Democrats Understand the Politics of Amnesty, Republicans Don’t
There’s nothing more amusing in politics than watching Democrats feign concern for the political future of the Republican Party, as they attempt to cajole Republicans into self-immolation. The issue of amnesty is the latest and greatest example of this spectacle.
Behind all that bravado and push-polling perpetrated by liberal special interest groups, Democrats are apprehensive about their immigration deform/voter registration drive. They know that all the real polls show that the public wants enforcement first, and actually desires less overall immigration over more immigration. That is why it is so important for them to make Republicans own the amnesty bill, which is now over 1,000 pages long.
If you listen carefully to the chatter concerning the upcoming Senate vote, most of the focus is not centered on passing the bill, but passing it with bipartisan support. Chuck Schumer has said on several occasions that he is looking for upwards of 70 yes votes in the Senate. Now, why would someone who feels he is sitting on a popular bill, which can be used to bludgeon the other side, desire to share the electoral boon with the enemy? Why not pass it with most Republicans in the opposition, and hit them for it during the 2014 elections, when voters will undoubtedly punish the GOP for opposing something so popular as amnesty? After all, their silly little polls show this bill being more popular with the GOP base than with anyone else?
The answer to all conservatives who live outside of DC is obvious. In the real world, this bill is not only unpopular with the GOP base, it will sink Democrats with Independent voters and Reagan Democrats. That’s why Schumer wants the GOP to take the lead on the bill.
Moreover, the voter intensity gap on this issue is very similar to that of the gun issue – a dynamic that is quite ominous for Democrats. When most people were polled about expanded background checks in the abstract, they answered in the affirmative. Who wouldn’t support such a mellifluous-sounding idea? But how many of those people really supported the idea in reality – enough to act on that abstract expression of support? In fact, it was those who opposed the legislation who were more involved, more intense, and planned to vote based on that single issue.
The same thing applies to the immigration debate. Even in the polls that misrepresent the issue in order to net a positive result for pro-amnesty forces, there is no sense of how intense that support is for a mass amnesty. Obviously, if you ask people if they would support amnesty in the abstract if the illegals will jump through a millions hoops, assimilate, learn English, and pay trillions in taxes, they will answer in the affirmative. But how many of them – other than friends and relatives of the illegals themselves – are up in arms and out in the streets to support this bill? We all know that it is the people who are against amnesty that will be the most intense in their activism on this issue (aside for the special interests).
It’s funny to watch so many red state Republicans, such as Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, support amnesty in contravention to the views of their constituents. The stupid party might believe the push polling that Democrats disseminate, but Democrats certainly don’t. Whenever Democrats run in a red districts, they go all the way to the right on this issue. John Barrow from Georgia, one of the few remaining white Democrats in the south, has announced his opposition to the bill and has introduced enforcement-only legislation. He’s obviously looking at the real polling data – the stuff GOP operatives are too dumb to study.
If I ever pursue a PHD, the doctoral thesis will cover the relationship between IQ and the inside-the-beltway Republicans.