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
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]