Why would any conservative believe anything Valerie Jarrett says about what John Boehner promised to do?

Conservatives have good reason to neither like nor trust Boehner. In addition, conservatives have been betrayed by the GOP before, so often that they’ve come to expect it.

But seriously, what reason would Valerie Jarrett have to be telling the truth when she says this?:

President Barack Obama’s top adviser and confidant [sic] told a group of global elites on Thursday in Las Vegas, Nevada that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has made a commitment to the White House to try to pass amnesty legislation this year…Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s senior advisor, told attendees at the yearly invitation-only SkyBridge Alternatives Conference that Boehner would help the White House make a push [to] get immigration reform enacted in the next three months.

I can’t think of a reason to trust her. I can, however, think of a reason or two why she would lie. The first would be to get people on the left pumped and enthusiastic about amnesty’s chances. The second would be to cause the right to start railing at Bohener and calling him a traitor. There’s no real downside to inciting a civil war among your opposition.

That said, we have no idea what Boehner will actually do on immigration, and there’s no good reason to trust him. But I wouldn’t trust Jarrett as far as I could throw her to report accurately on Boehner’s true intentions or even on what Boehner told her his true intentions were, or to report on her own true intentions.

Boehner has denied making any such promises to Democrats, by the way. And Jarrett herself has backtracked and offered the following clarification:

Boehner has made [a] commitment to trying, not that he has made [a] commitment to us or time frame.

Everything clear now?

What does Boehner really intend to do about illegal immigrants? He may buy the idea that Republicans have to do something about this—or at least appear to do something about this—in order to appeal to Hispanic votes (I disagree that it would woo their votes from the Democrats, but he’s not consulting me). He also knows that the GOP’s big-money donors seem to want immigration reform passed, and he needs to placate them to keep the money flowing. So he likes to indicate that he would really really love to pass something of the sort (see also this). But perhaps he’s torn (or hedging his bets), because every time he says these things he is careful to add an interesting caveat, to the effect that “no action is possible until President Obama proves himself a trustworthy partner to Republicans.”

Does that seem very likely to happen? That’s Boehner’s out, I think, in case he decides not to do it or in case he can’t convince enough Republicans to do it. He can then say to everyone who wanted it, “I tried, but I couldn’t succeed because Obama’s not a trustworthy partner on this.”

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]