Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Senate on Immigration: ¡Sí!

The Republican Party's base of energetic xenophobes just had a collective heart attack... the Senate voted 65-34 to revive the struggling immigration reform bill. It must pass another cloture vote on Thursday before it can move to a final vote.

Between then and now, of course, it will pelted with dozens of amendments either intended to boost conservative (send them all back! build the fence!) or liberal (path to citizenship) support. Many expect it to collapse under the weight of all of this.

Blogger Atrios, meanwhile, gets to the heart of why this bill has spiraled downward-
It's no mystery that there's opposition to a bill which is a messy compromise between opposite agendas. Conservatives hate it, and prominent Democratic politicians haven't really expended any effort to make the liberal case for it. It's sold as a fix to a problem, without either the "fix" or the "problem" being clearly defined. It's Broder Politics at its worst.

The more liberal view of immigration is much more popular than I ever imagined, and it's a shame that Democrats haven't used the opportunity to rally any support for that view. It's what happens when legislation begins as behind-the-scenes compromise.

A shame, of course, because there was a fleeting chance to make some substantive changes.

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