I have heard conservative commentators theorize that the Dem strategy has been:
The Senate was supposed to pass the gun control legislation, then have the House shoot it down. In that way, since the Republicans control the House, the Rs could be blamed for not protecting our children ... as a campaign talking point for the 2014 elections.
The same people theorize the same with the immigration bill ... pass the Senate and blame the Rs for having the bill die in the House, and being mean to all the illegal immigrants "living in the shadows."
Gun control, however, foiled the first plan. It now looks like even some Ds in the Senate are not on board for the way the immigration bill is stacking up. If the immigration bill does not pass the Senate, then another 2014 talking point will be lost.
Or will it? Can the Ds still blame the Rs? Or can they get as much mileage out of blaming "the bitter clingers" who pressured their D Senators? (Of course, we might want to remember that "the bitter clingers" are voters as well, and entitled to have their votes count).
So, the theory is that Obama, his administration and the Ds in power, proposed this legislation as a "set-up" for the Rs ... the Ds never expected either of these bills to pass the House and become law. This might explain why the POTUS was especially irritated at the Senators who helped defeat the gun control legislation.
I'd be interested in hearing the opinions of others on the Forum on whether this was the strategy; and whether the unexpected turn of events (the Senate Ds not all following the party line), will impact the mid-term elections.
It could also mean that if the D Senators truly voted for what their constituents want (against these bills), then these Senators will be re-elected and retain control of the Senate. Had they voted against their constituency's wishes, they might have lost control of the Senate in the mid-terms. OTOH, the R House members will be less damaged by talking points, and could retain control of the House. The goal of the theorized strategy would have been to damage the House members up for re-election so that the Ds could also gain control of the House.
Politic-ing gets so convoluted, it's hard to tell who's on first! :-)
I think that all of what we hear from our politicians in Washington is what the focus groups tell our politicians what it is we want to here. In other words, every politician, D or R, will say anything at anytime, regardless of any facts, and then go find a way to fill their pockets with money.
Congress is really a study in game (or gaming) theory. "How can I force the other guy into the move that best benefits me?" is what a politician thinks before he opens his mouth.
I can agree with you, Jim. So, do you think that this furor over gun and immigration legislation is just talky stuff to sway the election?
Although I can believe that the Ds would like to get what they want on immigration because it is very likely that all those who benefit from the legislation will be D voters and keep Ds in control of govt for a long time to come. We have seen that people can easily fall into govt-provided dependency. While many of the millions of immigrants may be hard-working, many of them are also low skill levels, hence, low incomes. It is likely that they would ultimately be on the receiving end of govt programs like food stamps and Medicaid. It may take longer to wedge apart families, but we have seen that it can be done.
The movement on immigration was the result of the GOP Retreat in January that was run by Boehner. It was decided at the retreat that the GOP needed the Latino vote and caving on immigration was the way to do it. Their problem is that it took to long to get it done and GOP heard from it's money that it better not pass it. So here we sit.
On gun control, even when Sandy Hook occurred, most of the pundits that I listen to said that there was really no way to get a gun control law through Congress. So all this talk about it is truly gamesmanship on the part of our politicians. In my opinion the elections are really too far in the future to be affected by today's talk. Most people vote over how they feel during the last six months leading up to an election so this won't even affect the midterm elections next year.