Educating Ezra Klein

A mostly political Weblog.
Aug. 7 2007 2:14 AM

Educating Ezra Klein

A left whippersnapper tutored by his readers about teachers' unions.

(Continued from Page 30)

I keep thinking: Would President Clinton have pushed a grandiose immigration deal like the one the Senate's about to vote on? I don't think so, even if lobbies within his party wanted it. Clinton didn't try to force-feed overleveraged risky world-historical schemes the way Bush does. Welfare reform, Clinton's big domestic achievement, was wildly popular. ... There is one way for Senators to stop the madness! Tomorrow's cloture vote is the equivalent of giving them a chance to prevent the Iraq War before it started. Wouldn't many of them like to have that vote back? ... 12:15 P.M.

Prof. Borjas makes a calm, sensible case against the Senate immigration bill. ... 11:46 A.M.

That was fast: Malkin has produced a future anti-Graham spot. It's good! And the tag line worked against Senor Sasser. [Correction: It didn't. But it resonates!] ... It needs that ominous-sounding negative-ad announcer guy, though. ... 11:02 A.M.

Jim Geraghty is now posting updates on tomorrow's big initial cloture vote.

[B]ill opponents should not forgive a vote to bring it back to the floor, I'm told. They're within a few votes of killing the deal before it comes back; why take the chance on a later vote?

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See also Askew. ... It looks close. Askew's source reports:

I've heard that they only have 55 votes on this, and no one wants to be the 58th or 59th vote for amnesty.

That is, nobody wants to be the 59th vote if there is not going to be a 60th vote. Why go out on a limb in a losing cause? That's why, as Askew notes, the perception of momentum is important to both sides. ... 10:21 A.M.

Kos Against the P.O.S.!  DailyKos blogger Trapper John says "it's a bill that progressives ought to vigorously oppose." Especially useful is his refutation of the comprehensivist fiction that there is a fixed number of jobs "Americans won't do"--so that importing legal workers to do them would take "pressure off the border"  the same way releasing water from a dam relieves pressure on the dam. In fact, it doesn't seem inconceivable that allowing in hundreds of thousands of low-wage "guest workers" could increase the demand for illegals and the "pressure" on the border.  At the least, the demand isn't fixed, once declining wages are factored in:

[B]y creating a steady flow of temporary workers with no ability to stay in the country for more than a couple years, and no practical ability to fight for better wages, the number of jobs that "Americans won't do" will grow dramatically.

10:44 A.M.