Saturday, April 08, 2006

Political games? Please, not now Harry; Libby just taddled on Bush!!

The Immigration Reform bill was regarded as a bi-partisan effort to provide a humane way to protect our borders. If passed, it will allow workers to enter the US and provide cheap labor for American farms. These workers will then have the ability to work toward US citizenship. The legislation will provide a way to protect (and to a certain extent, track) those entering our shores legally, and make it easier to prosecute those in the US illegally.

I believe, given the circumstances, the current proposal is the best way to provide protection to both immigrant workers and the US infrastructure. I say ‘given the circumstances,’ because of the political divide in the US. The ideological views of Americans are more polarized now than ever before (at least since the Civil War).

I bring this up because, as of yesterday, politics seem to be the driving force behind a decision to delay the passage of this legislation. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat from Nevada) is backing out of voting for the legislation a day after he hailed it as a bi-partisan thing of beauty. I understand that Republicans were trying to put some of their more conservative amendments in the bill, but to completely back out seems to be politically motivated.

This, as many know, is an election year for all Congressmen and a large percentage of Senators. Currently, Republicans have control of the House of Representatives, the US Senate, and the Presidency (some would argue that they have the Supreme Court, but those members aren’t elected. Besides, the law is blind…right?). Democrats are poised to take the House and take a number of seats in the Senate, which would make it hard for Bush to make good on his conservative initiatives.

It seems Senator Reid is playing political games with the lives and livelihood of immigrant workers, not to mention the safety of the US infrastructure. The immigration issue has been controversial for a long time, and he is betting on the idea that delaying this legislation will lead to a Democratic take over (Hova style…Hey little soldier, you ain’t ready for war. R.O.C. too strong for ya’ll).

I believe he is mistaken for two reasons. First, no one likes to hear of delayed legislation, and Dems could feel a strong backlash by citizens who shudder when they hear the term “filibuster.” Second, the immigration issue is not a party line debate. There are Dems that don’t want immigrants here as much as some Republicans, and President Bush was the first to say he supports immigrants.

Not only is Reid playing political games with people’s lives, he has picked the wrong game to play. I predict that if he continues, he will hurt the Democratic Party at a time when they have a legitimate chance to take back some of the power they have lost over the past 6 years.


Anonymous said...

Why blame this on the democrats when both sides played hard to get? Additionally, if this bill passes, as Obama pointed out, it will pass because almost all democrats vote for it and about 10 republicans vote for it. In other words, this is democratically supported legislation that the REPUBLICANS get to take credit for.

Brother Spotless said...

I am not blaming all Democrats --- just one, very powerful Democrat: Harry Reid.