House GOP Rejects Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Likely Killing Any Reform

The latest House GOP pronouncements on immigration reform make it exceedingly unlikely that any bill will pass this year.

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Yesterday, the House GOP Caucus met behind closed doors in what was, by all accounts a contentious meeting meant to discuss how the House should proceed with respect to the immigration reform bill recently passed by the Senate as well as the general subject of immigration reform itself. It’s always been very clear that getting anything through the House that resembled the Senate bill would be difficult if not impossible, especially if the House GOP Leadership decides that the only way that the Senate bill would come up for a vote is if had the support of a majority of the House GOP Caucus. Last week, Speaker John Boehner said exactly that and it was already clear by then that the required GOP majority to satisfy the so-called Hastert Rule, meaning that the Senate bill is effectively dead in the House absent the unlikely event of a successful Discharge Petition. After yesterday’s House GOP Caucus meeting, though, one has to wonder if anything related to immigration is going to get done this year at all:

House Republicans huddled in a crucial two-and-a-half-hour session in the basement of the Capitol as their leaders tried to devise some response to the demand for immigration legislation, especially the Senate provision that would grant a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country. The bill also mandates tough border security provisions that must be in place before the immigrants can gain legal status.

The bottom line was clear: The Republican-controlled House does not plan to take up anything resembling the Senate bill, which many believe is bad policy and smacks of an amnesty strongly opposed by the conservatives who hold sway over much of the rank and file. The House also does not intend to move very quickly, and some Republicans are wary of passing any measure at all that could lead to negotiations with the Senate, talks that could add pressure to the House to consider a broader plan.

(…)

House Republican leaders struck a defiant tone after the meeting, issuing a joint statement declaring the Obama administration “cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill like the one passed by the Senate.” Mr. Boehner repeatedly reassured Republicans that he would pass nothing through the House that did not have the support of a majority of his party, and lawmakers left the meeting certain that nothing significant would move through the House until September — and possibly much later.

” ‘Comprehensive’ has always been a swear word in the House of Representatives, but having a step-by-step approach that deals with the issue comprehensively, I don’t think that’s dead,” said Representative Raúl Labrador, Republican of Idaho, a Hispanic legislator who until recently had been part of a bipartisan group in the House working on a broad immigration proposal.

Instead, House Republicans will consider a piecemeal approach, passing several individual bills rather than one large package, as the Senate did. Any immigration proposal, members said, is likely to concentrate on border security and enforcement; a path to legalization or citizenship, they stressed, must come later — if at all.

Though they may pass one or two modest bills before the August recess, many members said they felt no urgency to deal with an immigration overhaul, with the fall likely to be dominated by fights over the budget and the federal debt ceiling.

Many of the comments that were made both at and at the meeting reflect the conflicting political pressures that Republicans face on this issue, a subject that I’ve written about before. On the one hand, there are the broad national pressures that consist of polling that shows broad national support for immigration reform, including the so-called “path to citizenship,” and the growing force of Latino voters in the United States. On the other hand, there is the strong voice of the GOP base that remains vehemently opposed to nearly every element of what is commonly called “immigration reform” with the exception “border security” and the enhanced enforcement of existing laws against illegal immigration. Given the fact that huge numbers of Republican House members represent districts where there is a bigger threat of being challenged from the right in a primary than there is of being seriously challenged in a General Election, it’s easy to see why Republicans in the House are far more hard line on this issue than their Senate colleagues, as some of the comments from yesterdays meeting:

“Is this an issue that people care about? Yes. Is it one that keeps them up at night? Probably not,” said Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania, who is among the more moderate Republicans who could be part of a compromise.

Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, a respected voice in the Republican Party who has been working behind the scenes to help push an immigration overhaul, spoke during the meeting in favor of immigration generally. He said fixing the nation’s broken system would be good for both economic growth and national security.

Emotions ran high, with members lining up 10 deep at each of two microphones waiting to speak their piece. Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, read an obscure line from “America the Beautiful” to make his point that respect for the rule of law must be inviolable: “Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law,” he intoned.

Participants portrayed a Republican conference still divided over the question of citizenship. Some said they were open to a path to citizenship, or at least legal status; others said they worried about even going to negotiations with the Senate, where, they fear, any bill to emerge would constitute amnesty.

Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, took the lead for stalwart opponents of any legislation that could lead to what they view as amnesty. “You can’t separate the Dream Act kids from those who came across the border with a pack of contraband on their back, and they can’t tell me how they can do that,” Mr. King said, referring to the undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents as young children and known as “Dreamers.”

“Once you start down that line you’re destroying the rule of law.” But the response to his pitch was not as robust as it had been in the past: “It was not a standing ovation,” he conceded.

The House GOP Caucus released this statement after the conference:

Today House Republicans affirmed that rather than take up the flawed legislation rushed through the Senate, House committees will continue their work on a step-by-step, common-sense approach to fixing what has long been a broken system. The American people want our border secured, our laws enforced, and the problems in our immigration system fixed to strengthen our economy. But they don’t trust a Democratic-controlled Washington, and they’re alarmed by the president’s ongoing insistence on enacting a single, massive, Obamacare-like bill rather than pursuing a step-by-step, common-sense approach to actually fix the problem. The president has also demonstrated he is willing to unilaterally delay or ignore significant portions of laws he himself has signed, raising concerns among Americans that this administration cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill like the one passed by the Senate.

For all intents and purposes I’d suggest that this means that immigration reform is effectively dead. As First Read notes, the piecemeal approach that the GOP is going to take will likely begin with a “border security” bill and, possibly, some version of the DREAM Act that probably wouldn’t go into effect until it was verified that the border is “secure” in some respect, a standard that essentially makes the bill meaningless in all important respects. There would be no addressing the 12 million people who are here illegally, and, most likely, no addressing the issue of expanding work visas, no issue of what to do about migrant farm workers. In other words, it would be an “immigration bill” in name only.What’s clear is that all of these issues are interrelated and that the only politically viable way to deal with them is to deal with them all at once. The piecemeal approach that the House GOP wishes to take is pretty much a guarantee that each particular element will be pecked apart by opponents. And, perhaps, that’s exactly what those elements in the House GOP pushing this approach want.

