The conventional wisdom is that the Gang of Eight bill, or any facsimile thereof, has no chance of passing the House. By all rights, it shouldn’t. The bill does for immigration policy what Obamacare does for health care — make things profoundly worse.
But it would be a serious mistake to underestimate supporters of the Gang of Eight. A powerful coalition of liberal interest groups, mainstream media, unions, big business, Hollywood, academia, and practically every Democratic politician in the country are continuing to wield resources toward the bill’s ultimate passage that dwarf the resources of the bill’s opponents.
During the senate fight, the bill’s opponents were vastly outnumbered and outfinanced by the bill’s supporters, so much so that only a few weeks ago the Gang of Eight resembled a freight train barreling toward passage — it’s supporters and the media portraying it as a done deal. Only a handful of senators stood in its path, with most of the heavy lifting performed by Senators Ted Cruz, Chuck Grassley, and Mike Lee.
But as Rich points out, chief credit goes to Senator Jeff Sessions, whose relentless efforts exposed the numerous, mammoth flaws in the bill to the American people, who voiced furious opposition to the monstrosity, thereby stiffening the spines of House members. For his troubles, Senator Sessions was maligned as a bigot and xenophobe.
Credit also goes to Sessions’s smart, principled, and indefatigable staffers, whose efforts provided both weapons and ammunition for the battle.
But amnesty supporters aren’t going away any time soon. They still possess vastly more money and troops than opponents. They’ve read the smoke signals from some Republican House members suggesting that amnesty, if properly disguised, remains on the table. And don’t underestimate the power of demagoguery to sway “undecided” representatives.
The Gang of Eight supporters just got 68 votes in the senate. They’re not giving up. Opponents mustn’t either.