look behind you, they’re trying to catch up

We’re going to be talking about immigration, so I thought I’d begin by looking backward:

President Bush’s effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration policy, a cornerstone of his domestic agenda, collapsed in the Senate today, with little hope that it can be revived before Mr. Bush leaves office in January 2009.The bill called for the biggest changes to immigration law in more than 20 years, offering legal status to millions of illegal immigrants while trying to secure the nation’s borders. But the Senate, forming blocs that defied party affiliation, could never unite on the legislation’s key provisions. Rejecting the president’s last-minute pleas, it voted 53 to 46 to turn back a motion to end debate and move toward final passage. Supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to close debate.
Mr. Bush placed telephone calls to lawmakers throughout the morning, but members of his party abandoned him in droves, with only 12 of the 49 Senate Republicans sticking by him on the key procedural vote that determined the bill’s fate.
The outcome also underscored the challenge that Mr. Bush faces in exerting authority and enacting an agenda at a time when members of his own party increasingly break with him and the Democrats no longer fear him. Having already given up on other ambitious second-term plans like overhauling Social Security, the White House has little prospect of winning any big new legislative achievements in the final 19 months of Mr. Bush’s tenure.

I followed the last immigration debate, and the politics were interesting. Obviously, Bush and Rove understood that alienating and enraging a voting bloc was stupid and short-sighted, but the activist conservative base ignored them and killed the bill.

This was brought home to me locally during that period, because LOCAL Republicans were convinced that a rabid, spit-flecked “NO!” response to all things immigration was a sure-fire political winner for them. I live in a conservative area and a good part of my local political gossiping includes dire warnings from conservatives that I (personally, I guess) have awakened either a silent majority or a sleeping giant. I heard the “you have awakened a sleeping giant!” warning often on immigration in that period. They truly believed that the GOP stance on immigration was a political plus, and Democrats would be punished for Kennedy and others even suggesting a path to citizenship for undocumented workers. They believed that the GOP anti-immigrant stance would help them in the 2006 midterms. It was the first time I really understood how completely captured Republicans were by their base and their media echo chamber.

I wonder how they plan on controlling the base this time out. Will the argument they’re making, where Republicans have to do a complete reversal on immigration for political purposes, fly with the base? Are they trying to come up with a new word to replace “amnesty” as I write this?

“I’ll give you a little straight talk,” McCain said on ABC’s “This Week” when asked how Republicans could be convinced to include a path to citizenship in a reform package. “Look at the last election. Look at the last election. We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours, for a variety of reasons, and we’ve got to understand that.”

Recall that conservative leaders were making shit up about headless bodies in the desert as recently as 2010, so this is a fairly dramatic turn-around:

The Arizona governor, seemingly determined to repel every last tourist dollar from her pariah state, has sounded a new alarm about border violence. “Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded,” she announced on local television.
Ay, caramba! Those dark-skinned foreigners are now severing the heads of fair-haired Americans? Maybe they’re also scalping them or shrinking them or putting them on a spike.But those in fear of losing parts north of the neckline can relax. There’s not a follicle of evidence to support Brewer’s claim.Brewer’s mindlessness about headlessness is just one of the immigration falsehoods being spread by Arizona politicians. Border violence on the rise? Phoenix becoming the world’s No. 2 kidnapping capital? Illegal immigrants responsible for most police killings? The majority of those crossing the border are drug mules? All wrong

Can they execute this immigration back-flip competently?






87 replies
  1. 1
    Kristin says:

    Why do they think the “Hispanic” (isn’t the correct term “Latino”?) vote should be theirs? Is it because they think they’re all pro-life Catholics? With maybe the exception of some conservative Cubans in Florida, I can’t think of any other reason why Latino voters would think that the Republicans represent them. McCain is smoking crack.

  2. 2
    Cacti says:

    We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours, for a variety of reasons, and we’ve got to understand that.”

    That description says a lot. Hispanic voters are a thing that should belong to the GOP. Rather than, you know, people with legitimate interests.

  3. 3
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Can they execute this immigration back-flip competently?

    Hell. No. And the Epic Fail will begin when Rubio starts whining about Obama cock-blocking him by actually producing a bill, instead of waiting for Rubio to drop his non-existent bill. Rubio doesn’t want an immigration bill to pass. He wants to blame Obama for it’s failure, so he can feed the Village it’s preferred catnip (Obama is a hyperpartisan meanie).

  4. 4
    Kay says:

    @Kristin:

    Because “they” are family-oriented and religious and they work hard. All of “them”. That’s actually the argument.

  5. 5
    Mike Dixon says:

    With these guys, “I’ll give you a little straight talk”, along with the more common, untrademarked “Listen…” is invariably a lead-in to a giant load of pure bullshit.

  6. 6
    Tien Le says:

    It doesn’t seem terribly likely that they will be able to change course on this issue at the State level. A few savvy politicians on the Hill might make a difference, but the base has shown no inclination to listen to anyone who suggests they are pursuing the wrong course on ANYTHING. Nice piece, looking back is good.

  7. 7
    Ben Franklin says:

    Durbin is working on a two-pronged approach….