Even if the House does manage to pass some of its piecemeal bills, though, it’s hard to see where things go from there. It’s unlikely that any of them would have much luck of succeeding in the Senate on and up-and-down vote, for example, and there has already been an indication that House GOPers would not agree to the establishment of a House-Senate Conference Committee to try to iron out the differences between the two Chambers. With no Senate action and no Conference Committee, it’s unlikely that anything will pass this year and even less likely that anything will pass next year when Republicans will start worrying even more about primary challenges.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Congress, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Sam Malone says:

    I’m curious about 2 things:
    How many times did you write the same thing about Obamacare being dead?
    And…how is that GOP Hispanic outreach going?
    Obama, who has committed more resources and deported more immigrants and seen the flow across the border slow to a trickle…cannot be trusted with border security. What a crock.
    It’s a tragedy what has happened to a once great political party. Republicans are now nothing more than a bunch of numbskulls.

  2. Caj says:

    Well blow me down with a feather! Who would have thought Republicans would have said NO to that idea? I’ve come to conclusion they don’t even know what YES and COMPROMISE even mean! Wait a minute though, I’ve had another thought. Yes, that’s it. They can only spell NO. Three letters would have their brain cells jumping out of their heads. That must it don’t you think?

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Let’s see? A 13 year path to legalization and citizenship, increased border enforcement (which, by the way, is not needed) – no wonder they killed it – it’s far too liberal, it’s almost Hugo Chavez-esque.

    The Republican rebranding effort and Hispanic Outreach program continues.

  4. Matt Bernius says:

    There could have been ways for the Republicans to oppose this without continuing to damage their current standing with immigrant and Hispanic communities. But that would require folks like Steve King to keep his mouth shut:

    Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, took the lead for stalwart opponents of any legislation that could lead to what they view as amnesty. “You can’t separate the Dream Act kids from those who came across the border with a pack of contraband on their back, and they can’t tell me how they can do that,” Mr. King said, referring to the undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents as young children and known as “Dreamers.”

    Regardless of context, continuing to make statements that compare *kids* who are (a) here because of their parents actions and (b) trying to better themselves (i.e. get educations, learn English, jobs, etc) with drug runners (at least he didn’t go all the way to terrorists) isn’t exactly the way to win hearts and minds.

  5. James Pearce says:

    Cue Superdestroyer’s familiar complaint about “progressives.”

    I guess when immigration reform actually does occur (and it will eventually), we can thank the Republicans for increasing the number of people it affects.

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    The GOP House is unwilling to take the Senate Bill and work from there – it’s both depressing and completely expected. I am now convinced that a majority of the Republican Party (the most active members) would prefer to see the 11 to 12 million illegals (including the kids) round up for deportation.

    Unfortunately, it looks like it’s up to Paul Ryan to come up with a bill that Democrats will not support.

  7. sam says:

    Congressman Generic Republican (R-Podunkville) responding to vox boobuli.

  8. James Pearce says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    There could have been ways for the Republicans to oppose this without continuing to damage their current standing with immigrant and Hispanic communities.

    It goes without saying that not all Republicans oppose it, indeed, some prominent ones support it…albeit to their peril. (See Rubio.)

    But I must ask….why do many House Republicans want to see this dead? Is it because they have some preferred other option? Is it because they’re just trying to hand Obama a political loss? Is it just because they’re dicks?

    To me, this just seems like asshat partisanship. This country needs immigration reform. There is no immigration reform that will make everyone happy. Maybe it’s time to be a grown-up and take what you can get. In other words, compromise.

  9. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: I’m not standing up for Steve King, but he didn’t compare drug-runners and “dreamers”. He said that he doesn’t see how the Senate legislation distinguishes them.

  10. stonetools says:

    None of this is all that surprising. A lot of Republicans are now convinced that the way to winning is

    1. maximize the white vote.
    2. suppress the minority vote.
    3. gerrymander.

    Hey, it worked brilliantly in 2010 and has been green lighted by the SCOTUS. To be honest, it’s not all that clear that it WON’T work, liberal claims to the contrary. Look at the way conservative Republicans have taken over North Carolina and passed into law a Tea Party wish list of legislation, from voter suppression laws to establishing a state religion.
    The Republicans are just more comfortable with following their proven program than to risk it by passing legislation that MIGHT attract Hispanic voters and is LIKELY to enrage their base.

  11. gVOR08 says:

    There has come to be a vast gulf between what elite/establishment Republicans know they need to be viable nationally and what Louis Gohmert needs to avoid being primaried from the right in the TX 1st. I could almost feel some sympathy for Republicans over the cleft stick they now find themselves in. Almost. Maybe if they hadn’t worked so hard at creating and nurturing the base that now has them trapped.

  12. Latino_in_Boston says:

    If this bill dies, the GOP will be sorry.

    Immigration is the one issue that makes more and more Latinos vote as a block, and this will show beyond a shadow of a doubt that as long as the GOP controls any part of government there will be no immigration reform. Hell, even if you like your local GOP representative, you might begin to consider voting for a Dem because Republicans just cannot be trusted with any kind of majority in Congress.

    Moreover, when the Dems take over Congress and get another Dem President, immigration reform happens, and it will (probably in 2016-2017), the bill will be much further to the left than it is now. Closer, perhaps to the 2007 McCain-Kennedy or even further left.

    In fact, if I didn’t care about immigrants, and I was just a cynic Dem that cared about elections, I’d say this is the best possible outcome for the Democratic party. You simultaneously get all the credit, the politicization of an ethnic group that sees you in a favorable light, and the realization that their political goals can only occur if I’m in charge. Nice going, GOP.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    others said they worried about even going to negotiations with the Senate, where, they fear, any bill to emerge would constitute amnesty.

