Political Animal


May 17, 2013 2:35 PM Under-Rehearsed Flash Mob

By Ed Kilgore

So a day after reports that it was stalemated, the House “Gang of Eight” working on immigration reform legislation announced an agreement today—or rather announced an agreement had been reached, since no details were released. It seems, according to various sources, that the solons are going to head to committee with an understanding that competing versions of the provisions on guest workers and health coverage for the newly legalized will battle for votes.

In other words, you can call this an agreement or a “deal,” but to the extent that it contains agreements-to-disagree on hot-button topics (and they pretty much all are, given the highly inter-related intra- and trans-partisan politics of this subject), it’s mainly an effort to “move the process along” at a point when real agreement is impossible and the clock is ticking.

All in all, it’s a hamburger job rather than a breakthrough, and the Gang is looking more like an under-rehearsed flash mob. But it’s better than nothing.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


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