    Durbin said the group of six senators was working on a comprehensive approach to the issue, as opposed to moving individual elements piecemeal and was optimistic they were close to their goal.

    “Sitting in these meetings with three Democrats and three Republicans, working on this immigration issue has been as encouraging as the rules vote on Thursday night,” Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday”, referencing a bipartisan agreement in the Senate last week to tweak the filibuster rules.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-.....z2JC98BN4O
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  8. 8
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    Because “they” are family-oriented and religious and they work hard. All of “them”.

    With the unspoken part being “As opposed to those shiftless negros.”

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    It was crazy on the Right during that period. Do you remember that? They were babbling about infectious disease re: immigrants. The base considered it a huge win that they blocked Bush’s bill.
    Romney and the rest had to run Right on immigration as recently as this past cycle.
    If you listen to the 2008 GOP primary debates and then the 2012 GOP primary debates, they went further Right between 2006-2012.

  10. 10
    Kristin says:

    @Kay: Wow. That’s unbelievably simplistic. Well, I guess not really unbelievable. Republicans don’t really do “complex.”

    If I were Latino, I’d think that conservatives thought I was a lazy, illegal welfare moocher, or that I should be happy to be limited to unskilled labor jobs and shouldn’t get all uppity and think that I can go to college or anything.

  11. 11
    Citizen_X says:

    Well after all, they used to believe The Blacks were theirs, for a variety of reasons.

  12. 12
    Mudge says:

    I haven’t seen any indication that political sense (or any sense at all) will overcome the fundamental hatred of the base. Republicans often live in a mystical world (Mitt WINS!) and a rational evaluation of the Hispanic vote would include the probability that it has been lost forever. So, do you inflame the base needlessly? I suspect most Republicans believe the Hispanics would have an epiphany if the Republicans change their position, McCain thinks the Hispanic vote “should be ours”. Let them continue to believe that.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    I just think it’s a mistake to continue to refer to general characteristics for a huge diverse group, whether those characteristics are complimentary or not. Why do they insist on doing this fake-social-science blathering? Why not just talk about “them” as people? It’s like David Brooks has infected their political arm.

  14. 14
    General Stuck says:

    In this current political carnival we are in with the republicans and their identity crisis, it is nice that at least one thing can be counted on from the right wing. At least past the place of the 27 percenters. And that is the common affliction of all wingnuts, a firmly embedded need to be in power, for the pure sake of being in power.

    It is a strand of hope that the nutters will work out their existential angst, maybe before they destroy the country. But even with tepid support for immigration reform coming from the gooper braintrust, they are light years away from actually having policies that meet the needs of Hispanics and other minorities.

    They spent a lot of money creating pretty words that were bereft of intent in governing for all the people. And now, most voters of color out there have them figured out. The current problem for any self help for electoral success, is the reptilian tea parties, the GOP welcomed into their tent, that now run the House of Reps. At least for the majority republicans getting republican bills passed thru that body that are vital.

    So they Galt for purity, and end up needing dem votes to pass those bills, that guarantee a more liberal final bill. We have our own purity police, but fortunately they consist of a few blog commenters and pro left blowhards that are ignored, or used as foils.

  15. 15
    The Dangerman says:

    Can they execute this immigration back-flip competently?

    About as likely as their chances of advancing a pro-welfare agenda for urban outreach. Not gonna happen.

  16. 16
    gene108 says:

    Can they execute this immigration back-flip competently?

    Yes.

    The core Republican ideology is winning at any cost and thus maintaining control of the levers of power to dole out money to your political patrons.

    The Republicans ditched Bush, Jr. because by 2008 Bush, Jr. was clearly a loser. His popularity was in the toilet.

    Even shit Bush, Jr. proposed that was needed – like TARP funds – passed because Democrats decided someone had to be the adults and make sure the economy didn’t totally collapse.

    When Bush, Jr. was a “winner”, the Republicans fell in-line with damn near everything he proposed, as well as having all their agenda items sail through without a veto.

    If making Mexicans into legal immigrants is the “winning” strategy, Republicans will fall in-line.

    I fully expect hearings on Capitol Hill, by Republican lawmakers, to demand why Obama and the Democrats haven’t moved on this issue at all, in the past four years, when President Bush, Jr. made it a central part of his domestic agenda.

  17. 17
    BC says:

    @Kristin: Forgot that bit about coming to US to have a child so you could use that child to get welfare benefits. This is the “thought” behind the 14th Amendment repeal. I’m surprised Brewer didn’t say that about those coming into Arizona – it’s what you hear in El Paso TX area all the time.

  18. 18
    Origuy says:

    @Kristin: I think the preference for Latino versus Hispanic is at least partially regional. I found this article about a Pew survey:

    When asked if they have a preference for either being identified as “Hispanic” or “Latino,” the Pew study finds that “half (51%) say they have no preference for either term.” If they did have to choose, the study finds that “’Hispanic’ is preferred over ‘Latino’ by more than a two-to-one margin—33% versus 14%.”

  19. 19
    Kristin says:

    @Origuy: Interesting, thanks!

  20. 20
    Kristin says:

    @BC: In my experience, conservatives’ position on Hispanics/Latinos is that they’re all illegal immigrants who are ruining the economy by illegally obtaining welfare benefits and getting free healthcare in emergency rooms.

