Immigration activists and Eric Cantor agree on something: He’s responsible for blocking comprehensive immigration reform in the House.
The majority leader, who faces tea-party activist and Randolph-Macon College professor David Brat in a June 10 Virginia primary, has been beating back claims by his opponent that say he’s soft on issues ranging from Obamacare to immigration. Last week, Cantor’s campaign sent out a mailer, which declares Cantor is “stopping the Obama-Reid plan to give illegal aliens amnesty.”
It’s the sort of harsh rhetoric that appears to be at odds, at least in tone, with Cantor’s recent statements on immigration. Just as Cantor’s campaign was sending tens of thousands of these mailers in his Virginia district, he was clarifying to multiple outlets that he supports the policy of a bill that would grant legal status to undocumented immigrants who enlist in the military.
House Republican leadership prevented that bill, called the Enlist Act, from reaching the House floor as part of the debate on a must-pass defense bill. The National Defense Authorization Act “is not the appropriate place for this, but I support the principle,” Cantor said.
Cantor’s campaign insists that there is no inconsistency with his position on immigration reform and the mailer that decries granting “six million illegal aliens citizenship.” The mailer utilizes language that national Republicans have been trying to shy away from, namely referring to undocumented immigrants as “illegal aliens.” (It also calls the Senate bill, which passed with the help of 14 Republicans, the “Reid-Obama” plan.)
“In the real world, we all know that the system is broken and what Eric has said is he is not for these blanket amnesty plans,” said Cantor campaign spokesman Ray Allen. “He has also said we should be able to reach a consensus on some of these other issues: border security, e-Verify, and what we do about children. That’s called leadership.”
But supporting the principle of the Enlist Act while also blocking it isn’t enough for immigration advocates, who have been targeting Cantor as a main obstacle to comprehensive reform.
Over Memorial Day weekend, immigration activists stormed his D.C.-area condo, where they chanted about “the one man blocking immigration reform.” And on Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a pro-reform leader in the House, spoke at the Virginia Capitol in Richmond about Cantor’s role in blocking reform.
Do such attacks from the left help highlight the position Cantor’s campaign is trying to make? Allen wouldn’t comment on that, but he did say, “At least they have a legitimate beef because Eric has stopped comprehensive reform, and he is standing against the immigration [bill], so the criticism from the left makes a certain amount of sense.”
House Republican leadership has insisted the House will take a “step-by-step” approach to reform, but haven’t committed to a timetable. They also emphasize that the main obstacle to reform is the lack of trust Republicans have in the Obama administration to enforce new immigration laws.
Still, Brat’s attacks on Cantor’s immigration record were enough to spur his campaign to clarify the record, as they put it. Meanwhile, it’s that same record that has reform advocates so upset.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”