Whine, whine, whine. The Republicans have screwed up their standing among Latino voters so badly and so often on immigration, the only thing they're left with is blaming President Obama for their predicament. That's what House Speaker John Boehner was doing again Tuesday. After a House Republican Conference meeting at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters, he said
of the White House's move last week to shield hundreds of thousands of undocumented young immigrants from deportation:
“I think the president’s announcement on immigration — it puts everyone in a difficult position. I think we all have concerns for those who are caught in this trap, through no fault of their own are here. But the president’s actions are going to make it much more difficult for us to work in a bipartisan way to get to a permanent solution.”
Upsidedownism on full display once again. As if the GOP had any plans for comprehensive immigration reform that make political, economic or common sense.
As you might recall, but Boehner apparently hopes the majority of Americans will not, he was also mouthing off about the difficulties of immigration reform in April. That's when he was asked about the possibility that Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican, might try to shore up the Latino vote with an alternative to the DREAM Act that a majority of Senate Democrats had backed but Republicans had deep-sixxed in December.
Of the Rubio proposal, Boehner said:
"I found it of interest, but the problem with this issue is that we’re operating in a very hostile political environment. To deal with a very difficult issue like this, I think it would be difficult at best." [...]
“Where’s the president’s immigration plan? Where does the president stand on this issue? Instead of campaigning all the time, maybe he ought to come back to Washington and go back to work,” Boehner said.
Where's the president's
plan? The difficulties
are of the Republicans' own making.
As Obama told Telemundo in an April interview:
“This notion that somehow Republicans want to have it both ways, they want to vote against these laws and appeal to anti-immigrant sentiment ... and then they come and say, ‘But we really care about these kids and we want to do something about it’—that looks like hypocrisy to me.
So now we have Boehner and his crew bellyaching about difficulties
again, this time because the president has ordered a stopgap measure protecting a vulnerable population of immigrants who, through no fault of their own, face deportation to countries, which, in many cases they haven't lived in since they were toddlers or younger and whose language they may not even speak.
Republicans had their chance. They could have opted to support the DREAM Act, a law of elementary justice. Or they could have encouraged Sen. Rubio to actually put his idea for an alternative to the DREAM Act into writing, which he never did, instead of declaring it dead on arrival. They could have cooperated, compromised and collectively arrived at a fair, compassionate and reasonable immigration reform. What they did instead was the same old, same old and wound up giving Latinos another reason not to vote for them and enhancing President Obama's reputation in the matter, as Laura Clawson noted earlier today.
They built their own box. And no amount of whining will get them out of it.