passing a mass of contradictions in Bill Form.

There is a terribly fascinating, and in a way scary in the “how the legislative sausage is made” manner, feature in the New Yorker — the one probably on your newstands right now.  Ryan Lizza’s “Getting to Maybe” — on the “Gang of 8” ‘s attempted threading of an immigration bill.  Their goal: 70 votes for immigration, enough to preasure a House of Representatives into taking it up and passing it.

The working remind me of nothing so less as the Compromise of 1850 — threading the needle of contradictory political demands and at sometimes immoral and evil compromises.  That compromise had to do with slavery, naturally.

I have no particular interest in caring about this bill’s defeat or passage.

On the cast of characters, the “Down With Tyranny” blog pegs John McCain as the most irksome character of this troupe.  But I’m not so sure.   I think Lindsey Graham becomes your fascinating character of groanworthiness.  Two points — he celebrates the Process of how the Interests keep feeding at the Process.

As for high techs, several staffers involved with the bill started to notice that every time the Gang staisfied the industry its lobbyists returned with new demands.  “They keep coming back fo rmore,” Graham told me.  But he didn’t mean it in a bad way.  “This is America.  I don’t know how you say that in Latin.  That should be on some building somewhere: You have the right to come back for more when you don’t get what you want.  The country where you can ask for almost anything!”

And then we have how he is dealing with his political problem — of being cast as something less than a Conservative and facing up to a wrathful potential primary challenge in South Carolina.  Why — by amping up some attacks on  Obama on Everything Else!

Back in South Carolina, where President Obama and his policies are intsensely unpopular, Graham compensates for his pro-immigration stance by crucifying Obama on most other issues.  He speaks a great deal about a “coverup” by people at the White House over the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, last September that killed the US Ambassador and three other American officials.  “I think they politcally manipulated the evidence to tell a political story rather than the truth right before the election,” Graham told me.  “But, having said that, let’s do immigration.”

It does strike me as a tad transparent.  Given his celebration of the process of private interest digging in.

I think this article says that Graham stating that 80 percent of his primary voters will be getting their news from… Fox.  And here’s something a little interesting.  Not that it’s news per se, but Limbaugh seems to give away the score.

Fox News has notably changed its tone since the election.  A Democratic policy staffer who worked on the issue in 2007 and has helped write the current bill said, “NumberUSA and FAIR” — two grups that want to dramatically limit immigration — “managed to convince Fox News back then to be their twenty-four hour news channel of the anti-immigrant point of view.  Fox has now totally bought in to the idea that we just need to figure something out.”  Rush Limbaugh, who fiercely opposed the bill, has come to sound resigned.  “I don’t know if there’s any stopping this,” he said on January 28th, the day the Gang held the press conference announcing its framework for the legislation.  “It’s up to me and Fox News, and I don’t think Fox News is that interested in this.”

“Up to me and Fox News”.

Skip to another figure in this parade of Senators.  Marco Rubio.  And… Facebook has his back.  And will use an issue that he probably doesn’t much concern himself with to sell, evidentally before going back to Graham with an another request.

Rubio supported the Hatch amendment, and the tech community showed its gratitude., the political group backed by Faebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, defended Rubio from conservative attacks by buying ads on talk radio.  The spots didn’t mention H-1B visas, but they assured listeners that Rubio’s plan was tough.  It would “deport any illegal immigrant guilty of a serious crime.  For the rest, no amnesty, period.”

Classic.  There is some good news in this story…

The Democrats in the Gang are so gratfeul to Rubio for this effort that their praise of him borders on the obsequious.  “He has been so invalubale, “Durbin told me.  “He’s willing to go on the most conservative talk shows, television and radio, Rush Limbaugh and the rest.  They respect him, they like him, they think he has a future in the Party.”  And he added, “”He brings us the names of some of these conservative people I’ve never heard of who everybody in their caucus knows.”  One of them Mark Levin, a conservative radio host based in new York, who reaches more than seven million listeners a week and recently compared the Gang of Eight to a “politburo.”  “I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup,” Durbin said.  “Who is Mark Levin?”

That’s rather refreshing that the Democrats don’t know who the hell Mark Levin is.

Leave a Reply