A fight House conservatives should win, but will they?

As John noted last night, the push for amnesty-style immigration reform will likely soon commence in the House. This should come as no surprise. I’ve worried since June [link not available due to technical problems], when Paul Ryan began pushing for immigration reform, that “the fix might well be in” in the House. My concern intensified in August when Ryan attended a meeting with Luis Gutierrez, the leading House advocate of amnesty.

The coming push for amnesty will be couched in part as a response to diminished Republican popularity in the aftermath of the shutdown. The argument will be that Republicans must show they are problem-solvers, not problem-creators, as they are now perceived.

But the real driver, as usual, will be the desire to accommodate the business community. The great exemplar of this desire is not Paul Ryan — who, I think, genuinely perceives a religious obligation to try to do something grand for illegal immigrants — but rather Eric “Wall Street” Cantor [Power Line link not available].

Its metamorphosis notwithstanding, the primary business of the Republican Party remains business.

Will the hard core conservative wing of the House Republican caucus be able to block amnesty? One would hope so. Members of this wing were powerful enough to coerce the leadership into inducing an obviously futile government shutdown. They did so in the hope — dream, really — of blocking the implementation of enacted pet liberal legislation that they viewed — correctly — as too transformational.

By the same token, the hard core conservative wing should be influential enough to prevent the passage of pet liberal immigration legislation that, in its effects on wages, culture, and politics, clearly would be transformational. [Power Line links not available]

If they don’t — if amnesty-style immigration reform passes the House, either in the first instance or as the result of a “conference” or some other device — I will no longer be part of the 20 percent (or so) of Americans who have a favorable view of the Party.


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