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Old 06-30-2007, 10:57 AM
JD. JD. started this thread
Location: Oklahoma
198 posts, read 433,779 times
Reputation: 130


Rich Lowry wrote a great article on The National Review, thought it gave everyone who called, faxed, e-mailed, and ran out into the street hollering at the top of their lungs (okay maybe no-one did that), a nice pat on the back.

Link: Rich Lowry on Immigration & New Media on National Review Online

Techno-Populist Victory
Immigration Winners

Beware of an aroused citizenry. It’s an admonition that should be ingrained in the brain of any run-of-the-mill politician, let alone someone who has ascended to the United States Senate.

But from the Olympian heights of the world’s greatest deliberative body, it is often forgotten. So senators got a reminder in the humiliating defeat of a “comprehensive” immigration bill that had the support of the president of the United States, a bipartisan group of senators with the blessing of the leaders of their caucuses, and the support of the editorial boards of the country’s most important newspapers.

All of that was enough to get all of 46 votes on a key procedural vote that needed 60 to pass. The fight over the immigration bill was the first instance of an insider parliamentary struggle in which bloggers, talk-radio hosts and citizens were able to have a major voice through the synergistic power of the Internet, radio waves and telephone lines. Bloggers picked apart the bill, talk-radio-show hosts broadcast its flaws, and ordinary people jammed their senators’ phone lines — blocking what had begun as a kind of legislative coup.

The creators of the Senate’s so-called Grand Bargain — giving illegal aliens legal status in exchange for new enforcement measures — originally hoped to slam it through the Senate in a matter of days. Even as they held a self-congratulatory press conference about the bargain, no one had seen the text of the 300-page bill. Their implicit axiom was, “Trust us.”

It quickly became clear that was impossible. The bill’s boosters repeatedly were caught mischaracterizing it. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff seemed to suggest that illegals would have to pay back taxes, when the White House had quietly taken that provision out. Bloggers and talk-show hosts publicized this and other problems that otherwise would have gone unnoticed (John McCain learned of the tax provision in a blogger conference call), slowing its momentum.

As the techno-populists dissected the bill, its senatorial supporters mustered their most off-putting imperial pique. Mississippi Republican Trent Lott rued that talk radio was “running the country.” Ohio Republican George Voinovich went on the Sean Hannity radio show and complained that he was being “intimidated” because people were calling his office opposing the bill.

President Bush said opponents hadn’t read the bill, when diligent bloggers combed through it line by line. They gave the bill the markup — the detailed process of amendment — that it never got in committee because there was such a rush to passage. Even the procedural shenanigans that the bill’s supporters relied on to try to get it through were subject to the intense glare of publicity. Instead of helping the bill’s cause — as such arcane maneuvers would have in the past — they hurt it by adding to the sense of chaos and unfairness around the process.

Once, the Senate leadership would have been able to lean on members opposed to the bill to do a dishonest two-step to pass it. First, vote for cloture to end debate over the bill, which requires 60 votes and was the toughest hurdle. Then, vote against it on final passage, which takes only 50 votes — so there would be more wiggle room for “no” votes. This way, the Senate leadership would have gotten its bill, and senators opposed to it could tell constituents back home that they had voted against it. But bloggers and talk-radio hosts blocked that dodge by sending up a cry, “A vote for cloture is a vote for amnesty.”

In the end, support for the bill literally collapsed. Even the imperious Voinovich voted against cloture. Now, there is really no such thing as an “inside game” anymore, since bloggers make sure it gets “outside.” Both the right and the left will take advantage of this, for good and ill policy ends. But it’s clearly an enhancement of democracy. Senators should get used to it, and buy more phone lines.

Side Note: Republican George Voinovich (mentioned in the article above), in case anyone missed it, was on Sean Hannity's radio show on Wendesday, the day before the cloture vote. Even though he supported the bill, he was oblivious to anything in it, and defended his defense of the bill because Kay Bailey Hutchison's touchback provision (to send illegals back to Mexico before they can apply for citizenship) passed. The only thing bad about that was Sen. Hutchison's amenedment...FAILED. Sen Voinovich voted on the amendment himself but thought it passed when it failed by three votes. He then argued with Hannity for several minutes until Hannity read him the roll call. Voinovich then admitted he must have been confused. Later, as if he didn't embarass himself enough, said that he was getting sick of people calling him and saying they wouldn't vote for him again if he passed the amnesty bill, saying "No one intimidates George Voinovich.". This is who is in your Senate.
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Old 06-30-2007, 11:00 AM
7,139 posts, read 12,898,769 times
Reputation: 2315
Thanks for article, JD. They'll get over it....now on to remembering WHO they serve: We the People.
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Old 06-30-2007, 11:05 AM
Location: Western North Carolina
4,750 posts, read 7,542,958 times
Reputation: 9697
Default Not to Mississippi Rep. Trent Lott


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Old 06-30-2007, 12:58 PM
2,432 posts, read 6,006,882 times
Reputation: 1009
Nice article. I was extremely disappointed by Lott's comments. He needs to retire.
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Old 06-30-2007, 11:24 PM
Location: San Diego North County
4,800 posts, read 7,692,325 times
Reputation: 3010
Lott and Frankenfeinstein want to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine." This would require all radio stations which could currently be classified as talk radio, to present both sides of an argument when debating any subject. Which means that your wonderful afternoon conservative talk show would have to tell you how great the Senate Shamnesty bill is right after they finish telling you how rotten the whole thing smells. This my friends, will be the next arena we will have to go to battle in. Do we allow our elected representatives to hobble free speech? If we allow it in radio, the next thing you know, they'll be monitoring the internet for "Fairness." Then it will be our rallies and marches, (which are already endangered as it is) then it will be your own First Amendment Rights.

Beware. That will be the next quagmire that the Senate will step off into, the castration of talk radio. They believe that you're not smart enough to figure things out if you don't have talk radio to instruct you on how to think. Be prepared, because we're about to be in for another fight.
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Old 07-01-2007, 12:50 AM
Location: Far Western KY
1,833 posts, read 5,755,600 times
Reputation: 845
I listened to "Mr.-I've-been-here-40-years-and-you-don't-intimidate-me-George Voinovich" on Hannity all I can say is I hope Ohio sends he arrogant a ss packing at his next election.
I know Son of a Mitch McConnell need to go with his flip flopping vote yes first then vote no after a cry of foul from home. Frankly they all need to go ...
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