Tag Archives: State of the Union

Comprehensive Immigration Reform ‘Won’t’ Pass The House

The curious case of the GOP versus Comprehensive Immigration Reform continues.

It appears that the latest plan that Republicans have cooked up to stall Immigration Reform is nothing more than an old stand-by… blame President Obama.

Here’s more from the Washington Post…

Republicans are starting to lay the blame on President Barack Obama if an overhaul of the nation’s broken immigration system fails to become law.

The GOP’s emerging plan on immigration is to criticize Obama as an untrustworthy leader and his administration as an unreliable enforcer of any laws that might be passed. Perhaps realizing the odds of finding a consensus on immigration are long, the Republicans have started telling voters that if the GOP-led House doesn’t take action this election year, it is Obama’s fault.

“If the president had been serious about this the last five years, we’d be further along in this discussion,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, said Sunday.

I suppose making CIR a top priority of his administration during virtually every year of his Presidency isn’t getting serious enough? And not to mention that the only chamber to have done anything substantive at this point is the Democratically-controlled Senate, which passed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation last year. Let’s also not forget that Obama is apparently much more serious on the issue than President George W. Bush. During the Bush administration, neither House of Congress got ANYTHING advanced on immigration. Make no mistake, the GOP is running plays from a tried and true playbook right now… desperately trying to sound serious about immigration reform just long enough to get through the 2014 elections. That’s the only reason for all of the caution and careful change in tone for 2014.

But on Wednesday’s Houston Matters with host Craig Cohen, Texas Congressman Kevin Brady decided to throw even that caution to the wind, and out the window. Here was the exchange from last week…

Craig Cohen: “Another topic of significance to Greater Houston that the President raised last night was immigration. What would it take to see comprehensive immigration reform pass through the House?”

Congressman Brady: “You know… it won’t. I think the House has learned from some of the massive bills, such as the Affordable Care Act, that comprehensive efforts are normally very sloppy, and we learn later just what the consequences of them are. The House is going to take a step-by-step approach.”

Step-by-step approach is code for “we’re going to stall for as long as humanly possible.” Their focus is only on the next election. The GOP agenda is not now, nor will it ever be serious about immigration reform. For someone like Congressman Brady, member of both the House Ways and Means Committee and House-Senate Joint Economic Committee, to be dismissing any hopes of a substantive bill from the House is a big problem. Brady lives in a very safe district that is majority white and majority Republican… basically, he can afford to tell the truth on this issue, and not worry about much blowback. Please folks, don’t be fooled by the Republican rhetoric. If you want Immigration reform passed, vote for the Democrats. And maybe someday, the Democratic party will grow a spine and run on the issue too.

Bill Clinton’s 1985 SOTU Response

Since 1966, the Response of the party opposite to the State of the Union has become almost as large a tradition as the speech itself, and it has been used by both parties very effectively. The response has been well known to mint rising stars within party politics, and they typically go on to have a great future within the party. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Republicans have chosen Marco Rubio to give their response tonight in 2013… they see him having a bright, and perhaps Presidential future.

So let’s flash back to 1985, when the shoe was on the other foot. Democrats had just suffered an historic loss with the reelection of Ronald Reagan. And if you don’t believe me, take a look at the numbers.

Reagan won 525 electoral votes to Mondale’s 13. Talk about “Red State”… WHOA.

So clearly, Democrats were down for the count, and had some serious work to do. In that moment, the party turned to a little-known Governor from a small state to catch the eyes and ears of millions of national viewers. That Governor was William Jefferson Clinton. With an entire nation clearly behind the Republican vision for the country, Clinton and the Democrats had a huge job to do that night. If you’re a Democrat, this speech will conjure up some serious deja vu. What amazed me the most is that the values that are at the heart of the Democratic party are still the very same today… bringing people together, recognizing the important role of government while promoting efficiency and accountability, and the sense that “we’re all in this together”.

Perhaps the best quote from Clinton was the following…

“Our critics have said we are for too much government, while they want the government off our backs. Well, we want the government off our backs too, but we need it by our sides.”

Simple and effective. A President in the making. Like this clip, Democrats can make an even bigger comeback in 2014 if they do just what Governor Clinton did here. Keep is simple and relatable. Here’s hoping that President Obama will do that tonight.