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Hullabaloo


Saturday, June 28, 2014

 
The rebrand's final death knell

by David Atkins

Why, it seems like not even two years ago that the GOP seemed committed to a major rebrand. Not anymore. Greg Sargent gives the eulogy:

Exactly one year after the Senate passed an immigration reform bill that built a compromise on an exchange of increased enforcement for legalization for the 11 million, Republicans have now officially abandoned any pretense of a willingness to participate in solving the immigration crisis. Instead, they have committed the party to a course premised on two intertwined notions: There are no apparent circumstances under which they can accept legalization of the 11 million; and as a result, the only broad response to the crisis they can countenance is maximum deportations.

This means it’s now all in Obama’s hands to decide what he can do unilaterally to ease the pace of deportations and address the current unaccompanied migrant crisis.
Referring to the move of GOP representative Bob Goodlatte from pro-immigration-reform to the anti side, Sargent says:

This tells the entire story. Goodlatte was an early proponent of a form of legalization for the 11 million that could have been the basis for compromise. In this scenario, Republicans could have voted on piecemeal measures that included just legalization — and no citizenship — packaged with concurrent enforcement triggers. Paul Ryan and Mario Diaz-Balart both floated versions of that idea, which is to say, Republicans probably could have passed something like this, though it would have been (shock! horror!) difficult. This could have led to a decent deal for Republicans: In negotiations with the Senate, Dems would drop the special path to citizenship in exchange for Republicans agreeing to legal tweaks making it easier for the legalized to eventually find their way to citizenship through normal channels.

That’s essentially the larger scenario Goodlatte supported as early as last summer, and those who closely follow this debate have long known it was a plausible scenario and an endgame GOP leaders such as John Boehner privately hoped for. But it would have required getting the right angry at some point (which any immigration solution was always going to do). And so, it ran up against an unwillingness by a large bloc of Republicans in the House to do the hard work of figuring out what set of terms and conditions, if any, might enable them to support some form of legal status in the face of the right’s rage. Jeb Bush’s remarks were controversial precisely because he revealed the GOP unwillingness to cross this Rubicon as a moral challenge Republicans could not bring themselves to tackle. Even Boehner — who actually deserves some credit for trying to ease the party towards accepting legalization — essentially admitted this was the real obstacle to reform in a moment of candor earlier this spring.

And that’s where we are now.
There is no more rebrand. It's done. The GOP tried to buck its racist base, and it couldn't. Eric Cantor, of all people, paid the price for it.

Which means the GOP is only going to go farther and farther right. I'm not even sure they'll try another round of rebranding after a 2016 loss.


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