After reports leaked over the Easter weekend that business and labor interests had reached a compromise on the guest worker program, members of the Gang of Eight were quickly rounded up to appear on Sunday morning shows. The narrative was about to be set in stone: The immigration deal was a fait accompli.
Then, Sen. Marco Rubio issued a statement urging caution. “[A]rriving at a final product will require it to be properly submitted for the American people’s consideration, through the other 92 senators from 43 states that weren’t part of this initial drafting process,” Rubio said . “In order to succeed,” Rubio added, “this process cannot be rushed or done in secret.”
That, of course, was entirely reasonable. The only trouble was, Rubio had stepped on the meme. It turns out that some advocates of immigration reform think the best way to pass something is to rush it through Congress — to never let a crisis go to waste.
In fact, that’s probably the best way to guarantee a). a bad bill, and b). legislation that won’t pass the House.
Sadly, for insisting on a prudent and appropriate approach, Rubio’s motives were questioned. For example, Cesar Vargas, director of the DREAM Action Coalition, immediately took to the Hill’s Congress Blog, accusing Rubio of “opening the parliamentary gates for known Republican obstructionist[s]…”
The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky penned an anti-Rubio screed titled, “Rubio’s Immigration Cowardice.” (The title says it all.)
Appearing on MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank explained Rubio’s caution meant the senator was “engaged in a nationwide 50-state butt covering right now.” (In other words, Rubio’s insistence on taking time to craft appropriate legislation was merely an example of pandering to the conservative base.)
And the hits just kept on coming. “It sounds like Rubio is playing to his discredited Tea Party base rather than the majority of Americans who are tired of waiting for reform to move forward,” wrote J. Stephen Wilson. “Maybe he hopes immigration reform will go the way of common-sense gun control legislation.”
Yes, by all means, let’s rush this reform. Let’s not let silly things like getting other senators, never mind the public, to buy-in on the details.
Who needs transparency?