A lot of predictions and generalization have been thrown around by liberals during the immigration fight. Let’s consider, in the wake of the 67 to 27 vote on cloture, some that were dead wrong:
1. “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wasn’t ‘all-in.'” In fact, he risked everything, even a 2016 presidential run for this.
2. “Conservatives are anti-immigration.” In fact, conservatives (including the American Enterprise Institute, Grover Norquist, the Cato Institute, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, Sen. Jeff Flake, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sean Hannity, Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer) supported the Gang of Eight’s bill. Liberals should either concede these are moderate groups and individuals or acknowledge their accusation is inaccurate. No, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) really doesn’t represent the majority of Republicans’ thinking on this issue.
3. “The GOP will never change.” In fact, immigration failed in 2007; now it is headed for an overwhelming victory in the Senate.
4. “Talk radio is the voice of the GOP.” In fact, talk radio hosts were divided, although most opposed the Gang of Eight. They were entirely unsuccessful in stopping reform in the Senate, in part because they cater to an audience that is not representative of the country or the GOP as a whole.
5. “The GOP base won’t tolerate immigration reform.” In fact, by overwhelming margins Republican voters told pollsters that under circumstances like those spelled out in the Gang of Eight plan they would support immigration reform.
6. “The Senate is broken.” In fact, it works fine as long as President Obama stays away.
Immigration reform skeptics also got plenty wrong.
1. “Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will sabotage the deal.” In fact, after plenty of fussing, he held his colleagues in line.
2. “President Obama will wreck the bill.” In fact, he’s generally kept his mouth shut, allowing the bill to get as far as it has.
3. “Conservative anti-immigration gurus rule the roost.” In fact, the Heritage Foundation crashed and burned over its widely panned report and virtually every other noteworthy think tank on the right put out studies, presented papers and wrote op-eds making the conservative case for immigration reform.
4. “The GOP ‘establishment’ would sell out the party.” In fact, many of those Republicans considered squishy by the far right, including Sens. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.), voted no on cloture. They will have to find others to blame.