Marketing Campaigns and Immigration Reform

| Mon Mar. 18, 2013 8:53 AM PDT

Republicans have released a report explaining why they lost in 2012 and what they need to do about it. Are you ready?

Among the report’s 219 prescriptions: a $10 million marketing campaign, aimed in particular at women, minorities and gays; a shorter primary season and earlier national convention; and creation of an open data platform and analytics institute to provide research for Republican candidates.

Hmmm. I guess a $10 million marketing campaign might work, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. Everything else aside, that's a pretty puny budget for a national campaign aimed at boosting sales of consumer packaged goods—and what are political parties if not packaged goods?

So how about some actual changes in policy to go along with that? Slapping "New Formula!" on the box only gets you just so far, after all. But according to the Washington Post, the report included only one "major foray into policy": immigration reform. And sure enough, Senate Republicans are making progress on a bipartisan plan:

The nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants would have to wait a full decade for a green card but could earn citizenship just three years after that, under a provision being finalized by a bipartisan group of eight senators working to devise an overhaul of immigration law, several people with knowledge of the negotiations said.

Taken together, the two waiting periods would provide the nation’s illegal immigrants with a path to United States citizenship in 13 years, matching the draft of a plan by President Obama to offer full participation in American democracy to millions who are living in fear of deportation.

The arrangement would shrink the amount of time it takes to become a naturalized citizen, to three years from five years. But in an appeal to Republicans, it would also extend to 10 years, from 8, the amount of time that illegal immigrants must wait before receiving permission to work in the United States permanently.

That's some compromise. The only question now is whether they can sell it to their CPAC-ified colleagues in the House. The packaged bads, you might call them. Wait and see.

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