Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why the Senate exists...

The immigration debate is a classic case in point of why the Senate was instituted by the Founders. The House passed a lousy and unworkable bill that was focused far more on exacting punishment than in solving the problem. In short, it pandered to a very vocal minority.

The Senate was created to make sure that there was not a rush to enact legislation. Not only are the rules of the Senate designed to allow a minority of Senators to slow things down, the re-election of the members of the Senate is staggered, so as to allow the passions engendered by a vote on a hot-button issue to not only cool, but it also insulates Senators - allowing them to take the long view of an issue.

In essence, Senators like Sam Brownback are not as vulnerable to being targeted for a purge as someone in the House of Representatives, like Chris Cannon. On immigration, the Senate has played a vital role. In essence, no bill that is enforcement-only (this includes the "enforcement first" bait-and-switch) will get through. To get any sort of immigration bill, the House will have to accept the needed large-scale plea-bargain/pre-trial diversion that Senators capable of insulating themselves from the talk-radio/internet-fuelled hysteria over the issue.

Sadly, as AJ-Strata notes, the Senate's role has been the subject of vicious comments and worse, and the House Republicans have chosen to sabotage any hopes for a bill. Some of the comments on the post are disgusting.


Robert said...

On immigration, the House has played a vital role. In essence, no bill that is legalization-only (this includes the "enforcement later" bait-and-switch) will get through. To get any sort of immigration bill, the Senate will have to accept the needed serious commitment to enforcing the law that Representatives willing to listen to the people instead of big business are insisting on.

Guess where you sit depends on where you stand...and so does what you see.

Ken Prescott said...

Robert, please do not insult my intelligence, particularly on my own blog, OK?

The House deliberately opted to sabotage any prospect for reconciling the differing bills, demanding that everything go their way, or not at all. The Senate made no similar demand. No amount of spin on your part can change the fact that the House has decided that the present situation, allegedly intolerable, shall remain in place, all for the sake of a few loudmouths wanting to make a few bucks in donations, book royalties, and speaking fees, as opposed to actually solving the problem in a manner that the American public will support.

After several years of being called a "Quisling," "traitor," and worse by out-and-out racists, hucksters looking to sell books, and other shady types, solely for the crime of not having hinge-headed agreement with whatever tripe they choose to spew on this issue, I am all out of sympathy for you and your self-inflicted pain on this issue.

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

I think both the House and Senate are serving their purpose. They passed two separate bills that are miles apart and are now going to debate the issue.

As the House passed their version by a wide margin before the Senate even began to debate, I don't see how you can lay all the blame at the feet of the House. Did the Senate really think that having the illegal immigrants eligible for accrued Social Security benefits (earned while breaking the law) was a reconcilable issue with the house version? Give me a break. The Senate could have gone a long way toward getting a bill through the conference committee this year if that had passed a decent piece of legislation.

Robert said...

Why is opposing a bad idea sabotage? No bill is far preferable to a bad bill--not just on immigration but on any topic. In fact, that's a pretty consistent and conservative position.

Why is taking a negotiating position that supports what you think is right operating in bad faith? I understand that the Senate is in agreement with you that nothing serious needs to be done about enforcing the law, but that doesn't make the House obstinate traitors to the Republican cause. It means that we disagree...not that either of us are

And for what it's worth, you're doing plenty of demanding agreement yourself. The language of this post is as filled with condescension as anything being thrown around on the pro-enforcement side. It's not insulting your intelligence to point that out by reversed whose ox is being gored.

By the way Ken, I have a variety of emotions on the issue of immigration, but none of them is pain.

Ken Prescott said...

Why is taking a negotiating position that supports what you think is right operating in bad faith?

Robert, to illustrate why it's negotiating in bad faith, here is the Called As Seen blog's negotiating position:

In return for the privilege of posting your comments on this blog, you will send each of the authors $2,500 per month. That is utterly non-flipping-negotiable.

Attempts to lower the price will be viewed as negotiating in bad faith.

That is all.

Now that is a real basis for negotiation, ya think?

Robert said...

Ken, according to the Senate plan, I only have to pay you for three out of every five posts, plus you owe me back benefits for all the times I read your blog without registering and paying.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

Robert, it comes down to this:

The Senate did require punishment. You just do not like the amount of punishment the Senate included - after discussing the issue.

Why are you unable to just say you don't like the punishment the Senate felt was appropriate in return for a guilty plea? Why must you use a label like amnesty that is misleading at best?