Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth in the US Senate.
Slap yourselves on the back people. The immigration bill is dead and you killed it. Much to the dismay of the politicians the immigration "reform" bill could not bribe enough Senators the convince them it was worth the anger of their constituents to vote for a bill granting greater privilege to illegal aliens than the citizens enjoy.
The New York Times was predictably blaming talk radio, the Internet and those pesky conservatives.
Supporters of the legislation defended it as an imperfect but pragmatic solution to the difficult problem of illegal immigration. Public opinion polls, including a New York Times/CBS News Poll conducted last month, showed broad support among Americans for the bill's major provisions.
But the legislation sparked a furious rebellion among many Republican and even some Democratic voters, who were linked by the Internet and encouraged by radio talk show hosts. Their outrage and activism surged to full force after Senator Jon Kyl, the Arizona Republican who was an author of the bill, suggested early this week that support for the measure seemed to be growing. The assault on lawmakers in Washington was relentless. In a crucial vote Thursday night, the bill's supporters, including President Bush, fell short by 15 votes. While there is a possibility the legislation could be revived later this year, there was a glow of victory among opponents on Friday.
"Technologically enhanced grass-roots activism is what turned this around, people empowered by the Internet and talk radio," said Colin A. Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, a conservative group.
Now we all know that the politicians are only concerned about reelection. If, as the NYT poll claims, there was a majority of voters in support of this bill, the need to bribe a majority of the Senate to vote for it would have been unnecessary.
Just minutes before that meeting, Senate Republicans in the middle of the immigration fight had ended an hours-long huddle at which they argued over what demands they would make in exchange for agreeing to cap the debate time. But they could not see eye to eye among themselves and ultimately filed empty-handed out of the office of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader.
It must be a difficult thing to fool the voters into giving away their citizenship to a bunch of foreigners who snuck into the country illegally. .
President Bush, Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid all chimed in with their threats and laments.
"I urge Senator Reid to act quickly to bring this bill back to the Senate floor for a vote, and I urge senators from both parties to support it," Mr. Bush said in his weekly radio address. The address is usually aired on Saturday, but the White House released it a day early to insert Mr. Bush, who is traveling overseas, into the public debate over the bill.
Mr. Reid fired back at the White House yesterday, saying the immigration bill failed because Mr. Bush couldn't persuade his own party to support it.
"The White House has so far failed to rally Senate Republicans behind tough, fair and practical immigration reform. I will bring the immigration bill back to the Senate floor as soon as enough Republicans are ready to join us in moving forward on a bill to fix our broken immigration system," the Nevada Democrat said.
Desperate to salvage a measure in which he and others had invested months, Senator Edward M. Kennedy headed to the secluded Capitol suite of Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, to make one last personal plea.
If the Republicans had voted against the bill for the right reason, namely that amnesty will not solve the problem, They could reap the benefits of the blame for its defeat. Some may wake up to the voter's consistent demand that the border be secured first and current law be enforced before any new ideas be considered. While they are considering that they could also stop the prosecution of border officers for doing their jobs. With such a lage pool of future voters eager to be bought off I don't see the politicians considering any of this.
Border, politics, Democrats, immigration, Mexico