Yes, we’re all fed up with the immigration bill. And we of the conservative media have called on you so many times in the last few months you’re probably almost fed up with us, too. But think about this: whenever the phone calls diminish, whenever the talk radio hosts turn to other issues, whenever it appears that you’ve gone on to something else, the folks who are pushing this awful bill – this huge blow to our national security and our economy — go before the cameras and say that support is rising and opposition is fading.
Today the Bush-McKennedy amnesty bill will be up for another cloture vote to enable the Senate to pass it before the July 4 recess. Now is the time to remember Churchill’s credo: “Never give in! Never give in! Never never never never — in nothing great and small — large and petty — Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” Neither honor nor good sense is involved in this bill, except among those who are working hard to stop it.
These are the five conservative “floor warriors,” those few who are speaking, dealing, maneuvering to prevent the passage of this bill: Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jeff Sessions (R-Al), David Vitter (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-Tx) and Tom Coburn (R-Ok). Though they are doing the most, they are eager to share credit with others such as Liddy Dole (R-NC), Jim Bunning (R-Ky) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who have joined the anchor team. I managed to catch up with three of the Fab Five on Wednesday.
Jim DeMint told me that he needs your help: “You know, this is a critical time. We don’t want to quit now — we’ve got to call senators who voted “Yes” on the motion to bring it up yesterday [Tuesday], because Thursday we have another vote. We — they have to get 60, which is very difficult. There are a number who said already that they don’t think they’re going to vote for cloture, uh, and… So we need people to call — not just call here, but radio talk shows. They just need to raise their voices. I think we have a really good shot at stopping this bill, but people have got to continue to raise their voices.” Get to those phones, folks.
David Vitter sounded a bit tired when I caught him between appearances on the Senate floor. I asked him how Americans should understand what he and the other four opposition leaders are doing, and why. He said, “Well we’re doing everything we can, using every procedural tool we have to stop this bad bill. I think what’s so tragic about how this is unfolding is that, at the core of this debate, is a complete lack of confidence of the American people in its government, and unfortunately this procedure is only reinforcing that lack of confidence, that things are rigged and it’s not a fair process.”
Majority Leader Harry Reid is getting away with controlling the floor debate in unprecedented ways, preventing Vitter and the others from even speaking on some aspects of the bill. Why? Because the White House supports the bill and Senate Republican leaders apparently submitted to this nonsense.
National polls show that about three fourths of Americas don’t support the Bush-McKennedy bill. So why are the President and so many Senators supporting it?
I asked Vitter why so many people up there are ignoring the American public. His answer was tough and direct: “Because a lot of people in Washington are completely out of touch.”
The Big Five are very much in touch. One Senate staffer told me that the calls to his boss — one of the big five — were running about 95 to 97% in favor of opposing the bill. He — and the two young ladies answering the phones at adjoining desks — laughed when I suggested that their jobs were easy compared to, say, those answering the phones for Lindsay (Can you say one-term senator?) Graham. (By the way, Graham’s number is 202-224-5972.)
I asked Sen. Jeff Sessions if this bill lived up to the claims the administration is making about improved border security. He said, “No. Astoundingly, Congress’ own agency, the Congressional Budget Office, said that were going to have another 8.7 million illegals in this country [if the bill passes]. If the bill doesn’t pass, they say, we’d have 10 million. Which mean that we’re only getting a 13 per cent reduction in illegal immigration.”
In fact, Sessions stressed, the claims being made by the president and the Dems about security improvements are just plain false. He said: “They represented that it would secure the border. It’s not going to secure the border. They represented that we would have a policy that would serve America. It’s going to double the legal immigration. Double. Without any reduction in illegal [immigration].”
So what does all this mean? Will terrorists already here illegally gain amnesty if this travesty is enacted? I was thinking about that yesterday when a small package landed on my desk. Inside was a note and a small gift from a radio host on whose show I occasionally appear. This gent knows me pretty well. His note said, “Jed, in recognition of all you warn us about, the enclosed is yours in case of the worst.” Under the note was a book entitled, “El Coran.” A copy of the Koran. In Spanish.
Some time today, the Senate will vote on another cloture motion that represents the last chance to stop the Senate from passing the Bush-McKennedy immigration bill. Any senator who votes for cloture will be voting for the bill, because the Bush-Kennedy-McCain crowd can easily get 51 votes to pass the final bill. Votes for cloture won’t go unnoticed, and not soon forgiven.
Some of those votes are changing as senators hear and see more. Sometimes in funny ways.
One senate staffer showed me a press story about a border security fence built by our Homeland Security experts. On the wrong side of the border. Apparently, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) found out about it and immediately demanded that it be torn down and reconstructed where it should have been in the first place. Which caused Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) to suddenly decide to oppose the bill. It’s hard to pretend to be a conservative when some Dem passes you on the right.
This bill is an historic measure, selling America’s national security to reduce the price of lawns mowed and crops picked. It does not secure our borders against peaceful people, far less those who come here to kill. It will not secure the border for two reasons: first, the bill does not provide the means or the policy for securing them; and second, our government has proved itself untrustworthy for twenty-one years — including nearly six years since 9-11 — for that task.
Play the deguello. No quarter will be given or asked. The cloture vote should fail, and we must do everything in our power to ensure it does.
Whether we win today or not, we will not give in. Never, never, never, never.