What’s the opposite of heart-ache?

House Minority Leader John Boehner, speaking to a private gathering of Republican activists last night, called the Senate’s immigration compromise bill a “piece of shit” but said that he had promised President Bush earlier in the day that he would let his teeth be a barrier to such thoughts in public.

Boehner spoke last night at a small reception for the Republican Rapid Responders on Capitol Hill.

“I promised the President today that I wouldn’t say anything bad about … this piece of shit bill,” he said, according to two attendees.

He’d better start saying it because they had a filibuster-proof 64 votes yesterday to defeat an amendment that would have stripped the guest worker program from the bill. The Times takes that as a sign that there’s a solid majority willing to support the bill in its entirety; if they had lost on the guest worker program, the whole thing might have crumbled. WashTimes notes that most Republicans were among the 64, too, the lure of cheap labor apparently too sweet to resist.

But that doesn’t mean they’re the chief problem. I’ll leave you with this tidbit from Hotline. Your president:

A senior Republican official said yesterday that while the chances of the bill, which opens pathways to citizenship for most of the U.S.’s 12 million illegal immigrants, are “50/50” in the House and that the White House would spend its time lobbying Democrats, rather than Republicans, to achieve a majority.

Update: Fox says they’ve confirmed Hotline’s report. He said it.

Update: The first poll is in. A piece of sh*t indeed.

The measure is opposed by 47% of Republicans, 51% of Democrats, and 46% of those not affiliated with either major party.

The enforcement side of the debate is clearly where the public passion lies on the issue. Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters say it is Very Important for “the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration.” That view is held by 89% of Republicans, 65% of Democrats, and 63% of unaffiliated voters…

Still, 65% of voters would be willing to support a compromise including a “very long path to citizenship” provided that “the proposal required the aliens to pay fines and learn English” and that the compromise “would truly reduce the number of illegal aliens entering the country.”…

These survey results are consistent with other recent polling data showing that most Americans favor an enforcement-only reform bill. Support drops when a “path to citizenship” is added to the mix.

Update: They passed Jeff Bingaman’s amendment to the guest worker program, which cuts the annual number from 400,000 to 200,000. That’s something the Republicans will try to point to now as proof that they’re taking “tough” measures to limit the number of new illegals.