Free Markets, Free People

Ezra Klein discovers Democratic cynicism

You may recall my post yesterday when I pointed to the probability of some sort of action on immigration after the Easter break because the Hispanic vote isn’t very enthusiastic about Democrats right now and November is approaching?

Well, Ezra Klein has picked up on the vibe too:

I’d say it’s pretty unlikely that comprehensive immigration reform happens this year. But then, who cares what I think? Harry Reid is in charge of the Senate, and he says he’s got 56 votes, and it’s gonna happen. “We need a handful of Republicans,” he told an immigration rally in Las Vegas.

The cynical take, of course, is that Reid is running for reelection in a state that’s about 20 percent Hispanic. But that suggests an important change in the political reality: The cynical thing for Democrats to do in an election year might be to pursue immigration reform. And that would make immigration reform a much likelier addition to the agenda.

Now granted it doesn’t take the equivalent of a political rocket scientist to figure this out.  Congressional Democrats are wildly unpopular, November midterms threaten to wash them out of the Congress like you might wash all the pollen on your driveway down the sewer and they’re casting about anywhere for a way to re-energize their base.  And, if you look at the last election, Hispanics went for Obama with 67% of their vote.

Reid claims he has 56 votes.  He also says he needs “a handful of Republicans”.  Obviously Democratic Senators up for re-election in ’10 are going like the idea.  But needing that handful of Republicans means at the moment he probably hasn’t got any – well, maybe Lindsey Graham.

And note who Reid is talking too – certainly not Tea Parties, but instead “immigration rallies”.  The guy who draws 100 people to a campaign event in his hometown is out addressing immigration rallies – yeah, back to that “political rocket scientist” crack.

So it appears the argument I was making yesterday and Klein is making today, seems to have some legs.  I gave you part of the game plan yesterday as to why Democrats want to introduce it now and Klein repeats it.  But, speaking of cynical, he lays out some other reasons as well:

If Democrats actually pursue immigration reform, their [Hispanics -ed.] participation becomes likelier. And if Republicans — or tea partyers, or conservative talk radio — overreact to the prospect of immigration reform, their participation becomes virtually assured. That last bit also suggests another reason Democrats might want to see immigration on the agenda: It’s got the possibility to tear the Republican coalition apart. Beltway Republicans are very, very concerned about losing Latino voters, and so they try to be careful on the issue.

Or – the GOP base will be pushing one way and the assumed spineless Beltway Republicans will be tiptoeing another while the very outcry drives Hispanics to the polls.

I can’t refute or dispute Klein’s prediction at this point – we’ve seen similar things happen in the past.  But I do agree completely that it is a cynical plan – but then that’s politics isn’t it.  As many are fond of saying, “it ain’t bean bag” and, as is often the case – getting re-elected, by whatever means necessary (to include “let’s pretend we’re doing something on immigration and the GOP are the bad guys”) usually takes priority over any real concerns about what is good for the people of the country.

~McQ

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14 Responses to Ezra Klein discovers Democratic cynicism

  • Beltway Republicans are very, very concerned about losing Latino voters, and so they try to be careful on the issue

    >>> They shouldn’t be.

    If the latino vote is based solely on illegal immigration, then f**k them.  I don’t want to be with people who’s only concern is allowing more illegals in to break laws and cause trouble.

  • “…getting re-elected, by whatever means necessary (to include “let’s pretend we’re doing something on ______ and the GOP[Democrats] are the bad guys”) usually takes priority over any real concerns about what is good for the people of the country.”
    Rule Number One (in D.C. and probably other places).  Ezra isn’t the only one who is cynical.

  • Oops!

  • Republicans will lose exactly ZERO Hispanic votes by opposing a Democrat version of immigration reform.
    That is because there are two very separate camps within the Latino community.  Those who want more immigration from Mexico, and those who rightly figure that increased immigration lowers their wages and adds lots of poor people and crime to their neighborhoods.
     
    The former type of Latino will not vote for Republicans anyway, and the latter type will be more likely if Republicans stand on principle on this.

    • The only lantino vote that’s up for grabs are the illegals themselves and their children.

  • A broader question on cynical politics.

    IF it’s all about getting re-elected, then why does someone like Stupak feign principled opposition for so long, get a small payoff to switch FOR ObamaCare, and then drop out?

    It makes absolutely no sense if holding on to office is all there is…

    • 1) The Democrats drank the political cool-aid with Obama before they realized the situation they are in. 

      2) The Democrats have a central leadership with central planning behind the scenes.  The Soros types that control the money and the press.   There’s a core that have a purpose and the rest aren’t their own men anymore.  The Republicans have no equal and are not equipped.  Otherwise someone like Palin for example would have had a more gradual warming to national politics instead of being thrust into that situation overnight.  Republicans have to be better armed for the media.  Its not fair, but it is what it is.  Intelligent planning would have forseen the media slaughter and wouldn’t have put Palin out there before she was ready. 

      3) And something tells me to check 18 months from now and Stupak will be doing ok.  Payoffs don’t have to come while you’re in office. 

      #1 & #3 go well together. 

  • The cynical thing for Democrats to do in an election year might be to pursue immigration reform. And that would make immigration reform a much likelier addition to the agenda.

    I think that this sort of cynical ploy will cost the dems more than they stand to gain.  People – including the less brain-dead voters in their own party – are watching DC pretty carefully these days.  A blatant effort to effectively create an entire new voting block out of illegal aliens will p*ss off millions of Americans, including blue collar / union types who’ve always voted democrat because they were suckered into thinking that the dems were “for the working man” and will be furious to see their votes stolen by the same cheap labor they think has been stealing their jobs.

  • Unemployment is high. Does that affect how Latinos would view illegals? I suspect it would.

  • Unfortunately, I don’t doubt Reid could find a dozen defectors without even trying.  The added shame would be if those dozen assist in the media attempts to shame those who don’t support it.

  • Part of a pattern ?

    In the middle of it all was Obama — occupant of an office once informally known as “leader of the free world” — putting on a clinic for some of the world’s greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press. The only part of the summit, other than a post-meeting news conference, that was visible to the public was Obama’s eight-minute opening statement, which ended with the words: “I’m going to ask that we take a few moments to allow the press to exit before our first session.” Reporters for foreign outlets, admitted for the first time to the White House press pool, got the impression that the vaunted American freedoms are not all they’re cracked up to be.

    Did Dana Milbank forget how to preen ?