The late Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called it "boob bait for bubba" — tough-sounding rhetoric designed to placate conservative voters. Moynihan applied the phrase to Bill Clinton's 1992 pledge to "end welfare as we know it," which it later became clear that he had no intention of following through on when he became president (eventually, Republicans pressured him into it). President Bush is offering his own "boob bait" in the form of speechifying at the border about a crackdown on illegal immigration.
It's not that Bush doesn't intend to use better technology to police the border and end the "catch and release" policy that waves illegals into the country, as he is now saying. But these steps are primarily meant to diminish opposition to a new guest-worker program and what would effectively be an amnesty for illegal aliens. It's a crackdown as prelude to a letup; in other words, Rove bait for red-staters.
A Republican close to the White House has told Time how Bush wants to lull his conservative supporters into swallowing some sort of amnesty and a guest-worker program, i.e., a "comprehensive" approach: "Bush decided to give these guys their rhetorical pound of flesh. In return, he wants a comprehensive bill, which is what he has always wanted. He's just going to lead with a lot of noise about border security..."
Tue, 11/29/2005 - 20:48 · Importance: 4