June 28, 2007

Who Sires The Dead Duck?

Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan, the saying goes. In the case of the immigration bill, it appears that an parents are dropping like flies, and the Democrats have begun a paternity claim naming George Bush as its father. If he can't deliver 20 votes for cloture this morning, they say the bill's failure will rest on his shoulders:

Just two days ago, 64 senators voted to revive the bill, with many saying they wanted to give the Senate a chance to improve the bill through amendments. But after a messy day in the chamber yesterday, with dozens of objections, arguments on the floor and five amendments defeated, at least a half-dozen senators said publicly or privately that their patience has run out.

"The way this has been handled, I'm not going to take a leap of faith," said Sen. Richard M. Burr, North Carolina Republican, who voted to advance the bill on Tuesday but said the way Democratic leaders ran the floor yesterday left no room to "take a bad bill and make it better." ...

Democratic leaders have said they can deliver about 40 votes for the bill and called on President Bush and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver at least 20 votes. Democrats said if the bill fails, Mr. Bush will get the blame.

That sounds like wishful thinking. Certainly the sense one gets from those Senators looking to divorce themselves from the bill now isn't that they're abandoning it because of a lack of White House pressure. The process has disgusted several of them, and the blame for that goes to Harry Reid, not George Bush.

Let's recap, shall we? The bill came to the Senate originally through a self-appointed committee of Senators, bypassing the normal committee process where Senators can debate and amend proposals in a sane and rational manner. The "Masters of the Universe" wanted only four days of debate, but under pressure, Reid gave it eight -- but refused to allow more than a handful of amendments. The bill lost on cloture by 15 votes, a clear rejection of the arrogance of Reid's process.

So what did he do this time? He decided on an even more arrogant process, demanding that the Senate vote on a bill that had not even been provided to them. Reid used an unprecedented procedure, the "clay pigeon", and then set up the rules so that no one could offer any further amendments. He turned the world's greatest deliberative body into the In-N-Out Debate Society, a railroad job so complete that the only rational option to punish him for it is to shoot down cloture and embarass him publicly for it.

It looks like more Senators have come to the same conclusion. He needs 20 GOP Senators to join 40 Democrats to endorse his historically bad leadership, and I'm not sure he'll get either number. If anyone fathered this dead duck, it's the man who spawned the clay pigeon.


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Comments (13)

Posted by Scott Malensek | June 28, 2007 6:22 AM

Congress isn't responsible for Congress' actions (again)?

Yeah, don't get me wrong, I think the President has a piece in this, but it is a CONGRESSIONAL action, and it should be the leaders of Congress who bear the responsibility for not leading Congress imo.

Will the American people blame Bush for not pushing his own bill? I dunno, but I suspect it'll be another straw on the Congressional camel's back. No way it's gonna help their 14% approval rating.

Posted by R Xapt | June 28, 2007 6:31 AM

What we witnessed yesterday on the floor of the US Senate from Reid and his gang of Amnesty advocates was 'sausage' democracy.

What a disgraceful display of hubris and arrogance.

Posted by Artie Curtis | June 28, 2007 6:31 AM

Masters of the Universe - that's why I love this site :).

Posted by jay | June 28, 2007 6:34 AM

This bill was a serious miscalculation. It will cost 4 to 6 Republican Senators their seats in the next election.

I am very sorry to watch the Bush admin push so hard for this very unpopular bill especially when they need support in so many other areas.

Wish GW had pushed half as hard on Social Security Reform.

Posted by howard lohmuller | June 28, 2007 6:34 AM

If the immigration bill fails today by a narrow margin, it will be a definate knock against a Democrat do-nothing, run amok, Congress. And it will allow Republican voters to purge themselves of the "McCain Republicans" in primary contests and still retain a chance of taking back the Senate in 2008. If the bill is rejected by a large margin, Republicans may even have a chance of retaking the House. Cable, talk radio and the blogs will have to carry the effort on because Old Media will drop the issue like a hot potato after they blame the President for the failure. But that will allow Congressional conservatives to profile themselves and divorce President Bush and the do-nothing Congress in a proper manner.

Posted by JohninLondon | June 28, 2007 6:38 AM


As you say - today's the day. There seem to be several Senators who can now turn round and say "I felt at least some more debate was needed - and I wanted to see how even the limited batch of amendments fared. But we didn't even see them in good time, had no chance to digest and review them - and Reid handled the Senate like he was running a kindergarten. Half the time even he didn't seem to know what was happening, and he risks making the Senate a laughing stock. (More of a laughing stock ?) It is time for the railroading to stop, it smacks of dictatorship. Plus, my constituents have made their views abundantly clear - and even the Democratic voters are against this Bill.

Therefore I must oppose cloture today."

You, Ed, and other CLEVER bloggers and radio show hosts have played a blinder on all this, a real example of informing the base. For this, much thanks. Any Senator worth his salt will have had his staff monitoring you all.

If cloture fails, the next step is to continue the momentum against total turncoats like Lindsay Graham and Arlen Specter. Their perfidy has been laid bare for all to see. They deserve the boot.

