Don't Calm Down! On the PBS NewsHour, David Brooks says the 70 Senate votes for the Kyl-Kennedy immigration "compromise" are "soft." Great. But opposition is soft too. For example, the National Review notes that Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions put out a statement saying he is "deeply concerned with the compromise" bill and wants to look at the "details." Sessions shouldn't be "deeply concerned" with the compromise. He should be opposing the compromise. He knows enough now without looking at the "details." ... If Sessions (who eviscerated last year's "comprehensive" bill) doesn't take the lead in the Senate, who will? ... P.S.: "Soft" senators react to the public's reaction. This is so not the time for opponents to calm down. ... 2:37 A.M. link
Friday, May 18, 2007
Burning at Both Ends: I think AllahPundit misinterprets my earlier post comparing the Kyl cave-in plan to Nixon's guaranteed income plan (FAP). I wasn't saying that the most legitimate left wing objections to the Kyl-Kennedy scheme--e.g., that it will unleash an un-blockable tide of amnesty-seeking illegals who will further bid down wages for lower-skilled Americans, increasing income inequality--are necessarily what can derail the plan. The Democratic objections that might derail it are mostly other sorts of objections, of the we-want-the-whole-loaf-and-think-we-can-get-it-in-2009 variety--lower fees for the "Z visa," more "chain migration," no guest worker program, etc. ... The liberal demands that derailed the Nixon guaranteed income plan weren't demands I have much sympathy for ("You can't force me to work," said a welfare mother to applause a FAP-related hearing in 1970). But they derailed it just the same. ... I'm not predicting this will happen. Just saying it's possible. ...
P.S.: Jason Steck seems to think any plan rejected by "purists" on left and right must be OK. But not all "moderate" plans are sensible! FAP was a centrist idea rejected by purists of left and right, yet it was a bad idea. Same with Kyl-Kennedy. Just as defeating FAP set the stage for a better plan also rejected by purists of left and right--the 1996 welfare reform that stressed work over guarantees of cash--defeating Kyl-Kennedy can set the stage for a better bipartisan plan (stressing effective enforcement measures before guaranteeing semi-amnesty). ... [via RCP's blogfight page] 11:50 P.M.
Spiegelman Scores! If Rupert Murdoch has a shot at wresting the Wall Street Journal from the Bancroft family-- despite a two-tier stock structure designed to give the family a majority of the voting rights--why can't somebody else wrest the New York Times from the Sulzberger family (protected by a similar two tier structure). Bloggingheads asks; Roger Lowenstein, criticizing both papers' two-tier structure in the New Republic, doesn't answer. ...
P.S.: Lowenstein is pretty unconvincing about the plight of the poor disenfranchised Class A shareholder in these family-controlled companies. They knew they weren't getting meaningful voting rights when they bought their stock, no? The problem with the Sulzbergers isn't that they don't make enough money--who cares?--but that they've installed hapless scion Pinch, who's encouraged mindless Upper West Side prejudices to shape the paper's news coverage (a smaller problem, I admit, since Howell Raines' departure, and since some of those mindless Upper West Side prejudices--i.e., about George Bush's inadequacy--have proved accurate). ...
P.P.S.: Ian Spiegelman's sensational charges, at least partially confirmed by the New York Post itself, suggest again why Murdoch isn't someone you want running a paper either, even if his stockholders do well. ... So well timed! Sorry, ETP. You picked a bad day for the contrarian Murdoch defense. (I'm counter-contrarian on this one. That's the most contarian of all!) ... 10:39 P.M. link
Don't Count on Pelosi: Opponents of the GOP cave-in on immigration would be fools, I think, to rely on Nancy Pelosi's House to kill the legislation. Pelosi has allegedly demanded that the White House produce 70 Republican "yes" votes as bipartisan cover before she brings the bill to the floor. (In today's NYT, Rahm Emanuel says "60 or 70.") What are the bill's opponents going to do when Pelosi decides that, hey, 20 or 30 Republican votes are enough? Hugh Hewitt's instinct--to try to stall the bill now, in the Senate--seems sound. ... P.S.: If I were a paranoid, which I am, I'd even think that Pelosi's heavily-publicized riff about needing 70 GOP votes in her chamber is a trick to sucker Republican senators into supporting the bill with the (false) hope that the 70 votes won't be there and it will be blocked in the House. ... 1:45 P.M. link
Peggy Noonan: "Why shouldn't liberalism get a shot? Could they mess up more?" 4:29 A.M.
GOP Immigration Cave-In, Part II: The GOP's lead Senate negotiator, Sen. Jon Kyl, appears to have caved on the crucial issue of legalization (for existing illegal immigrants) in exchange for a promise of tougher enforcement to prevent another, future wave of illegals.