The Moose offers kudos to some Senate solons.
It was a rare moment. The lion laid down with the lamb. Or in this case, it was the donkey holding hands with the donkey. The Moose is referring, of course, to the tentative Senate immigration deal.
The uncertain compromise was a rare moment of bi-partisan accomplishment. It was a Solomon-like agreement that could result in an actual achievement for this Congress. That is extraordinary news. David Brooks put it so well, "the action moved over to the Senate, where pomposity generally has a restraining influence on stupidity."
Senator Leahy and Reid deserve credit for a brilliant political move. By agreeing to this compromise, all the pressure is now on the White House and the House Republicans to produce. In Marxist terms, Reid and Leahy are heightening the contradictions within the GOP between the immigration exclusionists and inclusionists.
In the next few weeks, the Republican immigration divide will be on full display. And the right wing full mooners will be in a full throated rage over the Senate deal. If President Bush signs a law that contains a guest worker program, the Republican base will be deeply divided and partially dejected and demoralized going into the November elections. It would be deeply ironic if the President' s most significant legislative achievement of his second term could contribute to the GOP losing control over Congress.
The deal, however, may not make it past the Senate. And if it does, the House yahoos will obstruct with all their might.
Clearly, however, the Democratic Senate leaders did the right thing in the political as well as in the policy sense. The center held... at least temporarily.
* Update (9:17 am)- The Moose has just heard disturbing news that some in the Democratic Senate leadership are obstructing the compromise for a false short term political gain.
**Update (11:23) - Alas, the center did not hold and the compromise is dead for now. This failure is yet more evidence that political rather than public gain is more important to some among our governing class. And this "political advantage" will likely prove to be ephemeral. --