September 23, 2005

BAD POLITICS, GOOD POLICY:

Rove Is Paving Way for Guest Worker Program (Mary Curtius, September 22, 2005, LA Times)

White House political strategist Karl Rove is offering lawmakers new details of an administration-backed guest worker program that would temporarily legalize the status of millions of illegal workers, according to Republicans who have attended the meetings.

The White House effort is seen as its latest step toward reasserting President Bush's leadership on one of the most divisive issues confronting Republicans.

Concerned that increasingly strident anti-immigrant voices within the party were undermining the administration's efforts to reach out to Hispanic voters, the administration formed a coalition of business groups and immigration advocates during the summer to lobby for the sort of comprehensive reform plan Bush has advocated since early in his presidency.

And some lawmakers see the recent White House sessions as evidence that Bush intends to pursue his plan as soon as this fall -- despite the strains Hurricane Katrina has put on the legislative agenda and despite ongoing opposition within his party.


if Democrats were united behind this the President could roll the GOP, but they're likely too beholden to labor.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 23, 2005 12:00 AM
Comments

Even if Bush can't get it done, if McCain wins in '08, he probably will.

Posted by: Timothy at September 23, 2005 1:29 AM

The anti-immigrant strain of the GOP has become more vocal and strident in the past few years, especially since 9/11. Check out NRO for example.

Posted by: AWW at September 23, 2005 7:05 AM

(hit post too fast) Bush isn't running again for reelection so his clout will begin to dwindle. McCain is very suspect to the GOP base (I think a recent poll showed this) and is already being bashed for the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill.

Posted by: AWW at September 23, 2005 7:09 AM

Bush and Rove are stuck on stupid on this one.

Posted by: Paul J Cella [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2005 8:03 AM

Anti-immigrationism is like protectionism. Everyone always thinks that they're about to sweep American politics, and yet they never do.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 23, 2005 8:07 AM

A good immigration policy is to welcome all hard workers from anywhere on earth who wish to become Americans and keep out the bad guys and those who wish to live in ethnic enclaves clinging to the old country ways while taking advantage of our open society and generous welfare system.

Posted by: erp at September 23, 2005 8:08 AM

Paul:

Yes, but we're the stupid party. Truckling to nativism would be smart.

Posted by: oj at September 23, 2005 8:15 AM

This position is, politically, beyond stupid. I thought it was well known that you can't lose a national election if you're to the right of your opponent, and so leaving so much room to the right on this (not to mention the large majority of the population...) is mind boggling. Sure, the Dems almost certainly won't take advantage, but that doesn't mean there's not a huge vulnerability.

There seems to be a lot of fear among on-line conservatives that McCain will run as an Independent in '08 and help Hillary! to the WH. I don't see it--he's a Republican and will probably be the nominee. But what if it's McCain vs Hillary and then Roy Moore decides to run as an Independent (assuming he's not happy with being governor or some other state position at that time)? Especially if Roberts and any future Bush appointees make wobbly decisions, there could be a massive vulnerability to someone like that...

Posted by: b at September 23, 2005 12:40 PM

Why would he run as an Independent when the nomination is his for the asking?

Posted by: oj at September 23, 2005 2:50 PM

You've gone one step to far. The real question is: Why would he run at all? The answer is that he won't.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 23, 2005 4:05 PM

David:

Move up here and we'll work on his campaign together.

Posted by: oj at September 23, 2005 4:09 PM

I certainly have no objection whatsoever to his receiving the coveted Brothers Judd endorsement in the New Hampshire primary. Better him than my candidate, whoever she turns out to be.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 23, 2005 4:50 PM
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