The immigration legislation debacle will turn out one of two ways. If it goes through, President Bush will claim success and it will be the legacy of his presidency along with his response to terrorism.
If it fails, Harry Reid will take the fall and this, as Cap'n Ed shares, is why:
Let's recap, shall we? The bill came to the Senate originally through a self-appointed committee of Senators, bypassing the normal committee process where Senators can debate and amend proposals in a sane and rational manner. The "Masters of the Universe" wanted only four days of debate, but under pressure, Reid gave it eight -- but refused to allow more than a handful of amendments. The bill lost on cloture by 15 votes, a clear rejection of the arrogance of Reid's process.Everyone knows that illegal immigration reform is near and dear to President Bush's heart. He campaigned on it in 2000 and 2004. This legislation is important to him--not as political expedience.
So what did he do this time? He decided on an even more arrogant process, demanding that the Senate vote on a bill that had not even been provided to them. Reid used an unprecedented procedure, the "clay pigeon", and then set up the rules so that no one could offer any further amendments. He turned the world's greatest deliberative body into the In-N-Out Debate Society, a railroad job so complete that the only rational option to punish him for it is to shoot down cloture and embarass him publicly for it.
It looks like more Senators have come to the same conclusion. He needs 20 GOP Senators to join 40 Democrats to endorse his historically bad leadership, and I'm not sure he'll get either number. If anyone fathered this dead duck, it's the man who spawned the clay pigeon.
Everyone also knows that Harry Reid's political instincts are political, never principled--unless you consider his survival instinct principled. If the legislation succeeds, his base will get angrier and more vocal and unlike President Bush, he will face reelection.