January 14, 2013
POLITICS: Harry Reid's Priorities: Immigration, Not Assault Weapons
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gives some revealing insight into how he sees the Senate's priorities this spring - priorities, in line with his support back home in Nevada, that are long on addressing immigration and not so high on banning "assault weapons":
Calling for a "cautious" approach to gun control, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid downplayed the chances of the Senate renewing an assault-weapons ban in a weekend TV interview, suggesting he will instead move forward on measures with a better chance to pass muster in the Republican-controlled House.
"Let's be realistic," Reid said. "In the Senate, we're going to do what we think can get through the House and I'm not going to go through a bunch of these gyrations just to say we've done something. If we're really legislators, the purpose of it is to pass legislation."
Asked by an interviewer on PBS' Nevada Week in Review if the much-discussed assault-weapons ban would meet such a test, Reid suggested it wouldn't.
"Is it something that can pass the Senate? Maybe. Is it something that can pass the House? I doubt it," Reid said...
But Reid is much more enthusiastic about getting bipartisan support for immigration bills:
"Immigration's our No. 1 item," Reid said. He later added, "It's going to be the first thing on our agenda."
Reid said a bipartisan group of senators, led by Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin and Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have been crafting a package.
"We may be able to come up with a bipartisan bill quicker than you think," he said, adding that the senators "have agreed tentatively on a path to citizenship, which is the big stumbling block."
"Yes, we're going to get something significant," Reid said, with a smile.
Your mileage may vary on which of these topics is more likely to produce mischief. But clearly, Reid in reading the tea leaves of the last election thinks Republicans are more apt to bend on immigration than guns. He may be right.
Any of course his own caucus is going to be a lot more unified on immigration than guns.
Republicans need to get "immigration" off the table. Allowing Democrats to pander to perceived ethnic allegiances and raw racial animosity every two years is bad for the GOP and awful for the nation.
Democrats and the media gleefully tout the paradox offered by Conventional Wisdom that for Republicans to attract Hispanic votes and survive as a party they must approve amnesty and essentially create 11 million new Democrats, with more to come. Needless to say, this is a bad position for the GOP to be in.
First, they must stop the bleeding at all cost. The borders must be secured. Politically, if this means amnesty for illegals here, so be it.
A nation with uncontrolled borders is a nation without borders, and a nation without borders is a not a nation. If the border remains as is - which is what Democrats want - the GOP loses, no matter what it does. So...
1. Drop resistance to amnesty and drop any talk of deportations.
2. Stop apologizing for insisting that Mexico respects our border. The current policy is indefensible; border control has wide support.
3. Send the message that any false accusations of "racism" on this issue will be treated as "racism" itself. We will not be lectured to by groups calling themselves National Council for the Race (La Raza).
4. Call out the Democratic bigotry that assumes all Hispanics must be for weak borders because they are Hispanic first, Americans second. Forcefully reject the bigoted media wisdom that Hispanics must be one-issue voters.
5. Insist without apology that, as America is a two-party nation, Hispanic voters deserve the same thing white voters have: a choice.
No more pussy-footing. No more apologies. No more playing defense. The Right is right on this issue and needs to act like it.
Bi-partisanship is killing this country.