Coleman: I Didn’t Trust The Government, Either

One of the questions heading into today’s cloture vote on immigration was how Senator Norm Coleman would vote. Coleman had voted in favor of bringing the bill back to the floor, perplexing the bill’s opponents and putting Coleman squarely in the middle of the drama today.
Coleman voted against cloture today, joining seventeen other Senators in sending the bill back to the grave, this time apparenly for good. What changed? Coleman explains in his statement today that the process itself convinced him that the bill would never improve enough to support:

Today I voted against moving the immigration bill forward. It became increasingly clear that there were still too many problems with this bill and not enough time to correct them. Throughout this debate, the American people did not trust that the Congress or the President had the resolve to secure the border. In the end, their suspicions rang true, as we were unable vote on amendments to strengthen the border and workplace enforcement mechanisms, as well as ending the practice of so called “sanctuary cities”.
From the beginning, this bill was hastily put together; it skipped the committee process, and was rushed to a conclusion on the floor. In the end, we must find a way to bring the more than 12 million illegal immigrants out of the shadows. However, we must do so in a way that determines who is living inside our country, secures our borders, and restores the rule of law to our immigration policies and enforcement. I remain hopeful that we can successfully address this issue sometime in the future, because we must.

Congress lost the trust of the people and of a significant number of its own members through its failure to act, and its failure to properly develop the bill in such a way that Senators could fix its fatal flaws. Coleman had had enough, as had most everyone else.
Bush has announced that he will not return to this bill, instead focusing on the upcoming budget debates. Congress still needs to address border security and visa reform, however, and they had better do so soon. If Congress and the White House want some credibility in the future to pursue normalization, they have a chance now to start building it with real action and above-board legislation.

40 thoughts on “Coleman: I Didn’t Trust The Government, Either”

  1. “Bush has announced that he will not return to this bill”
    Not good enough. We have spoken loud and clear. We want border enforcement now. Build the fence. Start today. Get it done.
    I will not support incumbents with votes, time or money until they follow the law, secure the border and stop illegal immigration.
    How much clearer can we possible be?

  2. Good, W shouldn’t return this bill, a better bill should be crafted, a less complicated bill that Americans can understand.
    It can be done before he’s out of office, but if he prefers to take his ball and go home, ok.

  3. The bill is dead, thankfully, and I’m glad that my states two senators developed some backbone this time and voted no in the first round.
    Still though a line was crossed by several senators, in my opinion, I expect Fat Teddy to spew what he does, but Durbin reached new lows. He basically said, during one of his last rants, that anyone calling in to the Senate in protest was a xenophobic, bigoted dumb@$$. Fortunately for Mr. Durbin it’s illegal, for such apparent cretins as I must be, to invite him out for early morning coffee and pistols.
    I don’t know where these elected officials get the idea that they’re God Emporers of us all. The idea that they can so publicly disparage anyone not agreeing with their issues while taking monies, as salary, garnered from those same people.

  4. this is a golden opportunity for the congress, homeland security and the president to step up and show us that they were serious about border security and enforcement. the visa bill from 1995 and the fence act from 2006 are still on the books. failure to enact these two laws caused skeptics such as myself to argue they never were for closing the border in any meaningful way. of course they countered with “trust us” we mean it this time because border security is item number 1. okay, here’s your chance. enforce these two laws and your comprehensive immigration reform will have a greater chance of success.
    after 40 years of failed promises in prior bills i’m not holding my breath. bush deserves all the fallout he gets because he has not been sincere about border enforcement. he has only himself to blame. he has had six years and 9/11 to boot, and he has done nothing.

