To Speaker Boehner on Immigration: You Can Do Better
Dear Speaker Boehner,
Right about now, I can only assume that you're chanting the Winston Churchill mantra, "If you're going through hell, keep going." And boy, it sure seems that your job is hellish indeed.
From Nancy Pelosi's digs that you run a messy House, to Eric Cantor's badly concealed desire to throw you down the Capitol steps, not to mention dealing with the Bedlam Caucus(aka the Tea Party), which seems focused on antagonizing large swaths of American voters you'll need in 2014 to keep the House - Wow. No wonder people on the Hill whisper that your Camel Ultra Lights habit is hitting overdrive.
And then, there is the circle of hell called immigration reform. Who knew these Hispanics could be so insistent? Without mobilizing millions of people on the streets as they did in 2007, Hispanics have tapped into the 21st-century bullhorn that is social media with their message: Pass immigration reform or adios GOP.
How many times do you have to hear that Hispanics are the country's "largest minority"? The "fastest growing" group of voters? Do you need to be reminded again that 50,000 American Latinos turn 18 every month -- and that they'll never forgive the Republican Party for treating immigrants like refuse that should be flushed from the country? (Your chant undoubtedly also includes a line about "Please make Steve King shut up.")
Then there are the Republicans who want to win future elections. People like John McCain and Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham, who nod their heads on Sunday morning TV and predict that the GOP is doomed if immigration reform fails. And all of them expressing their "confidence" that you, Mr. Speaker, will in the end be able to put a solution together. They exude that confidence on-air but offstage, their media handlers murmur variations of "Boehner is weak, he's a hostage to the Tea Party wackos. He's too afraid of ending up likeMorsi to stand up to the Tea Party crowd."
On the plus side, Democrats like you! I know, it came as a surprise to me, too. Without irony, or a sense of back-handed compliment, they lament that you're too nice to break heads.
Unlike your predecessors, Republican and Democrat, you seem unable to plant your foot firmly on the neck of a rebel and make an example of him for defying your best-laid plans.
You're not scary -- generally a great quality in a human being, but not so great for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi can melt a member of her caucus with one, sharp look. Your winks and smiles are just nice. Not to mention your tears.
But you can do better.
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