It’s time to wake up! Conservatives–while you are (rightly) excited about NSA snooping and partisan IRS corruption, the Congress is about to change America in a more profound, permanent way right under your noses. In the process it will hand President Obama the major second term achievement that will help him overcome the very scandals that are distracting you–or, rather, make his survival or re-ascendance unimportant. He will have won. Democrats will have shaped the future electorate to their own liking. They’ll have transformed what America is.
Please forget about Benghazi and Cincinnati and Edward Snowden’s girlfriend for a minute and pay attention to the main event.
You have one weapon in your arsenal that can trump the big money behind the Gang of 8 bill (S.744). That weapon is fear. It’s not as if the Republican elite has suddenly been persuaded that an amnesty-first immigration bill is a good idea, after all. They’ve always preferred amnesty. They were just too scared to pursue it. What stopped them was the prospect of swift retribution from the electorate, not limited to the Republican primary electorate.
This fear hasn’t disappeared. The elites were scared of voters before and they can be scared again. This applies to red state Democrats like Mark Pryor and primary-able Republicans like Lisa Murkowski. It applies to fence-sitters like Lamar Alexander. It even applies to those like Kelly Ayotte who have now committed to supporting instant legalization (despite having campaigned against it). If voters now make their displeasure with Ayotte known–well, politicians at the top have a way of backtracking from unpopular stands. That’s how they got to the top. At the very least Ayotte’s difficulties would serve as a cautionary example to others.
There will probably be several big votes–most likely on a House-Senate conference bill–before any amnesty can become law. Speaker Boehner will have to make a crucial decision on whether to break the “Hastert Rule” and try to pass a bill in the teeth of his own caucus’ strongly held views. In every case, fear will be the crucial factor. If Senators fear losing their office if a bill becoming law–and they tend to be highly risk-aware–it often has a way of dying without any fingerprints on it (which is arguably what happened in 2007).
There’s a list of Senate phone numbers and emails here. Numbers USA has a handy page that lets you send a fax here. The Capitol switchboard is 202 224-3121.
Ignore the f—ing scandals for a few days and save the country from Chuck Schumer.