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Immigration rally. Group of kids in "don't deport my dad" shirts with lots of American flags.
House Democrats are torn between politics and policy in responding to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's defeat in his Republican primary Tuesday, the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery reports. On the political side, it's a joy to see Republicans in disarray and likely being pulled in a direction that will weaken them as a party. On the policy side, though, Democrats have to deal with the concern that Cantor's defeat means Republicans will be even more resistant to passing major legislation than they already were. But, Democrats are pointing out, Eric Cantor was never the path to getting immigration reform or any other bipartisan legislation:
"It's not," Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Wednesday afternoon in response to her assertion that the chances of immigration reform passing this year are dead. "The votes existed yesterday for comprehensive immigration reform. We don't need one Republican to risk their incumbency in the Congress of the United States to pass. There are dozens of men and women in the Republican Party." [...]

"I think that [Cantor] was just doing things here in D.C. to give the illusion that he was pushing for immigration inside the caucus," said Drew Hammill, Pelosi's spokesman. "At the end of the day, he has been in the way [of immigration reform] more than anything else... Efforts [to push Republicans for a vote] can go on without him."

It's simultaneously true that the votes probably exist for immigration reform and that it's extremely unlikely to happen as long as Speaker John Boehner makes the decisions about what the House will vote on; Cantor wasn't making it more likely to happen, and it would be difficult for his defeat to make a House immigration reform vote any less likely to happen than it already was. When you're close to rock bottom, as House Republican leadership is on immigration, there's not far to go down. Of course Democrats have to keep pushing, but they're pushing against a Republican Party that only hears messages from the right—Sen. Lindsey Graham's easy primary win despite having pushed immigration reform simply isn't going to register on the party of Steve King.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Country First.....Party First......Me First. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, MartyM, tampaedski

    eh Cantor?

  •  I doubt cantor was every really for immigration (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, wordene, TomP, Eric Nelson

    reform - he just gave it lip service when politically expedient.

  •  The air of unreality on this issue... (4+ / 0-)

    ...has always astounded me.   There has never been any chance of Republican agreement to immigration reform of the sort that Gutierrez and other Democratic (and advocacy-group_ reformers would tolerate.  Look at that diary headline and tell me whether it resonates with the common-sense part of your brain.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:42:06 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)

      Democrats have an interesting in keeping the myth of the possibility of immigration reform alive because it keeps pressure off the president. If activists viewed immigration reform as DOA, then they'd put more energy on trying to get Obama to take the actions he can (like changing his disastrous policy of deportations and detentions). It's easier to keep the focus on Republican obstruction.

      And it ignores the fact that the Senate bill is awful--filled with border militarization measures and an obstacle-ridden path to citizenship that won't even help the number promised. And, for it to pass the House, it would get worse.

      •  But Republicans have the House (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite

        and their obstruction will be a reality as long as they have that majority.
        Immigration reform may be popular with much of the public, but they won't get it unless they are willing to reject Republicans at the polls. They must be willing to struggle through several election cycles.

        Censorship is rogue government.

        by scott5js on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:11:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Republicans *can* be made to... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChuckChuckerson, Utahrd

      ...support Immigration Reform.  In fact, they probably will, eventually.

      Why? Because "reform" means different things to different people. I suspect most Kossacks think it just means passing DREAM acts and legalizing exploited illegal immigrants.

      But to a Conservative it means bringing in cheap labor so corporations don't have to hire Americans.

      Democrats and Republicans will eventually make a deal:

       1) Republicans will agree to sell out their racist constituents by allowing a lot of Brown People into the country.

        2) Democrats will agree to sell out the Working Class (and recent college grads) by allowing low-wage workers in on temp visas, H1-B indentures, guest worker laws, etc.

      A deal will be cut. Eventually.
  •   Child migrant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    No matter how these children came to America,society have a legal obligation of taking care of  them ,you would not let an American child fend for himself or her on the street,Republican are attacking these children in  detention  by immigration as though Obama told them to come to America  ,that what Limbaugh is saying daily on his show

  •  ENFORCEMENT, not "reform" is what is needed... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brightlights

    (n/t)

  •  BRAT -- Very Appropriate Teabagger Name (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, TomP

    He will be less supportive of immigration reform legislation than that snotty, bratty asshole Cantor was.

