Empty rhetoric from a Speaker caught off guard by a question at today’s presser? Not exactly. Andrew Stiles passes along this tidbit from Politico:

I told you last week — just because Boehner’s doing a little pandering to righties lately by ruling out a conference on Rubio’s Gang of Eight bill doesn’t mean he’s ruled out immigration reform entirely. Just ask his friend Jeb:

“I think there will be bills passed,” Bush said at a talk at 92nd Street Y in New York City. “It won’t be one comprehensive bill. I think it will probably be in late spring, where there’s a little bit of a window before the election starts in earnest. I hope so, I hope that’s the case. I’ve talked to Speaker Boehner and he’s totally committed to this, but he needs to find a way to get enough of the support.”

The name of the game for Boehner, as usual, is passing reform incrementally, via piecemeal legislation, rather than in one leviathan bill that covers border security, visas, and citizenship in a single pop. That’s easier to sell to conservatives because, in theory, it means security can and will be dealt with before Congress takes up the issue of legalization. In that case, though, how come Democrats like Obama and even Nancy Pelosi are also suddenly talking up the piecemeal approach? This is their way of signaling to Boehner that they’re willing to give him some political cover on the process so long as they get the right result. Pass a border security bill and a separate legalization bill that guarantees illegals can have legal status independent of whether security’s being improved and they’re fine with that. The key is quick, unconditional (or barely conditional) legalization. You could, I’m sure, split the Gang of Eight bill up into separate components and pass those individually. Would that make Schumer’s and Rubio’s plan any more palatable to righties?

Honestly, I’m so weary of this game-playing that I’d almost rather they hurry up and pass something, bad though it’s almost certain to be. The endless two-step pandering, first showing a little leg to conservatives and then to amnesty fans and Latino voters, is tiresome. They can’t move on it now or else they’ll draw media attention from the ObamaCare meltdown, but in the spring, after the health-care ruckus has quieted down a little, maybe it’s better that they go ahead and bite the bullet already. It’s going to happen sooner or later; they’re not going to go to the polls in 2016 without having done something to show Latinos that the party’s remade itself to some degree on this issue at least. Let’s get on with it. RINOs for the win.

Two clips for you here, one of Boehner and the other via the Examiner of amnesty fans descending upon Eric Cantor’s home. Not his office. His home.