Leave it to the Republican Party to turn the Obamacare train wreck into a Republican fiasco. That takes real imagination and crafty leadership. But, hey – it’s all in a day’s work for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.
And if you think the shutdown fiasco was bad for Republicans, just stay tuned for the next act: the planned amnesty fiasco.
I say “planned fiasco” because House Republican leaders are following a plan. The plan calls for passing a House immigration bill that can lead to a compromise with the Senate amnesty bill, and that plan leads straight to a Republican debacle that will make the shutdown look like a picnic in the park.
The results of the amnesty debacle will be far worse and long-lasting than the failed policy gambits of the Obamacare fight. The budget battles and defunding battles can be re-fought every year, and defeats can be reversed if and when Republicans gain majority control of both the Senate and House. By contrast, the amnesty legislation cannot be undone once enacted.
The damage inflicted on the country by another general amnesty will be permanent, irreversible – and fatal for the Republican Party.
What makes this so painfully stupid is that the Republicans will have done it to themselves: Unlike the confrontation over a budget continuing resolution or the debt limit, Democrats cannot force the House Republican majority to pass an immigration bill.
So, why are they doing it? Why have Republican leaders convinced themselves this is a smart thing to do? Why would any intelligent Republican drink the same 1986 Kool-Aid twice?
If you think this is far-fetched and that they won’t do it, consider the Mitch McConnell-engineered deal 87 House Republicans and 100 percent of House Democrats just approved with the blessing of House leadership.
Take a close look at the vote on ending the shutdown: All 188 House Democrats voted for the deal and were joined by 87 House Republicans – including every single member of the House Republican leadership. Almost two-thirds of House Republicans voted against the deal, but it needed only 20 Republican votes to pass.
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My friends, that is the formula and the path Obama and Senate Democrats hope Republican leaders will follow on the amnesty bill as well. They do not need a majority of House Republicans to pass the bill; they only need two things. They need to get a “compromise bill” to the floor, and they need an air of panic and desperation among Republican leadership. The shutdown provides the perfect model for how to achieve both goals and pass the amnesty bill with 190-plus Democratic votes and 30-plus Republican votes.
Afterwards, Obama and the Senate Democrats will celebrate a great victory. Republicans will say, “Thank goodness that battle is over; let’s move on.” The problem is, there is no “going forward” after the amnesty is enacted. Republicans will have enacted legislation that gives Democrats the keys to the kingdom, the kingdom of a perpetual and permanent Democratic majority.
Republicans who believe they can “get past the immigration issue” by passing another amnesty bill are living in a dream world. Obama and the Democrats will never let Republicans get to their left on immigration enforcement. Any part of the amnesty bill that the open-borders lobby does not like will never be enforced, and when any Republican raises the enforcement flag or opposes later Democratic amendments to water down enforcement provisions in the law, they will be demonized. That is how they play the game. Why are so many Republicans so willfully blind to this stark reality?
Can this slow-motion catastrophe be averted? Yes, but only if conservatives wage a unified, all-out campaign to block House leadership from bringing any immigration bill to a floor vote. The obstacle is not lack of arguments but lack of will and lack of unity.
Conservative Republicans in the House were not unified on the shutdown battle, and their disunity gave an opening for sabotage by the Senate Republicans. Boehner could not pass a bill, and the Senate did and laid it in their lap. Obama is hoping that formula will lead to victory on amnesty as well.
The only difference that gives reason for hope is that the Senate amnesty bill is a transparent fraud in term of border security, interior enforcement and real immigration reform. The grass roots understand this and are not divided, and there are very few House Republicans who do not see it.
What is driving House leaders into a bad deal is fear, fear of “doing nothing.” But if you are standing on a cliff, doing nothing is a wise choice. The message to House leadership should be: Walk away from a second debacle.