Whatever happens on the comprehensive immigration bill, the Senate has been caught with its pants down, argues Stanley Kurtz. Maybe those cosseted courtiers in the Senate have finally got a hint of the power of the internet to expose "deceits and flaws":
Here's something new. The first true Internet-Age presidential campaign was in 2004. The first major Internet-Age Supreme Court nomination was Harriet Miers, in 2005. Now, in 2007, we've got what is arguably the first truly major down-and-dirty Roberts-rules-of-disorder parliamentary battle fought under the searchlight of the blogs.
The Internet was critical to the immigration bill's first failure. If not for the blogs, the bill's deceits and flaws would not have been so well or quickly exposed, and "comprehensive reform" would probably otherwise have passed within a couple of days. Now we're at yet another new level. The public is being exposed to a basket of legislative tricks-of a sort that are rare in any case, and surely of a kind that have never been subjected to mass and rapid-fire public exposure. The undemocratic character of all that is happening here is being conveyed to the public in short order and with clarity-often through the medium of Senate aides themselves.
Do the Senators now called "Masters of the Universe" understand this? Presumably, senate aides, who certainly read the blogs, have communicated to their senators how dangerous it is to be exposed in this fashion. But maybe some senators still don't get it. They seem to think they can get away with backroom maneuvers in an era when blogs are serving as virtual fly-on-the-wall cloakroom cameras.
Earlier today, in "Off the Table," I argued that passing this bill is not going to make the immigration issue go away. On the contrary, the blogs-eye-view we're getting of all this sausage making is going to be frozen in the public memory for a very long time. It's going to inspire new campaigns, and it's going to haunt the Masters of the Universe-and the Amnesty 8, too. I still don't think they quite realize this. In fact, the Masters' false belief that quickly passing this bill is going to somehow get this issue off of their backs is the method behind this their deceptive madness. They don't seem to realize that they've already been caught with their pants down.
I couldn't agree more. In fact, were I teaching a high school civic class, I'd pitch the textbook and have my students do a day by day account of events gleaned from sources like NRO and Slate's Mickey Kaus and compare them with MSM accounts.