  21. 21
    amk says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Not gonna happen.

    yup, as long as blatant liars & racists like brewer & arpaio get elected, why would they?

  22. 22
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    I fully expect hearings on Capitol Hill, by Republican lawmakers, to demand why Obama and the Democrats haven’t moved on this issue at all, in the past four years, when President Bush, Jr. made it a central part of his domestic agenda.

    I have noticed from some of your comments that you have some specific interest in and knowledge of immigration process. Have you ever seen this documentary? It’s great. It follows the Bush bill.

    Spring, 2007: This year, immigration advocates and grassroots expect great things. But Senator Kennedy has lost his partner McCain to presidential primaries, and the Republicans now put a very different offer on the table. Deep at the heart of this fast-moving story, we find a moral tale of modern American politics. Ted Kennedy, one of the handful of people who through his personal efforts truly changed the face of America, will be forced to decide how much does he want this deal, and what is he willing to trade for his greatest legacy?

    The wrangling between Kennedy and the rest of the Dem senators is fascinating. Basically, Kennedy wanted to save the 12 million who were in the country, and he was willing to make a A LOT of concessions to Bush and Rove to get there. Ultimately, in my view, Democrats should be happy Kennedy failed, because they’ll get a better bill under Obama. I’m not blaming him for the concessions. He wanted the bill, so he moved Right.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    Too, gene, if the base had let the Bush bill go forward, they would have law more to their liking. Now it’s Obama’s game. They’ll get a law they like less.

    Dumb move, on their part.

  24. 24
    General Stuck says:

    I would love to be wrong, but I seriously doubt there will be a comp immigration bill this congress. Democrats and Obama will insist on some procedure for citizenship for those non citizens that are already here in America. That does not involve returning to their host country’s. And that is sacrilege as ‘Amnesty’ to nearly all republicans not country club types.

    And I don’t think Boehner or Mcconnell will jump off that bridge just yet. We can have a debate to clarify the sticking points for future reference. But I suspect the wingnuts will require some more electoral beatings before it soaks in that demographics can not be denied, nor bullshitted past, at least for those who want to get themselves elected.

    note- and I think it is highly cool that FF does not redline “bullshitted”. We have come far, grasshoppers.

  25. 25
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Kay: It was crazy. The base is still fucking crazy over anything concerning immigration. I just don’t think the GOP establishment really wants to have a bill get passed this time. They’d rather blame Obama for it’s failure, keeping their base happy that they didn’t cave to Kenyan Usurper and making the Village happy that they keep getting tell the ‘Obama won’t compromise’ tale they love telling. That’s the only reason Rubio is going on Fox and stroking O’Reilly and Hannity’s shriveled members. When it fails, Rubio will be the loudest whiner by far. He’ll get to keep GOP primary voters off his case and gets to cast himself as the Village’s preferred ‘moderate GOPer’. Hatred of the browns is still very strong on the right. The establishment needs all of the resentment it can muster to keep the cash from the rubes coming into their coffers. The Spice Must Flow.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I’m not blaming him for the concessions. He wanted the bill, so he moved Right.

    I’ve read Kennedy often did this in order to get things done. Funny, no one ever accused him of selling us out.

  27. 27
    Kay says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I was impressed with the immigration activists. They poured out. Remember those huge protests? I was just blown away by that. I was amused how quickly they responded to Right wing efforts to demonize them, too. At the first protests, some were carrying Mexican (and other) flags. Lou Dobbs and the screamers on the Right went nuts, and I was just grinning when I saw the next round of photos of the protests, because they were all carrying US flags. I like a protestor who keeps an eye on PR :)

  28. 28
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Funny, no one ever accused him of selling us out.

    Well, he actually was accused of selling out Latino activists, in the film. There were Dem Senators who were none too happy with him either. The whole thing seems agonizing for him. He’s trying to get a good deal, and it’s just going further and further Right.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Well, good for consistency sake, I guess. Hopefully things will work out and we’ll get a good bill.

  30. 30
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kristin:

    isn’t the correct term “Latino”?

    There is no universally agreed upon term because they aren’t a monolith. For example, people whose families have been in New Mexico since it was part of New Spain tend to prefer “Hispanic” to emphasize their Spanish heritage. In contrast, many people of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry whose families immigrated from Mexico prefer “Chicano” to emphasize their Mexican heritage. And, of course, that won’t fly with people who came from elsewhere in Latin America, who don’t want to be called by a term that refers exclusively to Mexican Americans. And some Cuban Americans don’t want to be confused with any of those other groups.

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t think the immigration fight on the Democratic side got any press, because we all must constantly follow ONLY Republicans, in all things, and Latino activists are (in my view) marginalized in media, but it was fascinating to watch. So, there wasn’t a “he sold us out!” theme that took off, because the whole fight on the Democratic side was not covered by media outside of certain circles.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    They might be trying to catch up, but everything they do only increases our lead on them.

    Their hatred of the brown only makes matters worse for them, and despite the verdict of last November, they insist on doubling down on the racist stupid.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cacti:

    With the unspoken part being “As opposed to those shiftless negros.”

