Friday, May 19, 2006

Tiptoeing Through Two Lips

The Senate yesterday continued tiptoeing through the minefield of immigration reform.

In a voter-pleasing move, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced a bill stating in part "English is the national language of the United States," and that prospective citizens "demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the English language for usage in everyday life."

This amendment to the immigration overhaul bill passed by 63 to 34, with all Republicans voting for it except Pete Domenici (R-NM), and all Democrats voting against except for eleven, most notably Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).....the eleven yeas were Senators Baucus, Byrd, Carper, Conrad, Dorgan, Johnson, Landrieu, Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Pryor.

Raul Gonzalez of the National Council of La Raza (The Race) was alarmed at this English-language vote. "For us, this is a tough issue to bring back to the community." His community..... La Raza is the largest Hispanic organization in the U.S. They advocate mass immigration and full amnesty. Gosh.... I heard they wanted to assimilate into our USA community. Isn't that why President Bush and our lawmakers are breaking all the rules to accommodate them?

The GOP Senate, evidently fearful that this feel-good English amendment wasn't enough red meat for their restless religious conservative supporters, had Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) place on the Senate Legislative Calendar (No. 435) a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution... yes, we're back to those games again... called the "Marriage Protection Amendment."

It reads: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the Constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

At a time in our national history when our very survivability is at stake, time and precious monetary resources are going to once again be wasted by our lawmakers trying to amend the Constitution.... a cheap attempt to mollify and distract an alarmed and largely disaffected nation from their failures and inaction.

Since it will take two-thirds of each House, and three-fourths of the States to approve a Constitutional amendment, it really stands no chance of going forward. But..... it gives the sponsors of the bill another empty feather for their conservative war bonnets. Just so you know these panderers for who they are, here are the 29 sponsors, all Republicans, (* possible presidential candidate):

Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN), Sen. George Allen* (VA), Sen. Sam Brownback* (KS), Sen. Richard Burr (NC), Sen. Tom Coburn (OK), Sen. Thad Cochran (MS), Sen. John Cornyn (TX), Sen. Mike Crapo (ID), Sen. Jim DeMint (SC), Sen. Mike DeWine (OH), Sen. Elizabeth Dole (NC), Sen. Michael Enzi (WY), Sen. William Frist* (TN), Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), Sen. James Inhofe (OK), Sen. Johnny Isakson (GA), Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ), Sen. Trent Lott (MS), Sen. Mel Martinez (FL), Sen. Mitch McConnell, (KY), Sen. Pat Roberts (KS), Sen. Rick Santorum (PA), Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL), Sen. Richard Shelby (AL), Sen. Ted Stevens (AK), Sen. Jim Talent (MO), Sen. John Thune (SD), Sen. David Vitter (LA).

It is notable that Sen. John McCain, who will undoubtedly run for president, is not a sponsor. So, I must remove him as the leading candidate for "Panderer in Chief".... for now. His May keynote commencement address to Jerry "Tinky Winky is Gay" Falwell's fundamentalist Baptist Liberty University, complete with photo ops, keeps him on the panderer list.

Stay tuned to C-Span for more Senate tiptoeing today.... look for a flag amendment to the Constitution, hope it is the U.S. flag.

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