    Yes, because that Harry Reid is just so, so, so….. mean.

    Cowards. The whole lot of them. And that is a word I usually reserve for Dems in Congress.

  14. Barfour says:

    Isn’t immigration reform a no-win issue for Republicans? If they oppose it, they will alienate Latino voters, who are now a very important part of the voting public. But if they support it and it passes, Democrats gets the credit. I know that this is not a reason to oppose immigration reform but isn’t this the situation facing Republicans?

  15. Tillman says:

    @stonetools: As an NC native, born and raised, I can assure you: they’re in for quite a shock come 2014. People are pissed off.

    An old lady admitted to me while waiting at the doctor’s office when the news was on about how they’d passed a bill raising taxes on families who had children who didn’t vote in their hometowns (to punish college students) that she had voted for each and every Republican on her ballot in 2012. She’d been Republican since LBJ escalated Vietnam. Between our new governor slashing unemployment benefits while raising the salaries of his cabinet and this circus of a General Assembly, she truly thought her vote was a mistake.

    The NYT was out with an editorial a couple of days ago about just how ridiculous it’s become. I’ve never seen my Facebook feed light up with so many people sharing something from the NYT. We always considered ourselves Southerners, but, y’know, the good Southerners. Last to secede and reluctantly at that. (We were surrounded by Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia, for crying out loud.) Amendment One was a blow, but this demolition the state GOP is carrying out now is intolerable.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pinky:

    I’m not standing up for Steve King, but he didn’t compare drug-runners and “dreamers”. He said that he doesn’t see how the Senate legislation distinguishes them.

    I have a feeling that if that were King’s real problem with the senate bill, he would take the senate bill and insert language that would address that concern and then go to conference with it. As to what language would do the trick, how about “Any child with a continuous record of education from Primary (say 3rd grade?) through High School…. (fill in the blank)”. I don’t think many children are going to school for 9 mos and then taking summer jobs as drug mules.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Barfour:

    Latinos are not genetically bound to be Democrats. Like any other group they can be persuaded. Had the GOP treated them like human beings they could have pitched them in the future. Now, though, they’ve decided to follow their party’s racist core and treat brown people the same way they’ve treated black people: as an enemy tribe that could never be won over.

    Add up the groups the GOP has clearly said they despise: black, brown, young, liberated female and gay. Asians see where this is going and vote against the GOP, so the Republicans lose them, too. They go into presidential elections with more half the population knowing the GOP despises them.

    But they don’t care. They’re content to be the old white guys party. They’re going down with the ship rather than learn how to swim.

  18. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:
    I seems you missed my point — including the sentence about “context”. There were countless ways that this could have been expressed without uttering a sentence that, at its core, compared *dreamers* to *drug runners.*

    Part of the problem Republicans continue to have is that they use rhetoric that ends up winning points with their base while alienating everyone else. And while this works in safe house districts, we’ve seen it’s results when people run for state wide (or nation wide) election.

    If you have to explain that he didn’t mean “X” then you’ve already lost the battle.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @stonetools:

    1. maximize the white vote.
    2. suppress the minority vote.
    3. gerrymander.

    Hey, it worked brilliantly in 2010 and has been green lighted by the SCOTUS. To be honest, it’s not all that clear that it WON’T work,

    Well, here in MO it worked in 2010 and 2012 at the legislative levels (state and fed) but was a complete failure statewide.

  20. Tillman says:

    @Tillman: Correction, we weren’t last to secede. Screw Tennessee.

  21. Matt Bernius says:

    @Barfour:

    But if [Republicans] support [Immigration Reform] and it passes, Democrats gets the credit.

    Bull. This is at best, Right Wing Talk radio reasoning.

    The fact is that if Republicans supported this, and were even marginally good Politicians to boot, they could easily own the success of the bill.

    Or at the very least, share it.

    Just look at how much press Rubio, in particular got, for participating in the process. Any politician worth their salt can find ways to get credit for things (often which they only jumped on to supporting at the last minute).

    And I expect that the Republican senators who voted for the bill will end up holding up the fact they tried to get something done in future elections.

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:

    I’m glad to hear it. I lived in Chapel Hill for a couple of years (granted that’s part of the Austin-Madison-Berkeley sphere) and North Carolinians have not generally seemed to be the kind of hopeless aszholes as inhabit your neighbor to the south.

  23. Matt Bernius says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Well, here in MO it worked in 2010 and 2012 at the legislative levels (state and fed) but was a complete failure statewide.

    And that’s why it will continue for the foreseeable future.

    I suspect that the Republicans have all but given up on the Senate and are simply hoping the presidential fatigue will flip the White House. They are not going to significantly change tactics until their control of the House is in real jeopardy.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt Bernius: Agree completely.

    are simply hoping the presidential fatigue will flip the White House.

    What they are waiting for is for the inevitable economic downturn at which point they will, oh hell, who am I kidding? They already blame Obama for it.

  25. John D'Geek says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    There could have been ways for the Republicans to oppose this without continuing to damage their current standing with immigrant and Hispanic communities.

    Don’t confuse Immigrant with Hispanic communities. The immigrants I know are furious at the thought of any sort of Amnesty — they got here legally, and it was very difficult.

    If you have to explain that he didn’t mean “X” then you’ve already lost the battle.

    It goes further than that. We are in a political environment where people are deliberately misconstruing the oppostion in, quite often, heinous ways. The fact that Republicans have to carefully craft their message in the most politically correct manner possible or be misconstrued is trouble.

    I mean, he was *contrasting* not *comparing*. Had any of the non-conservatives on this board actually been interested in solving the problem, they would have pointed out what he meant: that any bill to assist “Dreamers” — those ethical residents that are culturally American but legally Foreigners — be able to find an ethical way in the door must simultaneously get rid of illegals that are here for more nefarious purposes. It must also respect the sacrifices of our current legal immigrants.

