So, now that the smoke is clearing from the shamnesty debate, who were the winners and losers? This is all my opinion, of course, so take it with a grain of salt. But, if I had to specify winners, I’d say:
1. YOU, the American people… …for standing up and refusing to be ignored
2. the new conservative leadership: DeMint, Sessions, Cornyn, Inhofe, Vitter, and the others who led this charge; these guys have propelled themselves into positions of trust with the American people and proven they can take the heat
3. conservativism in general: Returning the final word to the people instead of relying on big government, saying no to massive new entitlements, and upholding the laws of the land.
It seems to me that there are a whole lot of losers today. In my opinion, the biggest losers are:
1. President Bush: He bet a lot of political capital — pretty much all he had left — on this domestic policy move, and it failed. It’s almost mind-boggling how he (and his advisors) could fall so badly out of touch with the American people. However, the silver lining is that he knows exactly what would gain him some monster political capital right back – enforcement.
2. the Republican pro-amnesty Senators: Don’t be surprised if they go home after their current term is served out. It’s extremely difficult to rebound after taking a vehement public stance against 80% of your constituency, and this is a particularly hot issue in a lot of areas around the country. And, the new media doesn’t forget things like this, so you can count on it coming up at election time.
3. Sam Brownback: This one is obvious. I’m sure there were others who planned to do exactly what he did, but he was the one who got caught switching his vote once the outcome became apparent. A major screw-up, and the end of his presidential bid.
3. the Democratic leadership This one isn’t quite so obvious. There are two points here. First, the Democrats lost face. They hold the majority in the Senate, and they (Harry Reid in particular) did everything possible to control this bill, from creating it in secret sessions to unprecedented procedural trickery to outright deception. Reid and his comrades squashed true debate on the merits of the bill, kept as much shadow on the provisions and amendments as possible for as long as possible, and were still unable to push it through. Though the mainstream media is spinning this as “Bush’s immigration plan” — and though that is certainly true — the fact remains that this was the Democrats’ fight to lose, and they lost it. For a party that supposedly had a ‘mandate’ when they took over power in January, they haven’t been able to pull out of Iraq, they haven’t been able to get amnesty passed, they haven’t been able to do anything significant. The more failures they have, the weaker they look when 2008 rolls around. The second point is much more troubling for long-term Democratic prospects. In 2006, they implemented a brilliant strategy of running conservative Democrats versus moderate Republicans, and it worked. They got in and gained the majority. Now, it appears that the strategy may be backfiring a bit – there were 15 Democrats that voted against cloture today, and three of them were freshmen (McCaskill included) who appeared to be quite content breaking from their own leadership. If Reid and the other long-timers on the Democrat side of the aisle can’t control their newbies and get them in line with the Democrat agenda, this could spell trouble for the precariously thin Democrat majority.
Just a few observations for you to think about.
One Last Note On Shamnesty
Please take a moment to send feedback to your Senators and thank them for their representation of you on the shamnesty bill. While it is their job to represent us accurately, this issue shows that they aren’t always necessarily motivated to do so; besides, they are still human and therefore deserve courteous treatment. If we hammer them for their failures or shortcomings, it’s only fair to praise them for a job well done.
There’s my two cents.