Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has bad news for conservatives opposed to “comprehensive” immigration reform — you’re about to get played.
The right-wing radio star claimed on Wednesday that the silence of Republican leaders on immigration means they are planning to support amnesty. “[Republicans] are joining the Democrats because the Chamber of Commerce wants these workers and they’re heavy Republican donors, so both parties are making a move on this,” Limbaugh said.
So why isn’t Ohio Republican and House Speaker John Boehner being forthright about his party’s intentions? According to Rush, their silence is a smokescreen designed to prevent primary challenges of establishment Republicans:
LIMBAUGH: [Reading from a report] ”Some Republicans and Democrats say that John Boehner could wait until after the filing deadlines for 2014 primary elections before announcing any of this. That would protect some incumbents from Tea Party challenges” — or other conservative challenges — “in the primaries.” And that would mean — if they do that, if they wait ’til after the filing deadline — that nothing happens on this until April.
So the strategy here on the Republican side basically has two elements: Don’t do anything ’til April until after the filing deadline, so that the Tea Party is not ginned up and trying to primary some of these people that would otherwise vote for this. The second thing is to tell us not to worry, that it isn’t amnesty: “We’re gonna make ‘em legal, but we’re not gonna grant them citizenship. They’re not going to be able to vote.” So you shouldn’t have any problem with this, folks. There’s no amnesty, they’re not going to be able to vote, but we need the workers and we need to reach out to the Hispanic community, demographics, yadda yadda, whatever they say.
“Anybody thinking straight about this has got to understand what is going to happen,” Limbaugh continued. He laid out his timetable: After the April filing deadline, House Republicans will introduce a bill providing illegal immigrants the status to work, but not to vote.
“Everybody does a sigh of relief,” he said. “‘Well, not the best, we can live with it…’ Inside the Beltway they’ll think they’re onto something here.”
He predicts the Senate will pass the Republican-introduced bill with little changes. “How long — how many days after the November election will it take — for someone like [New York Democratic Senator] Chuck Schumer to find a microphone and camera and talk about how unfair this is?” Limbaugh noted that Democrats will cry that the law will make the newly-legalized immigrants “three-fifths of a person! We’re back to the days of slavery!”
“The move will be on to grant citizenship two days after the election,” Rush lamented. “It’s part of the plan now, I think… They think that the way to get this done without any primary challenges is to wait ’til April, and then after April announce [the plan].” And without providing illegal immigrants the right to vote, both parties will be able to claim it’s about humanity, not electoral politics — at least until after the November election.
“If I’m right about this,” Rush said, “the establishment leadership in Washington thinks you’re not going to be able to figure all this out. I don’t think you need me telling you this. When you hear that the current immigration reform plan will not grant citizenship and therefore will not allow them to vote, you are probably — especially you in this audience — are probably clever enough to know that that’s not really what they have in mind… Nothing’s changed. What both parties are really looking for here are voters.”
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