May 19, 2007

Deciding the fate of America in a Red Bull-filled room

I don't normally preview here excerpts from my VDARE.com columns the way I preview my American Conservative movie reviews and articles because the webzine's turnaround time is shorter than the paper magazine's. However, the time pressure on the American public is so extreme that I'm going to preview a fraction of my upcoming column here. Check in at VDARE.com to see the rest of it.

Under the leadership of Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), various Senators and Bush Administration officials pulled an all-nighter on Wednesday. By noon Thursday, the bleary-eyed politicos had concocted an illegal immigrant amnesty (a.k.a., "comprehensive immigration reform") bill behind closed doors.

I presume politicians don't have Smoke-Filled Rooms anymore, so you could call this the Red Bull-Filled Room approach to deciding the fate of America.

No committee hearings are to be held on what may well be the most important legislation of the decade. Senator Chuck Grassley [R-IA] pointed out, "It's disappointing and even ironic how the deal announced today skirts the democratic processes of Congress. It was cut by a group of senators operating outside the committees of jurisdiction and without public hearings on key components."

As of early Saturday morning, May 19, the public has not been shown the text of the bill. The ultimately failed amnesty legislation the Senate passed last year was 118,277 words long, and this may well be more complicated. A photo of the first draft shows it to be almost twice as thick as a Bible.

So, reading the new bill carefully will likely take at least 10 uninterrupted hours (and quite possibly twice that), a span of time that few Senators have readily available. To truly understand how the legislation would work and what its long term implications are would take weeks of questioning and debate.

Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wants to have the entire bill passed by Memorial Day, a week from now.

Even more appallingly, Reid wants to hold the crucial "cloture" vote to shut off the possibility of a filibuster, the best chance to derail it, on Monday, May 21!

It is utterly impossible for the United States Senate to exercise the due diligence commensurate with the importance of major immigration legislation without extensive hearings.

From a good government standpoint, what we are witnessing is perhaps the most irresponsible and shameless attempt to hustle a pig in a poke past the public in recent memory. Of course, that's the whole point of the exercise -- to not let us simple citizens in on the process of deciding who our fellow citizens will be.

It's only a modest exaggeration to call this an attempted coup against the American people. [More]


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

17 comments:

onetwothree said...

I wonder what the difference is between _this_ immigration legislation and the last (which seemed basically the same). If the _only_ difference is the timing and the secrecy, well, we might as well just declare the Duma, err, Congress, dissolved.

onetwothree said...

I see your approving blog comments now. Probably an unavoidable decision given the ridiculous trolls your were getting. But, since it kills conversations, you might want to approve them as freqently as possible.

Steve Sailer said...

A reader suggests that this Word document is a draft of the Ted Kennedy Plan as of 10pm Thursday, May 17:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/files/immigration_consolidated_05.17.2007%20FINAL.doc

I don't know what exactly it is, so take it for what it's worth, whatever that is.

If anybody can find a link to the Kennedy Plan online, please let me know.

Mark said...

If the _only_ difference is the timing and the secrecy, well, we might as well just declare the Duma, err, Congress, dissolved.

Oh, it will be dissolved, alright...come November 2008. I can't wait to see the looks on all their faces. (Some we'll see before then, as the primary voters have their say.)

To be honest, I think it will take an amnesty to get us a congress that will pass real immigration reform. Don't start to despair just yet.

Ron Guhname said...

Guys, what are you complaining about? Geraldo gleefully informs us that the only difference that the 60-80 million Latinos will bring to the country in the next two decades is a small shift in style. So sombreros will become the in thing--do you even know how much sun those things block?

Martin said...

"It's only a modest exaggeration to call this an attempted coup against the American people."

It is no exacggeration at all. This is an act of treason.

Anonymous said...

Since this bill was drafted by La Raza without the input of most Republican Senators it is easy to see how bad it is.

Supposedly it's being written from scratch tonight. It is projected to run 1,000 pages and will be put to cloture on Monday. Most Senators and certainly the public won't see the actual bill until it's passed.

