April 21, 2013
Here’s an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.
“I think the continued intensity of the dysfunction of Congress on this [gun] vote will help immigration,” Democratic pollster John Anzalone said. “I don’t think the opposing senators — Democrats and Republicans — expected the reaction, backlash and how they were portrayed” in the wake of the failure of the amendment to expand background checks for firearms.
The simple fact is that for Republicans broadly and Democrats in swing states — particularly those up for reelection next November — voting in favor of legislation that would restrict gun rights and overhaul the immigration system was too much to swallow. (And that’s not even considering the impact the move toward supporting gay marriage has had on the electoral calculations of these members.)