    I’m from just a few miles outside of Hazleton, Pa — a tiny, tiny (did I say “tiny”?) city in the middle of nowhere that’s been overrun by the Mexican Drug Gangs (TM). I feel for the Dreamers, but I have no sympathy whatsoever of the Gang Bangers that have taken over Rural Pa. Quite the opposite.

    It’s a legitimate concern that should not be minimized in the name of politics.

  26. stonetools says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I dunno. I think the predictions of the coming Republican collapse are greatly exaggerated. The Republicans dominate at the state level in many states. According to every pundit I’ve read, The Republicans have a lock on house until 2020 and have a decent shot at regaining the Senate in 2014 ( Dems have to defend a lot more seats).
    A white vote maximizing approach might work quite well for the next four or five cycles. In the long run, that may not be a good strategy but you know what Keynes said about the long run.
    Liberals tend to suffer from rushes of overconfidence. Remember the heady days of 2008?Liberals thought that the gains of 2006 and 2008 were permanent. Obama thought the Republicans had no option but to cooperate with the ascendant Democrats. Liberals fell to squabbling among themselves and insisting that there was no need for compromise with moderates and business interests on health care bills. Then came 2010.
    Now, we are confidently predicting the demise of the Republicans although they dominate at the state level, in the Federal judiciary, and will hold the House for the foreseeable future. Call me a pessimist, but I think we are a long way from liberal legislative success.

  27. stonetools says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    I suspect that the Republicans have all but given up on the Senate and are simply hoping the presidential fatigue will flip the White House.

    I think liberals think that. I don’t think Republicans think that way at all. Republicans think they have a good chance of retaking the Senate.

    There are 21 US Senate seats up for re-election in 2014 that are currently held by Democrats, with more than half of those being vulnerable. These seats were won during the 2008 sweep year when President Barack Obama brought millions of new first time voters to the polls, and helping many of the down-ticket candidates along the way. While the Republicans are defending 14 seats in mostly conservative states, Democrats are defending a mixture of liberal, moderate, and conservative seats. The GOP would need to swing 6 seats to take control of the US Senate.

    It’s an off-year election and the economy just may stall out again due to the sequester, etc. Republicans expect that the 2014 electorate will look more like 2010 than 2008 or 2012.
    The Democrats are going to have to work like hell to avoid that , but history is against them.

  28. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @John D’Geek:

    Don’t confuse Immigrant with Hispanic communities.

    Don’t fool yourself. For most of the virulent right, “immigrant” is a dogwhistle for “wetback,” the same way “Muslim, Kenyan anti-colonialist” is a dogwhistle for “n****r.”

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @stonetools:

    Call me a pessimist, but I think we are a long way from liberal legislative success.

    Agreed, but I don’t see the GOP as being in any better of a situation.

    A white vote maximizing approach might work quite well for the next four or five cycles.

    Disagree. I see where it might help them for one or 2 cycles, but I also see where it will hurt them. Voter ID, ending early voting, gutting the VRA, gerrymandering, etc has pissed off a lot of people that normally wouldn’t be paying attention and that means white people too. When you attack one person’s voting rights, you attack the voting rights of all.

    Now, keeping them pissed off until 2014… That’s the trick.

  30. Woody says:

    Sorry, but there will be little if any blowback from the failed bill.

    The rightwing media have already set this one up:

    – We will never okay illegals.
    – The Senate bill was flawed in x way (actual way doesn’t particularly matter, especially in significance).
    – They are all Democrats anyway.
    – In 24 hours, some new outrage will blot this out forever (I’m betting Zimmerman, the Appropriate Modern Republican Hero).

    After a day or two, the courtier media will ignore this completely, except as a bulletpoint in some horseraces in 2014.

    GOP House members would have been primaried from the right, so they actually benefit.
    GOP Senate hopefuls can take any position necessary as there is no danger of actual law to defend.

  31. stonetools says:

    @Woody:

    After a day or two, the courtier media will ignore this completely, except as a bulletpoint in some horseraces in 2014.

    The media may ignore it, but those (Asian and Hispanic) voters who have family members who are “:illegals” certainly won’t forget it, and they will remember the Republican rhetoric.
    The question is whether the Republicans will gain more white votes than lose Hispanic and Asian votes.

  32. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @Barfour:

    You’re right that at this point if the bill somehow passes miraculously (perhaps by either Boehner forcing it to the floor or some other way the speaker got outmaneuvered), the Republicans would get very little credit, if anything at all, but THAT IS ENTIRELY THE FAULT OF THE GOP given their mixed messaging and their constant terrible rhetoric. It did not have to be this way.

    After all, they actually do have the facts behind them. This bill DOES reduced the deficit, the border REALLY IS much safer than it has ever been and the people benefitting from this bill would not even get a green card for 10 years. You should be able to sell that to the GOP base, especially since they have an entire propaganda channel. If people can believe that Obama is a muslim despite all evidence to the contrary, surely you can sell them on the truth.

    @Woody:

    And yes, Woody, there won’t be any blowback from that side of the spectrum, but Latinos are not going to forget, and those are the people that matter for the future of the party.

  33. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    If you have to explain that he didn’t mean “X” then you’ve already lost the battle.

    I’m not fighting a battle. I’m not defending him. I’m not endorsing or criticizing any piece of legislation. I’m saying that he didn’t do what you’re saying he did, based on the quote you’re citing.

  34. Pinky says:

    @John D’Geek:

    We are in a political environment where people are deliberately misconstruing the oppostion in, quite often, heinous ways.

    I’ve noticed that a lot on this site. If you disagree with a side (either side), you accuse them of awful things. It doesn’t matter if it’s justified, or if it’s even on-topic. You just do it and people will “like” it.

  35. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    I’m saying that he didn’t do what you’re saying he did, based on the quote you’re citing.

    Again you’re missing the point. It’s irrelevant what you think King said, as you aren’t in the group likely to take offense. The point is GOP politicians repeatedly using language offensive to almost everyone that doesn’t already agree with them. It should be completely obvious why this is a problem, whether or not you agree with King.

