There’s been lots of talk about how taking a promise from Senator McConnell is something only a fool would do, after all his previous acts of bad faith. But there’s good reason to assume that McConnell will keep the promise he made to the immigration crowd of some kind of consideration of immigration legislation.
If McConnell did NOT keep his promise, that would precipitate another shutdown which the Democrats could enter into unified because they would know that it would be the guy who broke his promise — Senator McConnell — who was to BLAME for the shutdown. And blame is the name of the game, when it comes to shutdown. He who is blamed, loses.
The issue will be just how much will McConnell have to do to be able to successfully claim to have fulfilled his promise. I don’t know, for example, if his obligations will compel him to allow something meaningful to be done in terms of giving good immigration legislation A CHANCE. (Knowing McConnell, he will do the least he feels he needs to do for enough Americans to believe his claim to have kept his promise.)
That’s why, regardless of how the promise is couched, the Democrats should begin NOW to set it up for the promise to be so interpreted that fulfilling it creates a reasonable chance for some sort of success in enacting meaningful legislation. Nothing less than that can be satisfactory.
So it’s time to start moving the national expectations about the promise, pushing things in a direction that has a chance to succeed. First to put pressure on McConnell and the Senate, then on Trump to lean on Ryan in the House for passage, then on Ryan to waive the Hastert rule and allow a majority of the House to pass something on DACA that’s favored by at least 70% of the American people.
Let the Democrats begin now the battle over just what the Republicans are obligated to do with respect to immigration legislation.