Thursday, 28 June 2007


Welcome to Boston, Senators. Have some tea!

(O.G. scribbles a few notes about What Happened and What It All Means. Links added and grammar & spelling corrected as time permits.)

  • Another Reagan moment? Breakdown of old political alliances. 20 years ago, who would have predicted the AFofL-CIO and National Review on the same side of a domestic issue! (Or any Republican Presidential candidate and Ted Kennedy.)
  • Reaction much bigger than just the conservatives. Conservatives + talk radio listeners + other malcontents = still not enough callers to crash the Senate's switchboard. Where'd everybody come from? Who are they? (Political: Is this a coalition looking for leadership? Could it elect a president?)
  • Bloggers.triumphant, justifiably. They blew the whistle on the Memorial weekend sneak-through, then provided the support (analysis, encouragement, expertise, linkage) to make the opposition fly. Mad props for beating out the D.C. establishment, but beware overreaching-- blogs didn't create the issue or the coalition that opposed it (see above), and the next issue will be different.
  • Again, bloggers and talkers grabbed control of the terms of debate (inside the proponents' and the MSM's decision cycle, c.f. Rathergate). Usual accusations of "racism", attempts to define issue as opposition to ALL immigration, failed miserably. Can anything overcome the Army of Davids? (Effectively infinite manpower and infinite knowledge.) Next political contest: Blogs -vs- blogs, with the MSM three news cycles behind?
  • With no question about the polling data, MSM smelled the coffee before the Senate did. Noted with amazement a couple of "bad consequences of illegal immigrants" analysis pieces on CNN Monday night. Also hysteria on WSJ's editorial page ("Immigration and the GOP") yesterday.  Also overnight articles indicating the bill was in trouble.
  • How much did Kaus's called-for videos scare the politicians? Will the next McFeingold require shutting down the net 30 days before elections?
  • Senate's ugly legislative process dragged into daylight. People knew it was there, but still didn't like what they saw. Multi-hundred-page bills voted on before they were even written, let alone read?
  • Greater sophistication of the discussion: When earmarks were discovered in the bill, everybody already understood the issue. (And said, "Oh look, there's one for Ted Stevens, as usual!")
  • One more step in a continuing process. Most presidents since Nixon have run against "the mess in Washington." Most voters have exempted "my delegation" from the overall mess. Will this change things?
  • New paradigm: Internet-organized ad-hoc national efforts to defeat particular congresscritters. Would a similar campaign elect anybody?
  • Risk-rewards ratio for the Republicans still seems way off. WTH were they thinking?
  • Sen. DeMint: “When the U.S. Senate brought the Amnesty bill back up this week, they declared war on the American people.” Welcome to Boston, Senators. How would you like your tea?
  • Somebody called the process "very European," and not in a flattering way. Insty calls 'em "inhabitants of Incumbistan."
  • Next battle the People vs The Establishment? 1968 Redux? Liberals wanted "another Viet Nam."  Now they're the establishment. (Be careful what you wish for!)

Posted by: Old Grouch in Rants at 23:52:01 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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