Friday, June 28, 2013

Immigration Barrier

The Senate passed a massive immigration bill yesterday by a wide margin.  How nice.

The Senate on Thursday approved the most significant overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws in a generation with broad support generated by a sense among leading Republicans that the party needed to join with Democrats to remove a wedge between Republicans and Hispanic voters.

One small problem, amigos: it will never see the light of day as a signed law.

Now, even after the lopsided Senate vote, the prospects appear grim for the pro-overhaul Republicans. And Mr. Rubio, the 42-year-old Cuban-American who is seen as a prime White House contender in 2016, is confronting rising criticism from conservatives for pushing legislation with Democratic boogeymen like President Obama and Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York.

“Before the Gang of Eight and the immigration debate, I think many conservatives as well as some establishment Republican folks saw Senator Rubio as a possible bridge candidate between the conservative Tea Party base of the G.O.P. and more establishment G.O.P. voters,” said Greg Mueller, a conservative public relations executive who opposed the Senate bill. “That position is on much shakier ground today because conservatives and the Tea Party see the immigration bill as a big-government piece of legislation resembling Obamacare.”

The House will never pass this bill and they don’t really give a flying rat’s ass about Marco Rubio’s presidential ambitions.  So all of this camaraderie and talk about a return to bipartisanship is just that: talk.

As far as wedge issues are concerned, the House Republicans will now say that they have come up with their own bill that doesn’t do anything like what the Senate bill does, and then blame the Democrats for being obstructionists for not caving in to them.  And by the time they get around to actually voting on something, it will be the end of the year and then it’s off to the races… as in the mid-terms.

So yesterday’s vote in the Senate, while great for the photo ops, was just a big waste of time in terms of the substance of really doing something.  But it will look great in the thirty-second spots for re-election.