Hugh Hewitt

Arizona’s Jon Kyl, perhaps the single most effective and principled conservative in the United States Senate, is the model of what every senator should be –smart, hard working, humble about his occupying the office, and aware of the obligations of that office. He is also a gentleman and a scholar –a genuine authority on Constitutional law, and a man of genuine character. Kyl’s also a fighter for conservative causes, especially the fortunes of President Bush’s judicial nominees.

Jon Kyl is also the workhorse for the GOP caucus on the immigration bill, doing his best to make the bill as workable as possible from the position as point man of the minority party.

This unenviable task has earned Senator Kyl an enormous amount of enmity from very vocal opponents of the bill, especially those for whom the issue is the single most important piece of legislation. Suddenly Jon Kyl’s impeccable record on the war, cutting taxes, the life of the unborn, spending restraint, and of course judges matters not at all, and the airwaves are full of spleen. The attacks on Kyl haven’t just been harsh, they have been full of the sort of venom usually seen in the fever swamps of the left directed at George Bush for waging the war against the Islamist jihadists.

If I was a member of the United States Senate I would not vote for cloture on the immigration bill, even though this version is bound to be much better than the version that failed to gain enough votes on the last go around. I wouldn’t vote for it because the border fence “trigger” is only 375 miles instead of the 700 authorized by last year’s border security bill. There may be other reasons to oppose the bill, but in an on-air conversation yesterday with Senator Kyl –the transcript is here —the senator indicated that many of the other major problems in the bill are being worked on. Whether those fixes are sufficient to remove some of those concerns --such as the treatment of illegal immigrants from countries with deep jihadist networks in the same fashion as illegal immigrants from Mexico—remains to be seen. Senator Kyl is clearly working to improve the bill as much as is possible.

For this effort he deserves thanks. This will evoke many comments denouncing Kyl as a turncoat and a traitor, but the obvious utility of making the best of a bad situation needs to be mentioned here, and more than merely mentioned, praised.

If the bill is going to pass the Senate, I want it to be the least bad bill possible.

If the bill is going to pass the Senate, I want as many of the drafting errors corrected and loopholes closed as possible.


Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.