  5. A widely unpopular immigration reform bill? You don’t say!

    The Monster is dead. For now. I fully expect it to come back to life sooner than later. I am very proud of the members of Congress who stood up for whats right AND for not believing the President’s line of what is popular.
    WASHINGTON — A defia…

  6. Principle is something unfortunately quite rare in government, and as such one must forgive a bit of backing-and-filling such as Mr Coleman’s caution. As they say – lead, follow, or get out of the way. He wasn’t about to lead, but he did at least follow in the right direction.
    I would not extend that to Mr Brownback, though I can understand his reasons for what he did. He no doubt has, back home in Kansas, some good supporters, agribusiness interests who’ve been very good to him over the years, and who had certain expectations of him this time ’round. Expectations that ran counter to those of the voters of his state, but hey, money is money. He’d have been a good bit less embarrassed right now had he stayed on the sidelines a little longer.

  7. Principle is something unfortunately quite rare in government, and as such one must forgive a bit of backing-and-filling such as Mr Coleman’s caution. As they say – lead, follow, or get out of the way. He wasn’t about to lead, but he did at least follow in the right direction.
    I would not extend that to Mr Brownback, though I can understand his reasons for what he did. He no doubt has, back home in Kansas, some good supporters, agribusiness interests who’ve been very good to him over the years, and who had certain expectations of him this time ’round. Expectations that ran counter to those of the voters of his state, but hey, money is money. He’d have been a good bit less embarrassed right now had he stayed on the sidelines a little longer.

  8. “Congress lost the trust of the people and of a significant number of its own members through its failure to act, and its failure to properly develop the bill in such a way that Senators could fix its fatal flaws.”

    I would submit that congress never had the trust the minute the process began with this bill. Had the senate divided this into three seperate bills, with a strong border security and enforcement policy the FIRST priority, visas and registration next, and then employer penalties (for those who still flaunted the law), then this legislation MAY have had a chance to pass.
    While democrats will attempt to parse this as an anti-mexican result at the hands of republicans, (which is totally false), this was the result of the arrogance of the new leadership that failed to listen to their electorate. And yes, at 14%, the trust was already gone.

  9. I just added a link to my

    2007.06.28 "No Illegal Left Behind" Roundup
    .  Seems to me like we’re
    about out of people we can trust. Is it too late for a "Draft Sessions"
    movement with Coleman in the VP slot to provide geographic balance? I still lean
    pretty strongly toward Fred Thompson at this point but I’m a little disappointed
    at how vocal he hasn’t been about the immigration issue.

  10. This ‘victory’ SHOULD be only the opening salvo of GREAT HEAT aimed straight at a few in this government that have for too long FAILED their primary SWORN responsibility – enforcing EXISTING LAW.
    What this government has NOT done is build the 800 miles of fence contained in law already passed. One billion dollars was put in that bill, and they’ve built less than 10 miles – part of it on the wrong side of the border (in Mexico) – that has to be torn down. (And don’t think that was a mistake, either – the KNEW it was in the wrong place – and had to eventually come down when they built it! Idiotic pleas to the contrary – they can not hide their deliberate attempt to scuttle their duty.)
    Some of these people think they are our MASTERS, not our servants, and we should continue to DISABUSE THEM OF THAT NOTION, and raise the heat on not only on Congress (read Senate, more so than the House,) but the President and most especially agency-idiots like Michael Chertoff, who actually threatened the public today in his petty reaction to the Senate vote.
    FAX, call or write to Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security, and tell him to DO HIS JOB according to existing law (which he has adamantly refused to do,) and stop whining about not having the money or tools to do so (a blatant lie.)
    Tell the idiot in the White House, and his lackey AG to IMMEDIATELY STOP PERSECUTING THE BORDER PATROL FOR DOING THEIR JOB!

