The Wall Street Journal strongly suggested Wednesday that opponents of “comprehensive” immigration reform are mere racists, in a slew of commentary prompted by the controversy over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s remark this week that illegal immigration was an “act of love.” Though the Journal editorial page is often quite conservative, it frequently criticizes the Tea Party, and it tends to favor a liberal policy on immigration reform.
In an editorial entitled “Jeb Bush’s Immigration Heresy,” the Journal‘s editorial writers assert that Bush has “already got a better immigration message than the self-defeating “self-deportation” crowd that cost the GOP so dearly in 2012.” The journal neglects to mention that it was its own favored candidate, moderate Mitt Romney, who used the term “self-deportation.” It also fails to substantiate its claim that the Republican stance towards illegal immigration was decisive in 2012: in fact, as even some liberals have noted, it was not the main factor.
Elsewhere, political columnist William Galston writes that Bush’s opinions would produce “the kind of presidential campaign the country needs,” and claims that his Tea Party critics are racists: “The tea party offers nothing except nostalgia for a demography that is in retreat and a Constitution that never was.”
The fact that the Tea Party has produced the most prominent Latino politicians in the country–from either party–is ignored, as is the fact that its objections to amnesty without border security first are widely shared by the rest of the electorate. Galston’s attempt to boost a Republican moderate is also a frequent ploy by pundits who quickly align behind the Democrat in the general election, regardless of which Republican is nominated.