  36. Caj says:

    Well blow me down with a feather! Who would have thought Republicans would have said NO to that idea? I’ve come to conclusion they don’t even know what YES and COMPROMISE even mean! Wait a minute though, I’ve had another thought. Yes, that’s it. They can only spell NO. Three letters would have their brain cells jumping out of their heads. That must be it don’t you think?

  37. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: (re: voter suppression and gerrymandering) “Well, here in MO it worked in 2010 and 2012 at the legislative levels (state and fed) but was a complete failure statewide. ”

    That will be the biggest problem – statewide elections can’t be gerrymandered. However, one can get massive advantages in the state legislature and in the House of Representatives. With US Senate and state governorships, they’ll be limited to voter suppression.

    However, with a supportive SCOTUS and state judiciary, and control of the state legislature, one can do a heck of a lot of voter suppression.

  38. Barry says:

    @Matt Bernius: “And that’s why it will continue for the foreseeable future.

    I suspect that the Republicans have all but given up on the Senate and are simply hoping the presidential fatigue will flip the White House. They are not going to significantly change tactics until their control of the House is in real jeopardy. ”

    Possibly if a Democrat wins the White House in 2016 (which would at least keep the Senate nominally Democratic). Maybe not even then; the Base could just hunker down in the House and a large number of state governments.

    I think that the only thing which will change them is a loooooong period of time, or a wave election, where the demographics combine with people pissed off at the GOP to cost them the House and a lot of State governments (so that they lose their gerrymandering power).

    OTOH, for the current leadership, that will probably take enough years to bring them to a wealthy, corrupt retirement.

  39. Barry says:

    @John D’Geek: “The fact that Republicans have to carefully craft their message in the most politically correct manner possible or be misconstrued is trouble.”

    Bullsh*t. These are the guys who haven’t figured out that rape is a touchy subject for them wimminfolk. And as repeatedly pointed out, the statement made was pretty fookin’ stupid.

    If a Democratic politician made a statement comparing the Tea Party with the Klan, would Republicans go along with it, lest they be ‘politically incorrect’?

  40. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “Liberals fell to squabbling among themselves and insisting that there was no need for compromise with moderates and business interests on health care bills. Then came 2010.”

    In the sense that some did, true. In the sense that Obamacare was not a massive compromise with moderates and business interests, false.

  41. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “The media may ignore it, but those (Asian and Hispanic) voters who have family members who are “:illegals” certainly won’t forget it, and they will remember the Republican rhetoric.”

    And even those without; to me the clear message is that the GOP is the Party of White People Only, and their base has sent a clear message about who that means.

  42. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    I’m not fighting a battle.

    I agree. Mr King however *IS*. In the market place of ideas, he is in theory fighting to provide a reasoned response for why he (and his colleagues) are against immigration reform. And, one would think, he would do it in a way that would not alienate potential future constituents.

    You would especially think he would be aware that (conservative) Republicans are going to get the credit/blame for scuttling this bill (which is as Doug keeps pointing out, popular with a large amount of the country and a significant amount of the communities which the Republicans have already realized they have a credibility issue with).

    @Pinky:

    I’m saying that he didn’t do what you’re saying he did, based on the quote you’re citing.

    Recently on another thread, you make much the same argument about Todd Akin. The fact that in both of these cases you fail to even be able to conceive how these phrases might be offensive demonstrates that you don’t grasp the issue at hand.

    And it’s *not* that people need to be *politically correct*, but the fact is that they need to think and speak in *political* ways.

    Likewise, it’s entirely true that Hispanic does not equal immigrant. However, the nature of these communities is that they tend to be more connected with current immigrants, in the same way that German and Irish Catholic communities were typically connected with recent Immigrants during the rise of the Know Nothing Party (who used much of the similar rhetoric during the 1850’s).

  43. Barry says:

    @Pinky: ” I’m saying that he didn’t do what you’re saying he did, based on the quote you’re citing. ”

    The quote does indeed compare J. Random Hispanic Dreamer Kid to J. Random Hispanic Drug-Runner.

  44. steve s says:

    Add up the groups the GOP has clearly said they despise: black, brown, young, liberated female and gay. Asians see where this is going and vote against the GOP, so the Republicans lose them, too.

    Indeed. I saw much confusion on the right about losing the asian vote. “Why’d we lose the asian vote? We like *that* minority.”

    Um because you’re abortion-obsessed, gay-obsessed, science denying jerks, and asians can clearly see that, maybe?

  45. Pinky says:

    @David M: I get the point. I do. Do you get the point that it was wrong for him to distort King’s comments in order to make his point?

  46. Matt Bernius says:

    @John D’Geek:

    Had any of the non-conservatives on this board actually been interested in solving the problem, they would have pointed out what he meant: that any bill to assist “Dreamers” — those ethical residents that are culturally American but legally Foreigners — be able to find an ethical way in the door must simultaneously get rid of illegals that are here for more nefarious purposes. It must also respect the sacrifices of our current legal immigrants.

    But there are a few problems with this mode of thinking:

    1. There is already a system for getting rid of people in the country to illegally deal drugs — it’s called the Criminal Justice System and to that point we have deported far more criminals under Obama than under the Bush administration.

    2. Beyond law enforcement, the issues of gangs has less to do with immigration and far more to do with economic issues.

    3. King is using a disproportional threat (there are far MORE Dreamers than Criminals) to stop any action to try and deal (again very slowly — 13 years) with the “dreamers.” And the underlying concept, which anti-immigrant people just don’t want to see is how the very act of comparing or contrasting in a case like this puts everyone in the same “potentially dangerous” group — i.e. we can’t tell if you’re here to be part of the dream or kill us.

    This isn’t rocket science. It’s EMPATHY.

    Again, King might have a point. But there were a LOT of ways that he could have expressed this WITHOUT doing something that is only going to create distance with the people his party is trying to court.

