Why would the leader of L.A.'s true-blue Federation of Labor invite a member of the uber-Republican Bush family to town?
To talk about immigration, of course.
L'est you forget, George W. Bush was generally seen as being pro-immigrant (as well as a friend of then-Mexican President Vicente Fox), despite launching a border-security crackdown that continues to this day. But brother Jeb Bush is the real softy when it comes to the undocumented:
The ex-governor of Florida, who is widely considered to be a potential GOP candidate for the 2016 presidential race, this wee said the most bleeding-heart thing ever said by a Republican.
He said illegal immigrants come here as “an act of love.”
Yes, light the incense and pass the dutchie on the left hand side, because a member of America's leading Republican family is getting sweeter than corn syrup:
… They wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.
Again, this is not a joke. A GOP leader actually said this. In 2014.
Maria Elena Durazo, leader of the politically powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, was impressed. This week she publicly invited Jeb to come to L.A. and talk:
Jeb Bush is speaking to the heart and values of our country on the immigration issue. I would like to invite him to California and urge him to meet with Republican members of Congress
Mr. Bush understands there is a human face to the immigration issue. Some of our Congressional representatives need to see that, too. We hope that this will compel them to vote now on comprehensive immigration reform.
Republicans in Congress, as you might know, have been holding up an immigration bill that would allow paths to legality for those who have been here for years or who have close family members here.
A vote by the House Rules Committee to allow debate on reform was rejected this week, with the only Republican supporting the idea being Florida's Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Immigration reform is a non-starter for the right-wing of the GOP, including the Tea Party.
But failure to act could mean another big election year in which, unlike the presidential reign of Latino-friendly George W. Bush, a crucial part of the American electorate (brown folk) will abandon the Republican party.
Jeb, who's married to a Mexican American (named Columbia!) and whose children were once famously dubbed the “little brown ones” by George H.W. Bush, actually has a chance with Latinos.
But not with Tea Party voters.