Amnesty Bill Fails

The Kennedy-McCain immigration bill was shot down in flames today and is probably dead until after the 2008 elections. I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. On June 9th I said this:

Meanwhile President Bush seems once again unable to know when to give up. He's still pushing Senators to change their minds and is planning a rare personal visit to Capitol Hill next week to twist some arms. I predict Bush will accomplishment nothing except to make himself look even more irrelevant than he already does. Even if he succeeds in getting this bill through the Senate, the chance of it getting through the House is close to zero.

On May 23rd I said this:
My guess is that the new immigration bill has little chance of passing in anything like its current form. This is such a polarizing issue I'm not sure any kind of agreement will ever be possible. It is kind of like Social Security in that regard: we all know the problem is only getting worse, but nobody is willing to make the sacrifices a solution would require. In both cases, there isn't likely to be a happy ending to the story.

While the bill died a well-deserved death, the longer-term political impact may not be so pleasant. As long as the issue is on the table, candidates will be forced to talk about it and the GOP will remain split down the middle. This was, I suspect, the real motivation for Bush and other Republican supporters. They just wanted to pass something, anything, so they could say they have "done something" about the immigration crisis.

This is standard politics: kick the can down the road and let somebody else deal with it. Such decisions are the reason we have these problems in the first place. We don't have leaders who truly want to do what is right. We have politicians who want to get re-elected. They do whatever they think will best support that goal. It's the way politics works in a democracy.

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