Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bush to Sign Border Fence Bill

Mickey has written some more about speculation that the President intends to veto HR 6061, the Secure Fence Act. Based on a lot of what the President has had to say, and even what some spokespeople have had to say, you can make a good case that he sounds like he's not committed to it.

However, it seems to me that after his comments at yesterday's press conference - where he did not challenge a reporter who assumed he would sign it - and particularly after Tony Snow's E-mail to the guys at Powerline - it's pretty clear that the President will sign the bill.

I think if you want to delve into this further, the question at this point is how the President will handle this. It's clear from his comments yesterday that he remains committed to comprehensive reform and some form of (*ahem*) earned legalization. Will he continue to stand proudly with what polls say is the overwhelming majority of Americans who favor this view? Will he sign the bill, but say it's a disappointment, and only a marginal improvement from the status quo (kind of like Clinton did when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act)? Will he do so without fanfare, allowing Members of Congress to tout the achievement?

Or will the President identify himself with the Republican base, which likes this bill and will actually decide this election?

Also, while Mickey has been painstakingly reading tea leaves like an old-line Sovietologist going over May Day photos, I don't think he's patted himself on the back where he proved prescient. To wit, where are all the stories about how immigration has torn the GOP apart, and is threatening their standing in many key races? I've actually heard a few reporters describe this as a strong issue for the GOP - something that few were predicting just a few months ago.

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