""Some say Bush could find quick common ground on immigration reform with a new Democratic House majority."
(An appropriate title for the amnesty-plus-indentured-servant bill that Bush and Pelosi might concoct together would be the George W. Bush Memorial Vengeance Upon America Act of 2007.)
If President Bush does advocate a joint venture on immigration with Speaker Pelosi, you can expect countless approving editorials in the mainstream media congratulating the President on his newfound bipartisanship.
If I were Pelosi, though, I'm not sure I'd accept an offer to work together on opening the borders further from this lamest of lame ducks.
Sure, letting in tens of millions more unskilled workers would benefit the Democratic Party greatly over the next generation. She would also be taking the risk of being a one-term Speaker. Just as Hillary Clinton cost the Democrats control of the House in November 1994 by trying and failing to pass massive health care legislation in 1993-94, Pelosi could wreck her Speakership if she tries to push through a vast immigration bill for which this election produced zero mandate.
It would so much safer for her just to raise the minimum wage and investigate the Bush Administration.
From our point of view, the risk of Congress wrecking the country with a disastrous immigration bill is now greater than ever.
Yet so is the possibility of a new President and a new Congress taking substantive steps to save the country in 2009.
The situation resembles the end game of World War I. As long as the Germans stayed hunkered down in their trenches, they looked like they couldn't be defeated. But when Gen. Ludendorff launched a vast offensive in March of 1918, the odds of a historic decision — whether victory or defeat — shot upwards. The Germans almost took Paris that spring, but when they were stopped short, they had, in effect, lost the war, which they formally admitted by November.
If the Democrats try to open the borders, they may succeed. But if they are beaten back, genuine patriotic immigration reform would likely follow.
It will be a difficult year, but hope remains.