Joe Conason, the vitriolic critic of George W. Bush who called for his impeachment in 2005 and is still implying that the former president ignored repeated warnings about the 9/11 attacks, is suddenly praising Bush for coming out in support for comprehensive immigration reform.
In a Thursday column, Conason wrote that the “time to listen to him has surely arrived.”
Conason writes that Bush’s attempts at comprehensive immigration reform, with the help of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), failed last decade because of a “right-wing radio barrage Bush describes as a toxic ‘blend of isolationism, protectionism and nativism.'”
“Today that same description applies to the troglodyte Republicans in the House, who ought to pay close attention to the leader they once lionized but instead heed bad advice from Bill Kristol and Rush Limbaugh,” Conason writes. “The learning process that inspired Bush to promote reform when he was president–and still motivates him today–would benefit them, their party and the nation.”
Conason laments that the “chances of enlightenment in the rightward precincts of Capitol Hill seem vanishingly small at the moment, and meaningful immigration reform is almost certain to stall yet again.”
Bush’s domestic policies turned off as many conservatives as they did working-class Americans whose lives and wages would be adversely impacted by the Senate’s immigration bill, but he has suddenly become a man of reason, in the eyes of those like Conason, because he supports the comprehensive immigration reform that liberals and the mainstream press want. Similarly, Politico recently praised McCain for being “sane.”
“The rest of us listen to the man we mocked, realizing that he is now a lonely voice of sanity in a Republican Party that has descended steeply since he left office,” Conason writes.