How Many Third Rails Do You Want to Grab?

by Mark Krikorian

A Reuters piece notes that the fiscal cliff may push aside consideration of immigration. This seems plausible, even likely, but I think overlooks something else. Note that two of the anti-Grover headliners in the Senate tax-rate discussion are Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss, both of them active in the 2006–2007 amnesty debate and probably in any future debate. Graham, of course, was and is McCain’s mini-me on immigration, and Chambliss decided to oppose the deal only after being roundly booed at his own state party convention. Considering that both are up for reelection in 2014, how much additional pushback from the Republican base will they want to risk on immigration after having broken the taxpayer pledge? Ironically, the more successful Grover is in exacting a political price from them during the budget discussions, the less likely they’ll be to go along with an incendiary immigration deal, even though Grover’s also an advocate for amnesty and unlimited legal immigration.

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