4 Questions for Politico
Water, Carried: Politico‘s Seung Min Kim and Carrie Budoff Brown sum up “How immigration reform died.” Some questions for them:
1) Is it true “reformers largely won the August recess [of 2013]? That sure wasn’t my recollection. My recollection is that initial opposition to amnesty at town halls was muted, in large part because frightened GOP congressmen simply stopped holding town halls. Reporters sympathetic to the “reformers” immediately rushed to write stories claiming that “Immigration Reformers are Winning August.” But by the end of the summer substantial public pressure against legalization had manifested itself. Maybe not as much flamboyant pressure as in 2006, but enough. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio was tanking in the polls, as GOP voters reacted to his vocal support for the Senate’s
amnesty “comprehensive” bill. (He soon retreated from the issue.)
2) You report that in 2013:
Nearly all House Republican leaders blocked off time to meet with about 30 members of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in [Eric] Cantor’s conference room in the Capitol. Starting with Boehner, each lawmaker went around the table to stress the need to pass immigration reform.
Hmm. Was Cantor one of the “nearly all” House GOP leaders who stressed the “need to pass immigration reform” (in his conference room)? That would confirm the charge of Dave Brat supporters — that Cantor was quietly working for amnesty. What about Kevin McCarthy, who was then Majority Whip and is now Majority Leader? Was he for immigration “reform” too? If “nearly all” GOP leaders were at the meeting and each of them supported the effort, it’s hard to see how both Cantor and McCarthy weren’t among the supporters. Why are you strategically ambiguous on this question? It seems like precisely the sort of inside info Politico readers would be interested in.
3) Why do you talk about the “record number of deportations under” President Obama? You know that’s highly deceptive at best, BS at worst. Obama is counting people turned back at the border who wouldn’t have been counted in prior years. The L.A. Times–or maybe “even the L.A. Times“– noted:
Expulsions of people who are settled and working in the United States have fallen steadily since his first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009.
Even counting the book-cooking quickie border “returns,” the number of deportations under Obama has basically leveled out after ramping up in the Bush years.
4) You write:
As recently as this month, however, there was more movement in the House than previously known. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) had been quietly shopping a PowerPoint presentation of a border enforcement and legalization bill to his colleagues and secured soft commitments from at least 120 Republicans, according to multiple sources familiar with the process.
Really? What exactly did these Republicans give “soft commitments” to? Was the question put to them in the form of “Do you support a bill that would do X and Y?” — or something vague like “Do you think we need immigration reform?” I suspect the latter — i.e. a meaningless commitment. Diaz-Balart has consistently boasted of an imminent magic compromise only to never deliver the goods. How convenient to now claim he was on the verge of something when that darn Cantor loss stopped him.
P.S.: In each of these questions, you seem to be carrying water for someone (immigration reform activists in #1, #3 and #4, Cantor or McCarthy in #2). You never seem to carry water for opponents of “comprehensive” legislation. Do we need to leak to you more? Take out ads in “Playbook”?