Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, a leading House advocate of immigration reform, sounded decidedly cautious when asked on ABC Sunday whether Congress can pass a reform bill to send to the president this year. “I really don’t know the answer to that question,” Ryan said. “That is clearly in doubt.”
But Ryan’s words still set off suspicions among opponents of immigration reform. They’ve heard such pessimistic talk from reform advocates before and believe it has been an effective rhetorical tool for supporters of Gang of Eight-style reform.
In this way: If the public hears constantly that immigration reform is in trouble on Capitol Hill, that it has little or no chance of passage, then conservative activists, reassured that there’s no threat, aren’t likely to mobilize against it. What’s the need? It’s going to fail anyway. But if the public hears that immigration reform is steaming ahead, that the House leadership is determined to pass a bill, or bills, that will end up in conference with the Senate’s already-passed Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform measure — if the GOP base hears that, it will recognize the risk, speak out, and at the very least make things more difficult for immigration reform advocates.
I have to confess that this was one of the first things I thought when I heard about Boehner’s immigration setbacks at the recent Republican campfire meeting. See, here’s the problem:
The GOP moneybags are in a frenzy of lust for “immigration refore,” ie., cheap labor crony capitalism. The Democrats also want a full scamnesty with equal or even greater desire. That’s a hell of a lot of muscle to put behind a single goal, and under normal circumstances, the sought-after goal would be easily achieved.
Only the near-violent opposition of the GOP base – a force the Gentry GOP is accustomed to simply ignoring – has stopped the House GOP from collapsing in the face of massive pressure from scamnesty advocates.
And the bottom line is this: Only John Boehner’s word that he won’t bring a bill to the floor that doesn’t have the support of a majority of the GOP representatives is keeping a full-tilt scamnesty bill from being passed tomorror.
In fact, if he wished, Boehner could bring the alreaedy-passed Senate Scamnesty to the floor and pass it with Democrat and a minority of GOP votes today. And if he decides that the Tea Parties and the base are going to depose him from power this fall, he may do just that. After all, if he’s got nothing to lose, why not cement his future with his Gentry crony businessmen and moneybags by giving them exactly what they so desperately want?
After all, the history of RINOs pried from the trough by conservatives and then either switching parties or otherwise taking revenge on the damned conservatives is not a good one.