Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Speaker Boehner: Mr. Nice Guy

Boehner Decides Helping Hillary Win Is Better Than Passing Immigration Reform

By Jonathan Chait, The New Yorker

At the start of 2013, I really thought immigration reform was going to happen. Unlike every Obama-supported initiative that Republicans had opposed, the cold political logic of cooperation was obvious: Republicans would alleviate their crippling weakness with Latino voters while Obama would gain a major policy accomplishment. The only real loser in the deal would be the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, who would lose a powerful issue, but Hillary Clinton was not going to be in the room when the deal was cut.

It didn’t happen. The failure of the House to pass a bill of any kind represents a fascinating case study of a party unable to act on its recognized political self-interest. This was not like, say, the stimulus, where the GOP’s short- and long-term goals were clearly served by total opposition to any bill that would lessen economic pain. It was not even like health care, where Republicans traded away a chance to influence health-care policy in order to reap the immediate political benefits of polarized opposition. Here are four thoughts on a self-inflicted wound:

1. Republicans are blaming Obama’s record of selectively enforcing the law in order to advance his own agenda as the reason to oppose a bill. But this is irrelevant, or even backwards.

(More here.)

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