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.