The Obama administration was remarkably convincing on the Syrian refugee question!

…For the other side. The Hill has the gory details: apparently, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and WH Chief of Staff Denis McDonough were so bad at making the case for the administration that Democratic politicians walked in thinking ‘no’ on the House Syrian refugee slowdown bill and walked out saying ‘yes.’  I’m more or less directly quoting Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia there, by the way.  It’s a measure of the hole that the Obama administration is finding itself in right now that the Democrats who support the House bill are happy to say so for the record, while the Democrats who opposed it didn’t want their names revealed.

Now, yes, I know what you’re thinking: Gerry Connolly is one of those guys who we’ve been trying to pop out of his House seat for, like, forever, so of course he’s going to take a hard line, right?  Not really, actually.  You see: redistricting saved him in 2012, and it’s likely to keep saving him for the rest of the decade. Now, admittedly, there’s a brawl going on right now over Virginia redistricting. A brawl that, as Bearing Drift noted back in 2014, that [mc_name name=’Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001078′ ] would much rather the Democrats lose. But it’s iffy-to-unlikely that the situation will be resolved by the time the 2016 ballots come out (the aforementioned brawl) – so I think that it’s reasonable to say that Connolly (and all the other Democrats that voted for the House bill) are being extra, extra cautious on this subject. Which suggests, in its turn, that the White House should be asking itself what Congressional Democrats know, and it doesn’t.

Yes, yes, that’s a long list.  Think of it this way: the more time they spend on that, the less time they’ll have to do anything else.  The past seven years suggest that we don’t really want this administration to participate.  Well, not unless we want to just always be cleaning up after this administration’s mistakes.

(Via @evanperez)

Moe Lane

PS: If you’re wondering what happens to the bill now, here’s what Senate Democrats are telling the New York Times: “The political struggle over new restrictions on refugees from Syria and Iraq now moves to the Senate after easy bipartisan approval in the House on Thursday. But there won’t be any action until the week after Thanksgiving at the earliest, and Senate Democrats see that as good news for them.”  …Which heavily implies that there are at least six Democratic Senators willing to vote for cloture on this bill at this moment in time. And are there twelve? Interesting question, and one that the Democrats are still trying to figure out a good answer to.