Ross Douthat has a column today on the national debate about immigration reform. As is often the case, he’s exactly right about both the politics and the policy, particularly as it relates to the GOP. He writes:
THE debate over immigration reform, rekindled last week by House Republican leaders, bears a superficial resemblance to last fall’s debate over the government shutdown.
Again, you have establishment Republicans transparently eager to cut a deal with the White House and a populist wing that doesn’t want to let them do it. Again, you have Republican business groups and donors wringing their hands over the intransigence of the base, while talk-radio hosts and right-wing bloggers warn against an imminent inside-the-Beltway sellout. Again, you have a bill that could pass the House tomorrow — but only if John Boehner was willing to live with having mostly Democrats voting for it.
Except there’s one big difference: This time, the populists are right.
In politics, sometimes something is better than nothing. But when it comes to immigration reform, I suspect Douthat is right. For the near term, nothing is better than something. Read the rest here.