Via RCP, I want to believe it, I almost believe it — but I don’t really believe it. All the makings of a Democratic clusterfark are there. If O legalizes five million workers, plenty of blue-collar Democrats are bound to put two and two together and wonder what that means for their wages. And plenty of Democratic Senate incumbents in red states, like, oh, let’s say Mark Pryor, are going to panic, knowing what could happen if the backlash among conservatives is as ferocious as everyone expects. In fact, as Newt alludes to, both Pryor and North Carolina’s Kay Hagan have already come out against executive amnesty and Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich don’t seem so hot about the idea either. There’s certainly a chance that O will open the floodgates on amnesty and the Hagans and Begiches will end up drowning in November. A decent GOP election night of say, six pick-ups in the Senate might balloon to eight or nine.
But I think Democrats are willing to make that trade, even if the Hagans and Begiches aren’t. Obama, Reid, and Pelosi played the long game once before when they were staring down the barrel of a tough midterm, remember. They passed ObamaCare in 2010 despite poll after poll showing public anxiety about the law and they got swamped that November because of it. But even so, and for all their whining about gridlock and GOP obstructionism, I think they’d do it again. They lost the House but gained universal health care; I suspect they’re willing to lose the Senate next year in the name of cementing Latino voters’ loyalty to the Democratic Party in 2016 and beyond. I won’t believe there’s any grassroots blue-collar Democratic backlash brewing either until I see it with my own eyes. The party’s stuck with Obama through everything so far — a perpetually disappointing economic recovery, the Healthcare.gov disaster, and one unsolvable foreign-policy crisis after another. There’s a reason his job approval tends to go no lower than 42 percent or so, the occasional one-day or one-week dip below that number notwithstanding. The entire Democratic leadership in Congress will back him to the hilt on executive amnesty, a few scattered objections from Landrieu and Pryor et al. aside. And of course there’ll be accusations of racism and phony worries about impeachment articulated as necessary, just to remind easily-led liberals in the base that the GOP is evil and opposing Obama’s policies makes you an accomplice to that evil. Democratic voters will fall in line. There’s not going to be a civil war, although there might be a midterm rout. Good enough?