After years of flatly refusing to listen to reform advocates in their own ranks — persons like Norm Coleman — where immigration is concerned, suddenly we see hints among the Republican Hive Mind that bending a little on immigration, at least where the children of immigrants are concerned, might be in the cards.
There’s this news that Republicans are not totally hostile to Jeh Johnson’s request for emergency funds to deal with the crisis of children at the border.
There’s this FOX News Op-Ed urging House and Senate Republicans to give Obama the money he requested for assisting immigrants’ children as a way to make Obama “own” the “border disaster”.
There’s Mario Diaz-Balart, one of the Republican advocates for immigration reform, not only blasting his fellow Republicans for killing the immigration bill he had worked on with President Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats, but also undermining the rationale behind John Boehner’s idiotic lawsuit.
Now, one could say that Republicans are simply starting to heed the voices of reason telling them that the Southern Strategy has run its course as a party builder. But the GOP’s nurtured the forces of bigotry in their base for far too long and with far too much skill for that to be the main reason.
No, I suspect that, as with pretty much every other issue, the motivating factor is money — particularly that controlled by longtime Republican sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson, who advocates immigration reform:
“Whatever the precise provisions of a law, it’s time for the House to draft and pass a bill that reflects both our country’s humanity and its self interest,” Microsoft Corp. co- founder Gates, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Buffett and Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Adelson wrote in a New York Times op- ed posted online Thursday.
“It’s time for 535 of America’s citizens to remember what they owe to the 318 million who employ them,” they wrote, referring to the total membership of the House and Senate.
The question for Republican politicians is this: How can this be done without causing their bigot base to flip out? The conventional wisdom, correct or not, in DC is that Eric Cantor lost his primary last month in part because he was an advocate for immigration reform.