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Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has given us a preview of what his alibi will be if he can’t lead his caucus through the complicated dance it will take to pass substantive immigration reform:

There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.

The Speaker’s problem is that he knows this excuse will work perfectly in 2014, when Republicans in districts built for them face voters whiter, older and more conservative than those who elect the president of the United States. But what works in off-year elections — cutting off unemployment insurance, trimming food stamps, smothering immigration reform — is what kills the GOP in the elections that matter most.

MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin predicted how this excuse will fly:

On a more basic level, a group made up predominantly of white males is letting its distrust of the first black president stop them from any outreach to minority voters — if you take what Boehner is saying at face value. That should be reassuring to non-white voters.

Our Henry Decker points out that immigration reform is just one of the myriad reasons Latinos hate the GOP. However, it is the key issue for many in the Hispanic media and activist community.

Just ask the Walter Cronkite of the genre:

President Obama has pushed for reform, a bill passed the Senate and the president is willing to work with the House on a watered-down version of that bill.

Boehner refused to substantiate why he can’t trust the president. But he’s clearly referencing the executive action Obama took to prevent the deportation of law-abiding immigrants brought to this country as children, which is wildly popular in the activist community. In fact, the community is demanding the president stop all deportations as his administration surpasses in six years the total number the Bush administration exacted in eight.

If reform dies, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where the president doesn’t at least tamp down deportations, as his effort to “secure the border” as an argument for reform fails to persuade the GOP.

And when that order comes, likely in the middle of the 2016 GOP presidential primary, it will tear the party apart.

Don’t believe me? Ask GOP some strategists.

“It’s hard to predict the future with great exactitude, but I will tell you this:  If we don’t pass immigration reform this year, we will not win the White House back in 2016, 2020 or 2024,” wrote John Feehery, who spent more than a decade working with GOP leaders on Capitol Hill.

Republicans have been dreaming of a new Ronald Reagan for decades, and they would need New Ronnie desperately in 2016.

Commentary‘s Peter Wehner explains:

If minorities reach 30 percent of the vote next time, and the 2016 Democratic nominee again attracts support from roughly 80 percent of them, he or she would need to capture only 37 percent of whites to win a majority of the popular vote. In that scenario, to win a national majority, the GOP would need almost 63 percent of whites. Since 1976, the only Republican who has reached even 60 percent among whites was Reagan (with his 64 percent in 1984). Since Reagan’s peak, the Democratic share of the white vote has varied only between 39 percent (Obama in 2012 and Clinton in the three-way election of 1992), and 43 percent (Obama in 2008 and Clinton in 1996).

Mitt Romney did extraordinarily well with the white vote, winning it by 59 percent, the fourth highest for a Republican ever recorded. But he still lost by 5 million votes.

A new CNN/ORC poll shows 54 percent of all Americans say citizenship should be the priority in reform — a reverse of public opinion in 2011. Romney never even entertained citizenship in his campaign, vowing to veto the DREAM Act for immigrants brought here as kids.

The GOP has moved to the left of its last nominee, as it currently considers some sort of legalization. And though the next Republican nominee will not choose to run on self-deportation, as Romney did, he or she could end up running a campaign vowing to resume actual deportations.

Demography is not destiny, Jamelle Bouie argues in a great essay for Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. But demography combined with policy and politics does hint at fate.

Tea Partiers like Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have recently joined progressives seeking sentencing reform for drug crimes, which is a new angle of reaching out to minorities, who disproportionately serve punitive amounts of prison time for non-violent crimes. But will this effort be heard over the din of immigration reform and Republicans pushing for new voting restrictions that have been proven to target minorities?

“We can’t have a conversation with Hispanics and Asians and Africans and Australians until we fix our broken immigration system,” Feehery said.

And if you’re delaying conversation with a terrible excuse, you’d better rethink what you’re saying.

AFP Photo/Jim Watson

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on CNN Sunday morning with Jake Tapper on his State of the Union show. In part because Democratic reps, like Republican reps, going on Sunday shows is about this coming election, and in part because newscasters are not particularly deep or creative when it comes to talking about politics, Tapper decided to spend a lot of time trying to get Ocasio-Cortez to attack Joe Biden for their differences of political opinions. Newsflash: Ocasio-Cortez, progressive hero, co-author of the ambitious Green New Deal environmental package, and Vice President Joe Biden aren't exactly on the same page as to how to handle climate change.

More to the point, Tapper asked Ocasio-Cortez whether or not she was bothered by the fact that Biden has not said he would outright ban fracking. The move to ban fracking in states across the country has been a seesaw battle of fossil fuel interests fighting against progressive environmentalism and science. Biden's refusal to provide full-throated support for a ban on fracking is disappointing to many of us on the left, but it isn't surprising. Even more importantly, it is below the most essential first step the progressive movement—and the country for that matter—needs to take: getting rid of Donald Trump and getting rid of the Republican majority in the Senate.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez isn't going to be pulled into a pointless argument about fracking with Jake Tapper. Her position is well-reported. So is Biden's. AOC explains very clearly that this is how politics work in a representative democracy.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: It does not bother me. I believe, and I have a very strong position on fracking. You know, the science is very clear, the methane emissions from fracking are up to 64 times more powerful than CO2 emissions and trapping heat in the air, and just from a perspective of stopping climate change there is a scientific consensus. However, that is my view. Vice President Biden has made very clear that he does not agree with the fracking ban and I consider that, you know—it will be a privilege to lobby him should we win the White House but we need to focus on winning the White House first. I am happy to make my case but I also understand he is in disagreement on that issue.

Tapper wonders whether this will depress the youth vote, a vote that AOC represents more closely than Biden. This, of course, is literally the only reason Trump and his surrogates have been bringing up this difference of positions the last couple of weeks. The hope is that it will depress the more progressive vote, while spooking some more conservative-leaning folks in fossil-fuel heavy states like Pennsylvania and Texas. Ocasio-Cortez points out that the youth vote over the past couple of years has not simply become more sophisticated since 2016, it has brought in more progressive candidates and officials into local elections. The turnout in 2018 showed that, and Ocasio-Cortez believes that this election is very clearly a choice between Donald Trump, someone who is a non-starter of a human being, and Joe Biden.

Tapper then plays a clip of Biden telling reporters that he isn't "getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time," but that he's talking about getting rid of the subsidies the fake free-marketeers enjoy in the fossil fuel industry. While Tapper is hoping that this will illustrate how Biden isn't AOC and the youth vote may be turned off by this statement, she sees it as an important step in the right direction.

REP. OCASIO-CORTEZ: When he says we are eliminating subsidies, I think that is, frankly, an important first step. A lot of folks who like to tout themselves as free market capitalists, while still trying to make sure they get as much government subsidy, and propping up of the fossil fuel industry as possible. ... If you do believe in markets, solar and renewable energies are growing less and less expensive by the day in many areas. They are starting to become less expensive than fossil fuels. When you eliminate government subsidies, it becomes more difficult for fossil fuels to compete in the market. I think while the vice president wants to make sure that he is not doing it by government mandate or regulation. I do believe that we are moving towards that future. I believe that there's a way and that we should push that process along but again, the vice president and my disagreements are, I believe, recorded and that is quite all right.