As everyone knows, Harry Reid is in the fight of his electoral life in Nevada. The Republican senate candidate, Sharon Angle, is within the margin of error on most polls looking at the race. So Harry needs something to attract more votes, obviously.
Hey, when you’re the Senate Majority Leader, you get to set that body’s legislative agenda and decide what bills considered by the Senate will or won’t contain and how they’ll be scheduled on the floor for votes.
So why not use that power to at least attempt some things which, while they may not succeed, will at least give one the “hey I tried, but it was the nasty Republicans, like my opponent who killed it”.
With that in mind, Reid has decided that the DREAM act needs to be a part of the defense authorization bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he will add the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure, to a defense policy bill the Senate will take up next week.
The decision means the defense bill, which often passes with bipartisan support, will be home to two major, thorny political issues – the other being the repeal of the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy.
Reid called the DREAM Act "really important" and said it should be passed because it provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.
"I know we can’t do comprehensive immigration reform," Reid said at a news conference. "But those Republicans we had in the last Congress have left us."
This, again, is one of the reasons we have the mess we have now. This is an obvious and transparent attempt at vote buying. It is calculated to appeal to a bloc of voters who’ve been dissatisfied with Reid’s performance on their behalf. It is pure special interest politics that gives an incumbent like Reid an advantage. And if it goes down to defeat, he can at least point to it and say “I tried”. If it manages to be passed, he can point to it and take credit. Maybe that will get him just enough votes to slide by.
Pure short-term, electoral politics – a consistent problem with our system.
And I love how “serving in the military” is the equivalent of “going to college”. Why, do they have minefields in the college square. PKM’s in the admin building sweeping the quadrangle? IEDs in the parking lots?
Yeah, that’s an aside, but you get my drift. As usual, legislation cobbled together with no real thought except short-term gain and haphazardly thrown into another bill which has absolutely noting to do with immigration. That’s how you get this morass of bad law we endure that features contradictions and unintended consequences galore.
We all have to hope that Harry Reid becomes a second Tom Daschle – a sitting Senate Majority Leader shown the door by his constituents. He embodies everything that’s wrong with today’s politicians. Let Harry enjoy his golden years in forced retirement.