n Tuesday afternoon, President Obama made a high-profile pitch for immigration reform in El Paso, Texas, urging Republicans to reconsider their opposition to any plan that would open the door to citizenship for illegal migrant workers. Obama said he has "gone above and beyond" what the GOP is asking for in terms of border security and deportations, but Republicans keep demanding more. "Maybe they'll need a moat," he joked. "Maybe they'll want alligators in the moat." (Watch the video below.) Will any Republicans find this facetious approach persuasive?
This speech failed to move Republicans: Obama can't really believe that selling "the same old amnesty/enforcement sandwich" will suddenly win new buyers, says Mickey Kaus at The Daily Caller. Immigration reform has already been "defeated politically," and Republicans know that. Besides, if he'd really wanted to soften GOP opposition, Obama could have made nice, instead of mocking their position.
"Obama on the border of ..."
The GOP needs to at least change the debate: Republicans should embrace Obama's assertion that our borders are more secure and change "the politics of this issue," says GOP strategist Whit Ayres, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal. That can only help Republicans. If things remain status quo, the GOP will have start talking "about how we keep from losing Texas." A glut of "very offensive" anti-immigration talk among some on the Right is killing the GOP with Latino voters.
"Could Obama's immigration strategy help Republicans?"
Republicans won't change until voters punish them: Courting Latino voters is clearly "the GOP's best medium-to-long-run strategy," says Will Wilkinson at The Economist. Karl Rove wisely demonstrated that when running George W. Bush's successful campaigns. But that approach "conflicts directly with the best short-run strategy" — conservative candidates who bank on anti-immigrant rhetoric to win GOP seats. Republicans will eventually embrace immigration-friendly politics, but it will probably take "a humiliating electoral defeat," not a chiding from Obama, to get them there.
"The demographic politics of immigration"
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