John Boehner's incremental amnesty surrender strategy
By Michael R. Shannon
web posted February 10, 2014
Mathematicians have long contended that if you give a million monkeys a million typewriters and an infinite amount of time, eventually the simians will produce the King James Bible. Maybe so, but why inflict such a difficult challenge from the get–go? It could severely damage monkey morale.
I suggest assigning monkey scribes the task of producing the House GOP leadership's "Immigration Reform Principles." They should be able to knock that out in about a day — even with frequent banana breaks — and if they don't replicate the document exactly, what the monkeys produce can't be much more incoherent than the steaming pile the House leadership authored.
The document begins by stating: "Our nation's immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced." Naturally, their solution is to jettison the law. I've already outlined why amnesty is a bad idea for Republicans in an earlier column located here. So I won't belabor that point, but what I would like to do is analyze Boehner & Company's strategy for any evidence that it will accomplish their misguided goals.
Based on statements to the media and the "Principles," Speaker Boehner's concerns focus on three main areas:
1. Negative media coverage of Republican opposition to amnesty
2. Pressure from farmers and corporate America who want cheap imported labor that considers insultingly low wages a big raise from what they got back home
3. Overwhelming Hispanic voting support for Democrat politicians
What Boehner does not appear to be worried about is the loss of support from the GOP's conservative base after amnesty is passed.
So to achieve his goal of improving the Republican image, getting lobbyists off his back and showing Hispanics that he's a verdadero amigo, Boehner wants a "step–by–step" process that constitutes an incremental surrender to Democrats and other tribal advocates. Boehner's document begins with a list of bromides the House GOP leadership uses in an attempt to pull the wool over conservative's eyes: "zero tolerance," "visa tracking," "employment verification" and I think an end to chain migration, but the "Principles" are so vague on that point it's hard to tell.
I guess we will have to await clarification from the monkey's version of the document.
But the linchpin of the "principles" is the statement: "There will be no special path to citizenship for individuals who broke our nation's immigration laws – that would be unfair to those immigrants who have played by the rules and harmful to promoting the rule of law."
Instead Boehner unveils a grand public relations coup: Republicans propose to let illegals stay in the U.S. as Untermenschen. Whoops, sorry, I mean as legal residents but not citizens. They must pass background checks, pay "back taxes," speak English (unless stopped by a policeman), give up any and all "rights" to welfare and be able to read the Constitution in Chinese. (No wait, that's only if they want to vote in Alabama.)
This is like a land owner telling a trespasser who's been on squatting in the house for years that he and his family can stay in the house he doesn't own, but you won't give him a clear title.
As they say in The Game of Thrones: You know nothing John Boehner.
After decades of being media whipping boys, elected Republicans not only don't know how to advance an argument, they don't even know how to avoid a public relations disaster.
Boehner — not the monkeys — will have recreated Exodus with Hispanics in the role of the Israelites. And just like the Jews trapped in Egypt, they can work all they want and the generous GOP will even give them straw for the bricks, but they will never have the vote or the dole.
And God help us, Chuck Schumer gets to be Moses.
As soon as the ink is dry on their 2nd class citizen documents, the formerly illegal are going to be demonstrating against Republican Apartheid. It's going to be the story of the decade for the Mainstream Media and John Boehner gave it to them on a platter.
Every Election Day the 2nd classers will be demonstrating outside Republican polling places, yelling and brandishing signs for concerned network correspondents.
Queremos que el voto y lo queremos ahora! (We want the vote and we want it now!)
Estoy soñando con el voto (I'm dreaming of the vote)
Segunda clase es la ciudadanía apartheid (2nd class citizenship is apartheid)
Dicen a la familia a venir del Norte (Tell the family to come North)
Then there are the human tragedy stories that bring home the cost of Republican heartlessness courtesy of NPR. The grownup anchor babies who have to tell madre y padre they can't go to the polls today and vote like they did in Venezuela under Chavez, because John Boehner says they're less than citizens.
And don't forget the groundskeeper who lost a foot to a runaway weed beater while working on some one percenter's estate. He and his family are living in a Kelvinator box under a bridge abutment because he can't work and he can't collect U.S. disability checks thanks to Ebenezer Boehner. With tears in his eyes, Piers Morgan will tell viewers, "He was good enough to mow the lawn, but he's not good enough to cash a disability check."
That's the kind of publicity that will have younger citizens leaving their Chipotle burritos uneaten as they run to the nearest party headquarters so they can register to vote Republican and grind the brown man down.
My prediction is six months max and Boehner will be throwing himself on Nelson Mandela's grave and begging Obama to sign his Full Amnesty with Added Reparations bill.
Why endure the agony of an incremental amnesty? You can't be half pregnant and you can't pass a half citizenship bill. Boehner needs to either surrender now and line up a nice lobby job or finally start listening to his own disenfranchised conservative base.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of the forthcoming book: "Funny Conservative" Is Not an Oxymoron. (Or any other type of moron).