April 1, 2013

Will hearings on the immigration bill be allowed?

The big tactical question on immigration at the moment is whether the Gang of Eight's undisclosed bill negotiated in undisclosed locations will be slammed through the Senate with virtually no hearings, or whether Senator Jeff Sessions' call for televised hearings will be heeded. We went through exactly the same issues in 2006 and 2007, when amnesty addicts tried to slide their bills through on a trust-us-would-we-lie-to-you basis, but both times it failed when exposed to scrutiny.

As I wrote in VDARE six years ago:
By Steve Sailer on May 19, 2007 at 1:00am 
Under the leadership of Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), various Senators and Bush Administration officials pulled an all-nighter behind closed doors on Wednesday. By noon Thursday, the bleary-eyed politicos had concocted an illegal alien amnesty (a.k.a., "comprehensive immigration reform") bill. 
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. As Senator Chuck Grassley [R-IA] correctly 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 even been shown the text of the bill. The ultimately failed amnesty legislation the Senate passed last year was 118,277 words long. 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! [Two days later] 
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. 
The pro-amnesty Senate hearings spearheaded by McCain in early 2006 aroused tremendous opposition among the public. Although an amnesty bill passed the Senate in May, House Republican leaders wisely refused to be lured into a conference committee to reconcile their enforcement-only bill with the Senate's diametrically opposed bill. Instead, they held additional hearings on immigration last summer around the country. Foolishly, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) tried to hold his own hearings in favor of the Senate bill, but the result of the dueling hearings was the collapse of any chance for amnesty last year. 
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. 
Of course, the Main Stream Media finds this elite putsch admirable. U.S. News' Political Bulletin commented on Friday: "Media Revels in Bipartisanship Bliss The bipartisan process that led to the Senate deal is being celebrated in media reports." Today's press probably would have spun the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact as a triumph of bipartisan bridge-building. Who cares if the American people have to play the role of the betrayed Poles? 
Why this obscene haste?

The good news in 2013 is that not only Evil Old White Man Jeff Sessions is calling for hearings, but so is Vibrant Young Person of Tanning Booth Marco Rubio. Of course, the problem with Rubio's involvement is that it also means that if Rubio, America's Unelected Dictator of Demographic Destiny, ever changes his mind on the need for hearings, then we are sunk.

Greg Sargent of the WaPo writes:
Rubio is joining with other Senators who are urging a go-slow approach, such as Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions, who may be urging a slowdown so the armies of the right have time to mobilize and strike fear into any reform-minded Republican officials, killing reform. 
Indeed, one group opposed to reform has explicitly called on Senators to slow the process down, apparently for the purposes of derailing it. And we’ve seen this before: back in 2007, opponents of reform similarly tried to slow the process, with Senator John Cornyn urging colleagues to “slow down and read this bill” because Americans had not yet digested the plan. Now, six years later, we’re again hearing the calls to “slow down.” But the American people have made their verdict clear: They want a path to citizenship.

Let's reiterate the Establishment Conventional Wisdom: Only bad people want to "slow down and read this bill" (which, by the way, hasn't yet fully gone through the formality of coming into existence, much less released to the public). Why do you want to read a landmark bill? What are you, some kind of racist? Reading is racist!


Anonymous said...

Aesop's cousin's parable of the fox.

There once was a king in the land of foxes. The king fox had four princess foxes and one prince fox. The king fox felt great fondness for them all. The four princess foxes loved to bake and made delicious pies. The prince fox loved to bake pies too but wouldn't follow the recipe and made his pies out of mud instead. Though no one wanted to eat mud pies, the king fox had special affection for the prince fox and doted on him no matter what he did. So, the king fox pretended that the prince fox's mud pies are real pies. And since the prince fox was part of the family, the princess foxes went along with the charade as well.

The foxes of the kingdom all loved pies, and they were grateful when princess foxes shared pies with them. But when the prince fox handed out his mud pies, no one wanted to eat them. If anything, they wanted to say that mud pies were not real pies and impossible to swallow, let alone digest.

But the foxes knew that the prince fox was the favorite of the king fox. They knew that to speak the truth would displease the king whose power affected every fox's life.

Also, many foxes wanted to climb the social ladder in the kingdom, and to do so, they had to please the king and show themselves to be ever so loyal and docile.

