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August 28, 2014 9:39 AM 30 Days Til the Apocalypse?

By Ed Kilgore

Buried in a Tumulty/Costa overview of the politics of executive action on immigration policy is this intriguing nugget:

The White House also is feeling pressure from Hispanic groups and other advocates of immigration liberalization, who are weary of being told that they must be patient. On Wednesday, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) met with more than two dozen like-minded activists in the office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was Obama’s first White House chief of staff.
“We’re preparing and want to make sure it happens,” Gutierrez said. “I’m more optimistic than ever that the president will be broad and generous with his decision.”
He said Obama “is going to determine his legacy with the immigrant community in the next 30 days.”

“30 days,” eh? It would be very interesting to know if Gutierrez chose that time frame as a suggestion, or as a reflection of reliable information he’s received. If the former is the case, It’s also not clear if he’s demanding a decision be made or announced within 30 days.

You certainly don’t get the sense from Tumulty and Costa that the White House is engaged in any hand-wringing on the subject. Yes, red-state Democratic Senate candidates have for the most part pre-distanced themselves from executive action. But more generally, it’s Republicans who seem to be freaking out:

Some see the potential for an almost Machiavellian turn of events.
“A cynic would say this is a trap carefully laid by the White House,” said Vin Weber, a well-connected Republican former congressman from Minnesota.
David Winston, a longtime pollster for House Republicans, said: “By doing something like this, the president would incite some Republican members, hoping to change the story line. But whether it changes the story depends on the discipline of the Republican side to make sure that disagreements that exist within the conference do not overwhelm what the conference is trying to achieve overall.”

Good thing John Boehner and his sidekick Eric Cantor have such an impeccable record of keeping House Republicans in line. Oh, wait.

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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