It’s a summer weekend … Nobody’s on the Web … Certainly not many people are going to come here unless someone links to this post, which nobody will … It’s just us. We’re down to the hard core. A good time to make some small but non-trivial points about … I don’t know, maybe immigration ….
The Fifth Kabuki: In the course of what is a completely unconvincing column headlined “So Much for Immigration Reform,” National Journal‘s Charlie Cook points out yet another reason amnesty [it’s just us so we can call it that] is not dead. Like every other pundit, Cook notes that Republicans from safely conservative districts are scared to vote for an amnesty lest they face a primary challenge. But he adds:
“Many of these members might not actually mind if the House passes something on immigration, as long as it’s done without their votes.”
Here’s a fifth form of Kabuki [previous four here] that might give us the legalization bill now being pushed semi-publicly by a) the RNC leadership (Priebus, etc) b) the House leadership (Boehner, Cantor) and c) Paul
Rubio Ryan. On Friday, Ryan confidently announced that, “We’re going to vote on a bill to legalize people who are undocumented” as early as October. Does he know something? Is the fix in? What about Boehner’s promise not to bring any legislation to a House vote unless it has a majority of the GOP caucus behind it– the Hastert Rule? Well, maybe if they take the Hastert Rule vote in secret, those privately not-unsupportive-but-scared red district members can claim “I didn’t vote for it. It must have been those other guys.”
@MarcoRubio (who hasn’t uttered a tweet on immigration in a long time**) is concerned about jobs at White Castle:
White Castle chain may only hire part time workers bc of #Obamacare
Of course, if White Castle makes its current workers zero time by replacing them with cheap, W-visa immigrants because of Rubio’s “Gang of 8” bill–hey, no problem! …
**–Why has Rubio gone silent on immigration? Two theories: 1) He’s reading the polls and doesn’t want to damage his presidential prospects any further; 2) He realizes the most important thing he can do now to achieve amnesty is minimize GOP grassroots anger in August, in part by pretending the issue’s gone away and in part by offering up lightning-rod substitutes (e.g., abortion! Obamacare!). [These theories not mutually exclusive.]
D.C. Gone Wild: From Politico‘s Three-in-One Source-Greaser discovering a “new power triangle” of Schumer, McCain and White House chief of staff McDonough:
White House officials said the process seemed to loosen up McCain. He no longer seems petulant or stubborn in their private conversations. This was on full display in a 90-minute conversation McCain and others had with Obama last week in the Oval Office.
“He has been a little bit grumpy — that’s gone,” said the senior White House aide. “He was joking with people in the room. He would say, ‘Let me frame it this way.'”
When McCain loosens up, he really lets go … [They didn’t tell us what he ate-ed The night is young.]
No animals. No vegetables. No fruit: A key step in passing welfare reform in 1996 was shutting up Rep. John Mica, who had taken to comparing welfare recipients to “alligators.” (They become dependent if fed by zoo visitors). Mica gave too much ammo to the other side. …
Can nobody do the same with Steve King?
I’m still worried that the debates over the budget and the debt ceiling this fall, far from “crowding out” immigration, will instead give Democrats opportunities to trade for amnesty–or at least for an amnesty vote on the House floor. Roll Call‘s Steven Dennis notes one such possibility, involving the “continuing resolution” needed to avoid a government shutdown:
Because of Obamacare defunding push, Boehner will have to beg Pelosi for CR votes. He won’t get them for free.
So the “Obamacare defunding push” will not defund Obamacare. But it might bring us amnesty. Good work, Sen. Cruz! …
Message from our sponsor: August is almost here. Please do not be distracted by pointless debates over funding or not funding Obamacare. Immigration is the big issue that’s actually up for grabs. Only vocal grassroots opposition during the coming 5-week summer recess can defeat a broad, legalization-first bill that will permanently undermine wages at the bottom by locking America into a cycle of amnesty after amnesty.
Shut up, you’re not a lawyer: A Jackie Calmes question to Obama –“Did you consult with your lawyer?” (before unilaterally delaying the health care law’s employer mandate)–seems to have gotten under his skin and provoked a rare, unattractive bit of public snobbery:
Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency. And I don’t think that’s a secret. But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinions — very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers.
Can you imagine F.D.R. being that insecure in that situation?** … In rank-pulling terms, Obama’s practically begging the courts to say he’s wrong. … P.S.: For some reason, the NYT did not print this telling exchange in the story that came out of the interview. The passage was rescued by Byron York. … [Isn’t this a distraction from immigration?-ed Yes. I fell for it. Ignore this item.]
**–The truth, of course, is that way too many Congressional Republicans (and Democrats) are lawyers, as York notes.