Reid said GOP leaders must show they can produce 25 Republican votes on behalf of the measure before he moves it forward. "The question is, do the Republicans support their president's immigration bill?" Reid asked. "At this stage, it's a resounding no."
"The question is, do the Republicans support their president's immigration bill?" Reid asked. "At this stage, it's a resounding no."
Well, the problem with a lack of GOP support is that while President Bush and John McCain may think it's great, this isn't a bill that remotely reflects where the GOP is on this issue. This isn't a GOP bill, this is a Kennedy bill with a few Republican fellow-travellers, and the vast majority of its supporters are Democrats.
Last we heard, Democrats were going to "show us the way" in running the country -- which means that what Reid needs to do is get his 51 Democrats on board (and to get Baucus and Tester, that will essentially mean making the bill GOP friendly -- if they stand by their earlier strong statements about the bill,) keep the few GOP votes he currently has, and get the president to strong-arm or bribe a couple more Republican Senators into voting for the bill.
But that's not what Reid wants -- he wants this to be Bush's bill, and he wants 25 Republican Senators to vote for it so it will be the GOP's bill in Congress as well.
If what Kennedy hath wrought is such great stuff, one would think Reid would leap at the chance of grabbing credit for it. But he knows that if this is the Democrats' bill, as Americans begin to live with its consequences, the Democratic Party will pay a stiff price.
Reid wants the GOP to take the rap for a Democratic misdeed -- that alone should be reason for Republican Senators to unite in refusing to vote for this bill unless it undergoes dramatic, dramatic changes and becomes a bill that Republicans will vote for -- and where Democrats have to scratch together a dozen votes to help out.