Friday, June 29, 2007

Who won the Immigration Matter?

In no particular order, I offer a bit of amateur armchair analysis on what just happened here...
  • The easiest and most obvious view is that this is a failure for Republicans. Pres. Bush was intimately involved here, twisting arms right up to the end. McCain (and to a lesser degree, Kyl) had staked his claim here too. The media have painted this as a Republican legislation, and therefore it's failure is a Republican matter.
  • However, the Democrats also lost here too. Kennedy was as central as McCain. Reid, in my opinion is the biggest loser. Initially, he tried to cajole the Senate with enough pork to bribe his way into Senate votes. Then, he tried to circumvent the normal committee process and take the bill straight to the Senate floor. He also tried to limit the amendments. And in the end, he could not deliver any more of his Democrat Senators than Bush could of his side.
  • From these two points (and I'm trying to recognize my own subjectivity here), it appears to me that the country has not abandoned conservatism in the way the Democrats claimed after the elections last year. The Republicans lost the Senate and House last year because they were demagogued with the Mark Foley and Jack Abramoff scandals and their penchant for "Bridges-to-Nowhere". The opposition to this Immigration Reform bill was largely lead by conservatives. The moderate and liberal factions were unable to pull through.
  • However, whether the conservatives can capitalize on this is another question entirely. There is certainly no household-name Senate conservative who can lead the Legislative Branch, and Bush (who has always been a Compassionate Conservative) has, I think, now achieved his lame-duck impotency (at least on domestic issues).
  • Where we go from here is an open question. I think, if a conservative were to play his cards right, that the conditions exist for a conservative agenda to be furthered. But we could also end up with so much mish-mash.

No comments: