If you have heard the expression, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak,” then you are already familiar with the Republican plan to sell conservatives on the Gang of Ocho immigration bill. There still is no legislative text available, but that is not stopping Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and company from executing an all-out marketing blitz this week. The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York reports:

Starting this week, with the release of the bill, the Gang will launch an extensive public information campaign — lots of press releases, frequently asked questions, and fact sheets specifically addressing the concerns about reform that conservatives have raised in recent months.

None of the”facts” in the Gang of Ocho fact sheets will be verifiable until any legislation is produced, but that is irrelevant. Just as the Democrats sought to make Obamacare seem inevitable from the beginning, the Gang of Ocho wants win some Republican support for the bill before a single sentence of legislative text is made available to the public.

The details of the Gang of Ocho sales plan should be familiar to anyone who is familiar with the history of immigration amnesties in this country: instant legalization coupled with promises of future border security enforcement and toothless triggers that are either paper thin or unconstitutional. But, York reports, the Republican members of the Gang of Ocho have come up with one final wrinkle to their marketing plan: President Obama. York writes:

GOP gang members will have one final argument, one they will most likely use privately with fellow Republicans. If the Gang plan goes down in defeat, the argument goes, Barack Obama will be a lame-duck president who has promised key Democratic constituencies that he will take action on immigration reform. He has already used his executive power to unilaterally enact a version of the Dream Act. If Congress denies him immigration reform, according to the argument, he will essentially do for the entire illegal immigrant population what the Dream Act did for young illegal immigrants: legalize them by declining to enforce current law. With the stroke of Obama’s pen, millions of illegal immigrants will become legal.

And it could all happen, the Gang members will argue, without any of the strict enforcement measures — E-Verify, entry-exit, border security and more — that are in the Gang bill. And Obama’s unilateral legalization would be virtually impossible for a future president, Republican or Democrat, to reverse.

In other words, after all the provisions and requirements and triggers, the ultimate Gang argument to conservatives and Republicans will be: Pass our bill, or face utter disaster.

How a unilateral Obama amnesty would be any worse than the Gang of Ocho plan is a complete mystery. For starters, at least an Obama amnesty would be honest. We could skip all the border enforcement and trigger farces. We wouldn’t have to create a brand new government agency to control the labor supply and set immigrant wages. And if Obama isn’t enforcing current law now, why would he, or any other future Democratic president, enforce the law later?

The Gang of Ocho’s new Obama amnesty threat is too cute by half. It reminds conservatives exactly why they can’t trust Democrats on immigration to begin with. Putting a Republican seal of approval on an inevitable Obama amnesty would only demoralize conservative voters more.

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Here come Obama’s middle-class tax hikes
Byorn York: A look deep inside the Gang of Eight bill
Sean Higgins: How Thomas Perez might use ‘disparate impact’ theory as labor secretary
Tim Carney: Abortionist’s case raises troubling questions
Michael Barone: Take the time to get immigration reform right
Conn Carroll: Fracking revolutionized American energy as green energy failed

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Offers Direct Korea Talks: Secretary of State John Kerry said he would be willing to open a direct U.S. diplomatic channel to North Korea’s leadership in a bid to reduce tensions in Northeast Asia, if Pyongyang signaled it would move to begin dismantling its nuclear-weapons arsenal.
The New York Times, Venezuela Gives Chávez Protégé Narrow Victory: In an unexpectedly close race, Venezuelans narrowly voted to continue Hugo Chávez’s revolution, electing his handpicked political heir, Nicolás Maduro, to serve the remainder of his six-year term as president, officials said late Sunday.
The Washington Post, With endorsement of immigration plan, Rubio makes first major policy gambit of his career: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the tea party favorite whose parents emigrated from Cuba, has been considered the most crucial player in the Gang of Ocho all along.
McClatchy Newspapers, Same-sex benefits may be ‘poison pill’ in immigration debate: The Supreme Court may have an unexpectedly decisive role in helping to determine whether 11 million people who are in the U.S. illegally are allowed to remain without fear of deportation.
McClatchy Newspapers, Immigration bill would spark surge of legal arrivals: While much of the debate over immigration has focused on the fate of the estimated 11 million people in the U.S. without legal authorization, one of the biggest immediate byproducts of the reform bill being prepared in the Senate would be a sudden, large increase in legal migration.
The Wall Street Journal, As America Ages, Shortage of Help Hits Nursing Homes: A labor shortage is worsening in one of the nation’s fastest-growing occupations—taking care of the elderly and disabled—just as baby boomers head into old age.
Associated Press, Where does IRS look for cheats?: A new study by the National Taxpayer Advocate used confidential IRS data to show large clusters of potential tax cheats in San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and the District of Columbia. The IRS uses the information to target taxpayers for audits.

Lefty Playbook
Benjy Sarlin reports that American Bridge, a prominent Democratic super PAC devoted to tracking Republican candidates, is targeting the Republican members of the Gang of Eight for their “disturbing” anti-immigration rhetoric.
Ezra Klein explains how Obama’s budget shifts resources to the coalition that elected him.
Brad Plumer claims peak oil isn’t dead.

Righty Playbook
David Koppel claims the “Pro-Gun” Provisions of Manchin-Toomey are Actually a Bonanza of Gun Control.
Romina Boccia and Curtis Dubay detail how the federal government spends your tax dollars.
Mickey Kaus notes that illegal immigrants are flooding back to U.S. to take advantage of the Gang of Ocho amnesty.
Public Notice released a new tax day web video, “Your Tax Dollars At Work,” asking Americans whether they feel Washington is spending their tax dollars wisely.
Andrew Biggs says Chained CPI is a bad deal all around.