“Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is running a campaign-style press operation to push an immigration overhaul, a fitting move for a politician who needs it to bolster a rumored 2016 presidential bid,” Roll Call reports this morning. “Rubio’s Senate office has adopted a rapid-response strategy similar to Obama for America’s vaunted 2012 tactics,” Roll Call continues.
Unfortunately, tactics are not the only thing Rubio is borrowing from the Obama campaign.
The liberal news site Talking Points Memo reports that not only is Rubio trying to persuade wayward Republicans to support amnesty, but he is also trying to “kneecap the other side” by painting them as “extremists.” “One of immigration reform’s biggest advantages politically is that it draws financial and grassroots support from a wide array of business and activist causes, while there are few interests outside of the populist right bankrolling opposition to a bill. But just to be safe, conservatives are organizing a widespread campaign to discredit anti-immigration groups,” TPM reports.
The wider conservative movement is taking note of Rubio’s talking points and tactics. National Review‘s Victor Davis Hanson writes:
The strange thing about the Republican members in the Gang of Eight debate is that to ram through immigration legislation, they and their supporters are beginning to adopt the same sort of tactics that we have seen used by the Left during the fights over Obamacare and gun control: obfuscate the issue by imprecise vocabulary and ahistorical allusions; demonize your opponents with all sorts of crazy accusations of quasi-tolerance of “slavery” to abortion; create a false sort of urgency (we are supposed to pass this very minute the huge and mostly unread immigration bill in the manner of the huge and unread Obamacare bill); and speak loftily of principles and humanitarianism when the issue is mostly driven by electoral politics and demography.
And Red State‘s Erick Erickson adds:
The damage Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Bush staffers did in 2005-2006 has not been undone. They called many Republicans bigots and racists who were not, but who stood in the way of their comprehensive approach to immigration. That created a great deal of distrust and animosity on this issue. Instead of trying to understand the legitimate concerns of those who opposed their plan, they tarred and feathered them all. Without ever trying to heal those wounds, those behind this latest push are tearing open new wounds.
So far, Rubio seems dead set on repeating the exact same mistakes President Reagan made on immigration policy, and President Bush made on tactics. He appears to have learned nothing from history. Hopefully Republicans are not doomed to repeat it.
From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Obama’s crony capitalism posts more pitiful results
Charlie Spiering: Ted Cruz warns that a pathway to citizenship jeopardizes passage of any immigration reform bill.
Sean Higgins: Support for gun control bill falls below 50%
Tim Carney: How environmental policy hurts the environment
Conn Carroll: Marco Rubio’s leftist talking points on immigration and slavery
Phil Klein: Instead of taxing the Internet, brick and mortar retailers should get creative
In Other News
The Washington Post, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev charged with using weapon of mass destruction: Federal prosecutors announced terrorism charges against the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday, outlining a chilling plot in which the man and his brother allegedly used low-grade but deadly explosives timed to detonate a block apart.
Politico, Immigration reform could be bonanza for Democrats: The immigration proposal pending in Congress would transform the nation’s political landscape for a generation or more — pumping as many as 11 million new Hispanic voters into the electorate a decade from now in ways that, if current trends hold, would produce an electoral bonanza for Democrats and cripple Republican prospects in many states they now win easily.
The Wall Street Journal, Pet Projects Sprinkled in Immigration Bill: Buried within the 844 pages of the bipartisan immigration bill — amid historic shifts in policies such as a path to citizenship for 11 million unauthorized immigrants — are pet provisions of the senators who crafted it.
The Los Angeles Times, EPA criticizes environmental review of Keystone XL pipeline: The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday criticized the State Department’s environmental impact review of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying there was not enough evidence to back up key conclusions on gas emissions, safety and alternative routes.
Politico, President Obama’s budget would hit middle class: President Obama’s annual budget is doing more to target middle-class taxpayers than any of his previous proposals, calling for caps on deductions, changes in the way some tax benefits are calculated and a big hike in cigarette taxes — all proposals that would make middle-class Americans pay more.
The Associated Press, Energy Department seizes $21M from troubled electric car maker Fisker: The Obama administration says it has seized $21 million from troubled automaker Fisker Automotive Inc., just weeks after the company laid off three-fourths of its workers amid continuing financial and production problems.
The Wall Street Journal, Rand Paul Tries to Transform a Moment Into a Movement: Sen. Rand Paul is using his newfound influence to build his political profile.
McClatcy Newspapers, Obama push against gun rights senators could backfire: Obama’s effort to pressure senators to back gun control could very well cost several Democrats their Senate seats. Promoting gun control in conservative states could mobilize gun rights supporters. And blasting Democrats who back gun rights could sour liberals on those senators, keeping left-leaning voters home and helping elect Republicans.
The New York Times, City Plan Sets 21 as Legal Age to Buy Tobacco: The age to buy cigarettes legally would rise to 21 from 18 under a proposal that officials unveiled on Monday, a measure that would give New York the strictest limits of any major American city.
Benjy Sarlin reports on Marco Rubio’s “all-out” campaign to sell Republicans on amnesty.
The Huffington Post‘s Emily Swanson frets about a new poll showing that Americans are less concerned about the environment now than when Earth Day began.
Think Progress blames the NRA for making it hard to find out how the Tsarnaevs got their guns.
Jon Gabriel lists the 13 Worst Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970.
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint warns that taxpayers will pay for amnesty.
Katrino Trinko reports that Senate Republicans are requesting a delay in Perez nomination.
Daniel Horowitz lists five reasons Republicans should oppose amnesty.