Immigration Dupe

Anyone who has watched Lou Dobbs in the past several years is aware that the man has one hell of an obsession with immigration. While rolling down the road last night on my way back from a customer visit I tuned my XM Radio in to CNN and caught the following segment of Mr. Dobbs program.

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): House Republicans are holding two dozen field hearings on the Senate’s immigration plan this month. Rather than backing his fellow party members, President Bush is going head to head with key Republicans with a counterpublic relations blitz.

The president in Miami…

BUSH: The best way to enforce the border is to have a rational way for people who are doing jobs Americans aren’t doing to come to this country on a temporary basis.

SYLVESTER: The Commerce secretary in Washington…

CARLOS GUTIERREZ, COMMERCE SECRETARY: We need sources of labor from other countries to fill jobs that simply are not getting filled.

SYLVESTER: White House officials are still insisting on putting illegal aliens on a path to citizenship. GOP critics worry the president’s position could cost Republicans the majority in Congress.

REP. TOM TANCREDO (R), COLORADO: The president going out to support the Democrats’ bill in the Senate. This is absolutely the most ridiculous thing, and politically speaking it’s suicide for Republicans.

SYLVESTER: The vast majority of Republican lawmakers oppose the so-called comprehensive approach.

AMY WALTER, COOK POLITICAL REPORT: We’ve already seen congressional candidates work to distance themselves from the president on this issue of immigration. We’ve seen it in a wide variety of districts, too, the suburbs, the Northeast, the Midwest.

SYLVESTER: A strange twist considering President Bush was a key factor for congressional wins in the 2002 and 2004 elections.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: Representative Tom Tancredo posed this question. How does the head of the Republican Party, Mr. Bush, think that going across the country advocating the Democrats’ position two months before the election will help the GOP? Tancredo went on to say that the president has declared open war on his own troops — Lou.

DOBBS: And is the question, why would this, after seeing that the leadership, the Republican leadership in the House is absolutely distancing itself from the White House and from the Senate’s amnesty efforts, why in the world would the president do this?

SYLVESTER: The vast majority of Republicans on Capitol Hill oppose this. Americans oppose the amnesty plan. It’s unclear why the White House continues to push this line, other than it’s for the sake of the open borders lobby, Lou.

DOBBS: His corporate masters’ call, perhaps. Lisa, thanks. Lisa Sylvester.

I think that Lou is a bit misguided in his assumption that this is President Bush simply cow-towing to his “corporate masters.” If one looks closely here there is an alternative possibility that would fit more closely with the pattern of political games this administration is notorious for playing.

Look at the quote from Tom Tancredo, “the President is going out to support the Democrats’ bill in the Senate.” President Bush is a lame duck and therefore he has nothing to lose from opposing Congressional Republicans, but the party itself has much to gain. It is clear that many Republicans are already distancing themselves from Bush, particularly because of his abysmal approval ratings. So why not take advantage of this fact by using the opportunity to paint the Democrats into the same corner as the President?

It seems to me the Republicans have found a way to use the President to their advantage after all.

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