There's a lot to see in this interview with Chris Hayes and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), but I want you to pay special close attention to the part of the segment where Hayes asks about Reagan's amnesty. And you really must watch it, too, because this is in no way an accident or unintentional.
Simply put, Republicans have decided Saint Ronnie did not give amnesty to anyone. Nay, it was really Bill Clinton.
Here's the transcript, starting at about 3:30 into the clip:
HAYES: When President Reagan granted deferred action to 200,000 people from El Salvador that had come here illegally, was he breaking the law in the same way?
BROOKS: I have not seen the facts and circumstances --
HAYES: But that would seem to be granting deferred action to people who come, wouldn't it?
BROOKS: Again, I have not examined what Bill Clinton did. This is a very serious --
HAYES: No, no, no, I'm sorry but President Reagan. President Ronald Reagan.
(Brooks continues to steamroll right over Hayes here)
BROOKS: The individual facts are important, the mental intent of the actor, in that case, Bill Clinton, now Barack Obama. Those factors are important. Causation is very important. So there are a lot of things you have to look at before you pass judgment.
Mo Brooks is a prosecutor. He knew exactly what he was doing there. It wasn't just a slip of the tongue and it wasn't a mistake. He was just the first to deploy the talking point.
You wait and see. You will see over and over again this kind of sleight-of-hand, where a Republican who is questioned about what Saint Ronald Reagan did on immigration will magically make it something Bill Clinton did.
After all the whining they've been doing about Gruber calling voters stupid, this move on the part of Brooks proves it's Republicans who think voters are stupid.
The rest of the video is similarly frustrating, as Brooks refuses to answer a yes or no question about mass deportation or any deportation for that matter.
I appreciate Chris Hayes' effort on this, but no Republican will ever come out and admit the truth: The Republican Bigot Caucus will not countenance any immigration reform. Period.