08 April, 2006

Why Did The Immigration Compromise Fail? Most Fingers (Including Those On The Left Hand) Point To Harry Reid

By now you know that the great compromise on immigration, presented as a near-mirculous feat by Senate leaders of both parties Thursday, became nothing more than a pile of political ashe by Friday afternoon.

On the weekends I like to peruse the various national news magazines and opinion journals to get their take on the week's events. Today, I fully expected certain magazines to blame the Democrats and certain others to lay it all at the feet of the Republicans. It's as predictable as violets in May.

I was surprised to find, however, that nearly everyone was pointing fingers at Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

TIME magazine placed blame for failure mostly on Reid's shoulders, though the TIME story theorizes Reid may have been acting on fears that a bill coming back to the Senate from a conference committe with a more hardline House would be indefnsible and a bad bill.

Certainly the folks at The Nation would have a different story to tell. So I logged on to look for a rebuttle. Instead I found a link to an article by Marc Cooper, a long-time contributing editor to the The Nation. It too puts the blame at the feet of Reid, in no uncertain terms.

OK The New Republic, help me out here. While TNR had no story yet on the failed compromise it did have a piece on immigration which noted that President Bush is being touted as the voice of reason in the debate. Once you get past the first paragraph or two though, the world turns rightside up again. The TNR article goes on to call Bush's "guest-worker" program "un-American" and says it will create a caste system.

Surprisingly, the Web sites of two of the prominent right-leaning opinion journals -The Weekly Standard and The National Review - haven't posted a story on the immigration-plan failure yet.

Meanwhile, on the broader topic of Washington politics in general, Washington Monthly takes the mainstream media to task for perpetuating what writer Amy Sullivan calls the myth that the Democrats are so innefectual they can't improve their lot even with the roof caving in on the Republicans.

In The Weekly Standard, William Kristol argues that the Bush Administration is being way to shy in defending itself in the wake of the latest revelations in the leak scandal, namely that President Bush has been fingered by Scooter Libby as being the top leaker. Kritsol argues that Bush's actions were legal and claims that evidence is mounting the Saddam Hussein was indeed in the terrorism business.


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