For it before they were against it

The Republican co-sponsors of last year’s Senate immigration bill are threatening to vote against the very same bill if Harry Reid brings it to the floor now.
Go ahead. Make my day.

Harry Reid seems to be a very clever fellow. He’s scheduled debate on immigration the last two weeks of this month. There’s a bipartisan group of Senators working out a new deal, now that the White House has backed off from last year’s model and is proposing something much more Tancredish. But no deal has been reached.

So Reid is simply going to move the bill that passed the Senate last year, with 23 Republican votes. And some of the key GOP players who voted for, and even co-sponsored it, last year, are threatening to vote against it, or even filibuster it, this year. That includes not only Senator Straight Talk (who speaks with forked tongue) but Mel Martinez, installed by Bush as RNC Chair specifically to keep from losing the Latino vote, along with Lindsay Graham and Arlen Specter.

Are they going to look silly filibustering against something they sponsored last year, or what?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a new CNN poll reports small but noticeable majorities against a border fence and against guest-workers, and an 80-20 majority for “Creating a program that would allow illegal immigrants already living in the United States for a number of years to stay in this country and apply for U.S. citizenship if they had a job and paid back taxes.” Tell me again about the huge nativist wave that’s going to drown the Democrats unless they toughen up on “illegal immigration”? But it looks to me as if “paying back taxes” must be doing some of the work here, so every pro-normalization Democrat ought to add it to the mantra, along with “learning English.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: