March 18, 2009

AMNESTY IS THE ONE THING THAT CAN REDEEM AN OBAMA PRESIDENCY:

Martinez heats up immigration debate (GEBE MARTINEZ | 3/18/09, Politico)

Though Obama has promised to reform the immigration system, he has not decided when, leaving Martinez to conclude the delay shows a “lack of direction or interest.” But clearly, the Republican senator is putting pressure on the Democratic White House because there is little hope of changing the minds of his own party members standing under the incredible shrinking Republican Party tent.

Conservative Republicans rejected Martinez’s previous work with Kennedy on immigration bills that failed in the Senate in 2006 and 2007. (The second bill went down during Martinez’s 10-month stint as national party chairman, which he jokingly described to talk show host Jon Stewart as a “misguided adventure.”)

“I think that the reality of all that’s happened to our party in the last four years is beginning to dawn on people,” though not enough people, Martinez said later.

“I don’t want to be too optimistic, but at the same time, I think there are [Republican] folks who understand the importance of this issue as a human rights issue as well as a political issue. I am sure many minds have not been changed as well, but I think it’s possible.”

Pushing ahead, the Republican senator plans to keep bringing up the subject that few in Washington are ready to take on. “I want to be a little bit of an irritant until someone at the White House decides this needs to be on the agenda,” Martinez said.


The Senator wildly overestimates the decency and political savy of his House colleagues.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at March 18, 2009 6:26 AM
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