Thanks to the conservatives who cared enough to tell the Republican minority how they felt about this immigration bill (and thanks also to the non-clueless senator from SC), the Republicans summoned enough votes to kill this bill. This battle is over for now, but we have to keep our eyes open, because this won’t be the end of proposals like this. John McCain is lucky to have such a loyal friend in Lindsey Graham, but they are both going down with this ship. It’s difficult to be angry with someone who votes on principle, even if they have a position totally different than yours. However, it is never smart to vote in opposition to a large majority of your constituents (as Graham did) and expect anything good to come of that. Like I said before, Lindsey Graham is a reliable conservative vote on most of the issues that are important to South Carolinians. But the way he and some of his colleagues have handled criticism on this legislation is unacceptable, and we really need to think about whether he deserves our continued support.
The incredible arrogance of the President of the United States, Trent Lott, John McCain, and others supporting this comprehensive immigration bill is stunning. It shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t need any more proof that the Republican leadership doesn’t care what we think most of the time, and it takes a massive effort on our part to get them to pay attention. In a way, this is a good thing, because we need to care more about where Congress is taking our country.
This is not about wanting to deport 11,12 million illegals. Everyone knows this is impossible. What we can do right now is enforce current laws and finish that border fence. If there is a proven continuing commitment to border enforcement, then maybe we can talk about guest worker programs — but there is no reason to believe that the federal government or Congress has any intention to secure our borders.
There is a huge disconnect between D.C. elitists and the conservative base in the Republican party, which was highlighted by this struggle over immigration. They have decided that they know what’s best for all of us, and if we don’t agree with them, we must be uninformed. If they keep up this arrogant attitude, they shouldn’t expect our money, our support, or our votes. But they don’t need us, right?