Jeb Bush was for giving citizenship to illegals before he was against it.
Before he was for it again.
Over at NRO early this morning, I apparently overestimated Jeb Bush's abilities, though not his thirst for amnesty. Yesterday, he made a splash in flacking his new immigration book by coming out against putting illegals on a path to citizenship (which he had long supported). In the book, he called instead for a different sort of amnesty which would give illegals aliens work cards, Social Security accounts, driver's licenses, the ability to travel abroad and return--but not the right to apply for citizenship. This would be like a permanent guest worker visa or a green card lite.
The point of this supposedly less generous form of amnesty, which has been floated by others as well, is to con Republican skeptics into backing an amnesty bill by creating the pretense of compromise. Such an approach would permit GOP House members to say they were sticking it to Obama by voting for something he supposedly opposes.
There's no compromise involved, of course, because the point of the amnesty push is to give illegal aliens legal status so they can stay here legally the rest of their lives -- the nature of that status is just a detail. But the strategy had, and still has, promise. Time swallowed the fairy tale that the proposal isn't amnesty, and acknowledged that Bush's goal in floating the proposal is to "soften the ground for the Party to move to the center on the issue" -- i.e., vote for amnesty. Likewise, the New York Times comically described it as a "middle-ground option".
But then today Jeb blows it by recanting his position in his brand new book, saying "we wrote this last year." In other words, "Last year I thought I had to pretend to support a less generous form of amnesty to dupe my fellow Republicans, but now that the Democrats, my allies on immigration, are in a stronger political position, I can stop pretending."
And people are talking about him for 2016? Give me a break.