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John Boehner
House Republicans are between a rock and a hard place on immigration—the hard place being the likelihood that without immigration reform their party will keep losing Latino voters by landslide margins and the rock being that House Republicans are crazy. So what are they going to do about it? John Boehner is basically kicking the can down the road: he wants the Senate to pass its bill first, and then he'll send it through committee hearings and markups—most likely producing something completely incompatible with the Senate's bill yet giving House Republicans the chance to claim that they've passed something that the Senate should bend to. You know, like they've done with the Violence Against Women Act, and probably with the same level of success at convincing the public.  

But Boehner is in a legitimately difficult position, since there are of course a lot of different viewpoints, ranging from totally batshit extremist to merely far-right, among the House Republicans he's supposed to shepherd into passing something. And following the big Republican post-election strategy of keeping the same old positions but just trying to sound a little less hostile about it is a challenge when you've got, for instance, this from Iowa's Steve King:

“Anything that might happen to try to bring together rule of law Americans with those who are advocating for pathway to citizenship for people who have broken immigration laws disregards fact the president of the United States refuses to enforce the law,” King said. “Anything you get for a promise from him has to be delivered in advance. He defies the Constitution and rule of law.”
That'll win over Latino voters! Meanwhile, Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador (who is Puerto Rican):
... said he supports the principles that the Senate laid out, but flatly said “creating a new pathway” to citizenship for undocumented workers “is not a good idea.” It would encourage more illegal immigration, he said.

Asked if he was flexible, Labrador said: “The question that is more appropriate is how flexible are they? We’ve gone a bit to their side. If they’re unwilling to be flexible on that issue, they want political victory not policy victory.”

No, I'm pretty sure that's a policy victory as well as a political one. It's just a policy you disagree with. And if you are totally opposed to one of the key pieces of what the Senate framework proposes, then you actually don't support its principles.

So basically, whatever immigration bill House Republicans end up with, by the time it comes to a vote, they'll have managed to alienate Latino voters even more completely than they already have.

Please join with Daily Kos and Workers’ Voice by signing our petition supporting President Obama's call for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:55 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No wonder the Repubs love the NRA so much (10+ / 0-)

    They keep shooting themselves in the foot.

  •  But... (8+ / 0-)

    if they are made 'legal', then we can't exploit them with below minimum wages.

    If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. Albert Einstein

    by kharma on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:12:29 AM PST

  •  They're incapable of governing....clueless. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kharma, Aquarius40, bear83, Pinto Pony
  •  It's the old Republican meme... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kharma, bear83

    "I've got mine, f*ck the rest of you".  God forbid we give a path to legal status to anyone who might actually contribute to this country.

  •  It is slowly sinking in for Republicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, ahumbleopinion, Chitown Kev

    How electorally screwed they are.  Hyperbole and batshit aside, all we need are the Speaker's support, the committee vote (they just reassigned two of their loudest, most unreasonable voices off of the committee) and 25 rational Republicans.

    I know that sounds like a stretch, but I'm betting that is possible.  Not easy, but possible.

    "What we have is not a system. It's a health care catastrophe with an organization around it." -- Dr. Carl Olden

    by gtnoah on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:20:56 AM PST

    •  They know how screwed they are (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mighty Ike, METAL TREK, SueDe, mdmslle

      which is why they are increasingly desperate to:
      1. Mess with the Electoral Collage so they can steal the White House.
      2. Rely on extreme gerrymandering to hold the House and state legislatures.
      3. Prevent filibuster reform so that conservatives have undue influence the Democratically-controlled Senate.

      Why moderate their message when they can cheat and win?

      Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

      by bear83 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:26:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  John McCain stated as much (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bear83, mdmslle, ahumbleopinion

        in television  appearances after introducing the bipartisan immigration bill:’s certainly the realization that if we continue to polarize the Latino slash Hispanic vote that the demographics indicate that our chances for being in the majority are minimal.

        I’m sure that this is a factor because many of us believe that they are a natural constituency of ours; small business, less regulation, big service in the military, pro-life, all of those reasons.  But this issue of illegal immigration has obviously been a major driving factor in the decision making of the Hispanic voter.

        Neither McCain nor Rubio give a damn about what's best for the "Hispanic/Latino" community; it's all about the votes.  But the Republicans do seriously believe their own talking point that the community is a natural constituency of the GOP.  The fallacy of that belief will be a much harder lesson for them to learn.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:17:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rational Republicans? (1+ / 0-)

      That rare sighting last spotted with Bigfoot, Nessie, Santa, and the Easter Bunny. :)

      A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

      by METAL TREK on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:53:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are certainly 25 Republicans (0+ / 0-)

      who would vote for the kind of immigration reform that the Senate may pass.

      The question is, will Boehner allow it to come up for a vote? He might lose his job as speaker and/or get a primary challenge.

  •  This brings to mind the old parable of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, skillet, Egalitare

    scorpion and the frog.  

    The GOP (and, in particular, the RWNJs) simply cannot help themselves.  It is in their nature.

  •  It's good to know we can count on House Republican (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, mdmslle

    extremists' inability to learn their lesson - demographics are not on their side, and the longer their hate continues, the stronger the bond between Latino and Asian voters and the Democratic Party.

    May Latino and Asian voters continue to kick their asses at the polls.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:22:40 AM PST

  •  Diving head first into an empty pool. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, MufsMom

    After a backflip or two, or course.

