Nothing has troubled me more since the Illegal Amnesty debate (or lack thereof) began in the Senate, than the “we know best” attitude taken by Sens. Reid, Lott, Graham, McCain, et. al.
Why for example, Senator Reid, do you claim the high ground on Iraq because public opinion polls show frustration with the war…. yet you tell us meaningless peons outside the Empire walls to hush-up when public opinion is dramatically opposed to the Senate Amnesty bill? Are public opinion polls only useful when they are on your side of an issue?
Stanley Kurtz at The Corner expresses my disgust with the Elitist Disconnect Syndrome more eloquently than I can.
For all the bitterness of our political battles, there’s at least the sense that the government responds to the drift of public opinion. The Republicans in Congress turned into big spenders and the war in Iraq went poorly. As a result the Democrats prospered in 2006, if narrowly. That’s how democracy works. Our politics are often angry and ugly (and that’s a problem), but this is because the public is deeply divided on issues of great importance. Deep down, we understand that our political problems reflect our own divisions.
Somehow this immigration battle feels different. The bill is wildly unpopular, yet it’s close to passing. The contrast with the high-school textbook version of democracy is not only glaring and maddening, it’s downright embarrassing. Usually, even when we’re at each others’ throats, there’s still an underlying pride in the democratic process. This immigration battle strips us of even that pride.
Supporters of this bill sell it as a compromise that will heal America’s divisions. I fear it’s quite the reverse. This bill is infuriating the public and undermining faith in government itself. You can see it in the polling on confidence in Congress and the President. If this bill passes, it’s going to aggravate and embitter politics for years to come. Passing a measure over such overwhelming opposition is like slapping the public in the face.
Precisely. I’d recommend we all take a moment and reflect on the wise of our Founding Fathers as they stared down an oppressive Empire in our now distant past. It is almost eerie how these words from our own Declaration of Independence seem to have a renewed meaning in today’s fractured American Republic.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
In this case, the political bonds have been broken by our very own elected representatives in Washington, DC. From campaign finance reform infringing on our First Amendment rights…. to out-of-control and unaccountable earmark spending…. to undermining our troops during wartime…. to rewarding illegal immigrants by selling American citizenship… and by threatening our national security through misguided policies, neglect and incompetence. They have broken the bonds with us through their arrogance and disrespect of us.
We, The People need to take our Government back. It is that serious.
UPDATE (from GPW): I may have more to say on this later as I have scribbled a number of thoughts on the issue. Before bed last, I read a post on Powerline, reproducing the justification Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) offered for his vote for cloture. Commenting on that statement, John Hinderaker wrote, “This bill should be broken up into its component parts, there should be hearings on each, and there should be an open amendment process as to every individual bill.” Which pretty much sums up my view — as I expressed in a post after it seemed the bill was defeated.
Agreeing with the Stanley Kurtz (whom Bruce quote above), Mark Steyn (via Instapundit) writes:
There’s something creepy about a political class so determined to impose a vast transformative bill cooked up backstage in metaphorically smoke-filled rooms on a nation that doesn’t want it. It’s an affront to republican government and quasi-European in its disdain for the citizenry.