Now that healthcare reform has passed, there’s been chatter about a possible amnesty encore. Some speculate that “immigration reform could KO health care.” On the surface, that seems to make sense – the public hates ObamaCare and everything the Democrats did to pass it, and given how much they hated amnesty when President Bush pushed it, trying again could backfire spectacularly on the Democrats.
However, it could also end up killing all the momentum and goodwill the GOP’s built up with the public over health care. The GOP will have enough trouble maintaining momentum on healthcare going into 2010 and keeping it all the way to 2012, and unlike healthcare, a fair number of prominent Republicans can be expected to defect to the Left on immigration, casting fresh doubts in voters’ minds as to their judgment, responsibility, values, and trustworthiness.
RNC Chair Michael Steele needs to get in front of this as soon as possible by committing to support only anti-amnesty candidates and opposing any pro-amnesty ones. If the GOP is to regain the public’s trust, it has to make it crystal clear that its defectors – even leaders such as McCain, Kyl, Graham, and McConnell, are just that: defectors.