Wednesday, June 13, 2007

George Will's Sham

For the most part, I find George Will to be an intellectually honest conservative (in the classic sense) writer. But today's attack on Harry Reid is shortsighted and strikes a real false note.

In the column, Will attacks Reid for killing the immigration bill by calling for a cloture vote. He mocks Reid for ending the bill to quickly.

Harry Reid, the Senate's majority leader and resident Uriah Heep, affected 'umble and syrupy sadness about the Senate's inability to pass the immigration bill that he pulled from the floor last Thursday evening for a transparently meretricious reason. Saying the Senate's time was too precious to expend on what would have been limited debate on a limited number of Republican amendments to the bill, Reid vowed: "Everyone that's been home, there are two issues that are foremost in their minds: Number one is the Iraq war and number two are gas prices. We're going to deal with that as soon as we finish with this immigration legislation."

So the Senate took Friday off, wasted Monday in the predictable futility of
failing to pass a nonbinding nullity, a resolution expressing constitutionally irrelevant lack of confidence in the attorney general, then debated lowering gasoline prices -- or cooling the planet, or something -- by spending taxpayers' money to raise food prices. It took up legislation to quintuple the mandated use of mostly corn-based ethanol, which already has increased Americans' food bills $14 billion in the past 12 months. For such silliness, Reid scuttled the bipartisan attempt to improve the eminently improvable immigration status quo.

Let's be clear, it was the Republican minority that called this bill, and any attempt to shift the blame is either out of ignorance or malice. Any read of the Congressional Record transcript shows repeated threats by Mitch McConnell to block the bill for a final vote unless the minority got to put forward more amendments.

Many of these amendments were put forward in an effort to kill the compromise. Reid couldn't have all of them hit the floor, so he called for a cloture vote, and Republicans killed the bill.

Will obviously knows this. He's been around long enough to have figured this out, so to blame Reid is unquestionably wrong. I don't have a Shakespearean quote to show Will to be a fool (he uses them in the article) but then again, I don't need one. Will's disregard for the obvious shows him to be a fool, with no prose necessary.


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