  11. Reading Colemans words was reassuring. I didn’t think common sense still existed in the Senate. It still seems to be a rare commodity though…

  12. Oh, yeah. And, next time, before voting,they should read the bill, first! It’s no excuse that Dubya has a reading deficit disorder.
    The next thing I’d recommend noticing? It’s that the Internet, working fast, killed this sucker.
    Heck, Michelle Malkin is now mentioned on InstaPundit, because the Wall Street Journal doesn’t know how she got to do the Lindsey Graham 30-second spot, out so fast.
    They also don’t know it’s life span.
    If you haven’t seen “Muchias Gracias,” you haven’t seen a great TV commercial for a senate (but not Lindsey Graham) yet.
    What were the senators thinking? Do they still believe in the old media?
    While, today, in the really good news department! Fred Thompson came to the Captain to rebut the charges of his being a lobby-ist … Think about it.
    And, being able, ahead, to measure that Fred is advancing; using the Internet … And, he is very FRUGAL, can make him not just a spend thrift, right there. But popular with anyone that has computer access.
    It seems, too, that all news networks are plowing themselves into the wall, where the “yoots” just don’t come by. They’ve lost a valuable audience share. Now, how did they do that?
    Anyway, leave it to Ann Coulter, (and, again, the Net), to bring it to ya … She was interviewed on TV. Today. And, she was asked the usual political questions.
    Her first answer was great! You see, Bush IS a uniter! Now, everybody can’t wait until the “nincompoop leaves office.” How good is that, huh? People of both parties, and lots of independents. ALL UNITED.
    Oh, then she was asked to name her favorite GOP candidate. So she said: “Duncan Hunter, but nobody knows who he is.”
    And, when pushed; that she had to choose someone else, she said “Sarkozy.”
    Heck, if miracles just happened in france (without the guillotine put to use), it does give hope that IF socialists voted for the conservative, can you imagine what can happen, here?
    I guess, too, to go along with the Ma & Pa Kettle Show; Dubya will also continue to demonstrate he doesn’t know how to be an effective president. The log didn’t roll far from the family tree. Let me tell ya.

  13. There are numerous reasons why the public doesn’t trust congress, three of them have the names Coleman, and my senators Warner and Webb.

  14. Responding to first commenter:
    “Not good enough. We have spoken loud and clear. We want border enforcement now. Build the fence. Start today. Get it done.
    I will not support incumbents with votes, time or money until they follow the law, secure the border and stop illegal immigration.
    How much clearer can we possible be?”
    Reading Google News, I see the Senate has no plans whatsoever to address the issue until 2009 at least. And that was the optimistic estimate. The pessimistic one was “not for the foreseeable future”.
    So we aren’t getting a fence, we aren’t getting enforcement. What we’re getting is more of the same for at least another two years … possibly longer.
    So I guess I have a question.
    In retrospect, was it worth it? Would it have been better to pass this bad bill than to permit the status quo to continue?
    Brian P.

  15. As many observers and Senators stated this fundementaly was about a much greater issue than immigration. First and foremost it was about whether our elected officials can take a sworn oath to see that the laws are FAITHFULLY executed and hold their duty hostage to a backroom deal. At least for today government of by and for the people survived. So yes it was infinitly worth it.

  16. Norm is like a lot of other Republicans. When it became obvious that the ship was going to sink, he jumped off. Not a surprising move from a politician.
    Of course, after the fact, he has a completely rational explanation for his last minute change of heart. Right….

  17. Again the vitriol was ugly, and serves the Conservative agenda poorly in the long run.
    Illegal Immigration problems will remain…
    Nothing wrong with using constructive insight to advocate for what one wants, but many on the Conservative side, some of our finest, resorted to juvenile slander.
    It was even more ugly to watch than the last time.
    Some Conservative Pundits in the Blog world are revealed to be nothing more than temper tantrums, reactionaries, etc..
    Will the Republicans who stopped the Bill be thanked properly?
    Or will they be abandoned to empower the Liberal Democrat Agenda again, just like what happened in NOV. of 2006?
    Hillary is coming, or someone just as bad…
    It would be nice to see the same kind of energy focused on defeating the Liberal Democrats this 2008.
    Or at least, the same kind of intensity to rebuke the Democrats for unethically undermining the USA in the GWOT…

  18. “as well as ending the practice of so called “sanctuary cities”.
    When *that* failed, the whole thing became doomed.

