Even when they try to talk sense, Republicans just can’t help mixing in some nonsense along with it.  Maybe it’s a spoon-full-of-sugar kind of thing.

“We need to do better among Hispanic voters,” [Haley Barbour] told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “In my state, where fewer than 3 percent of the voters are Hispanic, we need to do better.”

Barbour’s remarks came shortly before the White House announced it was ceasing deportations for some young illegal immigrants who had entered the country as children. He warned that the party would be misguided to demonize illegal immigrants, a point he illustrated by demonizing immigrants in other countries instead.

“I believe we are very lucky compared to our European friends and allies, that their neighbors to the south who want to come in to get work despise their way of life, are many radicalized terrorists,” he said. “What we have coming into our country to work on our side are Christians, family-oriented entrepreneurial and by and large work, really, really hard.”

I dunno, maybe it’s a new spin on American exceptionalism: “America is so great that even our undocumented immigrants are kinda awesome and totally not terrorists.  You just have to overlook the whole not-being-white thing.”  Unfortunately for the Republicans (and the immigrants), they will never be able to overlook the not-being-white thing.  It’d be like IBM changing their logo.

I will give Barbour credit for saying that immigration reform is good policy and not just a cynical strategy for picking up more Latino votes.  I also encourage him to try Atrios’ Asshole Test on all his Republican friends and see if any of them pass.