…are they all drooling, yahoo right-wingers? Of course not. But in the caricature of supporters of the Senate bill they must be, because they all are opposed to, or extremely skeptical, of “the path to citzienship,” according to these Washington Times and Washington Post articles. All of them represent liberal to moderate congressional districts, and Shays and Davis are famously thoughtful (if often irritating to conservatives). If Bush doesn’t have them, it looks really bad for him–perhaps impossible–in the House. Here’s some Davis from the Washington Times:
It’s the same reaction many House Republicans in moderate and liberal districts have had after hearing from angry constituents in recent weeks, said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, the former chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee who can cite encyclopedic knowledge of congressional districts off the top of his head.
“It is the hottest issue out there,” he said, referring to public reaction nationwide, including his own moderate district in Northern Virginia. “Everywhere I go, even the ethnic groups, everybody is talking about this.”
It was with much uneasiness, Mr. Davis said, that he voted for the House’s tough border-security bill last year. But since then, he said, he has been stunned by the overwhelming public support for the House approach to immigration reform.
Voters have no faith that the federal government will secure the borders and begin enforcing immigration laws, Mr. Davis said, and they are outraged over the Senate’s citizenship proposal.
“I have seen it out in my own district, which is a very wealthy, educated, thoughtful district,” Mr. Davis said. His constituents “are not knee-jerk people,” he said, but “have taken a look at this thing and are very, very tough on immigration right now. They want a tough bill.”
Polling, he said, shows “better than 2-to-1″ support for the House bill over the Senate bill….
At a breakfast with reporters yesterday sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Mr. Davis said it is a common misperception in Washington — especially among the press — that only right-wingers are up in arms over illegal immigration.
“This is not just hard-right conservatives,” he said. “These are seniors, these are liberals. Everybody thinks the border ought to be enforced, the rule of law should be preserved.”
Politically speaking, Mr. Davis said Democrats should be “very, very careful” about getting too cozy with the illegal alien lobbyists if they want to make gains in the House or the Senate.