Virtually everything important that is happening with respect to the immigration bill seems to be happening under the surface, away from the eyes of prying journalists and concerned citizens. The procedural maneuvering is incomprehensible. The substance of the amendments before the Senate is extraordinarily difficult if not overwhelming given the limited time allowed for their consideration.
I have only my intuition to go on. My intuition tells me that it is impossible to be cynical enough about what is transpiring here, that the second cloture vote is the last chance to kill the bill in the Senate if the fix is not already in, and that the bill’s passage is assured in the House if it makes it out of the Senate. If some version of the bill passes in the Senate as a result of the procedural short-cuts that have greased the skids for it, every Republican who lent an assist should be held accountable.
Below John quotes Senator Norm Coleman’s explanation of his “yes” vote on cloture yesterday. John describes Senator Coleman as a stand-up guy. Yet Senator Coleman’s message is a study in ambiguity. If Senator Coleman’s sanctuary city amendment is defeated, will he vote against cloture later this week? He doesn’t say. Under what conditions will he vote for the bill? He doesn’t say. And given what I believe to be the predictable consequence of any bill that passes under these circumstances — that the United States will become a sanctuary nation — Senator Coleman’s studied ambiguity is itself a discomfiting revelation.
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