As Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) recently said:
For us to go to a negotiation, to the negotiating table with President Obama after what he has done over the last two and a half weeks, I think would be probably a very big mistake…I think what he has done over the past two and a half weeks — he’s trying to destroy the Republican party.
And from an anonymous GOP source at Politico today:
After Obama poisoned the well in the fiscal showdown and [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi now is actively trying to use immigration as a political weapon, the chances for substantive reforms, unfortunately, seem all but gone.
Here’s a roundup of posts today pointing out how absurd that logic is:
Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine:
Let’s unpack the argument here, because it’s pretty amazing. It would be one thing if these sources opposed immigration reform on its merits. But they don’t. They think immigration reform is a vital necessity. They believe failing to pass some kind of reform will harm America. But they want to do it anyway because they’re mad about the shutdown.
This leads to a second, equally crazy view that Obama is to blame for the shutdown, and that Republicans are justified in their anger at his refusal to give Republicans concessions to reopen the government or avoid a default.
But that secondary belief is really a side issue. Suppose we assume Republicans are correct here, and Obama behaved outrageously by not submitting to policy extortion. The Republican argument is that this dastardly behavior justifies Republicans doing something they believe harms America. This is not an accusation against the Republicans. It’s their own explanation!
Greg Sargent at the Washington Post:
Distrust of Obama is at a high, after the GOP defeat in the ill conceived shutdown fight, so we can’t vote on anything involving immigration reform? This is akin to saying: ”Obama didn’t give us what we demanded last time, so we ended up having to shoot ourselves in the foot. This time, Obama is offering us what we need to avoid shooting ourselves in the foot, but we can’t trust him, so let’s go ahead and pull the trigger, anyway.”
Markos at Daily Kos:
Poisoned the well, ha ha ha! Why didn’t the president let a tiny minority of the House, backed by a tiny minority of the American people, undermine a law outside of the legislative process? … Just like the shutdown, had Republicans just shut [up] and passed the routine continuing budget resolutions and debt ceiling increases, they’d be looking … not great, but not as bad as today. Similarly, had Republicans passed immigration reform without histrionics, their standing with Latinos wouldn’t be as rock-bottom as it is today.
But his tea party-dominated Republican Party has an uncanny ability to weaponize the most mundane and non-controversial matters (immigration reform is wildly popular with all Americans), and then point that weapon at their face.
So dear GOP, you want to disarm that weapon poised to blow up on your face? Just put it down. It’s that simple. Pass immigration reform, and no Democrat will be able to use your intransigence against you in future elections. The choice is yours.