Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, November 6, 2014

No, Virginia, There Won't Be Immigration Reform

Dara Lind at Vox suggests that the clue we won't have immigration reform is that GOP members aren't guaranteeing anything on Telemundo, where they might safely make vague promises.

OK.  Sure.

But more important is the language from McConnell and Boehner.  From the article:
What Republicans on Congress appear to agree on, however, is that any executive action by Obama on the issue of immigration is going to "poison the well" (in Speaker Boehner's words) for Congress to do anything about it. On Wednesday, incoming Majority Leader McConnell compared executive action on immigration to"waving a red flag in front of a bull." If congressional Republicans plan to make an exception to their recalcitrance so that they can get a border-security bill passed, they're certainly not mentioning it. (Bulls aren't known for only busting through particular aisles of china shops.)

What they are doing here is setting up the conditions for inaction.  Boehner and McConnell know they can't get much through the House.  The Senate passed reform and could probably pass something even with crazy assed Joni Ernst in the GOP caucus.

But the House won't pass dick.  Period.  Full stop.  They never will as long as the GOP controls that chamber.

So, they are creating a scenario where they will try and blame Obama for their own ineptitude.  As Obama notes, they can still pass something after his executive orders.  If, say, he makes it easier for DREAMers to stay or stops the deportation of the parents of minor American citizens (anchor babies!), there is nothing that can prevent Congress from passing something similar.  Or they could even overturn those executive actions through laws.

But Obama understands that all that Latino voters know is that no one is taking action on immigration reform.  And so they aren't going to vote.  And so we have Senator-elect Cory Gardner.  If he DOES take action, and the GOP works tirelessly to overturn his actions, then the GOP will cement Latino voters into the Democratic party.

McConnell and Boehner understand this.  So they are working on a procedural counter-argument.

It won't work.  And they are probably smart enough to know it won't work.  It's more CYA than realistic counter-argument.

In the days since the election, I've had some interactions with the Hive Mind on Facebook.  These are people who are dead sure they know the real truth (liberals are the real racists, it's Obama's fault there's no budget) even though that truth flies in the face of known facts.

So McConnell and Boehner are preparing the next poutrage for Fox News viewer to ingest.  They can tell themselves that Obama is the reason that immigration reform died in Congress.

Like so much else, it's a lie.  But I don't think it's a lie that will work.

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