    Not necessarily. A lot of Republicans claim that African Americans are a “natural” Republican constituency because they are religious and family oriented. If only people would stop harping on about what a bunch of racists the Republicans are, they’d attract all the minorities.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Which is one of the reasons why Rubio can hardly be considered the great hope of the GOP…a lot of Spanish-speaking/heritage types loathe the Cuban-Americans.

  35. 35
    Kristin says:

    @Roger Moore: I guess this just proves that Kay is right. McCain and the rest just need to stop referring to “them.”

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If only people would stop harping on about what a bunch of racists the Republicans are, they’d attract all the minorities.

    They’re fine with all those minority groups being in the big tent, as long as they know their place. For example, that canape platter needs refreshing. See to that, will you?

  37. 37
    handsmile says:

    During the closing “What You Need to Know for the Week Ahead” segment of Up with Chris Hayes this morning, both Red State’s Josh Trevino and Mother Jones’ Adam Serwer related rumors that Obama will include a comprehensive immigration reform proposal in the upcoming State of the Union address. Although each represent diametric ideological positions, their brief remarks also hinted that such a proposal would have initial bipartisan support.

    Hayes himself responded that he expected increasing leaks on this matter during the next week. He advised that the responses of Rubio and Ryan (?) should be watched closely inasmuch as they are identified with GOP immigration reform policies. “Watch out for the fine print” in the competing proposals, Hayes cautioned.

    In answer to Kay’s concluding question, I too think the final paragraph of gene108’s comment above (#16) gets it precisely right on what we can expect, amplified and Wurlitzered, of course, by the Village media.

  38. 38
    gex says:

    @Kristin: And I believe the younger ones resent the implication that they must be homophobic if they are Latino. That is insulting in so many exciting ways all at once!

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @handsmile:

    I think they’re going to get it done. The stars are aligned. Obama needs it and Republicans need it. I just don’t think they’ve done any of the work necessary to convince their base. I haven’t seen the slightest indication that rank and file Republicans have moved an inch on this.

  40. 40
    gex says:

    @Kristin: This. Their entire approach to soul searching as a party is to ask, “What is wrong with those people?”

    They have no clue whatsoever how they sound.

  41. 41
    Roger Moore says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    More generally, I think the Republicans are making a mistake in believing that all cultural and religious conservatives are natural allies. I think this is largely wrong. They may form alliances of convenience to fend off the liberals, but they are doomed to have a falling out if and when they are in position to have their way. That’s because religious and cultural conservatives aren’t conservative in the abstract that religion and culture in general need to be protected. In practice, they tend to be religious and cultural chauvinists who want to exalt their preferred religion and culture over everyone else’s. It should be clear to everyone that the preferred cultural vision of White Evangelical Protestants is sufficiently different from that of Hispanics/Latinos, African Americans, and other religiously and culturally conservative minorities that they can’t even find common ground today, much less if and when they actually take power from the liberals.

  42. 42
    Heliopause says:

    McCain: “We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours.”

    Can they execute this immigration back-flip competently?

    Hispanics have tended to vote D for a long time, so flipping that completely is not reasonable. An attainable goal might be to poll numbers like Reagan and W Bush did. That could be enough to keep the GOP competitive in national elections for the next couple of decades.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Exactly. Once the liberal menace is dealt with, they’ll be at each other’s throats for supremacy. They can’t stand the idea of live and let live.

  44. 44
    Liberty60 says:

    The passion of the pro-immigration Republicans is weak, and only motivated by a desire to win an election.

    The passion of the anti-immigration is visceral, at the deepest root of primal rage and fear of The Other.

    And lest any be confused- Marco Rubio doesn’t mean crap to Chicanos.

  45. 45
    handsmile says:

    @Kay:

    Would you expect then that those Congressional Republicans who support immigration “reform” (viz., policies other than Arpaio’s arrest/brutalize/deport), will be vulnerable to Teahadist primary challenges in 2014?

    I deliberately have little contact with the “conservative entertainment complex,” but do you know if Fox Noise and the leading talk radio celebrities continue to spew racialist malice? Based on the theory that Fox is the public relations wing of the Republican Party, could those media vehicles be the tools by which GOP leaders cajole the rank-and-file?

  46. 46
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “I’ll give you a little straight talk,” McCain said

    Ugh, this jumped out at me. Reminds me of an old time comedian brought out for an audience who’s forgotten him, and who trots out the punch line that made him famous forty years ago and then sits and looks a little sad and confused when he doesn’t get the big laugh.

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @handsmile:

    I don’t know. My take during that period was really local. Republicans were telling me that Democrats would oppose immigration law that included “amnesty” and I wasn’t hearing that at all. The truth is local Democrats just didn’t give a shit about it. They never mentioned it. ALL the interest was coming from Republicans. So it was another one of those weird disconnects, akin to 2012, where they were all telling me Democrats were going to vote for Romney, because… he was from Massachusetts, or something. They were convinced there was going to be this mass local exodus from Obama. Again with the silent majority stuff. I just think those two things, immigration opposition and Obama-hate, were really, really potent on the Right and they convinced themselves that “intensity” = huge majority. It happens with activists, but it seems to be happening a lot with conservative activists.

