Maybe I spoke too soon about the great Democratic Socialist revolution being DOA in the New York gubernatorial primary. There must be something to it if all but 18 members of Pelosi’s caucus were cowed into not voting yes on a symbolic gesture in support of America’s largest immigration enforcement agency.
Open them borders!
The House passed a nonbinding resolution saying lawmakers support the “officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” A two-thirds majority was needed to pass it, and because Democrats voted “present” instead of “no,” it passed easily in a 244-35 vote…
“We stand up for our ICE agents and the people that are keeping America safe,” [Steve] Scalise said. “They want to get rid of them. It’s a radical idea they have, and this resolution’s really important.”
This was initially going to be a vote on the Democrats’ own “abolish ICE” bill, you may recall, until the Dems wimped out on that too by insisting that they’d vote no if the GOP brought it to the floor, whereupon Paul Ryan wimped out himself by pulling the bill and replacing it with today’s “support ICE” resolution. (In defense of Ryan, it’s possible that voting on the “abolish ICE” bill would have helped Democrats in swing districts more than hurt them.) Fully 133 Democrats voted present, too scared of the Berniebros in their base to vouch for ICE by voting yes and too scared of independents to condemn it by voting no. Amid all of the drama there was whining — oh, the whining:
“It is a meaningless stunt,” New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said before the vote. Nadler said he voted present because “we have more important things to do.”
“This is exactly the kind of ‘gotcha vote’ which alienates Americans from their government… Democrats refuse to play the Republicans’ game,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said. “We’re not falling for this trap.”
Fifty-two Democrats staked out a position. The roll of glory:
18 Democrats voted Yes on GOP resolution supporting ICE & denouncing calls to abolish it:
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) July 18, 2018
The most interesting name there is Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic nominee for Jeff Flake’s Senate seat in Arizona. She’s leading in all of the polls at the moment and criticized the “abolish ICE” push not long ago in a TV interview. Sinema’s not going to get shoved to the left in a purple state that’s still more red than blue. Our old friend Charlie Crist is there too, taking a strategic vote for God knows what unholy reason. He’s probably thinking about another run for governor down the line and covering his right flank in a state that was the site of Trump’s most important upset in 2016.
Meanwhile, the roll of shame:
Some familiar names there too. The lone Republican is Justin Amash, from the GOP’s own open-borders libertarian wing. The most notable Democrat is none other than Ted Cruz’s Senate opponent in Texas, Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke has spent months running an unapologetically liberal campaign in a famously red state, replete with support for abortion and gun control and now opposition to ICE. That seems counterintuitive but I think it’s a defensible play, if not necessarily the best one. He’s not going to win any Republican votes from Cruz by being a squishy Democrat, he figures; his only chance — and it’s a longshot for sure — is to hope that the big blue wave materializes and that casual Democrats will be so inspired by his loud-and-proud leftism that they’ll turn out for him in force. He’s gambling, in other words, that there are more votes to be had by mobilizing the Democratic base in Texas than there are by running to the middle and hoping that tepid right-leaning centrists will tilt his way. Cruz strikes me as the sort of personally unappealing candidate whom center-rightists would look for excuses to oppose, though, if they had a Democrat reaching out in a climate favorable to Democrats. As it is, O’Rourke’s giving them no reason to take a look at him. Sayonara.
Trump is marking today’s big House vote with another outrageous, incendiary … actually, no, this is mostly true:
The two biggest opponents of ICE in America today are the Democratic Party and MS-13!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2018
Here he is last night on Tucker’s show claiming that the Democrats want open borders. Also true, alas. As for the “support ICE” resolution, it’s on to the Senate where it’ll be killed instantly by open-borders Democrats, of course.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 18, 2018