And now that Senate Minority Whip John Kyl—almost as big an advocate of illegal immigration as his subversive Arizona colleague John McCain—has publicly stated that amnesty is off the dance card, it's official.
"If you've picked any subject that isn't really on the front burner right
now, you've picked it. Nobody's thinking about it right now because we've got all these emergencies." [Kyl Downplays Immigration Reform Talk, CongressDaily, March 25, 2009]
Having made that pronouncement, I confess to being slightly disappointed.
In a way, I looked forward to a good rousing Senate fight, in which the traitors would make outrageous, indefensible statements supporting illegal immigration that would come back to haunt them during the 2010 mid-term elections.
Luckily for us, many of their immigration voting histories are so scandalous and their other actions so disgraceful that their political careers are likely over—even without their further embarrassing themselves in an amnesty debate,.
Peering into my crystal ball, I see three of the worst pro-immigration advocates exiting the Senate—Connecticut's Christopher Dodd, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter.
Dodd's immigration grade in the decade from 1996 through 2006, went straight downhill from its C+ peak, according to for Americans For Better Immigration. And since 2006, Dodd has earned an F- immigration grade. Whatever the category—chain migration, interior enforcement and elimination of illegal immigration enticements—Dodd is on the wrong side.
Only a few years ago, Dodd chastised Americans for not doing a "better job" of welcoming illegal aliens.
Still, if you're looking for something nice to say about Dodd—and I cannot imagine why you would—his immigration record is slightly better than Teddy Kennedy's.
Immigration is one of many issues that might push the thirty-year Senate veteran out of office. Even Dodd's prominent role as the Senate Banking Committee Chairman during the AIG bonus debacle is still only part of the whole story about why Connecticut voters have had enough. [Dodd Admits Role in AIG Bonus Controversy, by Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, March 19, 2009]
Pick from these other problems that have been festering for two years or more.
As a result, Dodd's job approval numbers have dropped steadily from 60 percent favorable on May 10, 2007 to 41 percent approval on Feb. 10, 2009.
A March 10th poll showed if the election were held today, Dodd would run neck-and-neck with his likely opponent former Republican U.S. Rep. Rob (mediocre on immigration) Simmons. That's an uncomfortable position for Dodd, considering he has not been in a close race since his first successful Senate bid in 1980. [Dodd's Stock with Voters Began Dropping Before AIG, by Susan Haigh, Associated Press, March 22, 2009]
Whether Dodd gets the boot because of his immigration pandering, his AIG failure or his nefarious personal banking connections doesn't matter. The important thing is that, after 36 years in Congress (thirty of them in the Senate), Dodd be gone.
Although Reid enjoys the biggest party majority of any Senate leader in a quarter of a century, he can hear the footsteps in what will be 2010's marquee battle.
A recent Research 2000 poll of likely voters put Reid's approval rating at 38 percent and his disapproval rating at 54 percent. And while President Barack Obama carried Nevada by a comfortable 12 percentage points, the state voted for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.
Even among Democrats, Reid's prospects look dim. Only 44 percent would positively vote to re-elect him. Reid's closest advisors have recommended that, if he is serious about getting re-elected, he resign as majority leader to spend full time campaigning—an idea I heartily endorse!
A Nevada Zogby Poll/FAIR cost study revealed in detail why Reid is in such a precarious position.
A new Federation for American Immigration Reform study, The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Nevadans, found that taxpayers bear a $630 million annual burden as a result of illegal immigration, or about $763 per native-headed household in the state.
After forty years in the political arena, the savvy Reid knows that his lofty Senate position doesn't automatically translate into an easy win at the polls.
South Dakota's Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader for a decade, lost his 2004 re-election bid. Similarly, in 2008 Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, the current Republican Senate Minority leader, only narrowly held on. [Sen. Reid Hits The Ground Running in Uphill Re-Election Bid by T. W. Farnum, Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2008].
For immigration patriots, Daschle's downfall was particularly heartening. In 2004, as the most powerful Democrat in Congress and a vocal proponent for amnesty, Daschle lost to Republican John Thune, a candidate who had compiled an excellent anti-illegal immigration record while he was in Congress. Thune is vigorously opposed to amnesty.
South Dakota voters, in the meantime, perceived that Daschle—like Dodd and Reid today—had lost touch with their views and wishes.
What's sad is that ten years ago, when Reid abandoned his admirable opposition against the alien invasion, Nevada was a great place to live: wide open spaces, affordable housing, safe streets and decent schools.
Look at it now, a sprawling illegal alien paradise, home to various cutthroat gangs and a rotten education system.
Little wonder that Nevada voters are poised to throw Reid out.
Voters will have other 2010 opportunities to show amnesty advocates the door. But these will be more challenging.
Among the Democrats:
For the RINOs:
Still, even in this apparently safe line-up of incumbents, pockets of opportunity to unseat them exist—assuming that
For example, if McCain's runs against a politically inexperienced eighth grade math teacher, as he did in 2004, then the election is over before it starts.
But if, as may happen in California, a star emerges—a literal possibility now that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is evaluating the prospect of challenging Boxer—then, things get interesting. [Is Schwarzenegger Eyeing A 2010 Senate Run? by Michelle Levi, CBS News, March 23, 2009]
Sure, Schwarzenegger has been a disaster as governor. But he's the "Terminator", still hugely popular among voters who follow action movies but not politics. And he may be a better advocate for patriotic immigration reform than Boxer. Schwarzenegger certainly can't be worse.
Dodd, Reid and Specter all hope that in the year and a half remaining prior to November 2010, they can reverse their fortunes.
Call it wishful thinking.
In my book, they've done too much damage over more than three decades in the Senate to survive—above all in allowing the immigration crisis to balloon out of control.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.