  48. 48
    MattF says:

    It’s just hard to take wingers seriously when they try to cuddle up to Hispanics. The thought process is practically visible as a rolling animated caption on their foreheads… Hispanics… Catholic… Conservative.. Votes!!!

  49. 49
    Trakker says:

    I’m continually amazed at how insulated white rural conservatives have become from the rest of the country. Of course they work hard at it, refusing to read or watch any news sources that might inject uncomfortable facts into what they want to believe (and that’s the key isn’t it? They aren’t looking for truth, just validation.)

    They were shocked when Obama won the 2012 election. I have a feeling they are in for many more shocks before they finally retreat and decide to ignore politics and the world.

    They will never change their biases and fantasies until they die.

  50. 50
    Jay C says:

    @handsmile:

    Would you expect then that those Congressional Republicans who support immigration “reform” (viz., policies other than Arpaio’s arrest/brutalize/deport), will be vulnerable to Teahadist primary challenges in 2014?

    Probably not: any GOP Congressperson or Senator from a district where the constituency is anti-immigration enough for it to be a major factor is most likely going to vote “no” on any sort of real reform bill in any case. And in areas where the issue isn’t a big deal, a “yes” vote won’t be much of negative, almost by definition.

    And besides, I have a feeling that by the next election, the Tea Party is likely to be very much “yesterday’s news”: the rabid “base” isn’t, of course, going to go away completely or moderate its extremist positions: IMHO though, as time goes by, the extremism of the TP and its enablers is just going to look more and more out-of-the-mainstream, (helped, I think, by the absence of the media attention that fueled the “movement” in the first place) – and thus, able to be ignored by a larger percentage of Republican officeholders.

  51. 51
    cckids says:

    @Kristin:

    conservatives’ position on Hispanics/Latinos is that they’re all illegal immigrants who are ruining the economy by illegally obtaining welfare benefits and getting free healthcare in emergency rooms.

    Don’t forget “they” are also bankrupting & ruining our schools by having all their non-American kids going there & learning. That’s a huge part of their argument here in Nevada.

    Its sad; one of the main functions of the public schools originally was to assimilate the children of immigrants so that they became more “American” than Italian or Polish or whatever.

  52. 52
    cckids says:

    @Baud:

    I’ve read Kennedy often did this in order to get things done. Funny, no one ever accused him of selling us out

    Yep. See No Child Left Behind.

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @Trakker:

    Well, it ain’t all rural – there are quite a few white suburbanite neighborhoods that are more insulated than even them. But your basic point stands.

  54. 54
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    I think they’re going to get it done. The stars are aligned. Obama needs it and Republicans need it. I just don’t think they’ve done any of the work necessary to convince their base. I haven’t seen the slightest indication that rank and file Republicans have moved an inch on this.

    I think that this falls upon Senator Turtle. IF he lets the bill go to the floor, it’ll pass with just Democratic votes.Not all the Dems, but enough for 51.

  55. 55
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That’s because religious and cultural conservatives aren’t conservative in the abstract that religion and culture in general need to be protected. In practice, they tend to be religious and cultural chauvinists who want to exalt their preferred religion and culture over everyone else’s.

    This. Thank you!

    There’s someone in my religion class that’s an odd mix of a conservative and a religious pluralist (not an American, so not a product of FoxBot training) and that I was hearing the other day argue that most religions broadly agreed on enough things that it should be possible to have “God” in the public sphere without making it religion-specific…

    Wasn’t sure exactly how to phrase a response so I didn’t say anything, but what you said is pretty much what I was thinking. Yes, it should be theoretically possible to get all the conservative Jews and Catholics and Protestants and Sunnis and Shi’a to band together and recognize what they have in common (not that I’d want it to happen), but it’ll never happen because all these people hate each other at least as much as they hate the secularists. It’s to your credit if you don’t share those particular prejudices, but most of your fellow SoCons aren’t like you.

  56. 56
    monkeyfister says:

    “Can they execute this immigration back-flip competently?”

    The modern GOP cannot do anything competently. The gooper Base is already revving up their anti-immigration screes, as I type. The GOP will kill this move through their racism and bungling same as last time.

    Either the GOP will split into two or three separate Parties by 2014-16, or they will simply no longer be electable– without massive and obvious Electoral Vote cheating.

    I do wish that Harry Reid hadn’t caved on the Fillibuster– at least made the GOPers STAND and properly Filibuster. The optics would have been pure GOLD for the Democratic Party.

  57. 57
    Yutsano says:

    @rikyrah: Aye, there’s the rub. There’s some enterprising teabagger in Kentucky right now just itching for any sort of unforced error on Yertle’s part so s/he can jump in and make a nice bloody primary next year. The end result could very well be Senator Ashley Judd. If Turtle Man does allow it to go through he’ll make sure his fingerprints on the thing are as light as possible.

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    I think that this falls upon Senator Turtle. IF he lets the bill go to the floor, it’ll pass with just Democratic votes.Not all the Dems, but enough for 51.

    There’s basically three factions on the outside. Liberal (pro-reform) activists, pro-reform business interests, and then the GOP media/base. Bush and Rove supported the policy because of business interest backing, but they also understood that Bush had substantial support among Latino voters, and Republicans could be the Party that got immigration “done”. They got beat by the conservative grifters in media and the base.

