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The disengenuousness of politics today
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, June 19, 2007

As Julie Hirchfield Davis of AP points out, the arcane procedure Harry Reid plans on using to get the "new and improved" immigration bill through the Senate has a name. And in this case it is a very descriptive name in more ways than one:
Only in the arcane world of the U.S. Senate could a quirky gambit known as a ''clay pigeon'' make the difference between passage of an important immigration measure and its death at the hands of opponents.

Democratic leaders hope the complex maneuver _ which makes use of the Senate's labyrinthine rules to insist on votes on amendments _ will frustrate conservatives' attempts to derail the embattled immigration bill, instead putting it on a fast track to passage next week.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would revive the bill to legalize as many as 12 million unlawful immigrants late this week. To do so, though, he needs backing from 60 senators, and a way to guarantee votes on a tentative list of 22 Republican and Democratic amendments whose consideration is seen as vital to satisfying key waverers.

The so-called clay pigeon is how he's expected to do it, under a strategy that was still taking shape Monday.

The tactic gets its name from the target used in skeet shooting, which explodes into bits as it is hit. In the Senate, an amendment is the target, and any one senator can demand that it be divided into separate fragments to be voted on piecemeal.

Under the tentative plan, Reid as early as Friday would launch his target _ an amendment encompassing all 22 proposals _ and shoot it into its component pieces. The Senate would then vote on ending debate on the immigration measure, which would take 60 votes and limit discussion of the bill to 30 more hours. After that interval, all 22 amendments would have to be voted on, with little opportunity for foes to interfere.

Ironically, the move is usually used by mavericks _ not leaders _ to slow down legislation, not free it from a procedural thicket.
Well certainly, no one would mistake Harry Reid for a 'leader'. But reading all of that got me thinking about the state of politics today.

Two issues have provoked a very strong negative reaction from the American people as reflected in any number of polls: Iraq and illegal immigration.

In the case of the former, the Harry Reid's of the world have claimed those poll numbers and control of Congress as proof of a mandate to stop the war in Iraq.

In the case of the latter, Harry Reid has chosen to completely ignore even stronger poll numbers which are decidedly against passage of this bill and to ram it through claiming, in this case, to know better what is best for the American people and to use procedural deceit and trickery to do it. In this case, the same sort of mandate is refused.

For all their talk of being dedicated to doing the 'will of the people' these two examples should finally, hopefully, put "lie" to that claim. What they do, they do for political gain and to hold power, nothing more. And if the 'will of the people' conveniently fits their scenario, they'll be more than happy to use it and exploit it. Otherwise, just sit back and shut up and they'll decide what is best for you, thankyouverymuch.

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Previous Comments to this Post 

The problem with our political gentry is not so much that it is a gentry but that it is an mendacious, vindictive, and incompetent one.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I see the obvious solution now.

Send Mexicans who want to emigrate to Iraq for a few years, to let them earn a green card or fast-track citizenship (as they prefer; I’m led to believe most illegals just want to earn some money to send home, not emigrate permanently).

Everybody wins!
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
Sigivald, I realize you’re joking, but I wonder about something. If have another major war that requires millions of soldiers on the scale of WWII, will we end up out-sourcing to get the cannon-fodder? I don’t think it’s that far-fetched.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://

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