  47. Matt Bernius says:

    @Barry:

    If a Democratic politician made a statement comparing the Tea Party with the Klan, would Republicans go along with it, lest they be ‘politically incorrect’?

    This.

    For example, imagine the following quote (which is a more extreme version of what a number of liberal commentators have said in the past):

    “Yes, some of the Tea Party is clearly motivated by a deeply held belief that the government has spiraled out of control, but at a rally you can’t tell them apart from the ones who are motivated by racial fear (i.e. that inner-city colored people are coming to take their jobs and their hard earned government subsidies) or a belief that all Democrats are traitorous communists or the folks who just don’t want to pay ANY taxes.”

  48. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    I get the point. I do.

    No, you most certainly don’t get it. The point is that King’s words were chosen quite poorly, even giving King the benefit of the doubt, which only committed GOP partisans are usually dumb enough to do.

  49. Pinky says:

    @David M: Gosh, when you put it that way, it’d be crazy of Matt *not* to misrepresent King.

  50. JohnMcC says:

    Do we all remember the moment in the Repub primaries & debates where Gov Romney painted Gov Perry as being soft on illegal immigration because in Texas undocumented graduates of Texas high schools are elligible for in-state tuition? The Repub’s are committed to making life as miserable for undocumented immigrants as they can. Nothing has changed if you are a Republican and continuing to crawl deeper and deeper under the covers hoping that the modern world will go away is the right thing to do. The answer is still ‘self deportation’, ‘traditional marriage’ and the 2d Amendment.

    They proceed into their future with determination and their manly jaws clinched.

  51. stonetools says:

    @Barry:

    In the sense that some did, true. In the sense that Obamacare was not a massive compromise with moderates and business interests, false.

    I agree there were compromises. Where you and I part company is that I think there were NECESSARY comprises.
    I think a lot of liberals just overestimated the lasting impact of 2008 victory. They thought the gains of 2006 and 2008 were permanent , that we could sweep aside all opposition, and all that remained was to enact every liberal dream imaginable. We would close Guantanamo on day one, pass single payer health care on day two , throw all banksters in jail on day three and be out of Afghanistan and Iraq at the end of Week One.
    Meanwhile, the Obama Administration had its own dream. Obama actually believed his own bullsh!t-that the country had moved beyond partisanship, that we all agreed on the same goals, there was no blue or red America, and that he was uniquely qualified to craft “reasonable bipartisan compromises” that all people of good will would agree with…..
    Man, those were some pretty dreams.
    Neither the liberals or Obama really thought of the 2006-2008 gains as assets that needed to be used quickly and to be defended. I believe the next Democratic Administration won’t have these illusions, and they are going to be pretty ruthless about building, defending and using their majorities-you know, like how the Republicans do now.

  52. stonetools says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Again, King might have a point. But there were a LOT of ways that he could have expressed this WITHOUT doing something that is only going to create distance with the people his party is trying to court.

    You misunderstand. King isn’t trying to court Hispanics. He’s courting NATIVIST WHITES.
    In that way, his words aren’t “inappropriate” or “poorly chosen ” at all. On the contrary, they are precisely chosen to achieve their goal. Ever heard the term “dog whistle?”. King can’t say “Let’s just run all the greasers back across the Rio Grande” so he talks some argle bargle equating dreamers with criminals , confident that the audience he’s aiming at understands that he is with them.

  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Barry:

    However, with a supportive SCOTUS and state judiciary, and control of the state legislature, one can do a heck of a lot of voter suppression.

    My point exactly. But still, they don’t get the whole enchilada. And I see this as a mixed bag. Here in MO, Obama is hated quite virulently, that hate should have translated into a sweep for the GOP of state wide elections here. Instead we got quite the opposite. Because they don’t own the white vote. At best, they get 60%. Maybe 70%. The harder they (the state GOP) try to suppress the vote, the harder progressives (of all colors) will push back. I can walk up on any doorstep in N St Louis and say, “They are trying to take your vote.” and a man or woman who has never voted before in their entire life will say, “OH, NO THEY WON’T!!!”

    And I can walk up on any step anywhere in MO and say, “They took their vote. What makes you think yours isn’t next?”

    Very effective for GOTV.

  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Look, let’s just cut through all the BS: Most of the base (the 27%) of the GOP would be perfectly happy with deporting ANYONE with a Hispanic name (including my wife, who came here legally and is a naturalized citizen). The sooner all these people who speak with funny accents are gone, the better. Especially if their family has been here for almost 500 years.

    Unless they are from Cuba. They can stay as long as they hate Castro. Otherwise, they gotta go too.

  55. Pinky says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Look, let’s just cut through all the BS: Most of the base (the 27%) of the GOP would be perfectly happy with deporting ANYONE with a Hispanic name (including my wife, who came here legally and is a naturalized citizen).

    Foolish comment.

  56. stonetools says:

    @Pinky:

    Foolish comment.

    You don’t get out among the GOP base much , do you? These are the guys who still think of Obama as a Kenyan-born Muslim who shouldn’t even be in the White House and who think that old Jefferson C. Davis was really a misunderstood patriot who bravely tried to resist Northern Aggression. For them Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity aren’t crackpots, but truth tellers.

  57. James Pearce says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The sooner all these people who speak with funny accents are gone, the better. Especially if their family has been here for almost 500 years.

    Ding ding ding!

    For all the talk about border security, there does seem to be this fixation on language and nationality. (See John D’Geek above.)

  58. It’s always been very clear that getting anything through the House that resembled the Senate bill would be difficult if not impossible

    Actually, if it was brought to a floor vote right now it would pass. But it would pass largely due to Democrat support, so this won’t be allowed to happen.

  59. superdestroyer says:

    The Republican Party is faced with deciding their own demise. They can either pass comprehensive immigration reform, try to become the Democratic-LIte Party, and die of a sudden collapse when many of the core supporters walk away from them or they can not pass immigration reform and wait the slow change of demographics make them irrelevant.