  19. Of course, the votes simply are not there for “enforcement only” plans.
    We either find an acceptable comprehensive plan, or we continue to fail to address the problem.
    This wasn’t it, of course, and it’s a good thing it’s dead. But the net result isn’t any type of “victory” – other than the fleeting kind – because the problem is still there. 12 million already here and off the books, more coming every day (40% of the illegals got here by simply overstaying a legal visa), and a failed policy stays in place.
    Congress will probably do what it does best: kick the can down the road and do nothing, leaving a festering problem to get worse every day. Sort of like on “Social Security reform,” come to think of it . . .

  20. In retrospect, was it worth it? Would it have been better to pass this bad bill than to permit the status quo to continue?
    Oh, no. What an idiot idea. As has been repeatedly pointed out, we already have sufficient laws on the books — we just need to enforce them. This bad bill would have not only given amnesty to 12 million illegals, but would have rolled out the red carpet for the next 12 million to swarm in, too.
    Without legislation legalizing them and giving Mexico the key to Ft Knox, we can continue harassing them, arresting them, locking them and deporting them.
    AND cities and states can continue to pass their own legislation, and when the time comes, send those bills to the White House.
    I can’t believe you think it’s better to pass this dreadful cobbled-together Frankenstein monster of a bill because evidently you’re concerned that some folks got their little feelings hurted. How silly.

  21. Senator-unelect Coleman: Why Can’t You Be Stong Like This All the Time?

    I listen to polls. I don’t listen to polls. Which is it? (go to Captain’s Quarters here to read his tortured reasoning) The next time Senator-unelect Norm Coleman tries to hide behind polls to explain why he has no choice

  22. It’s time to get serious. It is time to impeach Bush. It is time to recall the congress people who refuse to support, fund and obey the law on border enforcement. In California a few years back the governor, Grey Davis, was recalled in a fury sparked by his idiotic insistence in giving legal diver’s licenses to illegal aliens. He was so out of touch with reality that he actually got publicly behind the idea – and got his @$$ handed to him. You can bet this current crop of fools – Bush included – are hard at work regrouping. If they will not build a fence then it is time to show them all the door. It is time to impeach Bush.

  23. Poor Philip, worried about someone breaking the law and demanding that others break the law. Impeachment takes more than words from a retard.
    I expect to spend the next 16 months listening to the democratic whine, nothing more. We have the first worthless congress in the history of the country, add in the total lack of ethics and the crimes comitted by the leadership of congress and the United States as a whole is in heap big trouble. Remember, the democrats operate on the pre-school level so the whine will be loud and often. Impeachment of President Bush would mean for a fact that the next two (at least) democrats that win the white house will automatically face impeachment. If no legal charges are required, they would be impeached on the first day for criminal offenses they always comitt. Crime is in a democrats gene pool.

  24. I suggest the GOP craft something, anything, on immigration/border security that they can be 100 percent behind. No matter how small or compartmentalized, as long as there is very strong agreement. Even if they can’t get a Democrat to co-sponsor the bill, they could at least publicize both the bill and the fact of Democrat obstruction.
    Dem leadership is OK with doing nothing and blaming GOP next election for failure. I don’t mind the Grahams and Voinovich’s paying a price, but I don’t want the Sessions and DeMints and the rest of us to be labelled as anti-immigrant or anti-Mexican, etc. A good way to help is to bounce back and push for legislation that makes sense–targeted bills that should have been submitted in the first place–even though Reid and Bush won’t help at all at this point. Shoot, even vapid resolutions to fund and enforce what is good about current law would be better than ignoring the issue and letting Reid just drop it and blame GOP.
    Off subject: Fred did a good, if awkwardly wordy, job of addressing his first “unforced error” regarding Cubans. He responded before the national (or So. Florida) media could even get to first base with any criticism. On the contrary, this gave him a contrived reason to ingratiate himself to the Cuban community more forcefully and publicly than any other candidate. This sort of responsiveness is impressive–Fred has listened to the Captain, and by extension, I feel he is listening to me.

