Anti-Immigration Conservatives Are the New Centrists
A Politico story co-written by Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen delves into the political ideal “bipartisanship” and includes one source that should cause some double-takes.
The few GOP moderates left confess their deep frustration.
“It seems like moderation in Washington is a vice,” said Rep. Brian Bilbray, a centrist Republican from California.
I’ve never before heard Bilbray referred to as a “centrist.” Bilbray was a member of the class of 1994 who lost his old House seat in 2000, then stayed in Washington as a lobbyist for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates “a temporary moratorium on all immigration except spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and a limited number of refugees.” Bilbray returned to Congress in a 2006 special election, which he won in part by accusing his Democratic opponent of soliciting votes from illegal aliens. Since then, Bilbray has maintained a 92% rating from the American Conservative Union, which makes him an “ACU Conservative” in their ranking system. He voted against increasing the minimum wage, voted to repeal the Washington, D.C. gun ban, voted against a ban on anti-gay job discrimination, and voted against expanding SCHIP. When Tom Tancredo quit his leadership of the Immigration Reform Caucus in 2007, Bilbray replaced him.
So, in Politico-speak, he’s a centrist. Strange.