    It looks like the Republicans have decide the slow death is better than demographic suicide. At least it keeps them in power longer and causes the Democratic Party to moderate themselves for the next decade or two.

    Of course, anyone who could count saw the demise of conservative politics for many years now. A growing government budget, massive deficit spending, fewer people paying income taes, and the growth of special interest have all help the Democratic Party. The Republicans sealed their fate when the chased cheap labor during the first amnesty and when the Bush I and Bush II Administrations put zero effort in to trying to separate ethnic special interest from their government programs.

  60. Dave D says:

    @superdestroyer: I’m confused as to why St Ronald who loved deficit spending would help his opponents so much. Also when Bush the younger tanked the economy, ran up huge deficits and ruined American influence abroad did he know he was helping the other side so much. If they don’t want to self destruct now, according to you every one of their policy decisions for the past 30+ years have been sowing the seeds of their own destruction. But you’re probably under the assumption that the huge unemployment rate has nothing to due with huge public sectors cuts and everything to do with OBAMACARE and other socialism and whatnot that is ruining this great nation. I’m still waiting for the trickle down effect and tax cuts to create jobs and renew the middle class, because you know the top 1% can’t be that greedy.

  61. superdestroyer says:

    @Dave D:

    If you want to look at the legacy of President Reagan, you do not have to look further than California going from a state where the Republicans used to win to a state that the Republicans ignore. The cheap labor Republicans thought they were getting cheap construction workers and cheap servants back in the 1980’s and now those cheap labor Republicans are no longer relevant to politics. Reagan and his advisors were not forward thinking enough to realize that lots of low paid Mexican and third world immigrants would become the core of the Democratic Party. When people are poor and do not pay income taxes, they are not going to vote for the more conservative party.

    Bush I and Bush II were stupid because they thought they could compete with the Democrats on spending and paying off special interest (think Medicare Part D). What the establishment Republicans fail to understand is that deficit spending gives voters government at a discount and combined with progressives income tax rates means that most people will want more government.

  62. James Pearce says:

    @superdestroyer: No rant against “progressives?” You just cost me five bucks…..

    When people are poor and do not pay income taxes, they are not going to vote for the more conservative party.

    Um,….you know this how exactly?

  63. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    If you want to look at the legacy of President Reagan, you do not have to look further than California going from a state where the Republicans used to win to a state that the Republicans ignore.

    Odd that you didn’t bring up Proposition 187…

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pinky:

    Foolish comment.

    This, coming from a fool.

    Have you ever had to worry about your spouse being able to vote??? Ever walk into your polling place loaded for bear, willing to take on all comers if they said your wife could NOT vote???? Ready to go to jail?????

    I have. Your world is really small. Try mine some time.

  65. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @superdestroyer:

    You know SD, I’ve always wondered why you think it would be impossible for the GOP to court Latinos (and Asians). Do you have that little faith in the ideological truth the Republicans pursue that you think it wouldn’t convince anyone but white people? Or is it something about Latinos and Asians as a group that makes you think it would be impossible to convince them to vote Republican ever? I wonder if you could explain.

  66. superdestroyer says:

    @James Pearce:

    Because very smart operatives like David Axelrod know that it is true. What do you think the Democrats in 2008 and 2012 talked about taxing the rich. No conservative party can appeal to poor people when the liberal party is talking about wealth transfer, more entitlements, and taxing the rich.

  67. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    The Prop 187 showed how the Republicans failed to think about the future. The promoted the idea of cheap labor with the first amnesty but forgot to turn off all of the ethnicity/racial based set asides that keep non-whites wedded to the Democratic Party. The cheap labor Republicans flooded the state with cheap labor Latinos but forgot that they would all be eligible for a long list of entitlement. Remember, Prop 187 was passed with 60% of the vote and there was the elimination of affirmative action in California and the elimination of bilingual education. The California Republicans were reward for the pursuit of cheap labor by being eliminated as politically relevant. Now California is a state with a high unemployment rate, high costs of living, and where the top industries produce few middle class jobs.

  68. superdestroyer says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:

    There was been a few writers who have speculated that the overt religiousness of the Republicans have put off Asains. In addition, an analysis of Asian voting patterns shows that they are usually liberal voters but not as liberal as the white who they have to live near. Since a large percentage of Asians live in California, it makes sense that they are liberal.

    I also think the Bush Clan and their efforts to get special benefits for their cronies was very off-putting to Asians. The Bush clan decide to alienate Asian is a stupid pursuit of Latinos because they thought wrongly that Latinos would support social conservative issues.

  69. Tillman says:

    @stonetools:

    Meanwhile, the Obama Administration had its own dream. Obama actually believed his own bullsh!t-that the country had moved beyond partisanship, that we all agreed on the same goals, there was no blue or red America, and that he was uniquely qualified to craft “reasonable bipartisan compromises” that all people of good will would agree with…..
    Man, those were some pretty dreams.

    I was, what, early twenties in 2008? I’d grown up [politically] with Bush through the high school years. I wasn’t naive enough to think Obama could solve the nation’s problems with a speech here and there, but I bought into the bullsh!t if only a little. I can only imagine those younger and less wise over the past five years, and how they’d react to the world as it’s progressed so far.

    The problem wasn’t that problems couldn’t be solved, but that solving them would reduce the paychecks of a lot of people who had no stake in a changing world. The oil industry is simply the most obvious example, but there are many more that liberals wouldn’t or couldn’t accept.

    I imagine the next Democratic administration, in 2016 or beyond, will be more ruthless. It won’t be because the dreams have changed, but because the precedents for effective governance have. The Republican minority in the Senate and the majority in the House have established new precedents going forward for how political parties in the American system should interact with each other. No matter how cowardly you might think the Democrats are, they will fall in line under such precedent.

    I fear for how our political system will cope with it all.

  70. Tillman says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Because very smart operatives like David Axelrod know that it is true. What do you think the Democrats in 2008 and 2012 talked about taxing the rich.

