The Hill: Senate Republicans say they'll try to pass immigration reform legislation in the next two years if they take back the Senate in November.
The Republicans say winning back the Senate will allow them to pass a series of bills on their own terms that have a better chance of winning approval in the House.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a central member of the coalition that passed a comprehensive reform bill in the Senate last year, said he would craft a better legislative approach if Republicans control the upper chamber in 2015.
That would give his party a chance to pass immigration legislation before the presidential election, when Hispanic voters will be crucial to winning the White House.There's an obvious aspect of good cop/bad cop in this, with Senate Republicans using House Republicans as bad cops. But there's actually something much more familiar going on here; Republicans are returning to tried and true strategy. The problem is, they're trying to apply it to an entirely different group of voters and it's probably not going to work.
For years, Republicans have used bait and switch politics to trick voters into electing them. They promise they'll amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage and get a Balanced Budget Amendment. They promise they'll chase all those lazy "inner city" people off welfare. They're going to get you prayer in schools and make it a crime to burn the flag. They're going to turn the United States into Reagantopia.
But then they get elected and suddenly they're all about something else entirely. My favorite example is Bush getting reelected on the issue of gay marriage and then immediately getting to work on privatizing Medicare -- something he'd barely mentioned during the campaign. Republicans promise everything talk radio gets the chumps riled up about, then they pass laws that only really help the rich. Sure, they'll throw an abortion bone to the dopes occasionally, but for the most part its promise to fight the Homosexual Menace, then deliver a million dollar tax credit on private jet wax.
It works for the base because they're endlessly gullible and never remember how they got screwed over the last time. But it's also why Republicans can't expand their voter block -- people that credulous and dumb are thankfully a commodity in limited supply. This stuff works on pretty much all of the of people it's ever going to work on. It's not going to gain them immigration reform supporters now.