February 7, 2024

Cynical Border Games

Biden wants a compromise to fail so he can blame Republicans for his illegal immigration crisis.

The only reason Democrats worked on a compromise border bill is to poison it and then hang its failure — and thus the entire immigration crisis — around Republicans’ necks in an election year.

Joe Biden said as much Tuesday: “I’m calling on Congress to pass this bill and get it to my desk immediately. But if the bill fails, I want to be absolutely clear about something: The American people are going to know why it failed.”

If that wasn’t clear enough, he explained his reelection strategy:

I’ll be taking this issue to the country, and the voters are going to know that it’s not just a moment — just at the moment we were going to secure the border and fund these other programs, Trump and the MAGA Republicans said no because they’re afraid of Donald Trump — afraid of Donald Trump.

Every day between now and November, the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends.

Biden then flat-out lied, saying, “If the bill were law today, it would qualify to be shut down right now.”

Our Douglas Andrews thoroughly analyzed the awful “border” bill yesterday, so we won’t rehash that here.

Suffice it to say that Republicans could have won this battle if, rather than providing legislative cover for a derelict president, they’d stuck to this simple truth: Biden has the authority to shut the border right now.

It is against the law to cross the border illegally. By law, such crossers must be deported, not “encountered” and released into the U.S. with a court date at some distant future date. Ending catch-and-release alone would staunch the flow instead of inviting already more than one million encounters since October.

Further giving away the game, Biden said that “we still need a path for — of documentation for those who are already here” and “a pathway to citizenship for young DREAMers.” He’s just a compassionate guy, you see, unlike those mean Republicans who want to deport lawbreakers poor, innocent people of color.

The Democrats’ strategy is to make Republicans look bad, but why is that also the Republicans’ strategy?

Also on Tuesday, the GOP-controlled House failed to advance impeachment articles against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was charged with “Willful and Systemic Refusal to Comply With the Law” and “Breach of the Public Trust.” Republicans these days are about as unified as a herd of cats, and all it took was four of them to break ranks for impeachment to fail, 214-216. Ken Buck (CO), Mike Gallagher (WI), Tom McClintock (CA), and Blake Moore (UT) all voted against it, though Moore did so for procedural reasons so the measure could be reconsidered in the future. Many conservatives were quick to declare the four “RINOs” and toss them out of the party.

However, Gallagher took to the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal to argue his case, and he’s got a point. “Ousting a cabinet secretary for ‘maladministration’ would have opened Pandora’s box,” he said. “The real problem is Biden.”

We’ve made the same argument about impeaching Mayorkas for Biden’s sins. Gallagher expands that critical observation: “The person chiefly responsible for the chaos and devastation that has unfolded at the border is Mr. Biden, not Mr. Mayorkas. If Mr. Mayorkas were removed, his replacement would also implement Mr. Biden’s disastrous border policies. If anything, impeaching Mr. Mayorkas would absolve Mr. Biden of blame for his own policies.”

In a way, Gallagher’s statement points to some cynical politics at play here. Most House Republicans can tell their constituents they voted to impeach Mayorkas for his dereliction of duty, but the sellout RINOs foiled their valiant efforts. Yet party leaders likely recognized exactly what Gallagher said and allowed the vote to fail for that reason, using just enough safe-seat defectors to accomplish the failure. News reports indicate this was a “surprising” turn of events for Republicans, but we’re not so sure.

Mayorkas is a disgrace to the Rule of Law, and it’s at least politically arguable that his enabling of a foreign invasion is treasonous. But he’s just the lackey for Joe Biden — or, more accurately, the power players controlling the dementia-addled president — and the Senate wouldn’t remove him in any case.

The frustrating fact for Republicans is that they barely control one-half of Congress, and that’s not enough to enact real policy change, regardless of the policy. Meanwhile, Democrats generally favored border security as recently as a decade ago, but today’s party has moved so far to the radical left on a host of issues that Biden is intentionally overseeing a crisis so he can blame the GOP and appear to be the compassionate and sane one.

Republicans should skip the legislative and impeachment shenanigans and take every opportunity to remind the American people that Biden could close the border today if he wanted to. That he refuses to do so is among the myriad reasons to oust him come November.

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