Contrary to continuing media propaganda, the 2006 election and the killing of the Senate "comprehensive" immigration bill do NOT prove that anti-amnesty is a loser for Republicans. The Democrats who won in 2006 campaigned with Republican-rhetoric messages calling for border security, and they kept their promises in the decisive cloture vote on June 28.
Republican Senators voted "no" by a 3-to-1 majority (37 to 12), and they were conspicuously joined by three new Democratic senators who defeated incumbent Republicans in November after criticizing the failure of the U.S. government to stop the flow of illegal immigrants across U.S. borders. They were Sens. Jim Webb, D-Va., Jon Tester, D-Mon., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who said simply, "I like to keep my word."
The Senate bill, so aggressively lobbied by President George W. Bush and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., didn't even get a simple majority, much less the 60 votes it needed to proceed to vote on the bill itself. Meanwhile, the House Democrats who won in 2006 after making border-security promises were equally resistant to establishment and media lobbying.
A good example is Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., who pulled off one of the most surprising 2006 upsets against an incumbent Republican. She called President Bush's just plain "wrong" and asserts that "most Americans oppose the Senate's wrong-headed reforms; it's just Kansas common sense."
The pro-amnesty crowd is now engaging in ugly name-calling and blaming its defeat on talk radio. In fact, talk radio merely gave voice to the grass roots, thereby enabling a "great victory for the American people who demanded to be heard," as Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said at the post-vote press conference. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who was out front first with specific objections to the Senate bill, pointed out how phony it was to call the Senate bill "reform." He said it would result in only a 13 percent reduction in the invasion of illegal immigrants and would actually double the number of legal immigrants.
The arguments against the details of the bill were so powerful that its advocates were reduced to repeating the mantra, "Something is better than nothing." How dumb do the elite think the American people are? The Senate bill was far worse than doing nothing.
In addition to the 700-page bill's costly details and Kennedy-crafted loopholes, objections included the fact that the bill was written by a handful of "deal makers" behind closed doors without hearings or the usual committee process, who then limited amendments and debate, and demanded that the bill be passed only hours after the text was made public.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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