Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The President's Next Step

Reaction is all over the place on the President's immigration speech. Yes, it was a disaster with the Right - but it looks like it was received well, in general. The White House intends to press forward on the issue, and will push for a compromise that combines strong border enforcement with some version of a guestworker program. In part, they will make the argument that there is no benefit to Republican candidates to have this issue 'out there' on or near election day. They'll say that politically, the best thing is to have a bill - even if it's flawed - that eliminates immigration as a 'current' issue. Activists will be happy or sad, but most voters will have moved on to other issues - to the benefit of most Republicans, who recognize that there is no way to untie the Gordian Knot, and that the debate itself is killing them.

Apart from that, the President would be wise if he moves on to SPENDING! Whether it's vetoing bills that spend too much, or insisting on an end to earmarks, or some other principle. Spending, at least, unites Republicans. It is probably the only way he can actually deliver to the base on one of its priorities.

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