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The MSM Spins: Democrats Voted Against Amnesty Because They Love Lower-Skilled American Workers; Republicans Voted Against Amnesty Because We All Hate Spics! | Main | NYT Photo Phunny: Picture Suggests Majority of Americans Favored Amnesty, And Also, A Majority Of Messiahs Returned To Earth
June 08, 2007

More MSM Spin: A Bill With Widespread Bipartisan Public Support Was Somehow Defeated By A Noisy Minority of Partisan Malcontents!

And yet more spin from the MSM. Kaus catches WaPo reporter Dan Balz employing one of Kaus' favorite bugaboos: the ostensibly "Neutral Story Line" that is anything but neutral. Pretending to show no bias, he demonstrates enormous bias by portraying the pro-amensty forces glowingly and those opposed to the bill as... well, I guess people "who don't want what's best for America."

The collapse of comprehensive immigration revision in the Senate last night represents a political defeat for President Bush, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), the bill's most prominent sponsors. More significantly, it represents a scathing indictment of the political culture of Washington.

The defeat of the legislation can be laid at the doorstep of opponents on the right and left, on congressional leaders who couldn't move their troops and on an increasingly weakened president and his White House team. But together it added up to another example of a polarized political system in which the center could not hold.

Part of Balz's, errr, interesting theory is that a majority of the public really wanted the bill, and that it is therefore "scandalous" that the Senate couldn't deliver on the public's preference.

The public wanted amnesty-without-security? Really?

You're telling me the Senate had all the support in the world on the pro-amnesty side -- La Raza and immigrant lobbying groups, corporate lobbyists, the WSJ and virtually the entirey of the "respectable" MSM, and the majority of the American public -- and yet somehow found the courage and/or intestinal fortitude to nevertheless repudiate all of these groups and vote against it?

Honestly? You're really trying to sell me that? The Senate, for reasons unfathomable, chose to spurn American popular opinion, the emerging Hispanic majority, and the corporate lobbyists with all their money?

Here's a more likely storyline: Senators were initially persuaded to vote for the bill by special pleaders -- the illegal immigrant lobby, agribusiness lobbyists, the brave free-labor absolutists at the WSJ and the open-borders advocates of the NYT (not entirely dissimilar crowds, I should say) -- believing that Americans, who never favored amnesty at any point, would not actually support the bill but at least would not strongly oppose it were it passed quickly and quietly enough.

But when the plan to pass the bill speedily and steathilly failed, and the American public (on both the right and left -- for "entirely different reasons," of course!) began voicing its strong objections to it, Senators were forced to bend to public opinion and against the minority of special interest groups in favor of it.

Which scenario seems more likely?

Here's a clue for Dan Balz:

If this provision were actually popular and favored by the majority of the American public, there would be no ticking clock requiring that it be passed at a safe remove from the next election.

If it were actually popular, it could, and would, be passed right before the elections -- so that all the Senators voting in favor of it could reap the political benefits of having passed such popular legislation, no?

Why have I read time and time again that if "we don't pass this now, we'll never be able to pass it later" as the elections draw near? Why would a popular bill have to be scheduled so far in advance of an election?

In other words, I Question The Timing. Votes with public support are scheduled right before elections, to compel those who might vote against it to re-evaluate in light of their electoral propsects, not so far away from an election that the public (hopefully!) will forget the vote before election season.

And popular legislation can be debated as long as one likes, really -- if it's popular, all those arguing against it are bleeding support every day, and all those arguing for it are gaining support.

So, you know, based on when the vote was scheduled, and the absurdly brief time permitted to debate such a far-reaching transformative bill -- I'd have to say that Harry Reid, John McCain, Ted Kennedy, and President Bush do not share Dan Balz' assessment that this was actually a "popular" bill that the public was just clamoring for.

Say, Dan -- when's Harry Reid planning to really push this bill again? Right before the 2008 elections, would you imagine? I mean, after all, given that this bill is so popular, congressmen and senators will be terrified to vote against it on the eve of the elections, right?

So you just have to wait nine or ten moths, Dan. Then amnesty-without-security will sail right on through without a hiccup, one presumes.

Alternately, let me suggest a more likely time for a rescheduled vote:

How about the First Week of Never? How's that grabbin' ya? How's that comport with your theory of widespread bipartisan public support?

Unbelievable. The Democratic base opposed it by big margins, the Republican base opposed it by big margins, independents opposed it by big margins... and yet Dan Balz is convinced, despite opposition from a majority of the left, a majority of the right, and a majority of the center, that somewhere out there was a large group of Americans in favor of amnesty-without-security.

Obviously he's not counting actual people. Maybe he knows something about the unicorn and leprechaun voting bloc that the rest of us don't.

Even More Widespread Bipartisan Support! Dri tips me that a NYT/CBS poll finds that 69% of the public... is in favor of prosecuting illegal immigrants.

I don't know why, but I can't actually get to that page -- but the link I'm clicking does seem to report just that in its index-description (

So unless I'm being spoofed by dri, I'd say the case for "widespread bipartisan support" for amnesty is, err, rather questionable.

Then again, dri fed me the news about Dustin Diamond's death (and even more unbelievably, the news he was starring in an upcoming film). So who knows.

More Widespread Support! According to Rasumussen, the number of Republicans hits a "historic" low, and the number of Democrats also declines.

I assure you this decline in partisan affiliation on both sides has nothing at all to do with a majority of politicians in either party taking a position against which the public strenuously objects.

A bipartisan majority favored the amnesty bill, which is why... uhhh.... more Americans are switching to the "bipartisan" designation of "indpendent."

In related news, Dan Balz is desperately trying to remove his head from his ass. "It's not the heat so much as the humidity" he emails me.

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posted by Ace at 03:32 PM

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