And so, the foxes of the kingdom all pretended that the fox prince was an expert pie maker in the kingdom, and they convinced themselves that mud pies are indeed real pies, the best pies.

Anonymous said...

I hope they pass the amnesty bill, maybe an accelerated decline is the only thing that can save this country.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Anon 5:36 - Many share that sentiment out of frustration, but I ask you to reconsider. We can see in retrospect some times when that has worked, but that is just cherry-picking our data. Making things worse almost always does nothing but make things worse.

As to the 2006-7 bill, and all subsequent bills about anything. When you see the word "comprehensive," know immediately that you are being screwed. Politicians love comprehensive stuff, which allows everyone to play around with their favorite prejudices and toy ideas. Fixing 10% of a problem in a one-page bill, such as building a border fence, is never on the table.

Luke Lea said...

Nice series on immigration. Keep it up.

I notice there is very little about enforcement in the media's coverage of this issue. Right now it's all about how many guest workers to allow. Sen. Schumer, a couple of years ago, was big on e-verify or some other means of national identification. It's eerie how little talk there is now on that subject.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the immigration white paper for Canada by the Liberal party in 1966-67. Almost zero public input or consultation and it changed the entire face of Canada beyond all recognition forever.

Btw, we just had a double shooting execution at Yorkdale mall, one of the best known shopping centres in Canada. That would have been unthinkable then.

Anonymous said...

"But the American people have made their verdict clear: They want a path to citizenship."
Remind me, when did we do that?

Matthew said...

"Foolishly, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) tried to hold his own hearings..."

May he rot in hell.

Porter said...

I expect so precious little of the Republicans. Not initiative or courage, loyalty or intelligence. Only that they reflexively vote against every single piece of legislation proffered by the democrats or supported by the left in general. This mere activity--easily accomplished by the ganglions residing within their deserted skulls--could be accomplished within seconds...thus yielding abundant time for all those cherished hobbies such as toe counting, booger extraction, and groveling to AIPAC. Yet even in this it seems, too much is asked.

Matthew said...

I don't believe this amnesty will pass. I don't think it will even come up for a vote in the House, and it might even be successfully filibustered in the Senate.

Amnesty failed in 2006, with a Republican president, House and Senate. It came even less close to passing in 2007, with a Democratic House and Senate and a Republican president who certainly brought along at least a few Republican supporters.

Now they have a Republican House, but they don't have a Republican president to win any sympathy from the GOP. If Republicans vocally oppose the bill they may say things that will anger potential Hispanic voters. If they vocally support the bill they will definitely say things that anger conservative voters.

The best bet to improve their chances in the 2014 elections is to issue brief but firm statements endorsing an enforcement only approach and then just let the bill die.

Republican pols are supporting this for one reason: their contributors want it. But what the GOP really has a shortage of is voters, and they need to stop supporting policies that turn off potential voters; and those potential voters, on this issue, lean overwhelmingly to the right.

Matthew said...

"Rubio is joining with other Senators who are urging a go-slow approach, such as Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions, who may be urging a slowdown so the armies of the right have time to mobilize and strike fear into any reform-minded Republican officials, killing reform."

What's Rubio doing, exactly? Is he playing good cop to Chuckie Schumer's bad cop? Is he pretending to be thoughtful, before turning around and backing amnesty?

Is he genuinely having second thoughts?

Or has he gotten so many calls and emails that he's realized his presidential ambitions are doomed if he continues?

"Only bad people want to 'slow down and read this bill'"

You know how, when you criticize a lefty movie, lefties like to ask if you've actually seen it? Next time a lefty criticizes you for opposing amnesty ask them if they've actually read the bill.

Danny said...

Yes, but what can you do. The "racism" cry is so easy for younger politicos. Rubio is about to get played by the Obama Administration. Good King Barack will do an amnesty with GOP support - it will cement 98% of Hispanic voters as Democrats for generations.

anony-mouse said...

Maybe I slept through Schoolhouse Rock, but doesn't a bill have to go through the House as well?

Why is 100% of the focus on the Senate?


Anonymous said...

Sen. Schumer, a couple of years ago, was big on e-verify or some other means of national identification. It's eerie how little talk there is now on that subject.

E-verify is a problem. Unlike the virtual fence, e-verify works, and thus the elites don't like it. You can always tell what is effective against illegal infiltration by how much the elite either ridicules or ignores the idea. If the elites push something, it means it will not work.

