Philip Klein is shocked at the House speaker’s decision to pursue immigration reform in the lead-up to midterm elections:
If immigration reform passes, it will boost Democrats’ prospects in 2014 by demoralizing the GOP base and elevating President Obama, who just delivered a State of the Union Address that tacitly acknowledged he could no longer achieve anything major. If it fails again due to a conservative backlash, then it will trigger another wave of Democratic attacks on Republicans for being anti-Hispanic
Indeed, look at how the rank and file GOP feel about immigration reform:
And yet Boehner is going through with it, because he knows it is in the long term best interest of his party. John Avlon:
The good news is that Speaker John Boehner has finally decided to do what’s in the long-term best interest of his party and his country, betting big on what could be his most lasting positive legacy. “This problem’s been around for at least the last 15 years. It’s been turned into a political football. I think it’s unfair,” said the consummate dealmaker Boehner. “I think it’s time to deal with it. But how we deal with it is going to be critically important.”
The bad news is that the Tea Party and associated right-wing activist groups have already declared immigration reform a betrayal of conservative virtue, shots fired in the GOP civil war. A “Death Warrant for Conservatism,” declared the Powerline blog, while Heritage Action’s Dan Holler told The Daily Beast’s Patricia Murphy the proposal amounted to “a full-throated embrace of amnesty.”
So what? The Teabaggers quite simply will get over it eventually. They have to. Ambers:
(1) At some point, Republicans will no longer be able to build national political coalitions without reliably attracting more than 40 percent of the Latino vote. This is demographic destiny. The date of this eschaton can be delayed but not put off.
[DD: They are there now]
(2) Republicans will endure short term pain. (They’ll have given amnesty to people who don’t deserve it. They’ll be laying the groundwork for a cohort of Democratic voters. They’ll be ratifying ObamaCare.)
(3) Every cycle that passes by without immigration reform is a cycle that is one more removed from the day when Republicans will begin to rebuild a new political coalition that includes more Latinos.
Meanwhile, the House GOP is still trying to take things hostage, but they are still fighting amongst themselves. They are like the burglars in Home Alone.
House Republicans discussed the issue last Friday at their annual all-member retreat in Maryland. As of Monday afternoon, they still hadn’t come up with a ransom demand in order to free the proverbial hostage ahead of a late February deadline.
“We had a good discussion at the retreat, and there was general agreement that a ‘clean’ increase is not a good option–but no consensus yet other than than,” a House GOP leadership aide said on Monday.
The problem is that Republicans don’t want to raise the borrowing limit without extracting concessions from the White House, but are struggling to devise a proposal that can achieve 217 votes to pass out of the House and thereby force a hostage standoff. They have 232 members, and a number of staunch conservatives don’t want to vote for any debt limit hike.
ILLINOIS–GOVERNOR–Capitol Fax/We Ask America: Bill Brady (R) 48, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) 39; Kirk Dillard (R) 46, Quinn (D) 37; Dan Rutherford (R) 46, Quinn (D) 37; Bruce Rauner (R) 47, Quinn (D) 39.
Quinn, like Corbett in PA, is just done. Sometimes, once a state makes up there mind about you, it is just over. Quinn, like Corbett, will lose, and it doesn’t matter who their opponents are.
KENTUCKY–US SENATE–Rasmussen: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) 42, Allison Lundergran Grimes (D) 42