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    Presumably Obama can look at how and why it failed last time, and use that.

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Presumably Obama can look at how and why it failed last time, and use that.

    Kay, last time the DREAM ACT received 55 Democratic votes….no GOP votes

    I’m taking it down to 50 votes, even if Joey B was the 51st vote.

    SO, 50 DEMS

    it’s up to Senator Turtle to get 10 GOPers

    Actually, it’s up to that fraud RUBIO to get 10 friggin’ GOPers

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Kay,

    I call Rubio a fraud, because he is one.

    He’s just bullshytting about Immigration Reform, and I can’t wait for the President to call his bluff.

    And, I’ll say it to Latino Activists too- stop that false equivalency bullshyt.

    there was ONE PARTY that stopped it from going forward.

    when one party can get your 45 fucking votes…

    stop acting as if both parties are to blame.

    they better be on the GOP Congresscritters’ doorsteps.

    the Democrats are not the problem.

    The Dems have 55 in their caucus.

    if Harry Reid delivers 45, then the activists should STFU and do the heavy lifting to either get Turtle to;
    a) give them 15 votes..
    or
    b) let it come to the floor for an up or down vote, where they’d only need 5 votes, because JOEY B can be vote 51

  62. 62
    monkeyfister says:

    @Kay: “Presumably Obama can look at how and why it failed last time, and use that.”

    Whether his plan passes or fails, it will be the GOP that loses. If they pass it, their rabid base will go nuts, and probably cleave off of the GOP, or if they block it, the GOP loses the Hispanic vote forever.

    I hope he DOES use lessons learned from the last time to craft even better, easier terms for the Bill, so America can watch the Teatard-ridden GOP poop on it.

    As electoral hard-ass politics go, this is pure gold. We’re still in recession, and them Messicans are going home, and not coming back due to lack of opportunities, but still the Goopers screech. And their continued rabid screechings will kill the GOP as a viable Party.

  63. 63
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    And, I’ll say it to Latino Activists too- stop that false equivalency bullshyt.
    there was ONE PARTY that stopped it from going forward.

    I think that’s okay for activists. They have a different role than “truth tellers” or “journalists”. They push. They try to find the best argument or leverage to get them where they want to go. If equating Democrats on immigration with Republicans puts a little fear into Democrats they should do that. It’s their job. I think we run into trouble when we mistake what they’re doing for factual representations of reality. They’re not reading from a police report. They’re pushing an agenda. That’s fair game and appropriate to me.

  64. 64
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Can they execute this immigration back-flip competently?

    It depends on who calls the shots in the GOP, most of the base is animated by bigotry and hate of the other. That’s where most of the animus against Obama comes from. Groups that are behind the draconian legislation in Alabama and Arizona are against all immigration. They just go after illegal immigrants because it is an easy target. Just like the anti-choicers target abortion instead of contraception.

  65. 65
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris:

    Yes, it should be theoretically possible to get all the conservative Jews and Catholics and Protestants and Sunnis and Shi’a to band together and recognize what they have in common (not that I’d want it to happen), but it’ll never happen because all these people hate each other at least as much as they hate the secularists.

    And that still leaves out the religiously conservative Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus, Wicca, and other followers of non-Abrahamic religions. Not to mention that you’re looking only at religious conservatism. Throw in cultural conservatism, and you have a far bigger mess to deal with. You simply aren’t going to get most culturally conservative ethnic minorities on the same page as culturally conservative Southern white supremacists.

  66. 66
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think there is, every now and then, a realignment in our culture as well as our politics. Fifty years ago, Catholics could never have had the prominent position in American conservatism that they do today – “Real American” cultural conservatism was defined against them as much as it was against anyone. But it’s shifted since then to the point that conservative Catholics and Protestants, at least on the national level, both consider themselves part of the same dominant culture (even if you still have rumblings beneath the surface, especially on the Prod side).

    So it does seem to happen… it’s just pretty rare and it never fuses the entire spectrum of “religious conservatives,” only a few groups on it.

  67. 67
    General Stuck says:

    @Kay:

    . I think we run into trouble when we mistake what they’re doing for factual representations of reality. They’re not reading from a police report. They’re pushing an agenda. That’s fair game and appropriate to me.

    Wow, I sure don’t agree with this. I don’t think misrepresenting reality is a good way to ever get what you want in politics. You can certainly push for the ideal, as is the usual script for activists. But lying is lying to get what you want. It doesn’t work that well anywhere in life. This is doubly true when an activist claims to be on one side of the pol spectrum, and lie about the side they ID with progs/dems. They may get some other like minded people to follow them, but unless the position they take is a popular one with voters, they are going to fail every time, and miserably. Unless their purpose was to gain those followers all along. I don’t cut people like this any slack, and in fact will attack and discredit their lies about things I care about, even if claimed to be on my side of things in general. ie Obama worse than Bush. Maybe you meant something else, or have gotten to enmeshed in the activist world to see it that way?

