It is going to be a desperate battle and the stakes are high. But judging by The Washington Postâ€™s account (President Renewing Efforts on Immigration By Jonathan Weisman Monday April 9 2007 Access requires free registration.) the other side is by no means confident:
President Bush will relaunch his push for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws â€¦with the same dynamics that scuttled his last attempt: a cooperative Senate but bipartisan opposition in the House.
(Was last yearâ€™s House opposition bipartisan? If so, the Democratic component was very discreet.)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has told the White House that she cannot pass a bill with Democratic votes alone, nor will she seek to enforce party discipline on the issue. (VDARE.com emphasis) Bush will have to produce at least 70 Republican votes before she considers a vote on comprehensive immigration legislation, a task that may be very difficult for a president saddled with low approval ratings.
The story goes on to name various freshmen Democrats who are unwilling to get out of the trenches on this issue. Some explicitly say that they were attacked by their unsuccessful opponents on the issue and are on their guard:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), a freshman who beat a hard-line immigration foe in November while backing the president's approach, says the nation still faces an "immigration crisis."
This is refreshing proof that even losing campaigns can bear fruit.
In his capacity as aide to the Democrats on immigration Rep Jeff Flake (R â€“kind of- AZ) sounds gloomy:
"Something like 90 percent of Republican ads ran on immigration. These new Dems don't want to see that again," Flake said.
Which also appears to be the journalistâ€™s opinion:
Add to all that tumult the growing animosity between Bush and congressional leaders over other issues, from Iraq to the firing of U.S. attorneys, and the prospects for the president's immigration proposals appear faint.
The leadership on the other side is fanatical about this issue. But with troops grumbling so openly at such an early stage, all is not yet lost.