June 27, 2007

BRENDAN NYHAN:

The Wall Street Journal editorial board warns that the immigration debate threatens to make the GOP a minority party. They’re right. It splits the Republicans right down the middle, demoralizes the base in advance of 2008, and is prompting a conservative counter-mobilization that could make Latinos a Democratic constituency for years to come.

Ironically, the issue was not pushed to the top of the legislative agenda by Democrats. As John B. Judis points out, Democrats haven’t been able to push through any legislation that splits Republicans and forces a Bush veto (for now, at least, GOP party loyalty is too strong to overcome a filibuster).

Instead, Bush has been doing the Democrats’ work for them.

Yes, this is why it seems so odd to me that they would do this — particularly as it’s also hurting them with supporters they’ll soon need on the war. if Bush loses on the bill, it’s a big loss with lots of collateral damage. If he wins, it may be even worse.