The Gang of Eight immigration reform opener was second term political payback to loyal Democratic Party constituencies that had been clamoring for it for some time. The timing followed a fairly typical political script that had been used by other administrations. From the start, I never thought any reform would pass.
Pro-amnesty advocates were being a little too strident. They could have designed a legislative product that could have passed both the House and Senate. Congressmen who should know better, kept inflaming political passions rather than tempering expectations.
There is only so much political capital to go around. Or so many press conferences that can be held to try to sway public opinion. Members and Staff who are working on this issue that I talked to before the recess, seemed exhausted and want the issue tabled or voted on so they can focus on other matters. Yes, there does come a point, even in politics, that you’re driving on fumes. That is starting to happen with immigration politics. The reform engine is sputtering.
Two veteran POLITICO newspaper reporters recently predicted that the immigration agenda, including amnesty, is ‘dead’ until 2017. They cite Syria as the spoiler. Discussing this development, however, Brietbart’s Matthew Boyle and Stephen Bannon correctly point out that amnesty reformers should not be counted as down and out. A lot can happen this fall, especially if the administration keeps doing this:
Syria was one of those unexpected issues that no one could have really planned for ahead of time. It has already sapped a lot of political marrow from an already anemic body politic; however, the tide on this issue is also changing in the House. Some Republicans are fund-raising on Syria and, as yours truly tweeted on September 2, a Left-Right coalition has started to form in the House that will likely shelve any resolution coming out of that body. Add to this mix the many pending legislative issues on the House calendar, you can see why the House GOP would have no interest in touching the immigration issue this fall.
Politically, the Democrats already won on immigration reform. They didn’t need to pass a thing to win. If nothing becomes law this year, they will blame Republicans during the 2014 mid-term elections. The DNC will also keep using the issue for fundraising purposes and political leverage with outside groups — something they have been doing for decades to keep special interests captive and engaged, giving them “hope” but no product.