Newt Gingrich, Obama in El Paso, the DREAM Act: Yawn!

Published on May 16th, 2011

This week Capitol Hill registered complete indifference to what could have been, under different circumstances, major political events. Generating one big yawn after another, the three are Newt Gingrich’s announcement that he is officially a 2012 presidential candidate, President Barack Obama’s El Paso (more) immigration speech and Senator Richard Durbin’s re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-introduction of the DREAM Act. If you’re counting, the DREAM Act is now in its thirteenth version since it first dropped in 2001. California U.S. Representative Howard Berman also introduced a companion bill in the  House. CAPS’ legislative alert outlined the latest DREAM Act amnesty details. Analyzing the events in order, Gingrich has long been expected to throw his hat into the ring although no one is clear why. Among his other flaws, the former House speaker has a miserable immigration record. More generally, there’s no groundswell of enthusiasm for another overly familiar face like Gingrich’s. The only thing new about Gingrich since he left office is that he has become more outspoken in his unabashed advocacy for unlimited immigration. Recently, Gingrich launched a bilingual website, The Americano, where many of his op-eds appear. Obama’s speech sparked such little interest that even his staunch ally, the Washington Post, didn’t feature it on its front page. Universally described as short on details but long on campaign rhetoric, analysts dismissed the president’s address as one more unsubtle Obama effort to generate enthusiasm with his Hispanic base, endlessly rumored to be disappointed with his failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform. As for the DREAM Act, Capitol Hill ignored a bill that has no chance–repeat, no chance–to pass. According to Durbin, he has 31 co-sponsors lined up. But Durbin has little chance to add more. Politicians, especially those poised for re-election, don’t like to be associated with unpopular losing bills. Nevertheless, Durbin, whose seat is secure, presses on. “We’re not giving up,” Durbin told supporters at an event organized by Campus Progress. “This is not the end of the fight, it’s just the beginning.” Even on college campuses, the mood is somber. Abel Valenzuela, professor and chair of the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies said: “It’s important to have the vote so that the debate stays front and center.” Valenzuela added: “Bringing the DREAM Act back again, it’s really part of our legislative process.” The brutal truth is different. Congress needs Republicans if it expects to pass the DREAM Act. But The closer to November 2012 Republican incumbents get, the faster and further they will run from any association with the a well known loser like DREAM Act.

You are donating to :

How much would you like to donate?
$10 $20 $30
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note