  68. 68
    Roger Moore says:

    @monkeyfister:

    Whether his plan passes or fails, it will be the GOP that loses. If they pass it, their rabid base will go nuts, and probably cleave off of the GOP, or if they block it, the GOP loses the Hispanic vote forever.

    IOW, it’s wedge politics, but for a change it will be the Republicans the wedge is threatening to split. Note, though, that this only really works because the Democrats have spent a lot of time and effort getting the different parts of their coalition on the same side.

  69. 69
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    I’m not talking about “lying”. Latino activists don’t have to elect “more and better Democrats”. That’s not their job. If they want an immigration bill, and setting Democrats against
    Republicans gets them closer to that, that’s what they should do.
    I think the distinction should be made between issue activists and Party activists. They’re not the same thing. If immigration activists want to publicly pressure Democrats on this issue, they can certainly do that. Again, I think we run into trouble when people start quoting what is a negotiation as FACT. The issue activists know exactly what they’re doing, and so do Obama and the Democrats. It’s a dance.

  70. 70
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    They almost have to include Republicans, if tgey want a bill. Will I resent it or consider it “lying” if tgey work both sides and threaten to abandon Democrats?
    No. I think they’re issue activists and they ‘re pressuring Obama, and Obama both knows and understands what the game is.

  71. 71
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    If immigration activists want to publicly pressure Democrats on this issue, they can certainly do that. Again, I think we run into trouble when people start quoting what is a negotiation as FACT. The issue activists know exactly what they’re doing, and so do Obama and the Democrats. It’s a dance.

    Misrepresenting reality is what you said was okay with you. And even if immigration activists are not aligned to one party or the other, doing a false equivalence that dems are as bad as republicans only empowers the republicans to dig in their heels if democrats are going to be blamed in equal parts, with them in doing nothing. Which is what republicans really want to do. It is stupid and shallow, and what we have been dealing with for 4 years with Obama and some of his activist critics. Not to mention one dimensional in a two or three dimensional arena that are politics. Sorry Kay, but I call bullshit on this one.

  72. 72
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    They almost have to include Republicans, if tgey want a bill. Will I resent it or consider it “lying” if tgey work both sides and threaten to abandon Democrats?
    No. I think they’re issue activists and they ‘re pressuring Obama, and Obama both knows and understands what the game is.

    as I said above, this is a shallow analysis, and the false equivalency for failure to this point in time empowers the wingers to do nothing relative to the immigration reform debate.

  73. 73
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    I think you’re putting it within the frame of “firebaggers vs obots”.
    There’s nothing dishonest about issue advocacy. It’s simply not an advocates job to worry about things like “false equivalency”. That applies to “non biased” media. Advocates are by definition pushing an issue, and biased. They’re PRO the best immigration bill they can get. Democrats don’t own that vote. They’ll have to earn it.

  74. 74
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    All Democratic-leaning groups do this. Labor does it every election year. They say Democrats aren’t delivering and they demand more.

    I just don’t think that’s a “lie” and I don’t find it all offensive or dishonest. They’re not, in fact, working for Democrats. They’re working fir labor issues.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    Kay,

    We will have to agree to disagree on Latino ‘activists’. I only hear them opening their mouths complaining about what the President has not done for them.

    I’ll say it again – Barack Obama has never made any other indicaion other than he would sign an immigration bill ONCE IT CAME TO HIS DESK.

    I go back to the DREAM Act – Harry Reid got 55 Democrats on board…was that the entire caucus – no, but I’m not of the belief that the ENTIRE Democratic Caucus has to be on board.

    Man got 55 fucking votes, and the Latino activists couldn’t scrounge together 5 fucking GOP Votes to get it to 60?

    REALLY?

    And they’re supposed to be taken seriously?

    The onus on this passing is NOT on the Democrats.

    It’s up to the Latino Activists to get the GOP Votes.

    It’s up to the Latino Activists to get all the Immigration Whiny Ass Titty Babies that throw shade at this President – looking at you Luis Guitierrez – to start opening your fucking mouths about Republicans, and putting Marco Rubio’s ass on the spot, and go camp out in the offices of GOPers.

    Goddamn…as it is…the Democrats will already be bringing 85=90% of the votes needed to pass this in both Houses…

    I don’t think it’s much to tell the activists to put up or shut up – get the friggin’ rest of the votes from the GOP.

  76. 76
    kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    We’ll disagree, because I don’t think you should take that as an attack on Democrats, or this President. It isn’t a factual recitation of tge relationship btwn the Democratic Party and Latinos. It’s advocacy, and it’s a specific role. It doesn’t have to be “fair”. It’s a tactic. You can certainly disagree with that as a tactic, but I don’t think it should be taken as anti-Obama. It’s not. Obama’s a very good politician. He knows this.

  77. 77
    xian says:

    @Roger Moore: also because Party of Lincoln

  78. 78
    xian says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “my fellow prisoners”

  79. 79
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    You are not addressing my argument kay, specific to this situation. What labor does is harangue democrats to do more, they do not draw false equivalence with the republicans and democrats when it is not true, and that is the definition of lying.

