House Republican leaders have released an immigration reform blueprint, which isn't going over well ... with House Republicans:
The House Republican leadership's call on Thursday to provide legal status for 11 million undocumented workers, and possible citizenship for those brought to this country as children, caused sharp division within the party....I love that last bit -- "many of the Republicans said they were torn over whether to turn the principles into an actual legislative effort." In other words, let's make a show of support for immigration reform, but let's not try to pass an actual law that will achieve it. Oh, and let's say that our unwillingness to pass a law is the fault of President Obama and the rest of the evil Democrats.
Many Republicans rejected the one-page "standards for immigration reform" outright, and others said now was not the time for a legislative push on a number of contentious issues in an election year with trends going their way....
A closed-door discussion on immigration at the retreat was described by a House member as "very passionate," with a "sizable bloc" opposing the leadership's position. Members took turns expressing their distrust of President Obama and Senate Democrats as negotiating partners, and many of the Republicans said they were torn over whether to turn the principles into an actual legislative effort.
The House leadership is trying to force the proposal on a party that doesn't want it. Opposing action are not just knuckledraggers like Ann Coulter and Ted Cruz, but also "respectable" righties such as Bill Kristol and National Review.
Even Republicans who favor the reforms don't really care about immigration except as it relates to vote-getting. They're asking themselves, is it worse to risk tea party primary challenges by floating an immigration proposal, or risk alienating Hispanics by sticking to a hard line? -- and they're trying to thread the needle, by at least seeming to care.
But this is the sort of thing Republicans are doing on several fronts.
On health care, some Republicans have announced an Obamacare alternative -- an alternative that makes everything Republicans don't like about Obamacare worse and costs everyone more money, but hey, it's an alternative! It means that Republicans no longer seem to be the Party of No on health care, just as they no longer seem to be the Party of No on immigration.
And then there are the phony efforts at dealing with poverty and inequality being floated by the likes of Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and Mike Lee -- it's unlikely that any of the proposals would work, and it's highly unlikely that Paul, Ryan, and Lee actually give a crap about inequality and poverty, but at least Republicans seem to care about the have-nots.
Walk around these facades, and you'll see them for the stage sets they are. They're for show. Republicans care about winning. They don't care about governing or legislating, except if as a way to transfer more money from ordinary people to the rich. This is Potemkin concern about actual issues. Don't take it seriously, because Republicans don't.