Chris Matthews has a lengthy debate with his panel on the decision by the Democrats and the Obama administration to push forward with immigration reform and Chris Matthews doesn't understand why the Democrats would choose to push this issue before the mid-term elections. His Matthews Meter question is "Immigration a Smart Issue for Obama This Year?" and ten of his regulars say no and two say yes.
Greg Sargent at The Plum Line gave his take on this:
The move comes amid signs that Dem leaders are moving forward more rapidly than expected with immigration reform, upending the political calculus of both parties heading into the midterms. By moving forward, Dems risk exacerbating the anger of the Tea Party brigade and alienating white swing voters, but they also energize a key portion of their base. The move also forces Republicans to choose between angering the Tea Partiers and alienating Latinos.
Obama has now pushed the Arizona issue to the front burner, perhaps forcing a more serious national conversation over it. Interesting.
Andrew Sullivan is the one person on the panel that thinks this is a good move on the part of Democrats. After what we just saw come out of Arizona with their new "show me your papers" law, I think he may be right. By moving the debate to immigration the Obama administration is going to force them to defend this over reach. I would hope that what Arizona is doing would be seen as offensive to anyone but the far right. There's nothing that's going to happen to get these teabaggers any more worked up than they are now already. The Republicans are upping the crazy and as Sullivan pointed out being their own worst enemies by siding with the extremists in their party and Obama is putting them a box with this move.
I'm waiting to see if they make the situation even worse if we get another Supreme Court nominee who is a minority and they act as badly as they did with Sotomayor before the midterm elections. The GOP cannot afford to lose every minority voter in this country but they look like they don't mind with the way they've been acting for the last year. I guess we'll find out shortly as we see how the politics play out in this debate.