Thus there’s good reason not to trust him regarding immigration.