Forget "comprehensive." Just give us the amnesty! According to Roll Call, House Democrats are plotting to move "scaled-down immigration reform legislation" this year--a five-year visa for illegals "who pay fines and pass criminal background checks." ... I'd know more if I subscribed to Roll Call! ... Malkin has a bit more. ... Initial takes:
a) Bad for McCain, right? Just when he's papered over his split with the right on immigration, this would reopen the wound. Maybe that's the Dems point. ... Maybe it's also an attempt to gin up the Latino vote for November. But the Latino vote seems already ginned up. (Does it stay ginned if the bill actually passes?) Meanwhile, it risks waking up the otherwise somnolent right-wing vote, no?
b) Bad for Rahm Emanuel's swing-district Democratic first-termers who campaigned on tough-on-illegal-immigration platforms, no? If it ever comes to a vote, will they reveal to their electorates that it was all just a pose? ...
c) But not an unclever strategy, if you are a pro-legalization Congressperson and want to strike while Hispandering Season is at its height. ...
d) Presumably McCain is now honor bound to oppose this, having pledged to push legalization only after "widespread consensus that our borders are secure." (If he sticks to his word, it might actually wind uphelping him in November, you'd think.) But what about Hillary and Obama? If Obama supports it and Hillary opposes it, does that give her the policy contrast she needs going into Ohio and Pennsylvania? ...
e) Can you pass a big bill like this in a presidential election year? Well, welfare reform passed in 1996. The key difference? Welfare reform was overwhelming popular, virtually across the board. The fight was largely over who could claim credit for it. Congressmen weren't worried that someone might run an ad accusing them of making welfare recipients go to work.
f) Is this a tacit admission by the legalization caucus that a semi-amnesty might not be as easy to pass in the next president's first two years than you might think (given that all three contenders are formally pro-legalization). ...
g) Or is this an expression of fear that local get-tough enforcement measures, in states like Oklahoma and Arizona, might already be having a surprising effect (at encouraging emigration, and at prompting other states to follow suit). Remember the stunning statistic that, even with current enforcement measures, the
growth rate of the U.S. Mexican-born population has dropped by nearly half to 4.2% in 2007 from about 8% in 2005 and 2006 ... [E.A.]
That's the Democrats' long-anticipated future evaporating right there. Is that why Rep. Emanuel says:
"There are things that are happening in our respective communities and districts around the country and businesses that we have to address and we can't wait for the Senate," ...
More: I've now read the full Roll Call piece. Much of the legislative impetus, at least according to reporter Steven Dennis, is "pressure from more conservative Democrats who back" the enforcement-oriented Shuler bill, not the five-year legalization visa idea. These conservative Dems "want to be able to cast a vote they can run on," according to Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.). Is the quickie visa just an attempt to sweeten the Shuler bill to the satisfaction of the Democrats' Latino caucus? ... 3:42 P.M. link
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Justice Graham? Could President McCain get his pal Lindsey Graham onto the Supreme Court? Powerline's Paul Mirengoff thinks Graham would be a "formidable" nominee. I'm not so sure--wouldn't he face opposition from both left and right, some of it intense? He's also sneeringly self-righteous--not the modern confirmation-hearing model. ... 1:54 P.M.
2006: I can't believe I said this. ...1:15 P.M.