Fred Barnes has written an interesting piece in The Weekly Standard that makes the case that maybe the best thing to do now is for the GOP to go along with the Prez on Immigration in order to say to voters "Look at THIS domestic accomplishment!" by the 109th Congress in time for the upcoming Election Season.
PRESIDENT BUSH AND REPUBLICANS are staring political disaster in the face on immigration. The problem isn't that they might enact a bill allowing illegal immigrants living in America to earn their way to citizenship, inviting foreign workers to come here, and beefing up security on the 2,000-mile border with Mexico. No, it would be a disaster for Republicans if they didn't pass such a bill.
Rarely has the American public been so involved in a national issue as they are today in immigration reform. Everybody has an opinion. Everybody agrees there's a crisis when, as is the case today, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are streaming across our southern border and millions more are already living in this country. The public expects action from the people who run Washington--that's Bush and Republicans. But action is not what they will get if the enforcement-only House refuses to compromise. What they will get in that case is an impasse. And that means the crisis endures.
The ol' Beltway Boy is just getting warmed up.
As he says:
There really is an immigration crisis. In fact, the very Republicans who want an immigration bill limited to enforcement are largely responsible for having brought to the attention of all Americans the fact that a crisis exists and must be dealt with urgently. For them to prevent a bill now would be political suicide. It would all but guarantee Democratic capture of the House on November 7.
Read the full piece: How to Lose the House -- Republicans have a chance for victory on immigration.
David Frum, Blogging for National Review in his Diary, felt compelled to respond not once, but twice, to Barnes.
In the 1st he makes several points including:
if the session ends with the passage of the Senate's immigration bill (as Barnes suggests it should) the result will be a political catastrophe for the GOP....
The president's non-compromise has had the predictable effect of riling the Republican base. It's not just the substance of his proposals that offend conservative voters, although they do. It is the deceptive quality of the proposals that do the most harm.
Pro-enforcement conservatives by now well understand that the president's call for enforcement is a sham - and if the House joins in the sham, it will cost House Republicans votes, not gain them.
He thinks there may be little chance to save the House GOP.
He believes the best way to do so, though, is for the House to "go into outright opposition to the president and the Senate on immigration:" Don't compromise, acknowledge philosophical differences on the issue of Illegal Immigration, and fight and defeat the president's bill.
Not content with that post he fired off a 2nd volley yesterday that begins this way:
The theory goes that the president's compromise offers enough of an appearance of enforcement - the National Guard, money for some kind of fencing, etc. - to mobilize conservative vote. Here's a different scenario, much more frightening and (in my opinion) much more plausible.
1) The president and Senate persist in pushing their amnesty/guestworker immigration plan.
2) The House rejects it. No bill passes before the session ends.
3) Democrats campaign against the allegedly corrupt, do-nothing Congress and win the House.
Read the rest in Politics of Immigration.
America is caught between a rock and a hard place, 20 years in the making, and is seemingly damned if it does, and damned if it doesn't as a result.
How this all plays out in Congress, in the the enforcing, if passed, and in the 2006, and 2008 elections, regardless of the outcome, is anybodys guess at this point.
Worry, worry, worry....