Friday, January 31, 2014


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....

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.
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.

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.


Victor said...

As I've said before, Republicans/Conservatives have NO interest in GOVERNING.

They only care about RULING!

Philo Vaihinger said...

Hmm. So what the tea-baggers actually want is mass deportations of 11 million people? Or do they just want them to remain in the country as 11 million illegals, subject to deportation and hence open to the most extreme economic exploitation?

Ten Bears said...

Uhhmmm... yes, Phil. And yes.

But can they chew gum and slap both cheeks of their fat asses at the same time?

No fear.

Yastreblyansky said...

You know while the teabaggers quail in terror of all those foeign-speaking cootie-carrying invaders, the real Republican power, the folks with all the money, simply prefer the immigrants to be undocumented. So they can pay their servants below scale and cheat them on FICA.They'll live with a bill if they must, of course, but they like things best ad they are.

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John Taylor said...

Republicans want illegals as cheap labor but not as voters. That would never do.