As I have written before, politics is no longer about good legislation, it is about politicking. Our DC based legislative processes have evolved into a frenetic, self-absorbed, narcissistic tango of Beltway ricocheting that produces products not designed to yield a better functioning country; but designed only to preserve the contact between ours legislators’ abundant behinds and their opulent leather chairs.
And nothing could make that plainer than the wandering, and eventually fruitless machinations that will forever be the hallmark of the Kennedy-McCain Immigration bill. In the fallout of the debacle that was, lie some important lessons for the week.
1. The Conservative base rejects the notion of an Imperial Senate.
It is not so much that McCain and Kennedy wanted to pass their poorly structured immigration bill and attempt to buy votes via the issuance of Z visas; it was more that they cobbled together a poorly thought out bill, and then tried to ram it down our collective throats. In by-passing the usual legislative protocols, they essentially claimed omnipotent authority on the issue, and virtually dared the public to read the bill and find fault with it. Which many people did, and what fault they did find.
Most noted being the intrepid, and narcolepsy vaccinated Hugh Hewitt, who took it upon himself to not only read the entirety of the bill the first weekend it was made public, but later went on to make several very serious, and very important recommendations for strengthening the bill.
Such recommendations were rejected as if coming from the hands of the unwashed. The Imperial forces in the Senate were so blinded by myopic personal agendas that they rejected all advice on content, presentation, and salesmanship. In the process they insulated themselves from the very public that they are sworn to serve and damaged not only their individual reputations, but the reputation of the Senate as a serious legislative body.
The base rejects their superiority in this matter, since many of its most strident proponents either failed to read the bill or failed to understand it. Neither case leaves the base believing in the infallibility of such blowhards.
2. The conservative base rejects the idea of trading bad legislation for votes.