Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Apologists For Disaster, or How The LA Times Spins Yesterday's Loss

It was literally only a matterof time before one of the MSM outlets decided to spin the cloture vote yesterday, and couple it to the spin of the legislation itself. I was expecting a bigger outlet, such as the New York Times or the WaPo to do it. But I suppose the LA Times will suffice as a beating post for right now. They say that we are stuck on immigration. Au contraire, the Times is stuck on stupid:

THE SHAMEFUL — and we hope temporary — shelving of an immigration reform bill by the Senate contradicts the aphorism that success has a thousand fathers but failure is an orphan. This failure has plenty of fathers: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who issued an ultimatum he couldn't enforce; Republican senators who played to the know-nothing fringe; and the Bush administration, which blessed a "grand bargain" reached by a bipartisan group of senators but didn't follow through with enough pressure on recalcitrant members of the president's party.

A couple of days ago, it seemed as if the parliamentary ground was being cleared for Senate enactment of the essential components of the compromise cobbled together by the so-called Gang of 12: legalization of millions of illegal immigrants who are in this country to stay regardless of what Congress does, improved border security and a greater emphasis on skills in the admission of both legal immigrants and temporary workers. That compromise was fully satisfying to none but should have been amenable to all, given the prize — the opportunity of citizenship for millions of men and women living and working in this country, forging its culture and contributing to its life.

Optimistic — overly so — that the legislation was on track to approval, Reid announced that it was time for the Senate to call an end to the debate. He scheduled a cloture vote for Thursday, warning his colleagues that if they didn't vote to fast-track consideration of the bill, he would yank it from the calendar and proceed to other business, including a resolution expressing no confidence in Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales.

That was a strategic mistake. By midday Thursday, Republicans were fuming about what they saw as Reid's pressure tactics and also about a Democratic amendment, approved by a vote of 49 to 48, that would abolish a temporary-worker program — a feature of the bill important to business groups — after five years. Reid scrambled to recover but twice failed to deliver the votes to end debate.

A chastened Reid made good on his promise to remove immigration reform from the calendar — even as he offered to resurrect it if Senate Republicans and the Bush administration convinced him that another vote wouldn't be an empty exercise. Reid's feelings may be hurt, and his skills as a negotiator are now seriously in doubt. But this is about more than face or partisan advantage. The Senate owes it to the millions of people whose futures hang on this legislation to try again. It is those futures — and the nation's — that rest on this bill.

Take a look at that last line. What about the future of the nation. The bill in question would have been an economic disaster for the nation, as eloquently reported by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. Likewise, we look to the sec urity measures of the bill, and they were paltry, at best, with no guarantee of being completed. Furthermore, the background checks called for? No details on how they would be conducted, or who would be conducting them, AND we must remember that the government would have 24 hours to disapprove an alien during those background checks, or they would receive a Z Visa automatically.

The LA times goes out of it's way to make Senator Reid look like some sort of hero that could not save the day when in fact he was not the hero of the day yesterday. That honor goes to Senator Byron Dorgan who mounted a superb assault on the bill. Here are three highlights of his speech last night on the floor of the Senate courtesy of Michelle Malkin:

"There's no discussion here. They have a role in this debate....There's a party that's not here at the table: The American worker. Forget about 12 million illegal people. What about 140 million American workers? Do they matter? Does it matter when you people through the back door and push down wages for American workers?"

"We don't need new border security measures. Don't need employer sanctions law. Already have that." Points out the Bush administration's lousy, pathetic record on employer sanctions.

And "temporary" workers program is the biggest ruse of all. "There are people having an apoplectic seizure" about Dorgan's sunset amendment, he says. Why not sunset it in five years to reevaluate if it works? Pokes fun at hysterics by the grand bargainers. It's like no one else has an idea except the backroom grand bargainers. I've seen enough of these "gang of however many" compromises. Always usually ends up with bad legislation.

This is the bill being defended by the LA Times as a necessity. No, the necessity involved is common sense; a logical, sensible approach to such reform is needed, not the slip-shod, chewing gum and bailing wire approach the Senate decided to run with.

One last thing ... I think I might have mentioned it last night, but it is worth repeating. From the president to Ted Kennedy to John McCain to Trent Lott and Lindsey Graham -- all of these people stood on the platform that this bill was "good" because both sides came together in a bipartisan effort. For them, the compromise was all they could point to as to why the bill deserved to be passed. When you stand on such a tiny point, and offer up nothing to back it up, that is the sign of a debacle; a failure of gross proportions.

Bipartisan has its place, and if done so sensibly, it can be cheered and applauded. But this bill was not such a compromise. A small group of senators working with administration officials concocted this bureaucratic nightmare. For them the compromise was all that mattered. Color them shocked (and mildly moronic) when the nation rose in anger to challenge them. (The moronic side comes in when they attacked the opponents of this bill, using racist innuendo.)

Yes, concensus is nice, but it is a little like Neville Chamberlain returning from Germany proclaiming we have "peace in our time." That "peace" fell apart in 1935, and again in 1939. We can only imagine how much time would have passed had this bill made it through the Congress before the false "peace" presented would have fallen apart.



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