The final Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll before the vote found that just 22% of Americans supported the legislation. No amount of Presidential persuasion, Senate logrolling, and procedural tricks was able to overcome that solid bi-partisan lack of public support (although it’s breathtaking to consider how close a determined leadership could come to passing such an unpopular bill).
The real mystery in all of this is why the Senators and their cheerleaders didn’t anticipate the public response. Perhaps they fell in love with their own rhetoric and forgot how it might sound to others.
Near the end of the debate, supporters of the doomed legislation often stated that the status quo is unacceptable. Most Americans would agree on that point. In fact, they might even hold that feeling more strongly than the Grand Bargainers of the Senate--72% of American voters believe it’s Very Important to reduce illegal immigration and enforce the borders. But controlling the border was never a focal point of the Senate debate. Instead, the Senators spent most of the time debating the fine points of various approaches to legalizing those who are here illegally. For voters, those topics were definitely a second-or-third tier aspect of the issue.
Because the Senators and the White House never showed much enthusiasm for reducing illegal immigration, only 16% believed the Senate bill would accomplish that goal. Forty-one percent (41%) thought passage of the legislation would actually lead to more illegal immigration. In other words, even though voters consider the status quo unacceptable, they had every confidence that Congress could make a bad situation worse.
It is impossible to overstate the significance of this basic fact. Outside of 46 Senators, hardly anybody thought the legislation would work. That’s why it was defeated. It wasn’t amnesty or guest-worker programs or paths to citizenship that doomed the bill. Each of those provisions made it more difficult for some segments of the population to accept. However, a majority would have accepted them as part of a true compromise that actually gained control of the border.
The cloture vote goes down in flames, taking Majority Leader Reid and the President with it.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
Next up, the Fairness Doctrine...
But the very strange thing about it is that this bill was opposed by 80% of Republicans and 75% +/- of Democrats, and yet 46% of Senators, mostly Democrats but not monolithically (which is unusual in itself these days) supported it. Talk about your inside-the-beltway mentality. Some of the better ones are going to wake up one of these days and ask themselves, "What was I thinking?" If you haven't figured it out yet, Washington, let me help you out:
WE DON'T TRUST YOU
Some Senators do understand:
Prior to the vote, opponents appeared to sense that victory was within grasp. Senator DeMint said the whole debate demonstrated why Americans are feeling a "crisis of confidence" in their government.
"This immigration bill has become a war between the American people and their government. ... This vote today is really not about immigration, it's about whether we're going to listen to the American people," he said.
You didn't enforce the law before to the tune of tens of millions of violators in plain sight. Until you enforce the law, we won't trust you. And that goes double for building the damn fence. If you'd built the fence, today's vote would have been very different. Do your job*, then come back and ask for some changes.
* What does "do your job" mean with regards to the Federal Government and Immigration? Let's talk about that tomorrow. I'd love to gloat, but I really have to get to work.
Please do whatever is necessary to stop the current immigration bill from passing.My reason for urging you to vote against cloture is simple and sad:
I don’t trust my government to fulfill its promises.
If you could pass enforcement first, and if the federal government proved its trustworthiness, then I’d be willing to discuss wholesale reformation of immigration.But until then, please block the bill.
Well, I am very nervous about this. Very scared. I'm thinking this might just be the ball game, that my kids and grandkids just won't be living in the same exceptional United States I enjoyed thanks to those who came before us. For the sake of cheap labor and welfare state voters, America will be changed forever.
What loyalty do we owe the government when it willfully ignores the law? Why should citizens obey laws about, say for instance, taxes when the government ignores laws about illegal immigration? And how do you fight it when Democrats and Republicans conspire against the overwhelming and well-known will of the people? How do you defend your family from big-government Republicans?
And if you can't, where can you go?
At the very least, you can fight these guys in the primaries:
Bennett (R-UT), Yea Bond (R-MO), Yea Brownback (R-KS), Yea Burr (R-NC), Yea Coleman (R-MN), Yea Collins (R-ME), Yea Craig (R-ID), Yea Domenici (R-NM), Yea Ensign (R-NV), Yea Graham (R-SC), Yea Gregg (R-NH), Yea Hagel (R-NE), Yea Kyl (R-AZ), Yea Lott (R-MS), Yea Lugar (R-IN), Yea Martinez (R-FL), Yea (man, has this guy ever been a disappointment!) McCain (R-AZ), Yea McConnell (R-KY), Yea Murkowski (R-AK), Yea Snowe (R-ME), Yea Specter (R-PA), Yea Stevens (R-AK), Yea Voinovich (R-OH), Yea Warner (R-VA), Yea
That's 24 out of 49 Republicans in the Senate. Over 80% of the entire population is against the bill and they know it. I personally wrote to 15 Republican senators yesterday but only 2 of them voted against cloture which was the only chance to stop this train wreck.
