Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wherein Congress Seemingly Takes My Advice

Or not. Hard to tell, with Congress. I pleaded with them to kill their silly attempt at immigration "reform," and they appear to have heard me. They're still hemming and hawing about resurrecting it, but, unlike Lazarus, some corpses should stay dead.

Like many on the right, I'm most concerned with the fence, or lack thereof. Some 370 miles completed, at last count. But McCain himself said there likely wouldn't be any more fence built just because this bill becomes law. Putting it in a bill is one thing. Paying for it is entirely different. One of the more charming problems with the bill as written (and amended ad nauseum) is that all of this bureaucratic paper-shuffling to issue visas and ID cards, and verify compliance on the part of people who previously had shown no inclination to abide by existing laws costs money. Lots of money. All of it, just like our extremely popular war, coming out of taxpayer pockets. With so many competing priorities, it's little wonder that building an actual fence will have a difficult time getting any. Money, that is.

So I repeat: Go back and create legislation that makes sense, then come talk to us about it. Don't try ramrodding it down our collective throats and expect us to be happy about it.

One of the common whines we've heard since this bill took its well-earned nose-dive last week is that Congress and the President don't understand the vitriol. Why are we so dead-set against this bill?

Here's where politicians earn their reputation for living in selective seclusion. When a senator wants opinion on a topic, that senator doesn't pick up a phone and say, "I think I'll call Woody over in Orange county. I wonder what he thinks about all this?" No, that senator is more likely to say, "I wonder how much grief La Raza will give me if I don't support open borders?" You show me the last time Congress paid attention to one of those opinion polls that get input from actual voters, and I'll show you the exception to the rule.

Whether or not the Immigration Reform bill is dead, one thing is certain: the next incarnation won't — given the current makeup of this Congress — be much better, if at all. There's just too much fear of alienating powerful interests that tend to keep politicians in power for us to expect any real improvement.

So it's back to our respective corners. Congress and the President will hash out their next hackneyed agreement over in their corner, while we sharpen our poisoned pens keyboards in ours.

I suspect this one may go fifteen rounds.

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