Peggy Noonan doesn't bury the lede in her criticism of the Administration:
What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration. They are not resisting, fighting and thereby setting down a historical marker--"At this point the break became final." That's not what's happening. What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.
The White House doesn't need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don't even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain. Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.And Mark Steyn is simply correct in noting this in his radio segment on the Hugh Hewitt show yesterday:
. . . we have learned nothing. I mean, if you look at the immigration forms those Saudi men filled in to enter the country and prepare to plot for September 11th, the visa forms they gave to the United States government were a joke. They had things like address, and they filled in hotel, America. You’ve got octogenarian snowbirds from Toronto who’ve been wintering in Florida every year for half a century who wouldn’t try to get away with joke visa forms like that. But those Saudi young men did it, and they were admitted to this country. And that is a real issue, that if you’re just saying everybody can have an open-ended probationary visa within 24 hours, once you’ve got that, basically you cannot be subjected to deportation. You have a huge advantage. You can just melt into communities, and you will have a legalized status. Anything that anyone tries to do to you will take months, if not years, to bring through lengthy court proceedings. It’s a disgraceful and slapdash way to address a real issue.
Ultimately, Charles Krauthammer is right, the bill is composed of idiocy, mendacity and farce. And Republicans will pay dearly if they enable its passage.