Just asking: Whose Agenda?: In the NYT today Toner and Zernike describe all sorts of wholesome little populist reforms the incoming Rahm-Dems want to achieve--health care for children, changes in the Medicare drug program, tuition aid, etc. Do these Dems really want Congress tied up for months in a messy, potentially party-splitting and '08-endangering fight over immigration reform (and legalization of illegals and sanctions against employers) just because the younger Bush and Karl Rove decided years ago that this (along with taking out Saddam) would be part of Bush's legacy? Without Bush's willfulness, would anybody have put "comprehensive" immigration reform on the front burner? It's certainly not something these new Dems ran on, by and large. The press is baying mindlessly for a bipartisan agenda--but whose agenda: Pelosi's or Bush's?...
Update: Michael Tomasky argues the press' portrayal of the incoming Dems as socially conservative is miselading--a well-publicized handful are, most aren't. Tomasky asks:
Why would Democrats, having finally regained control of the legislative calendar, schedule a vote that highlights their divisions?
Tomasky's talking about abortion and gay marriage, but you could ask the same thing about legalizaton of illegal immigrants, no? ...
More: WaPo's Fears and Hsu:
In the days after the election, Democratic leaders surprised pro-immigration groups by not including the issue on their list of immediate priorities. Experts said the issue is so complicated, so sensitive and so explosive that it could easily blow up in the Democrats' faces and give control of Congress back to Republicans in the next election two years from now. And a number of Democrats who took a hard line on illegal immigration were also elected to Congress.
It's the CW! Now I'm suspicious. Bush badly wants a "comprehensive" bill, after all. Are "Democratic leaders" just playing hard-to-get in the press, holding out for concessions on other issues? [The paranoid mind at work--ed. They told you to say that, didn't they? It's part of their plan.] ... See also Drum (and his commenters). ...
Aha: As if on cue, Yglesias argues that Dems should take an immigration deal, in part because Bush is desperate and "more Latino citizens = more Democratic voters over the long term." But why would Republicans buy that argument? Doesn't the bill need at least some Republican support (other than Bush)? ... P.S.: Yglesias wants a bill that's "long on
amnesty earned legalization and short on guest workers." His cross-out, not mine. Isn't a bill that's 'long on amnesty' kind of "explosive," just as WaPo says? 11:41 A.M. link
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Go Ahead, Blame Rove!Slate's John Dickerson says Republicans "Don't Blame Rove." But he makes a good case for blaming Rove before he makes the case against it: