Republicans came up with all kinds of convoluted and made-up explanations for voting against gun background checks, and some are starting to do the same for the immigration bill. A few are even using the Boston bombing as an excuse. But for many lawmakers, the real reason is depressingly familiar. They don’t want to give President Obama anything he wants.
It doesn’t really matter how many business groups say the immigration system has to change, or how many suburban voters are disgusted by the easy access to guns for criminals. For these Republicans, the visceral hatred of the president is their only guiding star, and they are absolutely convinced the voters in their districts feel the same way.