    Labor does what I said earlier, and the same can be true for the ACLU and PP, and any number of other class act activists that lean dem. They push dems for the ideal, but end up settling for something less than the ideal because they know we live in a democracy and there are others with a vote that oppose what they, and dems want. They rarely make it a matter of party warfare or critique, other than to note that republicans are opposed to their position on principle, and dems need to squeeze the sausage maker for a little more progressive sausage.

    And as far as making this about Obots v Firebaggers, what it is, and what that disagreement is about, is exactly what you are arguing for on this thread. It is endorsement of the polemic style of activism, where truth takes a back seat to greater goals. And I hate that shit like the plague after 4 years from the left and the emo progs.

    But it is the same methodology as groups blaming dems and repubs equally on why immigration reform hasn’t been done. It is black and white faux bullshit equating dems and republicans, when the blockage has been all republican regarding immigration reform.

    And it lets them off the hook in the here and now for their obstruction to stand next to alleged guilty as the democrats. It is a lie, and one that helps the republicans tactically and strategically for the coming fight on immigration reform to keep blocking it, or to bargain for an inadequate bill.
    Which supposedly these groups want to see passed into law. That is really my only objective point of contention on this thread/.

  80. 80
    schrodinger's cat says:

    For no nonsense reporting and discussion of immigration issues, I find this blog, invaluable.

  81. 81
    General Stuck says:

    but I don’t think it should be taken as anti-Obama. It’s not. Obama’s a very good politician. He knows this.

    I think Obama is personally offended, and has expressed such negative ideas about his critique from the left as being royally fucked up. Mainly the persistent judging his first term against the ideal for a democratic president, rather than comparison with other dem presidents before him. Which of course is the only fair comparison. So yes, Obama knows this, but would guess despises the polemic policking and its lack of factual analysis, as much or more than I do.

  82. 82
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    But you’re prejudging immigration activists and conflating them with past battles on “the Left”

    That’s what I mean by “firebagger frame”. This isn’t the public option. These are different people with a different issue. Because you didn’t like approach in the past doesn’t mean all advocacy is “lying”. I think they’re trying to keep the issue on Obama’s front burner and I think they’re entitled to do that. Democrats DO owe them, Stuck. They have some clout and tgey intend to use it. That’s fine by me.

  83. 83
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    But you’re prejudging immigration activists and conflating them with past battles on “the Left”

    Actually, no, I am not conflating differing issues. I am identifying a particular style of dissent and pol activism that involves lying for a perceived greater good being used as an activist model with polemic argument. And that is fine by you. So be it.

  84. 84
    Lurking Canadian says:

    If you will forgive an innocent question from an ignorant foreigner, why is the Senate the key to this? Wouldn’t any immigration bill need to also pass the House, controlled as it is by the caucus of the insane and their spineless, hapless “leader”? Boehner can barely force himself to allow bills to pass with mostly Dem votes when the alternative is chaos, destruction and ruin. Why would he let an immigration vote happen?

  85. 85
    General Stuck says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Good observation. The senate, in our system is usually the fly in the ointment over the filibuster rules, as normally the House everyone knows yea or nay what they are for going into a debate to pass law as a strictly majoritarian chamber of congress. That is all standing on its head presently, as the majority party leadership in the House, has only marginal control over the GOP caucus there, and sometimes no control on certain hot button issues and bill votes. And Immigration reform is certainly one of those hot button issues.

    The state of play now after the republicans lost the election due largely to a big swing of votes from Hispanics to the democrats, and other high turnout by minorities in general, the wingnuts have been having a coming to electoral jeebus moment since.

    For this issue, in the senate, immigration already had more positive vibes from the republicans, largely because they are more in tune with big corp business in this country, or country club republicans. They tend to support comp immigration reform due to business interests and vital work that illegal immigrants do in this country. And they are not as opposed so much to an organized temp work force or a path to citizenship for long time workers.

    On the other hand, the peoples House is like the id of the GOP with all the xenophobic and racist tendencies in certain parts of the country. And not so much tuned in to the needs of peanut farmers and orange and chile growers. These are the tea partiers, and demented culture warriors, and they have a foothold in the House, as well as having John Boehner by the balls for doing what they want, or don’t want to happen.

    So, what is shaping up is a kind of split baby House of Reps, with the normally powerless minority, or dems in this case, actually having some power on certain bills the House GOP leadership wants to pass and can get passed within their own caucus. So they have to get dem votes to pass these bills, that we have seen on recent tax and funding bills. But of course, if dem votes are needed to pass such bills, like an immigration reform bill, it will need to be clean of other right wing priorities, or they won’t vote for it to pass.

    It really is a horrid situation for establishment republicans, and embarrassing, not to mention making everything uncertain, and has taken the spot light away from the senate for the ones to usually gum up the works.

  86. 86
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Hell, I’m Cuban and I can’t stand Rubio. The only Hispanics I know in Florida I know who like Rubio are the older (Gen X and older) Cubans and some conservative Venezuelans. No non-Cuban Hispanic is going to vote for Rubio just because he’s Hispanic.

  87. 87
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Hell, I’m Cuban and I can’t stand Rubio. The only Hispanics I know in Florida I know who like Rubio are the older (Gen X and older) Cubans and some conservative Venezuelans. No non-Cuban Hispanic is going to vote for Rubio just because he’s Hispanic.

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