Yet because the last three weeks were wasted on "The Great Bucket of Batshit Crazy for 2013", it's hard to see how anything else can be accomplished this year. Yet despite the epic challenges ahead, President Obama is calling for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). What is he thinking?
After all, several top Republicans have already signaled that CIR is dead.
“For us to go to a negotiation, to the negotiating table with President Obama after what he has done over the last two and a half weeks, I think would be probably a very big mistake,” [Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)] said, according to the Huffington Post. Even if the House were to pass a piecemeal bill based on GOP demands, Labrador said “it would be crazy” to go to conference with the Senate’s passed version because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid negotiates in a take-no-prisoners style. [...]
“I think what he has done over the past two and a half weeks — he’s trying to destroy the Republican party. I think that anything we do right now with this president on immigration will be with that same goal in mind, which is to destroy the Republican party and not to get good policies.”
Wait... What?! So because Senator Harry Reid (D) and President Obama were able to save Republicans from themselves, House Republican "leaders" don't want to work with the President and the Senate on CIR? What are they thinking?
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that a number of House Republicans are indeed so incensed by their (own) manufactured crisis meltdown that they're threatening to kill CIR once and for all. But even before this week, the Republican civil war threatened to tear apart immigration reform. Even though a number of Republicans and nearly the entire business lobby have lined up behind CIR, the 21st Century Know Nothings have been threatening fire and brimstone if Republican "leaders" allow CIR to pass.
So is it game over for reform? Not so fast. Even with all the chaos on the right, immigration reform advocates refuse to give up. In fact, some are even doubling down.
But can anything actually pass? Actually, yes. The votes are likely there. House Republican "leaders" just have to allow a floor vote on CIR like they did for this week's budget deal.
So will they? Right now, that's the trillion dollar question. Will they do what everyone from civil rights activists to business titans to their own political consultants say they must do? Or are they too afraid of the 21st Century Know Nothings to do what's otherwise "the ultimate no-brainer".