We’re prepared for any contingency. Victory means a Humpbot cameo; defeat means I get tanked on hard liquor in the middle of the day. It’s win/win, really. The boss has already done a quickie round-up of stories this morning predicting the bill’s demise. John Hawkins’s Senate source lends his voice to the chorus:
To begin with, my source said he is guardedly optimistic that the bill will fail the 2nd cloture vote tomorrow. That is because he thinks that some of the senators who voted for cloture on Tuesday were doing so because they were being “senatorial” by allowing a debate. But, that only goes so far, and everyone realizes at this point that the Thursday vote is the final vote on amnesty as far as the base is concerned. In other words, a “yes” on cloture is a “yes” to amnesty.
At that point, I asked about the “fool the yahoos” maneuver. Will there be senators voting “yes” on cloture and then voting against the final bill and hoping that they can avoid being tagged as supporting amnesty? He said that because of all the attention this issue has gotten, the base isn’t going to be fooled and that anyone who does that will just have to hope that his election isn’t close enough that thousands conservatives sitting at home can swing it the other way.
McCain’s Iowa campaign chairman told WaPo yesterday he wished the issue of immigration had never come to the floor. As for St. John’s crony-in-chief, he’s featured prominently in the Times’s story this morning about senators being threatened by nutjobs angry over the bill. See-Dub will clue you in to the agenda behind the piece if you haven’t guessed already, but here’s your quote of the day from the man who once derided amnesty opponents as “bigots” before a crowd of swooning La Raza members:
“One of the requirements of public service in modern America is dealing with a few voices that are full of hate,” Mr. Graham said. “And our discourse and the way we politic, the way we engage each other, brings that out.”
It’s bringing something out: according to freshman Blue Dog Jon Tester, the feedback he’s getting from constituents is more overwhelmingly opposed on this issue than it is on Iraq, where public opposition currently hovers in the mid- to high-60s.
Updates will be flying fast and furious in an hour or so. I’ll do my best to liveblog the vote, although on Tuesday they didn’t repeat each senator’s vote after calling his/her name so it may not be possible. While you wait, read John Shadegg’s nightmare scenario at NRO about the various loopholes built into the bill that would let illegals caught while sneaking across the border nonetheless obtain legal status. Oh, and read this piece at Politico, which is comic in its adulation of Ted Kennedy even by normal media standards.
Humpbot waits in the wings, wondering if it’s his time to shine. Exit question: Pelosi and the gang deserve a pay raise, don’t you think?
Update: Here’s a no we weren’t counting on — Ensign has flipped. Don’t fear the reaper!
Update: They’re trying to flip Thad Cochran the other way now. If my vote tally last night was right, then we don’t need him.
Update: This must be one of those “voices of hate” Lindsey Graham was wringing his hands about. This debate was Godwinned weeks ago; might as well keep it up to the bitter end.
How many times does Teddy need to be told “close the borders first” before he grasps that that’s the alternative?
Update: Reid’s taken abuse, Bush has taken abuse, McCain and Graham and Kyl and Martinez have taken abuse enough for a lifetime, but one guy has stayed miraculously clean even though he’s sat idly by and let this sham take its course despite the uproar from his base and the pleas from Sessions et al. Save a little bile for him.
Update: How absurd has it gotten?
In case you didn’t catch this, the opponents of shamnesty are rushing through their statements because the Grand Schemers have only given them 10 minutes to speak. The shamnesty senators will get the rest of the hour to talk. “Typical,” says Session, of the way this debate has gone. And so starkly absurd. You’ve got the pro-amnesty senators on the floor now all bleating about how debate shouldn’t be ended…having just limited their opponents’ time to a measly 10 minutes.
Update: Here we go. Standby for liveblog totals.
First run-through is 19-21. Webb voted no! I think most of them deliberately haven’t voted yet, though, so that they can see what the first totals look like and then vote accordingly.
25-30 now! Humpbot is warming up…
31-38! TWO MORE.
I count fully 53 no’s. We did it.
Update: Here’s the roll. Gonna go do the cross-check to see who switched.
Update: The yes/no switchers were Bingaman, Bond, Brown, Brownback, Burr, Coleman, Collins, Domenici, Ensign, Harkin, McConnell, Murkowski, Ben Nelson, Pryor, Stevens, Voinovich(!), Warner, and Webb. Republicans are in boldfaced. I guess you can thank Sean Hannity for shaming Voinovich into flipping.
It’s worth going back and looking at the order in which they voted, to see who held back and waited to gauge how the vote was going before casting his/her ballot. I’ll bet Mitch McConnell was one of them.
Update: Well, well. Brownback initially voted yes — and then switched to no when he realized he was going to lose. Disgraceful.