* John Boehner was clearly joking here, but this is still a revealing moment:
House Speaker John Boehner criticized his GOP colleagues at an event in his district on Thursday for resisting immigration reform, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
“Here’s the attitude. ‘Ohhhh. Don’t make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard,’” Boehner told the Middletown Rotary Club, mimicking some House Republicans, according to the Enquirer. “We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to…. They’ll take the path of least resistance.”
It’s good to see more signs that Boehner wants to get this done. But come on — he is the House Speaker! The question of whether House Republicans take on this challenge — and there’s no denying that embracing some form of legalization is a tough bridge to cross for some Republicans — is, you know, up to him. – gs
* Nora Caplan-Bricker has a good look at where Republicans in Congress really are on immigration reform. When they talk about President Obama being weak on enforcement, it’s a good indication they aren’t too inclined to move reform forward.
* Sarah Posner reports that states across the South are pushing “religious liberty” laws that would allow students in public schools to do things like put up banners proclaiming their love for Jesus. As long as it’s Jesus, though! Some student goes praising Allah, and they might start looking on “liberty” a little differently.
* Jonathan Bernstein offers some sage words on the long term political effects of the ACA:
Eventually, Obamacare will stop firing up Republican voters, and hating the measure will become just a niche product in the conservative marketplace, and not the entire Republican platform. Although that transition to health care as a normal issue will be tricky for some Republican politicians, it doesn’t mean the ACA is an electoral plus for Democrats. It just means the underlying issue of health care is good for them.
* The headline of the day, on Cliven Bundy’s outburst, courtesy of Ed Kilgore: “Racist Liberal Media Invent More White Racism.”
Bundy’s central point – that black poverty is less a legacy of two hundred years of slavery and institutionalized racism than the welfare state – is a notion conservative speakers have espoused and conservative audiences have applauded for years.
* Nobody was more responsible for Cliven Bundy’s rise to fame than Fox News’ Sean Hannity. This morning, Eric Wemple asked whether Hannity would keep hyping Bundy. By this afternoon, we got an answer. On his radio show, Hannity said Bundy’s comments “are beyond repugnant to me. They are beyond despicable to me. They are beyond ignorant to me.” No more guest spots for you, Cliven.
* That photo of Barack Obama and Mark Udall looking sad together is apparently so great, Republicans haven’t been able to help themselves from using it on other occasions to make fun of Udall, even if it was taken just after they met with families of victims of the Aurora shooting.
* Alison Lundergan Grimes slams Mitch McConnell for saying it isn’t his job to bring jobs to Kentucky. It’s another sign Grimes hopes to ground her candidacy very much in Kentucky, and make it all about jobs, jobs, jobs.
* McConnell says his quote got garbled, but it’s getting some pickup in the local press. — gs
* The FCC is going to write new rules that will, for all intents and purposes, kill “net neutrality,” the principle that all internet traffic should be treated the same by service providers. So get ready for the big shots (Netflix, YouTube) who can pay up to the likes of Comcast to keep being delivered at reasonable speeds, while sites that don’t have the money get relegated to a slow lane. Should work out great.
* And any congressional candidate can fire a gun in his ad. But here’s one who fires a cannon, then offers this: “As the only licensed firearms dealing in America running for Congress,” he’s willing to take up arms against the government. “But it’s a whole lot easier just to vote in new House Republican leaders who will simply stand up to Obama and defend our Constitution.”
Elect a new Speaker, or civil war. One or the other, voters. It’s up to you.