  •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, scott5js

    There is zero chance of anything getting done on immigration, now. After all, there remains a GOP majority in the House - not to mention a few dozen Dems in tough contests.

    The sad things is that the Cantor loss will push the GOP leadership and members from intransigent to comatose.  Not just on immigration reform but on practically everything.

  •  Alternate headline (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, bufffan20, exatc
    Democrats aren't giving up on growing GOP wedge issue in the wake of Cantor defeat
    Heaven forbid Democrats take advantage of, or otherwise try to hasten, one more demographic time bomb the Right wants to tie themselves to.

    The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, the polls tell us how the media is doing.

    by Thumb on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:47:17 AM PDT

  •  I just don't see it happening (0+ / 0-)

    The republicans are the ones defining ANY reform as amnesty. And these days you have to be more conservative than the next person or than you were before. They are spending all their time trying to out-conservative each other. They can't stop saying "I'm against reform because it involves amnesty." They think amnesty will lead to citizenship. And citizenship will lead to votin' for Democrats.

    If there were a Liberal Media, there wouldn't be a republican party.

    by ComradeAnon on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:47:18 AM PDT

  •  Good, I'm glad the push is on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, exatc, TomP

    Cantor lost because he's a jerk & it's a convenient excuse for the Republicans to throw up their hands and claim nothing can be done (once again) - bullshit. What the American People Want (copyright, Boehner) is not what the Republicans are willing to provide on a plethora of issues - time for us to step up and start fill the hole.

  •  So long as we frame Cantor's loss… (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, hbk

    …as due to immigration, we're doomed to fail on immigration.

    As a matter of fact, despite the early enthusiasm for the immigration theory, last night Rachel Maddow pretty thoroughly dismantled it, and our own Kossack, David Jarmin, did, as well, in his diary yesterday.

    Let's paint Cantor with all the losing propositions he earned, but lets be first in line to cast immigration as "safe" and continue to push for it. Don't let the opposition get traction in citing it as politically toxic for them at home, when that's not only undemonstrated, but is contrary to most polling nationwide.

    LRod—UID 238035
    ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired
    My ATC site
    My Norm's Tools site

    by exatc on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:00:45 AM PDT

    •  denial? anyone? (0+ / 0-)

      Dude lost because he supports "the illegal latin americanization of america"! You all are seriously fooling yourselves if you think immigration reform is anything other than national suicide.  The latinos see an opportunity to rule america, all they need, is more white people to think of them as poor, honest, unfortunate, hard working family people, and boom, the entire new world, is under hispanic influence, open your eyes people, if immigration reform passes, all of your voices will be completely and totally irrelevant.  None of your opinions will matter, and you all will be citizens living under totall latino/hispanic tyranny.  But please by all means impose your political will on the american nation by passing immigration reform, and it will be the very last thing you will influence politically ever again.  These people do not think like white proggressive america, they WILL vote together, as a race, and white progressiveism in the u.s. is history.  We will all suffer for being white, and all of you are to delusional, arrogant, or stupid to realize that.  These people hate you, yes, hate, but they,ll hide it long enough, till they dont have to. You people are all absolute morons handing out what is not yours to give.  Im part comanche, and my native side of the family is certain, that white people like you are the most detrimental, obstinate force threatening the true founding minorities of this nation.  By betraying blacks and natives, in favor of a people who also conquested and victimized, all because the white libs say its the moral thing.  Evil, white devils, thanks alot for being so fair, and righteous you fucking hippocrits!,,,

  •  The immigration issue doing in Cantor is a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChuckChuckerson, Mr MadAsHell, hbk

    smoke-screen.  The work that Rachel Maddow (and others) bringing this to light is dispelling this myth -- the Teabagger who upset Cantor did, essentially, run his campaign against Cantor on an immigration riff, but it was more about using it as a springboard to attack Cantor for being in the pockets of Big Business interests, than true immigration reform issues.

    Additionally, Cantor was using the horrible McLaughlin polling agency for internal polling, which gave him a false sense of how well he was doing in the district.

    It is time for Democrats to start running on things that benefit most of the country and stop running on politics alone.  Sensible immigration reform is necessary, not politically expedient.

