After a morning spent plugging Painting the Map Red on a half dozen radio talk shows from Connecticut to New Mexico, and Oregon to Florida, I am reposting my thoughts on the immigration debate from earlier this morning. I feel like Jeremiah, as I do predict this situation in the book, but I don’t want to end up as prescient as the prophet. Wake up, GOP: The immigration debate could kill the party’s prospects in the fall.
Chapter Nine of the new book anticipated the internal knock-down the GOP now finds itself engaged in, a fight that can still be called off and the damage repaired if party leadership moves to the only position that makes sense: immediate authorization of a serious border security initiative built upon the construction of the 700 miles of fencing authorized by the House and a comprehensive regularization program for the 11 million illegal aliens already in the country, though not one including citizenship for decades.
The details are in the book, but the danger of continued intraparty battling is expressed by Bill Kristol –though not in terms likely to reduce the heat– in this week’s WeeklyStandard, where he concludes:
Most Republican officeholders know that the political–and moral–cost of turning the GOP into an anti-immigration, Know Nothing party would be very great. It could easily dash Republican hopes of becoming a long-term governing party. How many Republicans will have the courage to stand up and prevent the yahoos from driving the party off a cliff?
Kristol isn’t the only one warning the GOP that November, 2006 could see the return of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Newt Gingrich is making the same prediction.
Time for Senators Frist and McConnell, Speaker Hastert and Majority Leader Boehner, and the president’s senior team to huddle, agree, and execute the end game on border security/immigration reform.
Any plan that includes the fencing and serious approrpiation towards continued vigilance against the possibility of a Beslan hapening in Phoenix or San Diego or anywhere inthe southwest satisfies 75% of the voters concerned about the issue.
Any plan that doesn’t reward lawbreaking with citizenship satisfies the vast majority of the rest.
The Democrats can’t filibuster such a plan.
Or prepare to welcome Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.