Inevitable, but still good politics.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday that President Barack Obama’s move last week to block deportations for some young illegal immigrants in the U.S. has likely derailed his own similar efforts, at least until after the election.
“People are going to say to me, ‘Why are we going to need to do anything on this now. It has been dealt with. We can wait until after the election,’” Sen. Rubio said in an interview. “And it is going to be hard to argue against that.”…
The president’s unilateral declaration on Friday, Sen. Rubio said, “sets back our efforts to arrive at a balanced and responsible approach to this issue. It poisons the well. It leads to mistrust. It makes it harder to come up with a long-term solution.”
His spokesman, Alex Conant, also confirmed to Politico that the DREAM is likely dead. Introducing it now would have been a lose/lose situation for Rubio. If he rounded up enough GOP votes to get to 60 in the Senate, some Latino voters might have shrugged because, thanks to O, DREAM is now already basically in effect and others might have given Obama all the credit for having “shaken things up” in Congress with his new policy. If Rubio introduced the bill and didn’t get enough Republicans to get to 60, O would have used it in his pitch to Latinos as proof that the GOP is hopeless on immigration and that DREAM never would have happened if he hadn’t been the bold, can-do chief executive that he is. Better that Rubio sit tight with the bill now and keep hammering his point about how damaging O’s gambit was: If you’re interested in an enduring legislative compromise on DREAM, a jerky hyperpartisan power grab four and a half months before the election ain’t the way to do it.
Of course, O’s not interested in an enduring legislative compromise. He’s interested in this. Mission accomplished?
I wonder what exciting new panders we’ll see before November if the economy slides further and Latino voters start to bail on him too. Six-month moratorium on all deportations? Relaxation of his current eligibility conditions for DREAM so that many more people qualify? The sky’s the limit. Two clips for you while you mull that, one via Greg Hengler of Krauthammer congratulating Romney on not falling into Obama’s immigration trap and the other of Mexican President Felipe Calderon congratulating The One on his cynical, counterproductive executive overreach.