Is Kyl even trying to get a better bill? Or is he trying to get a better fig leaf to help sell conservatives Bush's bill? ...
**--It's risky to rely on Pear! He's honest, but he's almost always a captive of his liberal interest group sources. In today's article, for example, he quotes only the objections of pro-legalization figures (from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, La Raza, and the National Immigration Forum, a "pro immigrant advocacy group"). No "enforcement first" advocates make it into the piece. I don't think it's that Pear doesn't want their views--it's that the liberal interest groups are the people he is talking to all the time. They inevitably influence what he writes about, and what he writes about what he writes about. He's constantly soaking in a liberal interest group bath! Of course, when quote time comes around, they're the people he has handy. But even if he called up enforcement-firster Mark Krikorian and got a balancing quote, that wouldn't compensate for the way Krikorian's opponents have already shaped Pear's coverage. (Yes, I'm extrapolating here from Pear's role in the 1995-6 welfare debates.) 11:41 P.M. link
GOP Debate--kf Lazy Horse Race Blink Take**:
Win: Giuliani, McCain, Huckabee. ... Romney didn't come on strong--"double Guantanamo!"--until too late, therefore he loses relative momentum;
Lose:Paul, Tancredo, Gilmore
Not Much Impact:Hunter, Thompson, Brownback
**--In other words, a "winner" isn't someone whom I liked, but who I thought gained support among Republican primary voters who actually watched the thing. ... 7:37 P.M.
Watch it, wingers! If conservatives keep rubbing the Dem Congress' low poll ratings in its face, Nancy Pelosi might be tempted to counter the "do nothing" image by ... passing "comprehensive immigration reform," which most conservatives disdain. ...
Of course, some Republicans also desperately want an immigration bill to "get the issue off the table" before the elections. (Hugh Hewitt, this means you.) Fortunately, National Review has not joined them--and instead produced a calm and sensible editorial. They're not the ones running around calling people "yahoos"! Key NR graf:
Another false premise is that the various components of "comprehensive immigration reform" must go together. The president expressed this view most recently in last weekend's radio address: "We must address all elements of this problem together, or none of them will be solved at all." Why? There is no reason not to pass enhanced enforcement measures now and turn to the status of remaining illegal aliens later. [E.A.]
The supposed linkage between increased enforcement and semi-amnesty is not dissimilar to the linkage between deposing Saddam Hussein and fighting Al Qaeda: weak, yet constantly repeated by the Bush Administration as a rhetorical device to sell a preconceived (and misguided) grand plan! It's their M.O.. The difference is that now conservatives are on to them too. ...
P.S.: There's an obvious contradiction lurking here.Powerline agrees that passing immigration reform would help Democrats by countering the 'do-nothing' charge. But the Republicans who are desperate to get the issue 'off the table' seem to feel a bill would help Republicans (largely, I'm told, by ending a divisive intraparty debate in which GOP hardliners inevitably alienate moderate swing voters with their harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric). They can't both be right. Control of Congress and of the White House is a zero sum game. Either a bill helps the GOPs or the Dems. Which is it? That's why I'm nervous, despite Mark Krikorian's assurances. What if Pelosi concludes it's in her interest--even hershort term, win-in-2008 interest--to move a bill even without 70 or 50 Republican votes as cover? ... P.P.S.: It's more obviously in Pelosi's long term interest to pass a semi-amnesty bill, since millions of new Hispanic voters are likely to be mainly Democrats even if the GOPs slightly increase their share. ... 3:28 P.M.
Instapundit and Bob Krumm argue we've seen a breathtaking demonstration of Fred Thompson's campaign potential in this instantly produced and reasonably effective (in the good cheap shot sense) anti-Michael Moore video. ... Krumm is right that it's the sort of thing Hillary's ponderous campaign would have trouble matching. I think a clip like this only has a big tactical impact, though, if it gets picked up by the TV networks and starts driving the whole MSM--proliferation on the Web isn't enough, yet. But it's hard to see how the nets will be able to resist free video from a cigar-chomping Thompson. ... More important, I think: quite apart from its advantages as a campaign tool, the video is itself evidence of Thompson's actual presidential qualifications. You can't make a quickie spot like this unless a) you know what you think (or have a really fast pollster) b) you can react to new situations quickly, and c) you have some sense of theater. Those are all extremely important things for a president to have. (On the significance of (c), see Jon Alter's FDR bio, which stresses Roosevelt's theatrical skill.) ... Also new: The use of Breitbart.tv, potentially a Drudge of video. ... 2:54 P.M.