Romney has curried favor within the party by opposing the Dream Act, supporting Arizona’s harsh law under which police check people’s immigration status at will and proposing “self-deportation” as a way to get rid of undocumented immigrants. At Hispanic forums in recent weeks, Romney has said that he wants to solve the immigration issue permanently but has spoken about it in vague terms. As with the deficit, he has a plan — but it’s secret. There’s no point in letting the country — or his party — know it before Election Day.
The Republican Party has imposed a new kind of political correctness on its leaders. They cannot speak certain words (taxes) or speculate about certain ideas (immigration amnesty) because these are forbidden. Romney has tried to run a campaign while not running afoul of his party’s strictures. As a result, he has twisted himself into a pretzel, speaking vacuously, avoiding specifics and refusing to provide any serious plans for the most important issues of the day. That’s a straitjacket that even Peggy Noonan’s eloquence cannot get him out of.