Thursday, January 8, 2009

NY Times: Romney a hypocrite for taking Marriott post

The New York Times editorial board has just released an invective against Mitt Romney for his decision to join Marriott International's board.

Their logic: Romney ran an anti-immigrant campaign and is now joining a huge company in an industry "utterly dependent on foreign labor".

But since I can't inveigh like an angry Times board...

Mr. Romney distinguished himself in the Republican primaries for the vapidity and hypocrisy of his stance on immigration. He proudly professed a rigid hostility to comprehensive immigration reform, waving the word “amnesty” like a bludgeon while conveniently sidestepping his previous endorsements of such reform. In ads, speeches and debates, he displayed a profound fuzziness over what the word actually meant. He once defended a strategy of mass deportations and then admitted the strategy wouldn’t work — in the same debate.

Now he has joined a leading company in an industry that is utterly dependent on immigrant labor, much of it undocumented. Its chairman and chief executive, J.W. (Bill) Marriott, has been an outspoken supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. He was one of six top hotel executives who wrote (pdf) to President Bush and Congress in 2007 urging reforms that the candidate Romney would surely have denounced as amnesty. Mr. Marriott was quoted in Politico that year as saying he “absolutely” supported a path to citizenship.

Immigration is and will continue to be enormously dicey. Until the GOP comes to terms with America's changing landscape, it will bleed support across the southwest. When the next election shows Texas and Arizona purple; and Nevada/New Mexico firmly blue, we'll have to sort all this out and make an arrangement between the business and Minutemen wings of the party.

Only problem is that word "arrangement". Will Hispanics accept a party that's made an "arrangement" toward them? It seems the GOP will have to sift out one side or the other from its ranks, not in an active effort to delete factions, but as an inevitable consequence of a complete embrace of either a pro or anti-immigration position.

Viva la free market.