During the 2012 GOP primary, wobbly Mitt Romney adopted a policy “self-deportation” to get to the right of Rick Perry. A few months later, he endorsed a bill that would have allowed bosses to deny birth control coverage to their employees as he tried to convince America that his one great accomplishment as governor would destroy the nation if every state adopted it.
Once he squeaked out the nomination, Mitt shied away for the deportation of the DREAMers who were brought to America as young people and were granted a temporary reprieve by President Obama. He rarely, if ever, mentioned birth control, except to soften his message.
Mr. Etch-A-Sketch figured out that the last issues that would sway non-conservative voters to his cause were deportations and putting your boss in charge of blessing your medical coverage.
He still lost.
Republicans killed immigration reform after forging a bipartisan Senate bill that cost one of its party’s most promising saviors most of his luster. And now it’s saying that Obama is purposely creating a disaster at the border as migrant children flood up from Central America, fleeing one humanitarian crisis and creating another one America cannot ignore.
Images of crowds yelling at young Latino refugees will be tough to forget.
To make sure their animosity to reform is clear, House Republicans have passed two bills calling for the deportation of DREAMers — even after the House Leadership signaled it was for legalization last year. And when President Obama unveils new executive actions likely designed to keep families and long-term, productive residents in the country, expect a massive conservative backlash.
House Democrats have renewed their charge to get 27 Republicans to sign discharge petition that would bring the Senate’s bill to the floor — or make those members pay for not doing so.
The Week‘s Bill Scher suggests that it’s conceivable that this could swing control of the House, even though the GOP kept a solid majority in 2014 while earning 1.4 fewer votes than their opponents:
Last year, David Damore, a polling analyst for the firm Latino Decisions, found that there are 44 congressional districts with Republican incumbents that could be ousted if their Latino constituents flex their electoral muscle. “This includes districts where the Latino voting-age population exceeds the 2012 margin of victory or swing districts won in 2012 by President Obama and the House Republican candidate that also have notable Latino populations,” he wrote.Now of course, not all of the 44 districts where Latinos can theoretically play a decisive role are considered competitive today. Damore recently lamented that Democrats failed to recruit strong challengers across the board. Professional congressional handicappers Stu Rothenberg, Charlie Cook, and Larry Sabato suggest that around 19 of these districts remain in play, including 16 Republicans running for re-election and three other seats where the Republican incumbent won’t be on the ballot.
If Republicans don’t pass a bill that everyone knows has the vote to pass, the result will be a 2016 primary spent pandering to the party’s anti-immigration reform base and a likely 2016 nominee who will be forced to go beyond “self-deportation” to “Get the hell out!” — which is how The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent describes the party’s current stand.
Meanwhile, women will soon be finding out that their boss doesn’t want them to have birth control coverage. And conservatives will be celebrating this victory for liberty by reminding people that birth control is for sex-starved sluts.
In 2014, Republicans are pretty sure they can rely on the votes of fundamentalist business owners and fans of deportation.
It’s a good bet!
They only need to win six Senate seats to take over the majority and Democrats have to defend more than that number in states even Mitt Romney won.
To anyone who is paying attention, 2014 looks a lot like 1994 did in California when Republican Governor Pete Wilson was re-elected by running an anti-immigrant campaign fueled by his support of the now reviled Prop 187. It was good politics at the time and the way it alienated the state’s growing Latino vote turned Republicans into a larger third-party in California.
Republican hopes of expanding the Senate map with hundreds of millions of dollars of Koch money are disappearing in Michigan and New Hampshire, as they likely will soon in Colorado and Iowa. They need to win in red states like Arkansas, Alaska, and Louisiana to take the Senate — and those races are all toss ups.
President Obama’s approval rating lingers around 43 percent and he’s faced with real crises on the border and in Iraq.
But in just six months more than 10 million Americans have gained health insurance and nearly 1.4 million jobs have been created. We’re now in the 52nd straight month of private sector job growth. Predictions about Obamacare’s failure are being replaced with the reality of dealing with tens of million of Americans who rely on the law for coverage. And the ancillary fights to take away birth control coverage just remind women what a victory health care reform is for them.
Meanwhile, the GOP’s lingering unpopularity is nearly unprecedented. And its decisions to go full throttle with the policies that cost them the presidency in 2012 will not be forgotten.
Just over two dozen Republican congressman could keep their party from repeating the mistakes of 1994 — but if that happens we’re going to need pig air traffic control.
[Image by takomabibelot | Flickr]