We Delude, You Decide
Do pols actually believe the press clips on immigration?
Worthwhile Canadian Commentary: Highly-effective Mark Steyn column, sabotaged by a Chicago Sun-Times headline writer. ("No easy answers on immigration conundrum." If a less enticing headline has ever been written, I missed it. Makes "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative" seem like a come-on! ... P.S.: Maybe it's ironic mockery. But nobody will get it.) [via Lucianne] 12:16 P.M.
Once you get past the Neutral Story Line** crap about the "web of suspicion" between "two parties bruised by years of partisan conflict," blah, blah, blah, the LAT's Ron Brownstein seems to rebut the spin of pro-legalization Republicans, which is that Senate Democrats don't want an immigration bill because they're eager to have Republicans tarred by their association with that unpopular, draconian Sensenbrenneresque House bill, etc. Instead, it seems the Senate Democrats are scared they might be asked to actually vote on a Sensenbrenneresque enforcement-only bill--and they're scared because the bill would be popular.
If the legislation is moved to the right on that and other issues in a House-Senate conference committee, Senate Democrats could be left with a difficult choice just weeks before November's election: either vote against a bill that includes tough border security, a potential liability at the polls, or accept legislation they consider too punitive for immigrants.
Among Democrats, the fear is so great that a GOP-controlled conference committee would produce a bill they consider unacceptable that some have questioned the wisdom of passing any measure through the Senate. [Emph. added]
P.S.: There's always partisan suspicion when a bipartisan group of Senators decides to support a position (in this case, legalization) that the voters don't actually want! The only way to pull that off, after all, is if everybody holds hands and jumps together. But one side usually worries that the other will pull a fast one before an election and actually do what the electorate prefers. ...
**--Neutral Story Line: "[A] smart yet seemingly even-handed take on the campaign that doesn't favor one side or the other and thus expose the reporter to charges of bias. The ideal Neutral Story Line is durable in that it can withstand assault by any number of actual events. Classic NSLs are 'Is This Any Way to Elect A President?' and 'Oh, What a Dirty Campaign'"--kf, 9/6/04...3:35 P.M.
Specter of Defeat? Sen. Arlen Specter explained the apparent collapse of the vaunted "breakthrough" Senate deal on immigration:
"It's not gone forward because there's a political advantage for Democrats not to have an immigration bill," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
He said Democrats perceive a benefit in having only a GOP-written House bill that criminalizes being an illegal immigrant. That bill has prompted massive protests across the country, including a march by 500,000 people in Los Angeles last month. [Emph added]
Is Specter right? Or has he been reading too much of the MSM's recent pro-protest coverage? The most recent Rasmussen robo-poll on immigration suggests the latter. It asked people to choose between two hypothetical candidates:
Photograph of Judith Miller on the Slate home page by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.