The GOP Congress Is Endangering The GOP Rebrand
But the failure of immigration reform bodes poorly for the GOP’s “rebrand,” even beyond the direct consequences with Hispanic voters. It suggests that Republicans are more interested in preventing the passage of legislation than improving the party’s chances in national elections. That’s understandable in many circumstances: Obviously Republicans cannot and should not stop fighting for their beliefs. But they should cut their losses and retreat to more defensible ground if resistance is futile and their core beliefs aren’t in jeopardy. A pathway to citizenship, for instance, is all but inevitable. Background checks for gun purchases are also likely to come to fruition, at least if Democrats stay committed to a winning fight. For good measure, both issues are incidental to the GOP’s core governing philosophy. So why are these fights worth having?
In other words, obstruction is hurting the GOP rebrand. Over the last few months, the GOP’s stubborn resistance to a compromise on background checks has added a new, losing wedge issue to the 2016 election. Now, pressure to apply the Hastert Rule to immigration reform threatens an opportunity to get rid of another losing issue. As a result, the burden on the next Republican presidential candidate is getting greater.