The Corner

Own Goal

One of the most striking things about the proposed immigration ‘reform’ is the way that it’s bad politics as well as bad policy. Let’s take, for example, the impact on the Republican party rather than the President. There can be little doubt that many in the GOP will be vocal (to put it mildly) in their opposition to what the president is trying to do. This may allow Bush himself to try a little Clinton-style triangulation. Maybe, if he’s lucky, he will get away with it. But even if this squalid manoeuvre helps W., its inevitable consequence (a nasty – and very public – fight within the GOP) will give Democrats every opportunity to repeat the slander that many Republicans are ‘anti-immigrant,’ hostile to Hispanics, enemies of the American Dream and so on, thus ensuring that the party as a whole will lose , not win, “nice” voters. Worse still, the fact that Bush will not have a united party behind him will mean (if he is not to avoid humiliation) that he will have to “reach out” to Democratic legislators, and it’s easy to imagine the sort of ‘improvements’ they will suggest. What a mess.