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An average American that has some thoughts on politics, culture, and society with a conservative and Catholic twist.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What Does a Possible Democrat House Majority Mean to Immigration

I thought I would revisit an interesting topic today. That is what is the future of immigration politics if the House goes Democrat. This subject is one that no one seems to be talking about on the conservative forums and blogs with much frequency. That is understandable fore several reasons. First, this is not the time for whole Conservative blogsphere to admit defeat in the House. Even with my preliminary prediction below, I still think we need to fight for every seat. Second, I even the hardliners know its not time to bash the President and also depress turnout among the immigration hardliners.

However my blog does not have the readership of the of the National Review's Corner blog so I have no fear that I shall cause any problems.

Mickey Kaus at Slate is one of my favorite Democrats. He often is the only Democrat that tells his fellow travellers honest truths. Kaus also is the liberal version of Tom Tancredo on immigration. Kaus has been thinking of this issue quite a bit. He recently posted:
I've been trying to figure out if a Democrat-led House would actually pass some version of the Bush-McCain semi-amnesty immigration bill. Everyone I talk to in Washington pooh-poohs the idea, arguing that Pelosi-led Democrats will never give Bush something he wants. I'd like to agree, but I'm skeptical. The only thing standing in the way of the Bush legislation was the Republican House, and if that's gone ... . Plus, there will be intense pressure from Latino groups for Democrats to take advantage of the rare welfare-reform-like opening in which a President is willing to defy his own party's Congressional caucus. Not to mention all those new citizens for Dems to register. ... V-DARE immigration-restrictionist Steve Sailer is skeptical too, though he notes the possibility of a split among the Dems, with a significant Lou-Dobbsy "preserve unskilled wages" faction finally emerging. But Sailer leaves out the possibility of a McCain presidency--which would presumably mean at least four more years of White House pressure for "comprehensive" reform. ... P.S.: Anyone who can help me think through this somewhat crucial question, please e-mail. ... 9:55 P.M.

If you are new to this blog let me say upfront that I am a supporter of the Bush view of a comprehensive approach to immigration. I agree with Influence Peddler blog that this is a no brainer. Peddler states:A Democratic House of Representatives is going to have a tough row to hoe. With a Republican Senate (presumably) and White House, they will have no trouble finding issues on which to draw distinctions with the GOP (expanded access to health care, minimum wage increases, ramped-down commitment in Iraq, and deficit reduction). But they will also have to protect themselves against the charge that they stand for nothing but obstruction, and there are few issues where they agree with the Senate and the White House.Wait a minute. Did I say 'few issues?' I meant 'no issues' - apart from immigration.Further, there is the latino constituency to think about. After the signing of the Secure Fence Act, and after whatever happens on election day, do you think the President will sit back and forget about his efforts to woo latino voters to the GOP? What could be a better pitch than to say 'The Senate has passed earned legalization; I will sign earned legalization, but Nancy Pelosi opposes earned legalization.' Knowing that he doesn't need to appease the GOP base anymore, Bush can sing that song far and wide. And guess what? If Nancy Pelosi stubbornly refuses to cooperate, it will rankle the GOP base even less.And lastly, Pelosi will need to demonstrate that they can deliver for business on something. If the Democrats win the House, and their agenda with regard to business includes tax increases, increased regulation, a grinding halt to trade expansion, beating up on China, and investigating federal contracts, how much more likely will business be to redouble the effort to make Pelosi a one-term Speaker? There will be relatively few issues where House Democrats could do something to buy off the animosity of Big Business. Immigration will be a big one.

Like I have said since June, the Tancredo hardliners have played bad politics with this issue from the start. There were clear indications from polling data and just plain history that the Dems could retake the house. That is one reason why the refusal of many to compromise with the President on any aspect of his plan has been baffling to me. Anyone that has run for Class President could see that this was weak hand policy wise when looking down the road at the eelctions that are now upon us. There were promises that this issue would bring us election dividends. My question is where are they at? Former Minuteman and Immigration hardliner Randy Graf in Arizona is tanking in his race in Arizona. Is this issue saving our GOP Senator in Pennsylvania? I think not. For all the talk of how this was going to be the issue of the ages it seems way down the list of topics we are hearing about.

If the Democrats win the House then immigration reform is coming back in a big way. President Bush will of course be lameducked. However this issue is important to him. One gets a sense that besides his failed efforts to get people to reform the Social Security program that this is his biggest domestic vision. Perhaps more than his education policy accomplishments. I also agree that the Dems will deal with the President on this issue. Its a win/win for both the democrats and the President. However sad to say this will be the only silver lining for the Bush administration if the House Democrats takes the house.



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1 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Hell, could it be any different than the open borders President Bush seems content with?

1:30 PM  

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