Is GOP Getting Some Negative Feedback On Push to Change 14th Amendment?
Is the GOP getting some negative feedback on the growing number of Republicans leaping onto the bandwagon to change the 14th amendment so that children born of illegal immigrant children aren’t automatically American citizens?
If you look at the top of a room and see a finger raised seeing which way the wind is blowing, it’s often Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s — unless it’s the finger he uses for Barack Obama. And these comments sound like an attempt to tamper down the growing calls from some in his party could get Republicans some 2010 votes but could also likely mean party will lose the support of Latino voters for many years to come:
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is playing down his party’s new scrutiny of the 14th Amendment, which among other things confers U.S. citizenship on anyone born in the United States. McConnell on Thursday portrayed calls for hearings on the amendment as simply an attempt to examine what he calls the “unseemly” business of foreigners showing up just in time to have their babies, then going back home.
“I’m not aware of anybody who’s come out for altering the 14th Amendment,” McConnell said at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. He said the push for hearings stems from a Washington Post story about foreign businesses that supply visas to expectant mothers. “This is the kind of thing that irritates Americans quite a lot,” he said. “I don’t think having hearings on an obvious unseemly business is a threat to the 14th Amendment. What’s wrong with looking into this? The Post did.”
McConnell added that “the remedy for it is not yet clear. But I am not advocating revisiting the 14th Amendment and I don’t think any others have. I think the view is, why don’t we take a look at this?”
The problem for McConnell is that if this is an attempt to finesse the issue, it won’t work.
This is the kind of issue that’s “you’re either with us or against us” for both sides. And they’ll have to take a strong stand one way or another.
Few politicians will be able to have it both ways.
But Senator John McCain tried.
McCain was once called a RINO by Republicans — but he has actually revealed himself to be more of a chameleon, changing his colors depending on the (political) season. If the 2000 version of John McCain — the one who was beloved by independents, centrists and moderates — had been asked about this he would have blasted even the idea of hearings to even consider altering the constitution.
When pressed on this issue in August 2010,The New McCain displayed more fudge than a Sees Candies counter.
Congressional hearings are always warranted when member of Congress raise the issue of amending our Constitution. Our Founding Fathers intentionally made the process of amending our Constitution extremely difficult. I believe that the Constitution is a strong, complete and carefully crafted document that has successfully governed our nation for centuries and any proposal to amend the Constitution should receive extensive and thoughtful consideration. Immediate and full implementation of the McCain-Kyl 10-Point Border Security plan will assist in addressing concerns associated with this issue.
This hedge is bigger than some of the ones you’ll find at Bill Gate’s house. It’ll require several teams of gardeners to water.
McCain was once a Profile in Courage; now he’s a profile in political expediency.
Republicans and Democrats will not be able to do the political limbo on this issue. Republicans who even press for hearings may find that they win in the mid-terms by clamoring for this by motivating the base and many citizens in borders states. But they risk effectively and definitively lose the country’s growing Hispanic vote — something George W. Bush, Karl Rove and the long, lost and greatly lamented John McCain of 2000 had tried to avoid. Any motivate-the-Republican-base comments now could come back as a boomerang and hit the GOP in the future in the form of big Latino get-out-the-vote-and-get-out-the GOP votes.
Then again, if the Republicans are now doomed not to get many Hispanic votes and to find that bloc is voting against them, from a strictly craven political standpoint it’s logical that they would want to nip this growing voting block as much as possible in the bud.
Or, rather, in the constitution.
Meanwhile, Newsweek suggests that the GOP isn’t really serious about this idea — it’s just one of those emotional wedge issues trotted out during the election.
With support for Arizona’s strict immigration law running high and anger at federal handling of the issue running just as high, it’s easy to see why politicos are willing to line up behind [Sen Lindsay] Graham. But by calling for hearings while refusing to offer their own opinions—or quietly offering their opposition to repeal while loudly proclaiming their support for hearings—McCain, McConnell, and Kyl open themselves up to charges of pandering to voters without any real intention of taking action. And if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, it’s hard to see how it isn’t a duck.
In short, this is an issue that some GOP bigwigs seem to feel they can raise and hammer the Dems with until the mid-term vote, and then it will die away.
In short, the elephant hopes voters will forget.
But they may have a problem post-Nov. 2010 with Hispanic voters, who do have memories — memories that could last a generation or two.