"House GOP's Back is to the Wall on Borders"--headline in today's LAT
Why is it, exactly, that it's the House that's now backed up against a wall, and not the Senate? Each chamber has passed an immigration bill; now they're negotiating. The LAT's Janet Hook portrays the looming choice as a decision by House GOPs to go along with the Senate's legalization approach or do nothing. But why isn't it a decision by senatorsto either go along with the House's enforcement approach or do nothing? ... I'll believe the MSM isn't biased in favor of semi-amnesty when I start to read stories in the two Timeses questioning why the Senate's negotiators don't back off their extreme, untested**, megalomaniacal, Hillarycarian do-it-all-at-once scheme in favor of the House's more responsible, incremental approach. ...
P.S.: If the House GOPs now pass a watered-down enforcement-only bill (e.g., a fence or wall, employer sanctions, but no felony) wouldn't that put a difficult choice to Democrats running in swing districts: Do they really want to explain, right before November, why they voted against reasonable enforcement measures? Whose 'back would be to the wall' then? ... And are we sure such a bill would founder in the Senate? Would, say, Hillary really vote against it? DeWine? Frist? I don't think so. ...
P.P.S.: The concise, anti-Timesish Deborah Orin set out two interesting sub-contests in today's Senate immigration-bill vote: a) Would it get a majority of all Republicans (so it couldn't be portrayed, in the House, as a "Democratic bill")? and b) How would it do among those Republican senators up for reelection. ... The answer is it lost among all Republicans by a non-trivial 32-23 margin. And it lost, 10-5, among Republicans up for reelection. ... Among all senators up for reelection, however, it won by a 20-13 margin. ... (The bill passed, with lots of Democratic support, 62-36. kf spin: That's a solid starting base of 36 for the enforcement common-denominator!) ...
Update: Several emailers note that the pressure might be on the House because President Bush sides with the Senate. But would Bush really veto an enforcement-only bill right before the election? He's under pressure too, no? The LAT's Hooks buys into a seemingly bogus CW assumption that the only bill that has a chance of actually becoming law is Senate-style bill featuring significant legalization of existing illegals. That her piece is otherwise highly sensitive to popular anti-legalization sentiment only shows how deep that assumption runs!
Update 2: The NYT's Rachel Swarns notes that "some Republicans in the House" see the "ground ... shifting" away from enforcement-only, citing Rep. Mike Pence's compromise guest-worker proposal. But there are also signs (unreported by Swarns) pointing in the other direction--e.g. liberal GOP Rep. Chris Shays shifting against a "path to citizenship" after attending "18 community meetings" in his district.
**--Actually, it's not untested. It was tried in 1986. It failed. 7:01 P.M.
Blogger Jonathan Zasloff sees some potentially successful Souljah-ing in would-be Speaker Pelosi's move against Rep. Jefferson. ... Update: The Congressional Black Caucus is stepping up to play its role--they're threatening a "defiant statement"! ... 6:59 P.M.
David Smith, kf's go-to guy on the Democratic gravy train-turned-scandal of Fannie Mae, has posted a useful, link-rich timeline. ... 6:54 P.M.
Eat Your Heart Out, Romenesko: Thomas Edsall, a subtle and sophisticated a political reporter who often spots counter-conventional trends long before everyone else, has taken the WaPo buyout and will be "working as a special correspondent for The New Republic beginning in mid-July," he says in a multi-adressee email. Bad news for the Post, I think. ... Crow: Back in 2002, I accused Edsall of "reification" and predicted that, contrary to his report, conservatives would surely change their habits and learn how to fully take advantage of the "527" loophole in time for the 2004 elections. But they didn't. He was right. ... 1:14 A.M.
Strange Old Disrespect: Steve Sailer chops up Dana Milbank'ssneering treatment of Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has committed the sin of arguing in a detailed, reasonable and lawyerly fashion against the Senate immigration bill. ... Sample Milbank sneer and Sailer response: