The GOP-controlled House yesterday passed bills "designed to crack down on gang members and smugglers of immigrants. The legislation also encourages state and local police officers to act as immigration agents… Democrats dismissed the border-security push as a stunt by Republicans unable to follow through on President Bush's demand for a comprehensive immigration overhaul. 'This is all for show,' Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid… complained."
The Wall Street Journal has dueling op-eds from the national party committee chairs. Republican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman leads his with the most recent foiled London terror plot. "Democratic leaders are saying Iraq is a diversion from the war on terror, that we should be more focused on defending the homeland. But again and again, the Democrats have proposed weakening our defenses." He adds, "It would be foolish not to acknowledge the challenges Republicans face this election cycle... has been close to a century since Republicans have held the White House and the House of Representatives for eight straight years. Winning four elections in a row doesn't happen that often."
While Hill Republicans take heart from some recent national polls, the AP raises the possibility that "Christian conservatives, traditionally a reliable Republican constituency," are "unhappy that the GOP-led Congress and President Bush haven't paid more attention to gay marriage and other 'values' issues" and "may stay home on Election Day or even vote Democratic."
And the Wall Street Journal notes that the normally GOP-friendly US Chamber of Commerce is hedging its bets by backing a dozen Democrats in House races this cycle. "The chamber's move mirrors a subtle but significant shift across the business community, which has begun anticipating that the Republican majorities in Congress could shrink, if not collapse."
The Washington Times wonders whether recent signs that the Administration has gotten its act together are due to new White House spokesperson Tony Snow.