Daily Meme: A Slow GOP March Back to the Center

  • Lindsey Graham just doesn't get what's stopping his colleagues in the House from passing immigration reform. “When you ask primary voters in a poll would you support a pathway to citizenship where you have to learn English, pay a fine and go to the back of the line … it’s over 70 percent.”
  • For a clue, look to last night's Super Bowl, where Coca Cola's multilingual rendition of "America the Beautiful" set off a "War of the Worlds"-like panic among conservatives about the desecration of our national anthem (for the record, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem).
  • Yes, we have a racism problem, says one Southern GOP congressman who prefered to remain anonymous lest he be bombarded with "amnesty" hysterics. “If you go to town halls people say things like, ‘These people have different cultural customs than we do.’ And that’s code for race.”
  • But Maybe some good R&R at House Republicans' three-day retreat on Maryland's Chesapeake Bay quelled Republican fears about an invasion. Following what some pundits say amounted to a rebuke of the Tea Party by House Speaker John Boehner, the House GOP has released a one-sheet set of principles for immigration reform that includes granting citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. For the rest, it's a "limited pathway to legal status."
  • The key difference between legal status and citizenship? Legal status won't let the undocumented—a large percentage of whom are Democratic-affiliated Latinos—vote.
  • Still, says the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, this may mark the GOP's slow march back to the center.
  • Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, whose eponymous "Hastert rule" has prevented the chamber from voting on the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill that passed last year, joined the chorus of GOP leaders calling for reform in an op-ed for Politico.
  • Obama's immigration strategy? Bug off.
  • Any movement, however, is contingent on further militarizing the border. "Here's the issue that all Republicans agree on: We don't trust the president to enforce the law," says Tea Party darling Paul Ryan.

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