Tuesday :: Mar 28, 2006

Is The GOP Stepping Back From The Political Abyss On Immigration?

by Steve

After seeing signs that the Catholic Church and young Latino voters would turn against the GOP this November if the party attempted to criminalize immigrants and those who help them, some of the most strident voices for a tough immigration bill are getting religion. The Washington Post reports in tomorrow’s edition that possibly 12 GOP senators will vote with Senate Democrats to pass the Judiciary Committee bill that cleared Arlen Specter’s committee yesterday, which is largely built upon the McCain-Kennedy proposal. McCain is now of the impression that Bush will go along with his bill, and even House Republicans, after seeing the last two days of activity around the country and talking with border state experts about the downside to their extreme ideas, are signaling that they are willing to go along as well.

The only person who may still commit political suicide over this is Bill Frist, who apparently feels that he cannot allow Specter to substitute his bill for Frist's more extreme proposal if the GOP caucus isn’t with Specter. What Frist and the GOP caucus miss however is that they will lose huge politically this November if they let Specter, McCain, and the entire Democratic caucus beat their brains out over this for a couple of days. And the only person who will look like the imbecile that he is will be Frist himself.

It’s amazing what a couple million pissed-off Latinos, a united Democratic caucus, and the American Catholic Church can do to slap some reality into the GOP. And any issue where Grover Norquist paints Tom Tancredo as an extremist is good theater for the Democrats. Bush is at least smart enough to know when to accept soemthing that he may not totally like in order to stave off something worse this fall. Frist isn't even that smart.

Here's a related question: if Specter beats Frist on this issue, what happens when Specter confronts a weakened Frist on the NSA issue later?

Steve :: 7:38 PM :: Comments (39) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!