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Overhyping immigration reform

After November, Boehner need not shed tears over failure to pass amnesty
After November, Boehner need not shed tears over failure to pass amnesty
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Speaker of the House John Boehner is currently under intense pressure to get “comprehensive immigration reform” passed through Congress. He claims he’s done with excuse making for not passing it, and everyone from corporations to Hispanic lobbyists to Vice President Joe Biden want him to ignore the pesky Tea Party and, in the words of Nike, “just do it.”

The broad coalition of groups supporting reform has grown restless. Corporations want artificially repressed wages right now. Hispanic lobbyists want 33 million more of their people in this country right now. Biden and the Democrats want new voters right now. But here’s the good news for all of them: If they can hold their horses until November 2014 when the midterm elections happen, they’ll get what they want from Boehner and the Republicans.

The strength of this broad coalition is unrivaled. They have the money. They have the Beltway networking. They have the media. The one and only thing holding back Boehner and House Republicans is the fear that their (White, Christian, conservative) base will revolt. Remove that threat, and immigration reform passes in a landslide like it did in the Senate last June.

Going about removing the threat of revolt is so simple it’s a wonder that political consultants aren’t screaming in Boehner’s ear about it: Don’t rock the boat, allow all those gullible Whites to vote your party back into power, and voila! They can’t do anything to you for two whole years after that.

Oh sure, they’ll whine, moan, and complain. They’ll call Rush Limbaugh. They’ll dominate the comments section on the internet. They’ll say Fredrick Douglass. Booker T. Washington, and Martin Luther King would be ashamed. They'll turn the phrase "back-stabbing" into a meme. But they’ll have voted for you. It’s what they always do when rubber meets road. The conservative base is all bark and no bite.

Bottom line: All the media talk over comprehensive immigration reform is badly overhyped. Boehner just needs to run out the shot clock and he'll get what the corporations, Hispanics, and Democrats all want so desperately. Six more months of patience is all it takes.