Are you ready for the return of the Gang of 8?

Retro is still all the fashion rage it seems. Though the original Gang of Eight crashed and burned when they tried to leverage so called immigration reform (read: amnesty) through the Republican controlled legislature, everything old is new again. Lindsey Graham and others are simply positive in the prognostication department. Here are a few things they know:

  • Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump
  • The GOP will also get slaughtered in down ticket races and probably lose at least one chamber of Congress
  • The reason for these losses will be the GOP’s failure to capture more of the Hispanic vote
  • Ergo: We need another shot at immigration reform

Does any of this sound familiar? Well, it should. (Politico)

Lindsey Graham doesn’t sugarcoat his prediction: Republicans are going to get thrashed in the November election, especially among Latinos. And it’s going to trigger another run at immigration reform in Congress next year, the South Carolina senator says.

“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do in 2017,” the plainspoken GOP deal maker said in a recent interview. “I’m going to take the Gang of Eight bill out, dust it off and ask anybody and everybody who wants to work with me to make it better to do so.”

Graham isn’t the only one eyeing a revival of the Gang of Eight, the bipartisan group of senators that shepherded a sweeping immigration bill through the Senate three years ago only to watch it stall in the House a year later. Propelled by a Republican establishment eager to make inroads with minority voters after losing them by steep margins in the 2012 election, it was the closest Congress came in a generation to overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

Two points on this idea. First of all, the Gang of Eight might actually turn out to be the Gang of Five… or even three. Marco Rubio and John McCain already swore off the ill fated effort. If we assume that Graham is correct and Hillary is in the Oval Office, Rubio will be looking at a 2020 run and certainly doesn’t need another mess like that on his record. Until the primary in Arizona is over on August 30th, we won’t even know if McCain will still be in the Senate. On the Democratic side, Politico already talked to Menendez and he’s not expressing any interest in “a piecemeal” approach such as Republicans favored last time. If the Dems win the White House again and do well in the congressional races they’ll be feeling their oats and in no mood to compromise. Frankly, this doesn’t sound like something that has much of a foundation to get going again.

But that’s still a ways off in the future, which brings me to my second point. Why is Graham so eager to write off the entire election? Sure, he’s still boiling over with anti-Trump fervor, but you’d think that he at least wants to go down swinging when it comes to holding on to the Senate. And with the home front and international terrorist situation continuing to boil, combined with the massive national sentiment that Hillary Clinton is best described by the word “Liar,” it’s rather bothersome to see Graham giving up on defeating her before we even have the nominees officially out of the gates.

Gang of Eight, Senator Graham? Perhaps you could consider a gang of people actually trying to win an election or two before you raise the white flag entirely.


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John Stossel 12:01 AM on June 09, 2023