    I might be spewing out my own a$$hole here, but I think it has more to do with recent history (record low tax rates across the board) than “taxing the rich” specifically.

  71. Dave D says:

    When people are poor and do not pay income taxes, they are not going to vote for the more conservative party.

    And why vote for the party that does everything they can to keep them poor? For that matter unless you’re a millionaire or above why does anyone vote conservative? The party that is in the pocket of big business that actively seeks to tax them less while tricking the tax payers to subsidize the unlivable wages they pay their employees. The scaling back of progressive tax rates to regressive tax rates by the Republicans in the last 30 years is only making the problem worse. Add to the poverty issue that one party actively demonizes them (unless they are Cuban) every chance they can. The blocking of this legislation is for the cheap labor republicans, they can keep paying undocumented workers less than they are worth.To try and seperate cheap labor republicans from other republicans is impossible. They will bend the way their largest donors want them to because to a lot of these people legal cheap later isn’t much different than illegal cheaper labor.

  72. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Not to point out the obvious, SD, but you didn’t answer the question. Why do you think the GOP will never be able to convince Latinos or Asians to vote for them? Is it the GOP or is there something about Latinos and Asians?

  73. James Pearce says:

    @superdestroyer:

    No conservative party can appeal to poor people when the liberal party is talking about wealth transfer, more entitlements, and taxing the rich.

    You say that….but every time there’s an election, the Republican candidate is getting heaps of votes from poor and working class whites. How do you explain that?

    (PS. “The Republican party is not really conservative” is not a valid answer.)

  74. michael reynolds says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:

    I think it’s pretty simple. Melanin, the naturally-occurring pigment that determines skin color, is fatal to conservatives. See, conservative ideas are really super. Way super. Amazingly super. Unless. . . they come in contact with melanin. Then, it’s sort of a green Kryptonite situation.

  75. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You may want to ask all of the commentators on MSNBC and CNN about why Latinos are so liberal. Everyone of them states that the only way for the Republicans to appeal to Latinos is to move far to left and support amnesty, gay marriage, cap and trade, single payer health care, wealth transference, more affirmative action, a larger government, and more social engineering.

    All I do is take the commentators at their word and agree that Laitnos are much closer to liberal Democrats than to anyone in the Republican Party and that it is impossible for the Republicans to get between Latinos and the Democratic Party.

  76. Rob in CT says:

    My feelings are mixed. On the one hand, I’m actually not a fan of the Senate bill. On the other, I think we need immigration reform and now worry we’ll get nothing for some time.

    The ideal situation, for me, would have been the House taking up and modifying the senate bill. The odds of this being done, and being done in a way that satisfied me, were always low. Sigh.

    I’m cool with a path, I’m cool with more legal in exchange for less illegal. But I want the net result to be lower levels of low-wage immigration, not higher levels. CBO estimate: net increase of ~1 million people/yr, and I assume most of that would be low-wage. Ergo, not a good deal. But that could be tweaked! Some more employer-side enforcement and you probably turn a poor deal into a good one. But nooo-oh! Can’t have THAT. That would “punish job creators” or somesuch nonsense).

  77. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It was melanin all along! Rather insightful, sir.

  78. Rob in CT says:

    I really think there was a perfectly reasonable compromise to be had here (especially if the GOP were willing to pass a bill – ANY BILL – with Dem votes in the House), whether or not it would have been my perfect ideal magic pony bill.

    But the GOPers in the House have no interest in that. For one thing, they’re each accountable to their (largely safe) districts, full of superdestroyer types. For another, they have absolutely zero intention of passing a bill with Dem votes. They might get Dem cooties.

  79. Andre Kenji says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Look, let’s just cut through all the BS: Most of the base (the 27%) of the GOP would be perfectly happy with deporting ANYONE with a Hispanic name (including my wife, who came here legally and is a naturalized citizen).

    Nah. They have no problem with White people with Spanish sounding names.

  80. Andre Kenji says:

    @superdestroyer:

    There was been a few writers who have speculated that the overt religiousness of the Republicans have put off Asains.

    1-) Asians, like Hispanics, are likely to have relatives that are either living abroad or that are living illegally in the US.

    2-) Asians, like Blacks and Hispanics, are non-White. That means that even if White People says that race does not exist, race does exist. Basically because even if you try to forget that race exists other people are going to remind that to you.

    The GOP is the party of White People.

    3-) Asians are on average younger, and the GOP is they party that wants to preserve Medicare to the current beneficiaries while giving crappy vouchers to today´s young people when they get old.

  81. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @superdestroyer:

    BTW, superdestroyer. This is your thing. This is what you post obsessively on. You’re basing the entire future of American politics on this observation–the immutable ideological block that are Latinos and Asians to the GOP. And you’re basing it on what the punditocracy says? Really? That’s your answer? If true, remind me not to ask you to help me pick stocks. But I suspect it’s not really true, there must be some other reason.

    Plus, let’s take as a given what you say: yes, Latinos and Asians are more liberal than the GOP. Why do you assume this will always be the case?

  82. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    If superdestroyer is able to do so, please answer this question:

    “Why do you think the GOP will never be able to convince Latinos or Asians to vote for them? Is it the GOP or is there something about Latinos and Asians?”

  83. superdestroyer says:

    @James in Silverdale, WA:

    I never said that a conservative party would never be able to appeal to Asians. In realtiy, based upon their lifestyle, Asians should be part of a conservative party that focused on fiscally conservative issues along with being mildly libertarian on social issues. However, since the current Republican Party is neither fiscally conservative nor libertarian, it has zero chance of currently appeal to Asians.

    However, Latinos are culturally very liberal and there is nothing that the Republicans to change Latino culture, there is nothing that any conservative party can do to appeal to Latinos. In addition if Latinos climb the economic ladder they are in a position to take advantage of affirmative action, government set asides, and other ethnicity based programs. Since the Reagan and Bush Administrations did not get rid of such programs, affluent Latinos will stay Democrats.