Roger Simon: Obama needs a legacy, GOP needs votes
In fact, even if you don't like your President, you're going to keep him.
He's not like health insurance.
He's here until Jan. 20, 2017, with no cancellation notices going out in the mail.
And in his second term, he wants a big legacy issue, as health care was in his first term. He wants immigration reform and a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented workers in the United States.
It is now clear, however, that there is a group of Republicans in the House, the so-called kamikaze caucus, who will vote against anything that Obama wants, even if it would help Republicans, too.
Why piecemeal? Let's say House Republicans pass a law making E-Verify mandatory instead of voluntary. E-Verify is an Internet-based system used by some employers to determine whether a job applicant is in the United States legally. (It is far from flawless, producing both false positives and false negatives, but it's the best thing we've got.)
A force of 41,000 to secure a 2,000-mile strip is a big security force. (We currently are using 48,000 U.S. troops to secure all of Afghanistan, which is 252,000 square miles.)
"I'll give you a little straight talk: We don't need 20,000 additional Border Patrol agents," McCain told the AFL-CIO. "I voted for it so friends of mine would have comfort that we are securing the border. But the real securing of the border is with technology as opposed to individuals, although we do certainly need individuals."
That reason is math.
Take the four U.S. mega-states - California, Texas, New York and Florida.
Florida went Democratic in the past two presidential elections. Texas has been safely Republican.
But what if currently red Texas starts turning Democratic blue because of the increase in the Hispanic vote? Not overnight. But eventually, inexorably.
"When Texas is 'purple,' there will be no more Republican Presidents," an immigration expert told me Monday.
"If the Republicans decided to pass it," Obama said Friday of immigration reform, "it would be to their political advantage to do it."
Roger Simon is Politico's chief political columnist.
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