Glaivester said...

The good news in 2013 is that not only Evil Old White Man Jeff Sessions is calling for hearings, but so is Vibrant Young Person of Tanning Booth Marco Rubio. Of course, the problem with Rubio's involvement is that it also means that if Rubio, America's Unelected Demographic Dictator, ever changes his mind on the need for hearings, then we are sunk.

Not necessarily. Ted Cruz was one of the "counter-gang of six" who initially called for hearings (Grassley, Sessions, Lee, Cruz, Cornyn, and Hatch), and with a massive calling campaign we could still slow things down in the Senate. In any case, we can also stop it in the House or we can stop whatever comes out of conference if the two bills pass and need to be reconciled.

There are plenty of places where there is room to force debate or to reveal the bill to the public, creating a massive campaign to stop it.

The point is, we need to take advantage of this opportunity with Rubio, but if it falls through, we need to look for the next opportunity. Do not get discouraged and do not give up!

Anonymous said...


"Labor talk on 457 visas 'disgraceful and racist' says Rupert Murdoch "

Now, if you wonder why the supposed media on the "right" is so pro-immigration, you have only to look at this article to see why.

Thank God Murdoch's 82 years old. There's no way his kids are going to be as strongly inclined towards immigration, if by nothing else but regression towards the mean.

In a lot of ways, this is indicative of the slowness with which the outlook on immigration is constrained to change - the people in power had their opinions formed in a time when everywhere was a whitopia. Now the only contact they have with non-whites is with celebrities (who are that way because they can behave themselves) or obsequious service staff. They are old to the point where their opinions are rigid, and the only change that can come is when they are either dead or too feeble to exert any influence.

Anonymous said...

OT, but funny and related to misleading demographics. Alexa.com on isteve readers:

"Based on internet averages, isteve.blogspot.com is visited more frequently by males who are over 65 years old, have no children, have no college education and browse this site from school."

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of a friend's comments regarding the rapidly-passed "Obamacare" bill, back in 2009: "It is impossible to argue with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act- not because it is so well-reasoned and intelligent that nobody could have objections, but because, at 906 pages, nobody could possibly have read it in the short time that it has been up for debate".

Anonymous said...

If Marco rubio were not hispanic, he 'd just be a state legislator. If he were not hispanic, nobody would be considering him for pres. But ironically, rubio's thinking he can actually be president may kill this bill. Lets call his office and make it happen.

Anonymous said...

Ot, but did you see potus go 2/22 today shooting hoops? Even missed a lay up. He left the court hurriedly after he finally made a shot.

Matthew said...

Off topic: news from the assortative marriage front: Susan Patton, Princeton Class of '77 graduate, advises Princetonian women to get married while at Princeton, while it's easier to find someone "worthy of them." Internet chaos ensues. Patton is reviled with many awful epithets, including "WASP." Everything's alright though when it's revealed that Patton is not a WASP, but a Jew.

Crisis averted.

Anonymous said...

Well, Gruz surprise me, Texas politcians are not really that hard on illegal immirgation. They mouth about border secuirty but Cruz did keep his promise to the Tea Party group that supported him against Dewhurst who was awful on the issue. Lamar Smith is another good from Texas. Both Cruz and Smith know how terrible the construcation industry is in Texas which hires a lot of illegals since its 60 percent Hispanic and has the worst safety record even worst than California.

Svigor said...

She also revealed a few details that might not reconcile her with feminists, but which do counter the impression given by her letter.

First, she isn’t a WASP. (“It was intended as advice from a nice Jewish mother. That’s all it was.”)

Typical liberal philo-Semitic, anti-Anglo-Saxon racism. Like Jews aren't as "eugenicist" as they come, lol.

"Silent Holocaust," anyone? Judaism, anyone? Israel, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Well journalists wouldn't have anything easy to do all day if they couldn't continually portray themselves tribunes of The People. They might have to go look for facts which is startlingly close to work

NOTA said...

I wonder whar fraction of really important, nation-changing bills are voted on with few congressmen knowing quite what's in them. The Patriot Act and Obamacare are two examples, I think. I wonder what others are out there.

I suppose most of the congresscritters are voting on the basis of party affiliation anyway, so maybe mostly they don't need to read the bills. But it's hard to see what the hell role they're supposed to play in government if they don't even bother (or aren't given a chance to) read the bills they vote on.