    -9.88, -7.44 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

    by wordene on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:04:25 AM PDT

  •  Democrats need to use immigration reform as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    a GOTV issue. Use the GzeroP's racism against them.

    •  Democrats need (0+ / 0-)

      a more coherent and consistent policy before we try to sell it to voters.
      The recent influx of so many thousands of unaccompanied kids and young moms with babies is every bit the humanitarian crisis that President Obama has called it.

      The question is- how do we deal with it? From what I can gather, the answers can vary from being detained to being sent back to their country of origin to being given a bus ticket that will take them across the country to another unclear situation with a relative.

      There are too many unanswered questions about how to care for those already here, as well as those who continue and will continue to arrive in unprecedented numbers and often with no adult to help them.

      I honestly have no idea how to solve this. I'm hoping someone figures it out, but until someone does we have a problem that is much more than political.

    •  Problem with that (0+ / 0-)

      is its a GOTV for republicans.

  •  Alternative take (0+ / 0-)

    If currently elected GOP are scared of the uncertainty that not having immigration reform will cause to their re-election prospects, maybe they could be convinced that having immigration reform pass with 90% Dem votes and taking it "off the table" is preferable to getting hammered as obstructionist and appeasers by both sides for the next 2 plus years.

    The Republican Party: The Bridge to Nowhere

    by flounder on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:22:52 AM PDT

  •  We can do better on immigration reform. (0+ / 0-)

    The current "reform" bill as proposed is actually pretty terrible.

     If the Republicans won't vote for ANYTHING related to immigration reform anyway, why don't we push for the reform bill that we really want?

    AND, if we already know that the Republicans are going to obstruct immigration reform no matter what, why is the President not doing everything within his power to end our insane deportation and imprisonment of these unfortunate people?

    •  True but (0+ / 0-)

      Susbtitute "Democrats" for "Republicans" and "abortion" for  "immigration".  How would that work out?

      Obama issued an executive order to stop deportations?  So President Santorum can issue an executive order to stop abortions.

      "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

      by Utahrd on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:40:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Such a bizarre comparison. (0+ / 0-)

        The DHS is under direct control of the President; he can call up the head of the DHS and order them to cease deportations. It's well within his power. No new legislation is needed.

         Abortion however is a right, as determined by the SCOTUS. Abortion is legal. New legislation would be required to make abortion illegal, and it wouldn't withstand the scrutiny of any lower court let alone the SCOTUS.

        •  Really? This is not the scotus that made aborti... (0+ / 0-)

          Really? This is not the scotus that made abortion a right. This this court would be 50\50 at least to happily overturn roe given half a chance.

          •  It would be difficult at best for (0+ / 0-)

            a case like that to even get that far, and that's a different argument entirely anyway.  Would this SCOTUS overturn Roe vs. Wade if they got the chance? Is that even possible? I don't know; that's probably a question for law professors. I'd imagine it's pretty unlikely though.

             None of this has anything to do with how President Obama could end the super-aggressive anti-immigrant actions of HIS administration with a few phonecalls though. It's that easy, but there's no pressure on him to do so because most people aren't even aware of the suffering being inflicted on undocumented immigrants. We owe these unfortunate people better treatment than this.

  •  On this, Rep. Gutierrez is right, no matter what. (0+ / 0-)

    District by district, Republicans will - or won't - be able to support meaningful immigration reform. We must press on. An election is coming!

    Of course the Nays on immigration will flog Wannabe Brat's victory as The Signal for how toxic any GOP support will be for immigration reform. That is hogwash, just as much as was Brat's ill-informed single-issue campaigning.

    Even if Republicans turn tail on this, the cause is strong and just, and some of them will get hurt by a No vote on the issue come November. The main problem reformers will have in the short run, I think, is fending off the water-it-down advocates.

    2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:30:49 AM PDT

  •  I'm not optimistic that immigration reform (0+ / 0-)

    will move forward.

    Even if the votes are there, moving this forward could chill the GOP base and frustrate their efforts to GOTV in November.