  25. Friday’s Washington Times is out, with these gems:
    “The bill’s supporters, though, praised each other’s courage for standing firm in the face of voters’ demands.”
    “Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, told senators to ignore the outraged phone calls flooding their offices, saying there were many parts of the bill “they don’t understand.””
    Specter [continuing that theme of condescending elitism] lamented, “… this is a profile in cynicism. Votes were changed in order to defeat the bill, not because they expressed the preference of the senators.” Mr. Specter, though, has acknowledged repeatedly he has done the opposite and voted against [to profile his cynicism?] a number of amendments he actually would have liked to see passed simply to keep the bill alive.”
    My oh, my; no lessons learned from the “aye” Senators. They praised each other for firmly standing against the will of the voters.
    ’nuff said.

  26. Here is the deal, a simple and easy solution to Illegal immigration:
    Five years in federal prison and 1 million dollar fine for each illegal hired.
    This would eliminate the incentive to come here illegally and cause those here now to go back..
    Fat track VIsa and citizenship applications currently in the system.
    A guest worker program that works and is verified by the employers, in other words no visa is issued unless an employer certifies they will be employed and will ensure they go back when employment is finished if this is violated then the employer is subject to the above sanctions.
    With this we would not need a fence nor more border patrol, lets be honest here the employers are why we have millions of illegals in this country not the illegals themselves and the employers are the ones we need to go after.

  27. Norm Coleman doesn’t trust the government either.
    Hmmm. That’s pretty cute. But Norm Coleman IS the government. Norm Coleman is part of the problem. His fence-sitting, playing-the-field posturing on this issue bothers me somewhat. This bill was so blatantly fraudulent and arrogantly promoted that there was only one honorable position to take regarding it – and that was to be be actively against it as were senators DeMint, Sessions, and Cornyn.
    I’m left very unimpressed by Coleman’s performance on this. Despite his no-sanctuary-cities amendment, I’m left with the sense that to Norm this was all political calculation. Principles live article IV section IV had nothing to do with it.
    We need leaders with conviction. I’m very disappointed with my senator.

  28. Right on. There’s enough on the books to crack down on the problem–if President Bush weren’t adamant that all 12 million, and the next 12 million, are fully welcome.
    Adjoran, the only sure-fire consistent loser with an actual track record of failure is the pragmatic, “comprehensive” approach. It’s DOA. It’s certain death. There’s politicians on record killing it three times now. Pelosi says it won’t even get a vote in the House without a total collapse of the GOP caucus on the issue.
    I’m with G Charles, put up five or six enforcement bills in the House, and get something sensible on the record. Even if Adjoran is right and it fails, it will be killed by blowhards who clearly want the country held hostage to amnesty.
    Brooklyn, you are right to fear for the Republicans who did the right thing here. They are in serious trouble. They are in serious trouble because they will go through 2008 in lock step with the Republicans who caused this mess. They’re all Republicans together, feeding from the same trough. Those that make it through will keep choosing the same bozos to leadership positions, as if they weren’t destroying the party agenda. Until you purge the party of the Liberal Republicans, it won’t be an effective foil to Liberal Democrats.
    I dare to hope the best outcome of this, is a deep nonpartisan mistrust of the Senate and its privileges in the American people. For 200 years what started as a nonelected body of elites has been bent to a democratic yoke. I think its time for the next rein on the Senate: a two-year term.

  29. We need leaders with conviction.
    Once we find out who was financing this push for a bill no one wanted, we may have leaders with convictions. Not quite the same thing, but it should give the next batch something to think about…

  30. How about a private right of action for any denied qualified job applicant for a position held by an illegal alien? Same question, insert “class” before “action.”

  31. that’s a good point, Cybrludite.
    The conviction may be for the Wall Street Journal myopia of open borders at all costs. The behavior of the ‘comprehensive’ bills proponents certainly aligns with that agenda.
    There seems to be much more reason here to believe such a globalism conspiracy theory than there is to dismiss it. So I’m left wondering, who is paying off who? Something very rotten is behind this debacle.