Therefore, it's easy to see how bad a bill it is.

Hiding the bad things in the dark: Illegals pay no back taxes (Bush insisted it be taken out), amnesty for everyone, no enforcement, tripling of the H-1B Visas, chain migration, etc. etc.

Saxby-Chambliss and Graham got booed at Republican events today over this, the Republican base is outraged. Pelosi is caught between punishing Bush (by letting it die in the House) and approving it for new voters and a new people.

Romney is running ads online and on TV highlighting his opposition to the measure. It's a flip-flop but one that's going to be popular I bet. McCain is toast in Republican circles, there's already discussion about primary challenges to any Rep who votes for it.

The question is, can enough public pressure from the Rep base kill Republican support for the bill so that it would be labeled a "Democratic Amnesty Bill" and thus die a quick death, or will it be pushed through. Dubai Port World and Harriet Myers or say Alberto Gonzalez?

Typical comment from longtime Rep supporters at Redstate : "Heck with it, impeach El Presidente Jorge Arbusto."

I think on balance the leaks, such as no income taxes paid by illegals, will kill this deal. That's handing primary opponents nuclear weapons and a lot of Senators are up for re-election in 2008.

EVERY working and middle class guy knows he's getting screwed, unless you are part of the La Raza network and can rely on extended nepotism to push you ahead. You'll be a foreigner in your own country, all of a sudden, with less rights and privileges, and excluded from most opportunities. That accounts for the extraordinary level of anger over this bill and the clueless nature of Rep Senators.

Redstate toes the Bush party line most of the time, for them to go off the reservation (one post wonders if the Iraq War can go unfunded this long what's the rush?) illustrates how much Bush's own base hates this.

Of all the major candidates, only Romney has opposed this and surprise surprise he's shot up in the polls.

Anonymous said...

Freerepublic has a link to the bill and posters are commenting on various sections of the bill.

Judging by the excerpts this bill looks the greatest act of treason in human history.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1836566/posts

At Redstate.com they are saying that the bill was finished Saturday evening while our mighty and wise Senators were playing golf in Florida.

This thing looks so bad (Check out Mark Steyn's comment on the Corner regarding the 24 hour "background checks") I am tempted to say it would be in our interest to have them pass the bill.

There will be so much chaos this bill would cause that we would finally get the the massive, virulent anti-immigration backlash race realists have been waiting for - and then some.

Old Right

Anonymous said...

...extensive hearings.

On the other hand, this would only give idiots like Nancy Pelosi and Lindsey Graham a stage for their absurd brand of Sharpton-esque moral posturing.

It's only a modest exaggeration to call this an attempted coup against the American people.

I think it's time to stop being modest.

Mark said...

Pelosi is caught between punishing Bush (by letting it die in the House) and approving it for new voters and a new people.

Yeah, that's really the big question mark, ain't it? Will Pelosi let it sail through, or will she insist upon 70 Republican votes? Will 70 Republicans bite?

The House is far more vulnerable to the will of the people than the Senate. It was designed that way. Part of me says Pelosi wants all them new Dems. Other part of me says she doesn't want to be the shortest-serving Speaker in history.

Romney is running ads online and on TV highlighting his opposition to the measure. It's a flip-flop but one that's going to be popular I bet.

No one cares much about flip-flops on this issue. We want red-blooded indignation. Giuliani should be soaring from his last debate performance, but my bet is it sinks both McVain's and Giuliani's campaigns. Pretty soon the top-tier will be Romney/Gingrich/Thompson. Telling a fellow Republican to F off didn't help McCain's campaign. Can't we all pretty much picture him saying that to us? I think we can. In fact, I think he was.


Typical comment from longtime Rep supporters at Redstate : "Heck with it, impeach El Presidente Jorge Arbusto."

Bush has killed any enthusiasm I have for the GOP's issues. Estate and cap gains tax cuts? Let 'em expire. Troops in Iraq? Bring 'em home. Alberto? Let him fry. Wolfowitz? Ditto (and he did.) Minimum wage to $10, $20, $30 an hour? Sky's the limit.