    "The truest measure of compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them." Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries

    by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:57:44 AM PDT

  •  Immigation Reform (0+ / 0-)

    As long as Republicans hold house, there will be no reform. Dems can use the issue in some Senate races, but not much use in house races because of gerrymandering and voter suppression.  Latest influx of south americans/kids will complicate issue and stir up more hate.  

  •  Immigration reform (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats need to understand, as long as there are enough 'pubs in Congress to block legislation; as long as there is even a chance that a 'pub will win the White House, there will be no immigration reform.  The correct conclusion is simple - destroy the 'pub party as a force in American politics.  A Democratically controlled government will give us the reforms we seek.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:58:08 AM PDT

    •  Yep because they did so much great stuff for ev... (0+ / 0-)

      Yep because they did so much great stuff for everyone in 2009 and 2010.

      Every time I see someone claim that all the country needs is complete one party control I cant help but laugh. Dems had complete control over everything for 2 years and did next to nothing with it but pass the gop health care plan and proceed to loose spectacularly after. Where was imagration than? Where was minimum wage? Where was fucking anything they claim they will do now?

      Until dems treat their primary races like the tea party does and actually push each other nothing will change. Imagration and the like is talked about now because its safe nothing will be done and it sounds good in campaign adds

  •  There's no need to be torn: From the Democratic... (0+ / 0-)

    There's no need to be torn: From the Democratic Party perspective, the politics of immigration reform dictates that policy should continue to be promoted as legislation. Either way, Democrats win: Either reform passes or the Republicans continue to alienate Latinos.

  •  According to Rachel's show yesterday, (0+ / 0-)

    seeing Cantor's defeat as a death knell for immigration reform is way off...

    According to her blog, the assumptions (Cantor’s stunning primary loss was the final nail in the coffin for comprehensive immigration reform) were flawed.

    "For one thing, plenty of pro-reform Republicans won big in their primary races in equally conservative areas. For another, Cantor didn’t support reform, he killed it – and bragged about that during his primary race. While we’re at it, most voters in Cantor’s Republican-friendly district actually support reform."

    Rachel showed poll after poll that favored immigration reform by large numbers, even in the 7th precincts among Republican voters.

    "Given all of this, it’s hard to blame reform proponents for PUSHING BACK against the conventional wisdom and trying to keep hope alive.

    President Barack Obama isn’t buying the narrative that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary shellacking is a death knell for immigration reform, and plans to personally press Speaker John A. Boehner to act.

    'Some of you saw that there was an interesting election yesterday,' he told donors at a fundraiser this evening. 'And it’s interesting to listen to the pundits and the analysts, and some of the conventional wisdom talks about, oh, the politics of immigration reform seem impossible now. I fundamentally reject that. And I will tell the Speaker of the House that he needs to reject that,' Obama said.

    The president has a point. Sure, by most measures, House Republicans had effectively already killed the popular, bipartisan immigration plan in this Congress. But there’s no reason to think Cantor’s primary loss left reform more dead.

    Indeed, as important as the Majority Leader’s defeat was, specifically on the issue of immigration, not that much has changed.

    The questions and challenges facing Republicans are the same this week as they were last week:

    * Does the GOP intend to become a smaller, less-diverse party, deliberately pushing away the nation’s fastest-growing constituency?

    * Will Republicans ignore the broken immigration system indefinitely, regardless of the policy consequences?

    *

    There’s no denying the fact that Cantor’s loss has shaken up Washington on a variety of levels, but what hasn’t changed is the fact that there’s a bipartisan reform plan on the table that enjoys support from a bipartisan Senate majority, the White House, the Chamber of Commerce, labor unions, law enforcement, leaders from throughout the religious community, and deficit hawks.

    'Yeah, but Cantor lost his primary,' House Republicans say. That’s true, but Cantor helped kill the bill.

    It’s not just Democrats who remain committed to the reform agenda; private-sector leaders haven’t given up, either: 'A group of business leaders, including the CEOs of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, sent an open letter to Congress Tuesday urging lawmakers to take action to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.'"

    http://www.msnbc.com/...

    How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

    by ceebee7 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:56:28 PM PDT

  •  It's dead (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brightlights

    No Republican will touch any form of immigration reform that includes amnesty for illegal aliens, it's not conceivable right now. Without bipartisan support, immigration with amnesty has no chance of passing this Congress, or any other one.

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