(By the way - in the UK House of Commons Reid would have been shouted down, called every epithet under the sun, and scorned so much that even his own side would drop him like a hot potato. Ignoring the issue itself, his process manouvres have been disgusting. The Commons is a damn sight more effective a legislative chamber than the Senate, I fear. So much of the Senate performance on this crucial issue has been supine ..."My friend this" "My friend that" Skewer the guy.

Posted by Dennis Clark | June 28, 2007 7:33 AM

Howard; close but, you forget who controls the media for the masses. Bush did push hard for social Security Reform. The democrats (miss) led by Harry and Nancy refused to even enter into discussions. They said it was the President's Bill and they would not enter because it would make them subject to "political" finger pointing.

This is the same as the Clinton shut down. Remember when Newt and company went to the White House. Met with Clinton and announced they had reached a deal. When they arrived in the congressional chambers they found that Clinton had lied to them, declared their unwillingness to negotiate an the MSM pointed out that the mean republicans were costing hard working Americans jobs at Christmas and children visits to National Treasures!

We (for now) have the benefit of blogs and talk radio. The democrats have openly declared to shut down talk radio and you can bet blogs are next. They do not like an "informed electorate."

Posted by BoWowBoy | June 28, 2007 7:46 AM

OK .......... Bloomberg.com (By: James Rowley and Nicholas Johnston) is reporting that it is the Baucus Amendment that is having the rats jump the death ship.

The Senate refused to set aside an amendment by Montana Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester that would dilute requirements employers verify the identity of new workers.

The amendment that the Senate refused to table, by a 52-45 vote, would have deleted requirements that by 2013 employers insist upon an identification card that meets the specifications of the 2005 Real ID Act. That law gives states financial incentives to require a tamper-proof driver's license.

OK ......I am still utterly amazed at the ignorance of these guys. Does anyone besides me wonder ......"what in the hell" .......was supposed to take place in the hiring process for the next 8 years until 2013 to identify illegal workers ....??

Was it to be business as usual ....just hire guys with fake I.D.'s .....??

It doesn't sound to me like a potential employer was even required to ask a potential hireee .....for a Z visa or any temporary visa.

Posted by http://bustardblog.typepad.com/bustardblog/2007/06/with-the-possib.html | June 28, 2007 8:04 AM

Immigration - the issue where hypocrisy reigns even more than any other. How about the employer lawbreakers? And how about the guy who uses an intermediary to hire the illegal, like the landscaper who speaks English but the men who actually mow the lawns can't speak a word. You know like the Lou Dobs family who spends hundreds of thousands a year feeding and housing illegals?

Posted by StargazerA5 | June 28, 2007 8:22 AM

Amazing, they're going to pin the blame for the bill failing on Bush? Since the bill is so unpopular, will that actually increase his popularity?

This could go down in the annals of history as one of the most amazing rope-a-dopes in history. Bush meticulously planned to support the bill, knowing that the public would hate it, so that he could trick the Dems into supporting it and then blaming him when it failed so he would become the champion of killing the bill! This will greatly increase his popularity! A true mastermind of the first order.

Tongue very much in cheek,


Posted by Rovin | June 28, 2007 9:28 AM

From Jim DeMints site:

After the Senate voted to cut off debate on the question of whether to resurrect the Senate immigration bill, Senator Reid set up unique debate process that guarantees votes several hand-picked amendments but blocks consideration of all others. Senator Reid used a parliamentary tool called a “clay pigeon” to divide a giant amendment into multiple amendments and then moved to block all others. No other member of the Senate besides Reid could have accomplished all of this without being stopped by another Senator. No other Majority Leader in history has done this.

“Republicans need to take a step back and realize what happened today. Senator Reid turned the Senate into the House and fundamentally undermined minority rights,” said Senator DeMint. “I was always told the Senate was the saucer that cooled the pot, but Senator Reid is forcing us to drink straight from the spout. Republicans better wake up soon or they can expect Senator Reid to use this tactic in the future to raise taxes, increase spending, and weaken our national security.”

Lindsay Grahm just said on the floor: "this is good as it gets"----- another words, now that we've crammed this pathetic legislation down the people's throats, swallow it!

Reid didn't "get it" the first time around that limiting ammendments to a small group of preselected senators was not going to produce a consensus or SUPPORT. But Reid's lack of leadership once again will bring this bill to another sad end of no cloture.

Back to the drawing board------fine with me.

Posted by Bill Faith | June 28, 2007 10:03 AM

Sorta like a prostitute with morning sickness wondering "Was it the guy with the beard, or the guy with the tattoos, or maybe ....?" There's plenty of blame to go around. I added a link to my 2007.06.28 "No Illegal Left Behind" Roundup -- Special "Clay Pigeon or Dead Duck?" Edition

Posted by Bill Faith | June 28, 2007 10:12 AM

Sorta like a prostitute with morning sickness wondering "Was it the guy with the beard, or the guy with the tattoos, or maybe ....?" There's plenty of blame to go around. I added a link to my 2007.06.28 "No Illegal Left Behind" Roundup -- Special "Clay Pigeon or Dead Duck?" Edition