MOVE over John Kerry. The Senate has a new master of the flip-flop.
Sen. John Cornyn recently told a roomful of Hispanic conservatives who support immigration reform that he was in favor of the Dream Act — before he voted against it. Then, the Texas Republican did a rhetorical pirouette and declared he would favor the legislation again if it were part of a comprehensive immigration reform plan.
It happened in Miami where Cornyn was the lead speaker on an immigration panel at the inaugural conference of the Hispanic Leadership Network, a group designed to build bridges between Hispanics and the center-right.
I was in the room at the time.
A woman in the audience asked the panelists whether they supported the Dream Act, which would have allowed young illegal immigrants to earn legal status by attending college or joining the military. Cornyn stumbled.
“I have supported the Dream Act in the Judiciary Committee,” he said. “But I voted against cloture on the Dream Act during the lame-duck session, and let me explain why.”
But first, a little pandering.
“The children who are the subject of the Dream Act are not culpable,” Cornyn said. “They have no responsibility other than the fact that they came into this country with their parents. And they deserve the chance to have a better life and not be limited by the fact that they are not citizens.
“But what I think is very important is to acknowledge the political posturing and the wedge politics that were played using those children in the lame-duck session of the Congress. It was clear that, notwithstanding promises by the president and the majority leader, they had no intention of allowing a debate and amendments and for Congress to work on an immigration reform bill, and so what they did instead was to raise the Dream Act in the lame-duck session with no amendments and no realistic opportunity to debate and then they would use that vote as a bludgeon against Republicans and those who felt this deserved more deliberate consideration.”
So, Cornyn’s vote against cloture was a protest against what he saw as political shenanigans by Democrats?