**--Which message do you think will be heard louder in impoverished Latin America:
a) "Amnesty! They've legalized almost everyone who made it to El Norte!" or
b) "[T]he bill includes $4.4 billion in immediate additional funding for ... border security and worksite enforcement efforts"?
11:36 P.M. link
Fast Work: Harry Reid's massive "clay pigeon" amendment package is online and searchable at N.Z. Bear. ... 6:16 P.M.
Not so Fast, Yahoos! I actually had the following thought but then dismissed it as too paranoid. But now it seems just paranoid enough. From alert emailer D.R.:
What if the Democratic leadership allowed a couple of pro-Amnesty Senators (since they had a comfortable margin on the first vote and could afford it) to vote 'No' on the first cloture vote on the understanding that they would switch back for the second, all-important cloture vote.
Then net result of this would be to convince anti-amnesty forces that we have a five vote deficit to make up when, in fact, we may need seven and misalign our efforts. ...
Right. Maybe some of the "no" votes on today's first cloture motion were Kabuki too. That would apply to GOPs as well as Dems--Askew speculates that Cochran was given permission by the leadership to avoid obloquy by voting "no" (perhaps on the condition that he'll vote "yes" next time if he's really needed). The upshot is that five switched votes might not be enough. [The Corner prints this same email ]
It's easy to identify five or six "yes" voters who might plausibly switch: Burr, Brownback, Ensign, Nelson, Pryor, Webb. Getting seven or eight to switch--if, say, Bayh or Hatch or Cochran were phony "nos" and switch back--would be much tougher. ... 4:35 P.M. link
I think the first cloture vote is now itself possibly becoming a sort of kabuki for some senators, like Burr and Bond, as they will vote to proceed today to impress the leadership and the Grand Bargainers, in hopes of keeping their relationships decent with them for future favors. These guys can afford, they calculate, to vote for cloture today, knowing they can still filibuster it on the second cloture vote. (I think the message has been gotten by most that a traditional kabuki move of voting for cloture and against the bill won't work anymore.)
So this raises an absolutely critical question: what will happen between a vote to proceed today and the next cloture vote? The outrage and pressure, mainly from the right, will have to triple. If people like Burr, Bond, McConnell, etc. vote to proceed today and then don't get absolutely swamped with constituent outrage, their reaction will be "that wasn't so bad, I can do it again." [E.A.]
That seems right, although with some potential second-vote switchers--like Webb--it may be important to be extra-polite about and not get their back up. Cold, polite, implacable outrage! ... If a net five Senators switch between today and the second vote, the bill is (again) dead. That's a much more plausible scenario in this case than it usually is, given all the maneuvering and posturing and pressure. Burr is a potential switcher (if his amendment is defeated) in addition to Webb. And Brownback, if he wants to do well in Iowa. ... The fate of various amendments will give lots of Senators lots of excuses to switch. ... The pro-bill forces lost Hatch and Stabenow and Bayh on the first cloture vote, which may become significant. 10:09 A.M. link