Quin: Thank you for your comprehensive reports on Rep. Pence’s comments at our breakfast earlier today. In keeping with the polite tone of the proceedings, I can understand why you didn’t raise your eyebrows (at least in print) regarding the excessively kind words Pence had for Speaker Hastert — whom you excoriated in excellent column a few months ago (“Hastert La Vista Baby“) in calling on him to step down from the leadership for deviating from conservative principles. But right there was a troubling sign — wouldn’t it be better if Hastert felt Pence was planning to oust him rather than butter up to him?
Pence was excellent in taking Republicans to task for trying to play Democratic-style big government politics as a way to secure their majority position, as Phil Klein has noted. Yet if he’s so sober on this score, how on earth did he come up with the privatized Ellis Island solution to illegal immigration, based on what strikes me as the utterly unworkable notion that millions of illegals will agree to return home and jump through sundry hoops before being allowed back as guest workers, assuming they have proof of employer backing — when, just to point to one problem with this scheme, most illegal labor is short-term, if not daily, in nature. Too bad we never got into that today. But one has to wonder how do such political schemes arise? What’s the angle?