Saturday, June 09, 2007

Immigration Bill Impasse

Sen. Kyle says he wants to allow GOP Senators to bring amendments to the bill and he wants to give them time to debate these amendments. He voted against the cloture of the bill and then Sen. Reid decided to withdraw the comprehensive Immigration Bill. When the main GOP backer Sen. Kyle voted for the debate means others followed and effectively the bill was killed at that point.

There may be some merit in the contention that it is better for these GOP amendments to be discussed rather than attempting to ram the bill through. However, it also opens the floodgates for ‘deal killer’ amendments. So it is not clear how the bill would have sustained those attacks. This means the decision of Sen. Kyle to oppose the ‘cloture’ essentially meant he backed out at the last minute.

Of course the larger question is even if the bill would have passed the Senate, will the House have backed it? With Dems in clear majority and no sign of loosing that majority in 2008 (rather higher potential to increase it); Dems in House might not have liked this bill.

There is some talk of reviving this bill again in Senate. May be only when President Bush convinces his GOP Senators, there is some possibility. But Senate Majority leader Reid is not very enthusiastic backer and it is questionable how much GOP Senators will listen to President Bush, the lame duck President who is political albatross to them. Does it mean the bill will not come back in this Congress? More possibility is of that than any sensible revival.

That makes the whole ‘immigration policy’ exposed to brutal attacks by extremists on both sides; especially on the GOP side. ‘Amnesty’ crowd will make it almost impossible to have any sensible discussion on this topic in Presidential debates. Types of Rudy Giuliani contenders will fall over each other to secure favors from these racists, white male chauvinists backers in GOP who howl as ‘amnesty’.

It does not matter how many tears Peggy Noonan from East Coast in Wall Street Journal to Debra Sounders on West Coast in San Francisco Chronicle shed for President Bush – he was right in calling the bluffs of GOP base on Immigration Policy. GOP is totally hijacked by racist people on this issue. Granted Noonan and Sounders like sensible Conservatives are not racists. But how many such sensible Conservatives are coming forward and standing with Sen. McCain and President Bush in this matter? Not many. Look at the show in Senate – all these GOP Senators are falling like rats when it comes to any sensible immigration reforms. GOP has shown its disgusting side to public. GOP lost its way in the case of Civil Rights movements and same is the case now.

Tragedy is high decibel levels of GOP contenders opposing to any sensible Immigration Policy will make it impossible for Dems to take any realistic position on this issue. Best bet for Dems and Progressive forces will be to be quite, let GOP unfold their Immigration Policy Circus and when Dems win both Congress and Presidential elections in 2008; work on to pass sensible reforms then.

At this point, unless leaders in GOP come forward wanting to do right things, Dems should just be patient.

Umesh Patil
Cupertino, CA 95014
June 9, 2007.

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