The mother of all political miscalculations by the U.S. Senate — the latest amnesty-for-illegal-aliens bill — is a train still creaking dangerously along its broken and discredited tracks.
With the exception of Senators never at risk of losing their seats (Ted Kennedy, most prominently), most who vote for the bill are going to be in for some rough times, sooner or later, regardless of party.
In the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll regarding the bill, released on June 6, only 23 percent of voters support the bill. Fifty percent are opposed.
As stark as those overall numbers are, they are far from the most dangerous. Here's Rasmussen: "As the debate has unfolded, Democrats have become modestly less opposed to the legislation while Republicans have trended slightly in the opposite direction. It would be a mistake, however, to see the difference as a typical partisan divide — just 29 percent of Democrats support the measure while 40 percent are opposed. Among Republicans, support is at 21 percent; 57 percent are opposed. Only 17 percent of those not affiliated with either party support the measure. Fifty—seven percent of unaffiliateds are opposed."
Those numbers are not even close, and it is inconceivable that anything supporters of the bill can say would improve them significantly in the short term. Already caught in a web of misrepresentations and omissions in their public statements, supporters of the bill have amply demonstrated why they have lost public trust.
Sixty—nine percent of voters correctly assess that the bill will not secure our borders and reduce illegal immigration, that further legislation will be required. Forty—five percent want a bill that focuses only on border control and reducing immigration, which the Congress has steadfastly refused to provide.
Not only are the voter opinion numbers against the bill exceptional, so, too, are the emotions, thus far measured only anecdotally, but remarkable in intensity. It is depth of feeling, which will not soon subside, that poses the greatest danger to those who support the amnesty nonsense.
Forget, for a moment, what the bill says, with or without amendments currently being offered. That's bad enough, way bad enough, but the really big lie of this legislation is that the government can or will actually do what the legislation requires of it.
In just the last week, we have learned that the government could not stop one known patient of tuberculosis from entering the country. We have learned that the government cannot adequately process passport requests from legitimate citizens.
In that light, what would make any sentient being, or the semi—sentient ones in the U.S. Senate, believe that the government can deal with 12 to 20 million illegal aliens who are almost immediately granted legal status, with all the bureaucratic work that entails?
Considering the multiplicity of disasters that loom, and will be drawn out over time, if the bill is passed is all that is required to understand why those who support the bill are placing themselves in such political jeopardy.
Why do we care if a Lindsay Graham or a Saxby Chambliss, as examples, lose their Senate seats? We don't. But if reason won't motivate Senators to oppose the bill, then perhaps fear will. As the editors of National Review titled their most recent editorial against the bill, "No Amnesty for Senators."
The numbers and the emotionalism against the bill, the absolute certainty that it, if enacted, will be one of the most notorious legislative debacles in history, would scare us to death. But win or lose, we're confident of being on the right side of the argument. And yes, Mr. President, we also believe that opposing this bill is the right thing for our country.June 7, 2007
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