Trent Lott doesn't usually answer his Senate phone himself, but when angry callers are burning up the lines – as they are over this week's debate about revising America's immigration laws – the Republicans' No. 2 Senate leader has picked up to hear what they've got to say.Of course, if Gail Russell Chaddock wanted to be a real journalist, she would have pressed him on that point, asking for examples of the "misinformation". And, of course, some of the information is obviously true, since Lott only says "a lot" of it isn't. And, of course, whether what he says can be trusted is an open question; he may in fact be lying through his teeth.
A lot of the talk is misinformation, he says. Talk radio and the blogs were blasting the compromise bill, which includes a guest-worker program and a path to legal status for many of the 12 million illegal immigrants already in the US, well before the text of the bill was ready for senators on Tuesday.
The Mississippi senator urges his colleagues to take three questions home to voters this week: Is the current immigration situation intolerable? Is the bill before the Senate significantly better than the current situation? The answer to both questions is yes, he says.It's an established trick to make a situation far worse than it has to be in order to strongarm through the "fix" you've wanted all along. A very good follow-up question to anyone who asks about whether the situation is intolerable is who's responsible for getting us into this position? What exactly was Lott doing to, for instance, encourage Bush to enforce our laws all throughout his presidency? Isn't Lott partially responsible for the current situation?
His final question is this: Will more time make a better bill? With next year's election results uncertain for Republicans, the answer is "clearly no," says Lott.
"This," he says, "is our last best chance to make a significant improvement in our immigration laws."
Immigration2007a · Sat, 05/26/2007 - 11:17 · Importance: 1