  32. Sen.Coleman’s campaign called me Wed. night for a bit of $. I took time to respectfully say that I would give, but conditioned it on how he voted on Thursday. The young lady who made the call was very polite about it, and seemed to understand my position. She did allow that many people were being much less than polite.
    I think Coleman got my message and message of a lot of other people: get this bill stopped, and get us a real bill.
    We need better border security.
    I don’t think the President and the Congress buys into this yet, unfortunately.
    If the President would like to go out as beloved President he could still do it:
    Put as much energy into winning the war and forcing Congress to stop the poultroonery.
    Pardon Scooter Libby loudly and aggressively.
    Force through a border security reform and carry it out.
    Apply and enforce the current laws on immigration.
    Sell the war and win the war.
    Openly condemn any attempt at all to impose government censorship masked as ‘Fairness’ up front, before that pos idea gains anymore steam.

  33. Sent to my senators, Dole and Burr:

    I am glad to see that you stood against the immigration bill that was effectively killed in the Senate yesterday. However, I believe that this process, in which the president and a few senators attempted to ram the bill through the Congress despite the very vocal objections of a majority of the American people, has done great harm to the already low level of trust that Americans have for their government.
    Throughout this debate, those of us who opposed amnesty have been labeled BY OUR OWN ELECTED OFFICIALS as ignorant racists under the control of talk radio hosts. There is even talk in the Congress of reviving the Fairness Doctrine in order to shut down one of the venues through which Americans organized and voiced our opposition to the bill. It is clear to me that certain members of Congress believe that they are above criticism, that they should be immune from hard questions from the American people, and that they are so superior to we the people that they can trample the Constitution the moment that free speech becomes inconvenient for them.
    This immigration bill and the petulant, arrogant attitude taken by some members of Congress may be a watershed event. Many Americans, especially conservatives, are disgusted with a Congress that will not do its simple duty. We are disgusted with a Congress that seems rife with corruption and, worse, will not clean its own house. We are disgusted with a Congress of backroom deals and porkbarrel. We are disgusted with a Congress that seems more interested in socring petty political points than in setting good policy. We are disgusted with a Congress that seems intent on lining its own pockets at the public expense. We are disgusted with a Congress that has forgotten its duty to the Constitution and the American people.
    As some members of the Congress have apparently just discovered, we are watching you and we will remember what we’ve seen in November. Please point out to your colleagues that, if Congress does not act to secure the border, if Congress tries to revive the Fairness Doctrine, if Congress continues to behave with arrogance and insolence, then we will elect another Congress.
    Thank you.

  34. Senator Norm Coleman’s voting record on immigration issues can be found at:
    Senator Norm Coleman’s history of speeches on immigration can be found at:
    Senator Norm Coleman’s ratings from special interest groups on immigration issues can be found at:
    For more information on Senator Norm Coleman’s position on immigration issues please visit or call our hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART.

  35. First
    It seems absolute ludicrous that a country that was founded on the principal of debate, would be upset because the issue should be debated. Every issue should be debated. Then if you can’t agree that it’s what the American Public really wants, it should be voted down. How the heck are senators going to know what the will of the people are if they don’t even bring up the issue. When Regan passed the Amnesty bill, there were no bloggs, no talk radio, and only the activists and corporations had any say and we got lousy legislation. Today we can instantly let our senators and congressmen know what we think…and they pay attention. But if they do, then they are branded wishy-washy. It’s all so stupid, you want them to listen to you, but when they do, you get mad at them and call them politicians (such a nasty word).
    I think if the stupid republicans vote Senator Coleman out of office, they’ll get exactly what they disserve…an amnesty bill right after the 2008 election. I’m sure potty mouth Al Franken won’t hesitate to vote with the Democratic Party on a comprehensive immigration amnesty bill and defund the border fence.
    Instead of having a senator who’ll listen to their concerns, they’ll get a senator who’s so smart everyone likes him, as long as they do what he wants.

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