Wednesday :: Apr 28, 2010

Why Let The GOP Avoid Immigration Reform?

by Deacon Blues

Senator Lindsey Graham, perhaps reflecting GOP fear of having immigration reform rise up as an issue to deal with this year, said yesterday that he'll withdraw his support of an energy and climate change bill if Senate Democrats put immigration reform on the 2010 calendar. Graham said that doing something by 2012 would be more suitable and that no action should take place until our borders are secure, a nebulous concept that allows the GOP to define when the time is right for their own purposes.

Harry Reid gave conflicting responses yesterday, allowing the Washington Post to write that Reid took it off the 2010 calendar, while the National Journal noted that Dick Durbin and Nancy Pelosi have taken steps to force the debate this year.

Diverging opinions about what Arizona did are legitimate. From the outside, it appears to be an overreach, but to those inside the state, they feel their border area is out of control, and that their residents are now victims of a rampant drug war south of the border that bleeds across into their state. Of course, if GOP governor Jan Brewer actually wanted to improve safety while still making a point, she could have activated her state's National Guard to take up along the border like Janet Napolitano did to focus the light upon the federal government under a president of a different party back in 2005. But since Brewer only wanted to score political points through racial and ethnic scapegoating, she opted for the national GOP misdirection strategy of inflaming their base without actually solving the safety problem.

Why should Democrats let Lindsey Graham and the GOP dictate the legislative calendar, and allow the national GOP to use immigration for their benefit without being held responsible for actually dealing with the problem this year? Why shouldn't Lindsey Graham be forced to explain what immigration has to do with the need for energy and climate change legislation, other than GOP convenience?

If the GOP wants to grandstand on this issue without having to address it in 2010, Obama can simply send the National Guard himself to neuter Graham's "fix border security first" argument, and then let Holder go after the law in the courts while the economic damage begins to pile up from the Arizona GOP's action. Obama can point out that he's addressing their concerns in a short-term fashion to deal with a problem the GOP avoided during Bush's 8 years, but then pivot and demand the GOP multitask and be responsible for coming to the table now to fix this in a bipartisan manner.

Why shouldn't Democrats force the GOP to deal with their rhetoric and be responsible for a solution now rather than stalling once again?

The Arizona GOP let this genie out of the bottle, but the national GOP doesn't want to touch it and energize a hostile latino voter backlash that would benefit the Democrats this year. Too bad.

Deacon Blues :: 10:55 AM :: Comments (12) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!