(The claim that the president and the Senate supported an immigration "amnesty" bill was always bogus, but that didn't stop some Republicans from making that canard the centerpiece of their campaigns. The three most vocal House candidates to do so - in Colorado-7, Arizona-5 and Arizona-8 - lost, 55-42, 50-46, and 54-42, respectively. Also, according to the Washington Post "about six in 10 voters said that they believe illegal immigrants working in the United States should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, a position that was supported by Bush but rejected by House Republicans who have pushed an enforcement-first approach to controlling illegal immigration. Democratic candidates won support from 61 percent of those who backed a path to citizenship, according to the [exit] poll.") Posted on May 17, 006: Too many conservatives have short memories. When the Clinton White House and the media falsely portrayed GOP efforts to slow the growth of Medicare spending as "cuts," conservatives complained bitterly. House Republicans even put out a 39-page press kit to rebut the "the lies the Democrats and their allies" were spinning on the GOP's spending proposal. Times have changed. Today, many conservatives, particularly in the House, have simply adopted the same Democratic tactic in an effort to undermine the president's immigration proposal. As the editors of the Wall Street Journal note,
[The president] also realizes that, for the illegals already here, mass deportations are impractical and would spell political suicide for the GOP. Hence, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is trying this week to garner more support for a bipartisan plan that would put these illegal workers on a path to citizenship if they pass a background check, pay fines, learn English and satisfy other requirements. This is derided in some circles as "amnesty" -- a scare tactic thrown around to end discussions -- but the 11 or 12 million illegals already here are hardly likely to come out of the shadows if they know they will be deported.
It's bad enough that Republicans have embraced Democratic spending habits. Now, some of them have incorporated the Democrats' Medicare scare tactics into their own rhetoric on immigration. No wonder we could be looking at Speaker Pelosi.
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