Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kyl on the radio

I listened to Senator Kyl on a local radio show this morning. He was strong, conciliatory, and defended his decisions in a calm, collected manner. His main contention was that the core Immigration Bill is a good bill, it just needs to be explained and sold more convincingly. He then took the blame for not explaining and vetting the bill to his constituents correctly.

Before revisionism continues to creep in (this was less than 2 weeks ago people!) let's remember the way this "compromise was introduced (via CNN:)

The estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could be put on the path to citizenship under a new immigration bill agreed upon Thursday by a bipartisan group of senators.

"The agreement we just reached is the best possible chance we will have to secure our borders, bring millions of people out of the shadows and into the sunshine of America," Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts said.

President Bush expressed gratitude to the senators for their work.

"I really am anxious to sign a comprehensive immigration bill as soon as I possibly can," he told reporters outside the White House. "Today, we took a good step toward this direction."

The bill is going to the Senate next week and if it passes, will then proceed to the House.

Therein lies the problem. There was really going to be no effort to educate anybody on the merits of the Bill before the vote. Had Jon Kyl at that time called a press conference and began the education right at that point, and convinced people that there would be a full vetting and discussion before an actual vote, the reaction would have been less vociferous. Instead, it looks like he allowed President Bush to step over him with, "I really am anxious to sign a comprehensive immigration bill as soon as I possibly can," and John McCain's "We can and must complete this legislation sooner rather than later. We all know that this issue can get caught up in extracurricular politics unless we move forward as quickly as possible."

Indeed neither of these quotes came from Kyl, so it is possible that almost immediate passage was never his ultimate desire. One, however, should be able to see why many of the rank and file thought that they were being railroaded. Indeed, the suddenness guaranteed the protest that ensued. Not that there wouldn't have been some protest anyway, but had Kyl stepped forward and set a reasonable timeline for debate, like he explained on the radio show, then I believe the protest would never have reached the same tenor.

It was also interesting to see that Kyl left himself a large back door should amendments change any part of the bill. Don't be too surprised if an amendment centered around "family unification" passes and allows Kyl to move away from the bill. Jon already admitted that such an amendment was in the works, and it would be a deal-breaker for him.

If I were a gambling man, I would bet that Kyl and his core constituents will be reunited again real soon, and despite Democrat hopes, much of the damage will be repaired rather quickly. The very fact that people are trying to call his office and turn him around shows that, at some level, they believe he can be "brought back." You don't do that with traitors.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your points at the end Framer. Kyl was just elected for a 6 year term...he is going to be around a long while. He is the perfect person, politically, to take the heat right now. I don't think anyone will remember this 6 years from now and I doubt that many Republicans will forget that he has been the most consistent supporter of President Bush, the war, and conservative values than most any of the Republicans in the Senate.

Am I wrong?

Framer said...

I think he would possibly be in a bit more trouble if the legislation were to pass, but it won't and there is a good chance that Kyl will wind up voting against it after it is inevitably amended.

There is an phenomenon present in customer service that when something goes seriously wrong with a customer relationship, and a business steps in and makes things right after the initial problem, the customer satisfaction level actually moves to a higher level than had a mistake never occurred. Kyl is on the record as not being silly enough to go down in flames with this bill, and this bill IS going down in flames. Even McCain is not standing alongside the Bill to the degree that he has in the past.

We'll see what happens.

Ann said...

Excellent logic and insight by both, it is certainly better than the gnashing of teeth and debate over who is the true conservative! Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard laid out the additions Kyl made to the bill in order to get it to gain some conservative support and the thin line between his support and departure. Obama wants to re-instate the family chain provision and Kyl will pull the plug should that occur. I have held that Kyl is hoping for a good bill now through the process or in the event of a failure on this one, a potential Republican majority in ’08 and a great bill. If the Dems rule again in ’08, we will see, but I cannot imagine anything much better coming out of that Congress; especially if there is no veto threat. I do believe he will do the right thing, I also believe he needs us to speak out in a way that supports his cause and does not demean his stature.