Speaking with one voice–or listening to one voice, anyway: Word is that a single speaker will be allowed to address House Republicans on the topic of immigration when the GOP caucus gathers later this week in Maryland–an actual debate might disrupt leadership plans to weasel through a Legalization First amnesty. But who is the all-knowing expert Boehner & Co. have chosen to lead the crucial
indoctrination session discussion? The GOP leaders aren’t saying**–perhaps because if the Mystery Speaker is identified beforehand he or she might become a figure of controversy. ….
Will it be Becky Tallent, Boehner’s new Kennedy-friendly pro-amnesty aide? … A pollster–say, from the Winston Group–who has done business-funded surveys designed to exaggerate public support for amnesty-before-enforcement? … Frank Luntz, who can offer instruction on the weasel words that will help conservatives slither out of anti-amnesty promises? … Or perhaps Senate staffer Cesar Conda, who can tell the assembled caucus members how flipping on amnesty boosted the political fortunes of his boss, Marco Rubio. … OK, maybe that last one won’t work. But the others seem like possibilities.
If anyone knows the identity of the Mystery Speaker, please contact me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
P.S.: The only proven way to let wavering GOP Congressmen know the other side may to call them yourself. The very efficient U.S. Capitol switchboard is 202 224 3121. Ask for your representative–especially if he is a Republican–and they will put you through.
Phone calls have more impact than you”d think. A strong reaction from the grassroots is probably the only thing that can stop the GOP leadership’s plan. This is the week to start it. …
Update: Mark Krikorian hears the immigration session will be led by Mark Strand– presumably this Mark Strand. He has denounced “ideologically extreme” Republicans for using the Hastert Rule to hold “hostage” GOP moderates who want to allow “more like-minded Democrats to participate in crafting legislation.” Yikes. Sounds like he is channeling Boehner’s id. …
Update 2: Cantor Communications Director Rory Cooper emails to say that Strand is “the organizer of these retreats and he moderates some stuff but he is not a ‘speaker’ on any subject. Really good man, but totally impartial organizer.” Cooper also says, “I’m here now and I don’t see an immigration speaker on the agenda.”
**–I did try to contact various leadership press aides to see if they would spill the beans. Email queries, phone calls not
answered fruitful so far. Will let you know if that changes.