The Dems have finally figured out that the White House is willing to let them take over Congress rather than enforce the immigration law. Yesterday, Howard Dean unveiled part of their strategy to nationalize the election by focusing on border security. Now, we all understand it’s horseflop, but it’s the president’s hostility to comprehensive immigration enforcement that’s made it possible for this horseflop to seem plausible to voters. And widely hyped, one-shot enforcement actions, like yesterday’s raids on a pallett-making firm, aren’t going to fool anyone — first of all, the convenient timing, four days before Congress returns to debate immigration again, is transparently political. And second, restoring order to the immigration system requires broken-windows policing — i.e., rather than waiting for major crimes to occur, you need routine enforcement of immigration law, all the time, so the sense of impunity in banished; that kind of routine enforcement (by, say, informing employers when they submit fake or mismatched Social Security numbers for new hires) is absent and, in many cases, has actually been stopped when it was underway.
My idea for keeping the majority in the House — tweak the two small provisions of the Sensenbrenner bill that have generated the most opposition (illegal status as a felony and the provision on assisting illegals) and then re-pass the bill in October, right before the election. But don’t count on that happening — the House leadership is cringing like a dog, and like a cringing dog, is likely to get whacked by voters.