Veteran political commentator Pat Buchanan believes House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday it will be difficult to move immigration reform ahead in the current political climate in order to head off a civil war in the Republican Party.
"I'm not terribly surprised … Boehner was looking at a major civil war in his party, in which he might himself be defeated and lose his [position as] speaker," Buchanan told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"It also proves that standing up and raising Cain early in these battles is the best way to go."
Story continues below video.
Buchanan, a senior advisor to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, believes the Democrats will make an issue out of the failure of the unemployment benefit extension in the coming election.
"They will fight on that one in the Fall because the unemployment thing has an appeal to an awful lot of people, even an awful lot of people who aren't deeply involved in politics," Buchanan said.
"You'll see much more of that in the Fall."
As far as using the ongoing immigration controversy against the GOP, Buchanan says Democratic attacks on Republicans "will be pretty much confined to those districts where that is a burning issue and there aren't that many of them."
Buchanan agrees that the Affordable Care Act could spur some Americans to work less in order make less money and reap the benefits of government subsidies.
"If you give folks the benefit that they don't have to work for and a very valuable benefit, a lot of them will decide, well, why work?," he said.
"Why not take the summer off and go to the beach and write that novel I've always been thinking of and have a good time and why not become a lifeguard down there and have a good life for the summer and go back to work when my unemployment benefits run out? Or something like that. This is a great battle.''
Buchanan said the issue is not a new one.
"It goes all the way back to the early New Deal … Of course, even FDR, he has a great quote in 1935 where he said this relief, well, he meant welfare, is a narcotic. It's a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. We must and shall get out of this business of welfare," Buchanan said.
"What he meant was what everybody believed then is, look, we ought to help people who are flat broke and out in Hooverville … but we don't want to provide so much of an incentive to people that they don't even want to go back to work because they've got it so good
"And now, look at what we've got now. You get Food Stamps, you get free food, you get free lunches for the kids and breakfasts and dinners at school, free education, free healthcare, Medicaid, and now Obamacare … There's no surprise a lot of folks say why do I want to give up all of this good stuff and go work out in a street digging holes in a construction job."
See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.
© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.