As much as I prefer imperfect Republicans over Democrats and fear the consequences of a Democratic majority, this is one issue where we simply have to draw the line. This bill, which could easily result in an exponential wave of immigrants entering this country over the next two decades alone, whom our P.C. culture will not even encourage to assimilate, must be vigorously opposed.
While I agree that we can't allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good, we simply can't risk bargaining away the very identity of this nation on the illusory promise that holes in the bill will be patched over in time. If there isn't enough time to craft a nation-preserving bill before the election, there won't be afterwards either.
Having said these things, I don't accept the premise that failure to pass a deeply flawed bill is politically suicidal for Republicans. If you believe that, you probably believe the conventional wisdom that elections are controlled by the mushy middle.
To the contrary, the Republicans who have been most successful in national elections are those who have held firm on conservative principles. Unlike the base of the Democratic Party, the Republican base is not fringe or extreme, but mainstream conservative. Those who want to preserve the unique American culture and the English language are not extremists, nativists or racists, which shouldn't even have to be said.
Ronald Reagan won landslide elections through unabashed conservatism. And, the decline in President Bush's approval rating is not just due to "all bad news all of the time" on Iraq, but that he is perceived to have abandoned his conservative base on far too many issues.
Much of the reason the Republican Senate is so disappointing to conservatives is that the moderate and liberal tail is wagging the conservative dog. The McCain moderates are hamstringing conservatives -- and even some of the conservatives have lost their nerve.
I don't remember a time when Beltway politicians, including way too many Republicans, have been so tone deaf on an issue and so complicit on a matter that could severely damage the long-term interests of this nation.
Let principled conservatives try on their obstructionist hats for a change. In this case, for now, passing no bill is better than passing the Senate bill. They should have the courage to take their case to the voters in November.