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.
***--Sleeper? But note that, despite the widely-reported shelving of the immigration bills, House Republicans will push "funding for border security fences and barriers" as a "homeland security" measure, according to Majority Leader Boehner. So immigration-oriented GOPs may still get a fence to brag about (or Democratic fence opponents to attack).. .. [ Via The Note ] 6:08 P.M. link
Gran Hype: The great post-march Hispanic voter registration surge has failed to materialize, according to the AP. ... 11:44 A.M.
Quantity, Kos, and Coulter! Kf's 3-step recipe for stats-page success: Welcome, summer people. We've been here all along. Lucky we're not bitter about it. Here's what you missed: ... A big debate about the essential nature of Plano, Texas ... Kos .... the Long Tail vs. our precious common culture ... Kos ... Universal Health Care vs universal Social Security .... "Kausism" ... More universal health insurance vs. universal Social Security. ... Cocooning. ... Coulter ... Bloggingheads.tv vs. Waiting for Godot ... Maybe I should have gone on vacation ... 2:00 A.M.
If Hillary takes herself out of the 2008 race, that will focus a lot of attention on the alleged shortage of other appealing Dem candidates. (You know the litany: Edwards is too light and too left, Biden's too impressed with his own motormouth, Warner and Bayh are too dull, Kerry is Kerry.) I've asked this before, but what's wrong with Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell? So far nobody's come up with a convincingly fatal flaw. ... Of course, it's not like Pennsylvania's a crucial swing state. ... Oh, wait. ... 12:35 A.M.
Monday, September 4, 2006