Frist Fence Flakeout?
Some conspiratorial speculation.
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto the Democratic legislature's vague-on-details single-payer state-wide universal health plan--a bill Schwarzenegger's Dem opponent for governor, Phil Angelides, has (embarrassingly) refused to endorse. Bill Bradley has intrigue and backbiting; the LAT has details and makes Angelides' excuses for him. ... P.S.: Bradley also says the L.A. Times' new political blog is stacked with Schwarzenegger opponents. ... But will they be blatant or latent? ... 5:49 P.M.
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Bush v. Hastert?
a) Why isn't the obvious base-mobilizing national GOP midterm message something like this:
If you give the Democrats a majority in the House, then Congress will pass an expensive, wage-destroying semi-amnesty for illegal immigrants. Such a bill already passed in the Senate. The only thing stopping it was the Republican House. Take away that resistance, and it's Katie-bar-the-door.
This pitch would have the virtue of being highly plausible. It wouldn't mobilize just the base, but also a good chunk of the middle.** (That's more than you can probably say for the administration's Global War on Terror hyperbolizing). ... ... P.S.: Obviously President Bush couldn't articulate such a message, since he supports the Senate's expensive, wage-destroying semi-amnesty. But Speaker Hastert could. Or the NRCC. ...
b) But if a Democratic House really would pass a McCain-Kennedy style immigration bill, maybe President Bush isn't as horrified at the prospect of Speaker Pelosi as he seems. He'd achieve at least one major part of his second-term domestic agenda. Legacy time! That might be worth a few Conyers-led hearings. ... [That's insane-ed It will be the official WH spin the day after the GOP loses the House, no?]
c) It would obviously help House Republicans get across the anti-semi-amnesty message if before November they passed a sort of lowest-common-denominator enforcement-only immigration bill--including a few hundred miles of fence. Make the Democrats vote against it. If Dems did vote against it, they'd probably pay a price. In any case, it would have a clarifying effect--isn't one point of pre-election legislation to heighten contrasts? ... If enough Dems supported it for the bill to actually pass, the GOPs would have a mini-accomplishment to boast about. ... Update: It's Newt's Step #2. ... P.S.: Why doesn't Hastert make this obvious, majority-preserving move? Perhaps President Bush is restraining him--see point (b).*** ... [link via Sullivan ]
**Update: As if by more than mere coincidence, from a swing district in Colorado, the NYT's Carl Hulse reports:
In fact, many Republicans, on the defensive here and around the country over the war in Iraq, say they are finding that a hard-line immigration stance resonates not just with conservatives, who have been disheartened on other fronts this year, but also with a wide swath of voters in districts where control of the House could be decided. [Emph. added]
In a tough election year, in which Bush's unpopularity is one of the big drags on Republican prospects, the president has nevertheless managed to persuade fellow Republicans not to make use of their best remaining issue - immigration.
Photograph of Ann Coulter on Slate's home page by Brad Barket/Getty.