Chan Lowe: Marco Rubio and the immigration bill

Since everything Sen. Marco Rubio does must be viewed through the lens of his ambitions for higher office, his shepherding of the recently passed immigration bill — which includes the controversial path to citizenship — is a nuanced strategy.


The simplistic way to look at it is that Rubio has shot himself in the foot; already he’s being excoriated by the rabid right wing of his party for caving over “amnesty.”


We know that this is the same rabid right that votes in Republican primaries, which is the reason we were treated to the clown parade back in the spring of 2012.


Considering that the immigration bill as passed by the Senate has as much chance of surviving in the House as a gay pride banner at a tea party rally, the simplistic thinker might wonder why Rubio would throw it all away like this.


But while the right wing is playing checkers, young Marco is playing three-dimensional chess, with time as the third dimension. With his quixotic act, he’s now established his credibilidad with Latinos of the non-Cuban variety — a group whose collective immigrant experience has little to do with his.


It’s a long game, and it probably involves 2020, which is an eternity away, politically speaking. In the intervening seven years, Marco will grow some distinguished-looking gray hairs around the temples, the Hispanic demographic will continue to explode in relation to the rest of the electorate, and maybe the Republican Party will have wised up and learned the wisdom of at least pretending to accept that group.


Thus, while the party’s old reputation for intolerance will have faded into the past, all the Latinos will remember is that Rubio was one of their earliest champions, back before everybody crowded onto the diversity bus.


One more reason to wait: Hillary. She needs the space to complete the realization of her dream. One term will be enough to make her point. Then, "Adelante (forward)!"

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