Last September (read original post here), I chastised Republicans for eschewing the opportunity to craft meaningful immigration legislation; instead, they chose to cast themselves as hardliners on immigration, portraying Democrats as soft-headed multiculturalists in favor of an open-border. The problem with that strategy, I said back then, was that it was a low-percentage gamble on an unpredictable future.

What if the 110th was the last Congress in which a GOP majority ruled both Houses with a Republican president holding forth at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue? Eschewing a thorny compromise in favor of a short-term boost of political adrenaline risked that nothing got done on immigration, for a long time. Back then, as well as now, doing nothing meant de facto amnesty and affirming a status quo that almost all of us agree is unacceptable.

As I predicted, the vaunted immigration gambit as a defining and motivating difference between the parties turned out to be 100 percent impotent as a political strategy. Bad politics and bad policy.

Now the Democrats are in control of Congress, and we are getting a fairly weak immigration bill; nevertheless, as Senator Jon Kyl points out, a flawed bill is better than nothing).

So, looking back, the Republican House and the conservative grassroots declined the opportunity to create an imperfect but necessary law through a process that they controlled. Today, they wake up to find themselves on the outside looking in, befuddled and angry.