1. There's a backlog of up to 6 million status change applications at ICE. ICE cannot locate 636,000 absconders whose cases have been adjudicated and who are supposed to be deported. GAO after GAO report has found that the ICE and Department of Homeland Security are bureaucratic disasters. So the question is, how will these bureaucrats handle tens of millions of more cases?
2. The bill provides that these bureaucrats will have only one business day to conduct security checks for each applicant. The federal government is incapable of conducting millions of security checks in such a time frame. So, how will these security checks be accomplished in one business day?
3. After the one business day, the bill provides that the government SHALL confer a probationary legal status on the illegal alien. If that's not amnesty, then how do you define amnesty?
4. If an illegal alien "renounces" his gang status, that's sufficient for receiving probationary legal status. How will you make sure that such a person is not, in fact, a gang member before conferring legal rights on him?
5. The bill allows for chain migration for EIGHT YEARS before a point system kicks in. You ask what we're supposed to do with the up to 20 million illegal aliens who are already in the country, and yet you provide for 50 to 80 million more aliens to enter. So, you're really talking about legalizing tens of millions of new aliens, including aliens who aren't even in the country yet. What is you public policy justification for this?
6. How can you deny that legalizing and importing tens of millions of mostly poor and illiterate aliens from the Third World won't be an economic catastrophy for the Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps and other entitlement programs? Even Milton Friedman said he would favor open borders but for the fact that to do so would be to massively expand the size of the federal government.
7. How can you deny that legalizing and importing tens of millions of mostly poor and illiterate aliens from the Third World won't drive more hospitals out of business and place enormous financial burdens on our school systems?
8. Why should American citizens believe you are serious about border security when the bill does NOT require more beds for temporary detention, more prison beds, or more fencing. In fact, CURRENT LAW requires more detention and prison space and more fencing than this bill provides.
9. The bill provides for a very low threshold when it comes to the kinds of documents you need to claim amnesty -- such as records from day labor centers, labor unions, "sworn declarations" from any non-relative (a co-worker or friend will do). How can the bureaucracy possibly determine the integrity of any of these documents?
10. The bill provides for free legal counsel paid for by the taxpayers of this country. Isn't this a boondoggle for the trial lawyers and doesn't this open the entire process to activist judges?
The other day I was surprised to learn that Russia is as small as Mexico, GDP-wise. The bad news is that Mexico is as big as Russia. If you lived next door to Russia and you read about large numbers of Russian soldiers deserting to join violent drug cartels, would you be worried?
A reluctance by soldiers to act as police may have played a role, some experts said. Of the 4,890 soldiers assigned to the federal police force to help combat traffickers during the 2000-06 administration of former President Vicente Fox, all but 10 deserted, said Gomez, citing Defense Secretariat figures.
"Many are scared," said retired Gen. Luis Garfias Magaña, noting that hundreds of soldiers have been killed in clashes with the cartels over the past decade. "Before, a few died combating guerrilla groups," he said. "Now, they're fighting a veritable war against the traffickers."
The danger has escalated under the seven-month administration of President Felipe Calderon, who has sent more than 25,000 troops and federal police to areas under siege by the traffickers. In the process, experts say, he has also made the soldiers vulnerable to the cartels' corrupting influence.
"It's part of the larger issue which the military has always feared," said Roderic Ai Camp, an expert on Mexico's armed forces at Claremont McKenna College in California.
"It exposes all those people who come in contact with the anti-trafficking mission to corruption."
And every Senate office was inundated by phone calls and faxes — hundreds-to-one against the bill.
Hundreds to one? Expect to see this as the #1 issue in next year's presidential campaign.
What I learned from this exercise was that committees that put big comprehensive bills together - on whatever topic - will load it up with so much back-scratching garbage that it will always be impossible to clean it up with amendments. Big bills are bad bills. Keep it simple, stupid.
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.