I think on balance the leaks, such as no income taxes paid by illegals, will kill this deal. That's handing primary opponents nuclear weapons and a lot of Senators are up for re-election in 2008.

No more senators than normal, but senators in some pretty interesting states: lots of senators who voted for the last amnesty running in red/semi-red states: Rockefeller (WV), Graham (SC), Landrieu (LA), McConnell (KT), Hagel (NE), Harkin (IA), Pryor (AR), Chambliss (GA), Craig (ID), Levin (MI), Baucus (MT), Smith (OR), Warner (VA) - and quite a few more. If even half lose, it's not too tough to see hundreds of years of accrued seniority getting properly flushed down the crapper.

In addition, Wayne Allard's retiring in Colorado, and immigration will be a major issue there. Mark Udall, the probable Democratic nominee, voted for the HR 4437 enforcement bill, but his record otherwise is appalling.


EVERY working and middle class guy knows he's getting screwed, unless you are part of the La Raza network and can rely on extended nepotism to push you ahead.

Indeed. One wonders how long such people will bother to join the military, knowing that the country their fighting for isn't theirs anymore.

I also wonder if/how much civil disobedience an amnetsy will inspire among Republicans. How many people will refuse to pay their taxes? How many people will march? Any guesses?

Russell said...

To get the full flavor of how brazenly elitist this thing is you need to listen to McCain's statement at the press conference.

His comments amounted to: "This bill needs to pass NOW because I say so. Anyone who attacks it is just playing politics. We don't need to hear what people think about it. Pass it NOW. Just do it. Shut up, little people, we're not interested in your opinions. Don't read it, just accept that it's going to happen. I'm a senator goddammit, who the hell are you?"

SFG said...

These guys don't actually read the legislation, you know. Didn't anyone here see Farenheit 9/11? You know, as opposition research...

Ugh. This really pisses me off. I guess it's up to the right-wing blogosphere, the left's all over this one. Good luck, guys.

Mark said...

To get the full flavor of how brazenly elitist this thing is you need to listen to McCain's statement at the press conference: "We don't need to hear what people think about it. Pass it NOW. Just do it. Shut up, little people, we're not interested in your opinions. Don't read it, just accept that it's going to happen. I'm a senator goddammit, who the hell are you?" - russell

Pretty close. What he DID say is that they need to pass the bill before "extracurricular activities" (i.e., campaigns) get in the way. In other words, he's hoping the poor little plebes will forget by the time the elections roll around how the were screwed. If he's so sure that Americans want it, and that it's good for the country, then why care if congress passes it on October 31, 2008?

And the man doesn't just think of himself as a senator. He thinks of himself as a god because he spent 7 years as a POW and most of us did not.

I guess that's just something I'll have to live with.

Mark said...

FWIW, I think this bill's a slam dunk. It WILL pass. I know my two senators will vote for it. One voted for the last amnesty. The other voted against it - but he was running for re-election. That safely behind him, I know he'll vote for this one.

I did however get my (ever so slight) revenge. The son of the guy who voted for it was running for a state senate seat - in my district. I had the pleasure of voting against him at the GOP convention. He finished third.

Anonymous said...

I keep wondering. In 2012, is there even going to be a Republican party left? Between hounding all the doubters of "they will greet us with candy and flowers" out of their own party, losing the war, pushing aside the small government types, screwing their own base on immigration, who's left?

Mark said...

I'm sure something involving bulls was in that room - or at the podium where they announced the sel....er, compromise.

Mark said...

Giving weight to your threat:

It's one thing to call your senator and rant (which you should do, BTW), but it might also be a good idea to show that you mean something.

If you really want to send a message, and you're registered with a party, Google [your state] + elections, and you'll get your state's election's office. Find out where you need to go to change your party affiliation (some may allow you to do it online), and change it from Democrat or Republican to something else.

Let these politicians know that you're not playing games - and spread the word.