The Hill’s Molly Harper engages in some political mischief today. Her headline story begins with this lead:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is on a collision course with House conservatives over immigration reform.
“Collision course.” Wow. That sounds dangerous, even violent. So what’s the scoop?
Some political observers believe it’s just a matter of time before McCain aggressively goes after House GOP members for not voting on the Senate-passed immigration measure.
Oh. Well that doesn’t mean very much. Political observers say lots of things. Occasionally they actually know what they’re talking about. How about quoting some on the record?
Anyway, there must be something to this course of collision, right?
The five-term senator has stopped short of criticizing Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) vow to move immigration reform only if a majority of House GOP lawmakers are on board. Yet, McCain made a pointed comment last weekend that suggested he would only bite his tongue for so long.
“I really don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to tell [Boehner] exactly how he should handle this. But I think Republicans realize the implications for the future of the Republican Party in America if we don’t get this issue behind us,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday.”
McCain stopped short of taking House Republicans on, and when the media asked him to, he declined. That’s a whole lot of nothing.
About halfway in, Harper finally quotes someone on the record.
Jim Manley, a former senior staffer for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), pointed out the stark differences between the GOP-led House and Democratic-controlled Senate.
“The idea of compromise that Sen. McCain and others are pushing is at odds with a great majority of where the House Republican caucus is right now. [House Republicans] see compromise as a dirty word and they sure as heck don’t trust the Senate,” the Quinn & Gillespie Associates Public Affairs senior director said.
Manley added that if McCain “were to ratchet up the pressure, I think it would be counterproductive.”
It’s a fair bet that Manley is the one pushing the “McCain vs House Republicans” storyline, to put pressure on the more security-minded Republicans in the House. Not McCain. The real pressure is coming from a guy who is connected to Democrat Harry Reid. Molly Harper is his dutiful scribe.
McCain and the House GOP may well be on some kind of “collision course” on immigration, as McCain is part of the Senate’s illustrious amnesty Gang, and the House Republicans aren’t lining up to support the Senate’s bad bill. But Harper provides no direct evidence that McCain is up to anything at all.