Senators –both Republican and Democratic– who face reelection in 17 months are recognizing that the thundering disapproval of the bill isn’t going to dissipate in the months between now and their reelection campaigns. Senator Ensign –heading the NRSC– must also be seeing the disastrous effects of spurning the base’s demands for border security and other crucial amendments while piling up minor tweaks. Senator McCain’s declaration in the debate on Tuesday night that we won’t be building any fences or barriers was proof to many of the real agenda at work here –a continuation of the failed policies of the past 20 years even though the age of terror has changed the stakes considerably.
The Beltway’s elites badly bungled the bill. It is hardly the first time or the last that the Congress misjudged completely the mood of the public. The real error is in refusing to listen after the people have taken the time to announce their disapproval.
That makes a mistake into a colossal blunder, the sort of miscalculation that can result in a party-splitting hemorrhage.
So keep calling Republican Leader McConnell and Republican Whip Lott. 202-225-3121. A call to Senator Ensign wouldn’t hurt either. Ask them to stop the bleeding. Friendship with Senator McCain and the approval of President Bush aren’t good enough reasons to crash the party into the rocks.