Harry Reid: Let’s face it, Boehner’s going to cave on amnesty
posted at 10:31 am on December 5, 2013 by Allahpundit
And so, seven a half years after Hot Air launched, the day has come. Harry Reid is finally indisputably right about something.
“I think there’s going to be so much pressure on the House that they’ll have to pass it,” he said…
“We have a lot of these congressional districts, they don’t care because they don’t have people of color in their congressional districts,” Reid said. “They don’t care. But there are a number of them who do care. If the Republicans ever want to elect a Republican president again, they’re going to have to get right with the Hispanic and Asian community who by more than 70 percent voted for [President Barack] Obama last time.”…
“This is an issue that isn’t going to go away,” he said. “It’s here. We have 11 million people here who are not going to be sent back to their country of origin. They can’t do that. They can’t do it fiscally. They can’t do it physically. It’s nearly impossible.”…
Although a minority of Republicans would have to join with Democrats to pass immigration reform legislation containing a pathway to citizenship for people in the United States illegally, Reid said Boehner is “going to cave in.”
Mickey Kaus wonders: If Reid really wanted Boehner to cave, he wouldn’t be saying stuff like this, would he? All it’ll do is raise alarms among border hawks in the conservative base, which will make it harder for Boehner to act. Someone who sincerely wanted a compromise with the GOP on immigration rather than a cudgel to beat them with before the midterms would keep his mouth shut now. I don’t know, though — the fact that Boehner just hired McCain’s former immigration advisor says to me that he’s firmly committed to getting this done, sooner rather than later. Boehner’s play now, as Erick Erickson correctly predicts, is to wait until the deadline for primary challenges has passed early next year and then to spring a big new amnesty push on the public. Conservatives will be incensed, but who cares? After a year of horrible ObamaCare news, they’ll turn out for the GOP anyway next November to send Obama a message that America hates his boondoggle. The fact of the matter is that even if Obama’s job approval stays as pitiful as it is now and the economy continues to creep along with slow growth, the big GOP advantage at the polls next year might cost Democrats … just five House seats. There simply aren’t many purple districts left. The real danger to the Dems is in the Senate, and there are more than enough Republican amnesty shills there who aren’t facing voters next year to help Reid get some sort of House immigration bill through.
Between the relatively small stakes for the House in the midterms and the fact that he’ll have ObamaCare’s woes to exploit to shore up conservative support, Boehner probably figures that next year is his best chance to pass immigration reform. It might cost him his Speakership, but if you believe the rumors about his retirement, that might not matter to him. (If he can work out a grand bargain with Obama on deficit reduction to secure his “legacy,” who knows? He might throw in amnesty as a bonus and then ride off into the sunset.) Even if he wants to stay on, a sustained legislative effort to roll back pieces of O-Care might placate House tea partiers enough that they won’t end up ousting him after all. Republican business interests demand their amnesty, damn it, and they’ve been waiting at least six years. Like Reid says, he’ll cave. Why pretend otherwise, even if doing so would make it slightly easier for him to do so? Exit quotation from Mark Krikorian, writing about Boehner’s hire of McCain’s advisor: “This whole incident highlights the trust gap between conservatives and the Republican leadership. It’s not just that the party apparatchiks aren’t conservative — that almost goes without saying. The problem is that they often pretend to be conservative, especially at election time, and then sell out when it comes to making law.”
Update: I think this theory from the comments of why Reid said what he said is correct: “He’s judged conservatives won’t actually be able to stop Boehner, so he feels free to go ahead and do as much damage to Boehner as he can through this miserable process.”