Friday, June 08, 2007

Senate Immigration Bill Fizzles; Texas’ Senators Vote Against Bush

It is perhaps fitting that the Senate could not come to a consensus opinion on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348). Fitting, because Americans, for the most part, have not reached a consensus on it.

Some poll numbers courtesy of the Washington Post:

“…on the question of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, the public narrowly approves: 52 percent to 44 percent. Democrats back such a plan 57 percent to 38 percent and independents 51 to 45 percent. Republicans are opposed, 53 to 43 percent -- significant but not overwhelming.”

Americans are nearly evenly divided on this one issue, the issue of the “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants. But tellingly, Americans are also strongly divided within political parties.

This sub-parallels last night’s cloture vote: to end debate and bring the bill to a vote. They needed 60 votes but didn’t even come close. And the division within parties somewhat reflected the division among Americans.

Republicans: 7 Aye, 38 Nay
Democrats: 37 Aye, 11 Nay

I posted on the issues with this bill before, so I won’t reiterate. Let’s just say that it is a very broad and very complex reform bill with things that people on both sides of the aisle like, and hate.

There are pundits out there that say that this bill’s failure is a sign of growing weakness in the White House. Probably true. This is Bush’s landmark domestic agenda – fix the immigration problem. Bush could not build a consensus within his own party. More to the point, Bush could not elicit the votes of his home states’ two rubber-stamping US Senators. Both John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison voted “nay” in this bill-killing vote.

Who else suffers with the failure of this bill? John McCain. McCain was probably the bill’s most vocal Republican supporter. He will be alone in any Republican presidential debate as saying he supported the bill. Rudy Giuliani made political hay out of the bill’s defeat, citing McCain’s comment that the bill had not been everything he would have wanted, echoing many others who supported the bill. To this, Giuliani declared on Sean Hannity’s pseudonews show: “Then he should have written the one he wanted and pushed that”.

And that’s why I want Rudy Giuliani to run against any Democratic candidate we have, he is either too stupid too realize the complexity of this issue, or he is too naïve to realize that Americans can see through this bluster.

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