If a dog won't hunt, change the dog. My father taught me that rule during my first hunting trip. And it holds true for members of Congress, too.
In the aftermath of the Tea Party's hijacking of the Constitution to effect a “shutdown” and threaten the full faith and credit of the United States, President Obama offered Republicans a deal.
No matter how many appearances President Obama makes around the country to talk up immigration reform, the focus on the troubles of HealthCare.gov won't fade until the glitches are gone.
Despite the meeting Wednesday in which House Republicans agreed to ditch the Senate's bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill, there are signs some House Republicans do want to pass something of their own. Whether that will ever mean a conference report that is signed into law is a question for another day.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reiterated his intention not to bring anything to the floor that didn't have a majority of support from his conference, including a conference report. But he said a majority of Republicans wanted to pass reform, so there are indications that without a path to citizenship, something could be possible.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is on course to emerge from the immigration debate stronger than ever, and an immigration bill similar to the Senate bill has at least an even-money chance of becoming law this year.
The longer House Republicans drag on the debate, the greater the cost to the GOP of defeating the bill. I spent years working for House Democratic leaders and believe many pundits do not understand the politics of the House of Representatives.
Not long ago Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gave an intelligent speech suggesting Republicans need to reach out and suggesting he might support a fair immigration bill.
Days later, Paul broke with himself, opposed the immigration bill and became just another small-minded rightist seeking to raise money for the doomed presidential campaign he will probably run.
I do not agree with those who casually suggest the House will never agree to a fair immigration bill. Here's why: The GOP is running out of wave-group voters to alienate. Wars against the interests of women and Hispanics, as perceived by significant majorities of women and Hispanics, are the road to ruin and permanent minority party status for a GOP with a very defective brand these days.
Karl Rove knows this. Haley Barbour knows this. My guess is House Republican leaders know this. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) definitely knows this. It is interesting that the two columnists at The Hill who have been the most friendly to Rubio on immigration have been John Feehery and myself.
Before concluding that comprehensive immigration reform passed by the Senate is unlikely to pass the House and become law, the 68-32 vote Thursday on the bill must be applauded, not on substance (that can be argued and will), but on process.
It's heartening, in our new normal of permanent gridlock, to see both parties working so earnestly to legislate together.
The jury in the Senate has rendered its verdict, and the immigration bill has passed.
This is a great leadership victory for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), whose influence and stature rise from his exceptional performance. It is a great leadership and presidential-caliber victory for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who conducted himself with political courage and legislative skill. It is a major victory for President Obama and liberals.
And it is a crushing defeat for the right, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is marginalized on the far right; Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who gave an eloquent speech about Republicans reaching out and then melted into insignificance like butter on a hot summer day when the going got tough; and the Heritage Foundation, whose desperate immigration paper was thoroughly discredited.
It's the longest day of the year — especially for House Speaker John Boehner.
Once again a big bill goes down, and his conservative conference has left him holding the bag. The crash of the farm bill Thursday, with more than 60 Republicans voting against it, is frightening immigration reform proponents who feel momentum in the Senate and hope for House passage later this summer.
Boehner (R-Ohio), along with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), can urge their rank and file all they want to pass immigration reform for the sake and future of the GOP, but these guys do not feel the need to listen.