We shouldn’t build a real fence; even goats can around that. What we need is a virtual fence like the electric fence he built on his property, which, granted, isn’t anything like a virtual fence except that they both require electricity and are sort of “tech-y.” You know what he’s sayin’, right?
Given the level of talent responsible for it, it’s amazing how good the amnesty bill is, you know?
Sen. Minority Whip Trent Lott, R-Miss., was talking to reporters Wednesday about the immigration bill, when he said, “If the answer is ‘build a fence’ I’ve got two goats on my place in Mississippi. There ain’t no fence big enough, high enough, strong enough, that you can keep those goats in that fence.”
“Now people are at least as smart as goats,” Lott continued. “Maybe not as agile. Build a fence. We should have a virtual fence. Now one of the ways I keep those goats in the fence is I electrified them. Once they got popped a couple of times they quit trying to jump it.”
“I’m not proposing an electrified goat fence,” Lott added quickly, “I’m just trying, there’s an analogy there.”
The discourse thus elevated, Latino groups respond in kind. Meanwhile, a provocative theory from the Influence Peddler: Is Pelosi trying to kill the shamnesty? She’s planning to hold “listening sessions” on the issue with the Democrats even though (a) everyone’s already said whatever they’re going to say and (b) it’ll delay the House bill, which she can ill afford to do so since the longer it’s delayed, the closer we get to the election, the less anyone on either side wants to touch the hot potato. Hence IP’s theory that the sessions are just a ruse to drag out the process until it’s so politically inconvenient that the matter drops. The conventional wisdom is that Pelosi wants it to pass knowing that it’s now or never for the Dems to ram it through so that they can share culpability with a Republican president. But the CW may be undergoing death by poll: between the lowest confidence ratings evah in the new Gallup survey and the Zogby interactive showing three percent approval on this issue, the Dems can’t afford to play with it for much longer. From the CQ piece the Peddler links:
Democratic divisions have, to this point, been obscured by Republican infighting. But when the House considers an immigration bill, the majority of House Democrats are likely to be at odds with swing-district colleagues, particularly freshmen whose 2006 electoral victories gave Democrats their first House majority in a dozen years.
“I oppose the bill,” said Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire, a freshman who unseated Republican Melissa A. Hart in western Pennsylvania’s socially conservative 4th District.
Being able to cast a vote against an immigration bill may not be a strong enough political shield for swing-district Democrats worried about 2008. “I wouldn’t want this to be viewed as a Democratic initiative,” Altmire said.
I wrote about that the other day. This isn’t a key issue for the Democratic base so why put her Blue Dogs in play, especially when she’s going to have to get tough on Iraq this summer and that might not play well in their districts? Letting the issue drop would be a smart short-term strategy. And a very foolish long-term one.
It might not even come to that, actually: Captain Ed is reporting that Kay Bailey Hutchison, one of the critical fence-sitters according to Kate O’Beirne, will announce today that she’ll vote against cloture, coincidentally the day after those bombshells from Gallup and Zogby. A poll a day keeps the amnesty away…
Update: Another hopeful sign — the amnesty coalition begins to fracture.
Update: Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, congressional staffers show their respect to amnesty opponents:
The pro:con ratio of calls [related to the Immigration bill] is probably 1:19 here. That’s because the people who are “for” it are busy working and not calling Senate offices.
Update: What does this mean?
“I’m optimistic now that there’s a chance that they will be able to get a bill out,” Pelosi said in an interview conducted on Wednesday by Jonathan Singer of the liberal blog MyDD.com. “It all depends on the leadership of the president. If he cares enough about it, which I believe he does, then the Senate will pass comprehensive, bipartisan immigration legislation.”
However, Pelosi did not offer an endorsement of the immigration bill, even if it manages to pass the Senate.
“We’ll watch it very carefully to see what it is and see what we can do to either improve upon it or possibly reject it,” she said. “But again, it has to meet certain standards. We have our standards. We’ve put them out there. Secure our borders, workplace enforcement, protect our workers, non-exploitation of the people coming in and a path to legalization for the millions of people in the United States now.”
Update: Hark, the sound of amnesty creaking!
Update: The anti-amnesty momentum builds — Pat Roberts will also vote no. More killer polls, stat!
Update: They don’t kill it “shamnesty” for nothing.