I’m not claiming that Ed Schultz is the trustworthy arbiter of what is or is not a good idea for immigration or any other area of law or policy. But his typical behavior is to support anything the president wants. For awhile he veered from the President on the Keystone Pipeline, but that was only temporary. So why is Ed Schultz breaking publicly breaking with President Obama on immigration? According to the Daily Caller,
The union-friendly cable host already declared his opposition to the impending move on Monday. And during a debate with progressive radio host Mike Papantonio, Schultz doubled down.
“I get a little bit nervous when I even hear the thought, the possibility that undocumented workers — immigrants — would be granted work permits in the numbers of millions,” he said. “Wouldn’t this create more problems that it solves? And legally what does it mean for the president? Can we just pass out work permits to anybody who crosses our border?”
Papantonio sidestepped the question, blaming Republicans for failing to agree to the White House’s demand for comprehensive immigration reform.
“It’s uncomfortable, obviously, for him to make a decision on immigration by himself,” the radio host said. “But that’s the position that Republicans have put him in.”
“I don’t think any country just hands out work permits to solve an immigration problem,” Schultz shot back. “I think this would be a ground-sweeping move by the president to do that, and I think a lot of Democrats would have a hard time with it.”
“It would be a real tough sell to independents,” he continued, “and it would also all of a sudden start competing with American workers who are abiding by the laws.”
I see two interesting reasons for Schultz’s break with Obama and the Democrats. One was mentioned by the Daily Caller: Schultz’s pro-union position. Obviously, flooding the country with cheap labor could hurt unions. But another reason Schultz himself gives is that amnesty is going to cost the Democrats votes. He doesn’t think “independents” will consider it a good move. If Schultz is right about how Obama’s action will hurt Democrats, then his point is much stronger against Republicans. Not only would it hurt Republicans with independents to vote for amnesty, it would also hurt them with their base. So why does everyone act as if “immigration reform” is so desirable or politically necessary?