Last, best chance to stop the Gang of Eight bill: Obama’s starting to get involved in immigration reform again

posted at 3:21 pm on June 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

The situation’s critical, my friends. Senate Republicans are beginning to cave. Rubio’s screwing around with sideshow amendments designed to pander to conservatives without fixing the real problem in the bill. Boehner’s talking about having something on Obama’s desk by the end of the year.

Mickey Kaus sounds the alarm: It’s panic time.

It’s time to wake up! Conservatives–while you are (rightly) excited about NSA snooping and partisan IRS corruption, the Congress is about to change America in a more profound, permanent way right under your noses. In the process it will hand President Obama the major second term achievement that will help him overcome the very scandals that are distracting you–or, rather, make his survival or re-ascendance unimportant. He will have won. Democrats will have shaped the future electorate to their own liking. They’ll have transformed what America is.

Please forget about Benghazi and Cincinnati and Edward Snowden’s girlfriend for a minute and pay attention to the main event.

You have one weapon in your arsenal that can trump the big money behind the Gang of 8 bill (S.744). That weapon is fear. It’s not as if the Republican elite has suddenly been persuaded that an amnesty-first immigration bill is a good idea, after all. They’ve always preferred amnesty. They were just too scared to pursue it. What stopped them was the prospect of swift retribution from the electorate, not limited to the Republican primary electorate…

Ignore the f—ing scandals for a few days and save the country from Chuck Schumer.

He’s asking a lot in asking people to forget about Snowden’s girlfriend. What we need is a rallying point. Even now, despite getting rolled every which way by Schumer, Rubio’s still mostly liked and respected by conservatives. You’re not going to build a critical mass against the Gang of Eight bill by trying to turn him into King RINO. McCain and Graham are better targets for that, but they’re also old news. We’ve known Maverick and his sidekick are amnesty shills for years. If you’re not angry about that already, you’ll never be angry.

No, what we need is a real lightning rod, someone so distrusted by righties that his intrusion into the debate might singlehandedly catalyze the opposition that border hawks like Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions have been waiting for. There’s only one man who can fit that bill. And … here he comes. Deus ex machina!

Republicans who favor reform are eyeing the president’s last-minute immigration push warily, worried that his presence in the process could threaten the delicate compromises Republicans and Democrats have made over the past several months.

“Mr. Obama adds nothing to the immigration debate at this point — not from a ideological perspective or tactical log-rolling perspective — and his entry at this point can only upset the tenuous balance negotiators are trying to create,” said Jonathan Collegio, spokesperson for American Crossroads. The Karl Rove-founded campaign spending group is running ads in support of the Gang of Eight immigration bill currently working its way through the Senate…

“Without President Obama engaged, immigration reform is now on track in the Senate and is moving forward in the House,” said Emily Benavides, a spokesperson for the American Action Network, another Republican spending group pushing for an immigration bill. “Reform would stand a much better chance if he devoted his time not to campaign-like posturing but to convincing his old colleagues in the Senate to support some very common sense amendments to strengthen the legislation currently being considered.”

He’s off to a fine start in exploding immigration negotiations with his East Room speech today, but we need much, much more Republican-bashing from him going forward. My recommendations: Accuse amnesty opponents of being bigots, suggest that he’ll speed up the law’s citizenship process by executive order, and maybe call Rubio a “punk” for good measure. I know he has it in him; dumping on the GOP is his favorite thing in the world to do. All we need is a few minutes of demagoguery at his next Q&A with the media and that ought to finish things off in the House. C’mon, champ. This is what you do best.

Update: It begins:


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