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Thursday, June 27, 2013

House Republicans driven insane(r) by immigration reform

Dave Weigel reports that House Republicans aren’t at all impressed with the Senate’s immigration reform efforts. Instead, they prefer an approach that’s a transparent attempt to kill the idea of reform altogether and trick Democrats into throwing money at militarizing the border. Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam held a press conerence to declare the Senate bill “DOA" — and that’s when things slipped into complete nonsense. Observe:
…[M]ost Republicans preferred to split up immigration bills and pass an enforcement measure first, not to tie enforcement to legalization. Second, House Republicans didn’t care about the Senate anyway. “I remember when I was in the Illinois Senate," he said. “Someone would say about a bill, ‘Well, it came out of the House 118-0.’ A bunch of blank-faced senators would say, ‘And?’ "
OK, so Republicans want to split up the bill and demand that their border militarization go through first. Why would it be easier to pass immigration reform in two parts? Well, it wouldn’t be, actually. It would be harder. But that’s not really the point. What Republicans want to do is get their border militarization bill through first, then bail on the actual immigration reform part. It’s transparent as all hell and pointless to boot — the president would never sign anything like that and the Senate would never override the veto. They wouldn’t even be able to get two-thirds of the House to vote to override.

But that’s not where Republican logic really goes off the rails. That happens here:
But the no-go reason Roskam kept returning to was all about electoral politics. “If you’re the White House right now," he theorized, “and you have a signature law—that is, Obamacare—that is completely a legacy issue for the president, and it’s looking like implementation is going to be a disaster, and if you’re on your heels in terms of these scandals, and you’re flummoxed by the NSA, there’s one issue out there that’s good for the White House. That’s immigration. The question is: How much energy does the White House actually put into getting the legislation, or do they want to keep the issue for 2014?"

It’s a paradoxical theory with a little whiff of projection. Roskam (like many Republicans) was saying that a desperate White House would rather run against Republicans in 2014 on the immigration issue than pass a bill and remove the issue. With that in mind, Roskam was saying Republicans would probably kill the bill, thus keeping the issue alive. How far has Obama crawled inside their heads?
Transparent as fine crystal once again; Republicans want to kill the bill, but they want to blame Obama for it’s demise — something voters probably aren’t likely to fall for. Basically, they want to kill immigration reform, but want Latinos to vote for them anyway, and they think this is their best chance of hoodwinking them.

Roskam thinks he’s impressing us all with a graceful swan dive, but he’s really just cliffdiving while holding an anvil. This is never going to work, he’s not going to fool anyone who doesn’t already want to be fooled, and the party becomes more and more regionalized as non-white voters watch Republicans trying to trick them like this over and over and over.

They seem to be delusional enough to think this is a really good idea. It is so not.

[photo via Wikimedia Commons]

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