    As much as I want to see reform enacted so as to help the undocumented folks in this country as well as this country, I am still worried about what nightmarish legislation could come out of the 113th Congress - and hopeful that Democrats and interested parties don't settle for "least bad" in this process because real people are depending on our government acting in earnest to solve this problem - not to further fuck people's lives up and make more of a mess of this mess than it already is.

  •  Cry me a river ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    oh, wait, orangeman will, won't he?

  •  Is a new pathway to citizenship needed? (0+ / 0-)

    Or is it sufficient to say that people who have come to the US and worked while the government was more or less inviting them over by refusing to crack down on employers will not be barred from existing pathways?

    Might need to staff up a bit to handle the influx, but that doesn't seem like an unreasonable way to go -- no "special" treatment, just a recognition that the law is sometimes what you go by instead of what you write down.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:24:42 AM PST

  •  And this is why I've said it's DOA in the House. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mighty Ike

    Malfunction, Dysfunction, NON-function, etc.

    This is the gang who couldn't shoot straight.

    (Hmmm. I even got in a dig on guns. Cool.)

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:26:46 AM PST

  •  You can tell the folks who scream Amnesty (1+ / 0-)

    are the ones who have never had or been able for very long to hold on to a real job. For as zany as Romney's "self deportation" scheme was, Romney "got" you just are simply never going to round up 10+ million people be able to give them due process and deport them.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:28:14 AM PST

  •  Raul Labrador flexible? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    His shitty, extremist, non-compromising attitude pretty much sums up how dysfuntional the Republican party has become- plus, he's not that bright.

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:31:40 AM PST

    •  Labrador is throwing a hissy fit. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He's been eyeing immigration reform--at least his diluted version of it--as a way to keep himself in the national spotlight and continue his string of appearances on the Sunday teevee talk shows. He loves the publicity.

      He's been trying to position himself, especially with his committee assignments, to be the leader among the GOP in the House on the issue.

      But those dang senators, including some from his own party, leaped out ahead of him. Not only is their proposal better than anything Labrador would put forth, they're getting the publicity instead of him. Both are unforgivable in his eyes.

      His strategy was, instead of putting together an omnibus bill that covers the whole problem, to dribble out a bunch of single bills covering small aspects. It drags out the issue and gives him many more Sunday AM talk show appearances.

      But now he's been relegated to the back of the bus on the issue and he's throwing a teetee about it, stamping his foot.


      When atlatls are outlawed, only outlaws will have atlatls.

      by wheeldog on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:04:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the prospect of 11 million new voters (0+ / 0-)

    may as well counteract their latest gerrymandering strategies

  •  "Don't get me wrong. I love Mexican food!" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Okay, not GOP rep has said this yet.

    But they will!

  •  You must admit that Republicans are very effective (0+ / 0-)

    at alienating Latino voters. The Democrats are completely ineffectual in this regard.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:40:48 AM PST

  •  Obama needs to insist on faster-track citizenship (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    than the slow-track of the recent Senate gang of 8 proposed immigration reform.  Let's see even the Senate GOP supporters split between those who favor a faster path to citizenship (and being able to register to vote, hopefully mostly for Dems) and those who want eventual citizenship to be a mirage in the far off future.  Let's nail teabagger Sen Rubio on where he stands on that (as he positions himself to run for President), Sen Cruz, Shelley Moore Capito, the LA Rep gearing up to run against Sen  Landrieu, the FL House delegation, etc..

  •  We will probably see hard-ass attitudes (0+ / 0-)

    about them paying "back taxes" as part of amnesty. This could be so punitive and unfair that it kills reform.

  •  Frisky Dingo nailed this some time ago (0+ / 0-)

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:00:05 AM PST

  •  There is a relatively easy way out for Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see why they refuse to take it, except for fear of alienating some voters -- and they will alienate some voters no matter what they do, so might as well get this monkey off their backs.

    All they have to do is admit that Democrats have screwed the whole thing up royally (which should be mighty damned easy for Republicans to admit) to the point that we really weren't making it illegal to come into this country if you were coming into work (as opposed, say, to deal drugs, kidnap/rape/pillage, etc).  In reality, we were inviting them on up.

    If it wasn't really illegal (as opposed to ummm -- actually illegal), then it's wrong to punish hard-working people who just took us up on our offer.

    Sooo... FROM NOW ON!!! We're going to be really tough (and beat the crap out of employers who do the wrong thing), but fairness and common-sense tells us that most of the people already here should be granted some sort of legal status, and allowed to pursue citizenship if they so desire.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:02:44 AM PST

  •  I can't support the senate bill - (0+ / 0-)

    Initial signs are, gays have once again been thrown under the bus.  Same-sex domestic partnerships and marriages remain excluded from consideration.

    There's really no excuse for it.  Politically, supporting gay couples is a solid winner, and ethically, well...

    I know - perfect the enemy of the good, and all - but I can't shake the feeling that we have a chance to do this right, and if we don't take it now, then we're better off trying again later.

  •  Is it falling apart already? (0+ / 0-)

    The house Republican'ts don't look like they will hang together long enough to pass anything meaningful on immigration.  Which is probably just as well, since it moves them one peg closer to total irrelevance in 2014.   Even if ALEC and the local Republican'ts are diligently trying to steal local and State elections for the near future.  

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