So I was reading this over at Power Line:
Whenever President Bush talked about immigration, his approval ratings went down. It was like clockwork: liberals never understood that the fatal decline in Bush’s popularity during his second term had at least as much to do with his advocacy of “comprehensive immigration reform” as with war-weariness. Now President Obama has entered the lists, urging Congress to take up immigration. One can only wonder what Congressional Democrats make of this. Maybe they figure their own approval ratings can’t possibly get any lower. But Obama’s can, and they will if he keeps talking about immigration.
Yes Bush’s approval rating went down when he talked about immigration, but why? Well let’s think about it for a minute.
From the start of the Iraq War on, Bush’s approval rating was dropping. Most of that was coming from a loss of support amongst Democrats. In 2007, when Bush finally took up immigration, his approval rating was already in the low 30’s. His support amongst Democrats was down to single digits. Once Bush’s immigration plan came out his approval rating dipped into the 20’s, but his approval rating amongst Democrats stayed the same.
So while what John stated has some truth, the potential outcome he proposes is totally false. President Obama already has a dismal approval rating amongst the right, but if he pushes comprehensive immigration reform, he would see a boost from the left, increasing his approval rating.
One of the things the right has constantly done is tried to claim ownership of the phrase “immigration reform”. When they see polls reporting 60% wanting immigration reform, the right instantly believes that means they want THEIR immigration reform. But let’s look at a poll from last year:
A vast majority support either guest workers or a path to citizenship. These are things the right has been against since the days when Bush started pushing immigration reform. As matter of fact, these are the things that Bush pushed and the right turned on him for.
So if 2/3rds of the nation basically approves the kind of immigration reform President Obama want to see, how can we consider that a loss for him? Simple – we can’t.
Taking on immigration reform right now will be a big win for Democrats this fall. The reason isn’t simply because it would win support of the ever growing Latino block, but because the outrage the right is certain to show will carry over into the elections and people will be given a loud reminder that the Republican Party is the party of whites only. So start laying out the plan President Obama and let the Republicans shoot themselves in the electoral foot.