In response to his party’s caucus shrinking to its lowest number in over 80 year, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY, outgoing Congressional Campaign Chair) revealed a tone-deafness that, if shared by the rest of his caucus, could lead to even further shrinking.
Israel parroted the usual line we hear on the left these days – that the winning Republicans should “come into the middle” and work with Democrats (NRO – The Corner), never mind that if voters had wanted Congress to be more amenable to Democrats’ wishes, they would have elected more actual Democrats.
Where Israel really goes off the rails is his insistence that the lame-duck Congress short-circuit the election (which at least in Louisiana is still ongoing) on “immigration reform” (same link):
Israel brought up corporate tax changes and, pointedly, immigration reform as issues on which the two parties can compromise.
“There really shouldn’t be any paralysis on this,” he said, noting that a Senate immigration bill has passed. “Let’s just pass it in the House,” he urged.
Let’s unpack this ass-hattery slowly.
First of all, there are good reasons why someone on either side of the argument on illegal immigration would have serious problems with the Senate’s immigration bill, chief among them the horrendous economic assumptions that “justify” it. More to the point, a lame-duck session of Congress passing that bill would be a complete insult to the voters.
Lest we forget, John Boehner’s refusal to bring up the Senate immigration bill for a vote was one of the chief complaints thrown at him by the president, Senate Democrats, and just about everyone to the left of center in America. They hoped voters would send Boehner a message. Instead, voters sent him reinforcements.
Mitch McConnell was one of the 32 Senators who opposed the bill. Voters sent him reinforcements, too – eight so far, with perhaps one more coming in Louisiana.
Finally, of the 68 Senators who voted in favor of S.744, 5 Democrats lost their seats to Republicans (with one more, Mary Landrieu, likely to suffer the same fate), 4 have retired (3 of them Democrats to be replaced by Republicans), and one – Marco Rubio – has repudiated his vote. Even assuming no one else would vote differently (highly unlikely, especially given that McConnell will be more accommodating of amendments as Majority Leader), the bill could easily fail a cloture vote in the 2015 Senate. Whatever the voters of 2014 wanted, it sure wasn’t the Senate’s immigration bill.
Then again, Israel is trying to close his eyes to the voters anyway (same link again):
“In this election, one-third of voters chose a Democrat or Republican,” Israel said. “The other two-thirds just want us to get things done.”
Um…with all due respect, Steve, you don’t know what the other two-thirds want because they didn’t bother to vote.
If Israel (and the president) are any indication, the Democrats have decided that the non-voter is their perfect blank slate, upon which they can force any assumption and in whose they can put whatever words they like. That is a surefire recipe for a Republican president the next time actual voters get their say.
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal