Saturday, September 18, 2010

Harry Reid and Mixed Messages

I probably should not accuse Senator Reid of "mixed messages". His "I will do anything to get re-elected" message is pretty clear and undiluted - though, somehow, that is not the message he wants us to notice - but his actions create mixed messages in ways that are detrimental to our country, to freedom, and to good sense. They also create mixed messages in a way I have always opposed, so my opposition to this one is not necessarily specific to the bills in question.
The specific action this time is Reid's declared decision to tack the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors) Act as an amendment onto the upcoming defense appropriations bill. A defense bill that almost always passes easily with bilateral support. A defense bill that pays for our military. A defense bill that should never be twisted for the purpose of supporting the campaigns of our professional criminal class in Congress.
The short description of the DREAM Act is that it is an illegal immigration amnesty act. Period. The longer description is that it gives a path to amnesty to "undocumented aliens" who entered this country before the age of 16, have been here at least 5 years, and have received a High School Diploma or GED or are attending college. It also gives a route to extra scholarships and grants for said "undocumented alien" to continue his or her education. The DREAM act has been floating around since 2001 and has had so little support that it has rarely even come up for vote, and has never seen even the possibility of success on those rare occasions when it has made it out of committee.
To say that the DREAM Act is controversial is to say that stepping on a land mine hurts.
This story gets worse when you add in the fact that this simple defense appropriations bill has already been weighed down by the addition of an amendment to repeal the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, hardly a noncontroversial amendment itself.
Of all the low down, dirty, rotten tricks! In essence, the Democrats (and Reid specifically) are attempting to hold the defense bill hostage by loading it up with Easter Eggs which are great for their party but unpalatable to the other side. They are taking a bill that would normally have bilateral support and turning it into just another ideological battleground. In this manner, the Republicans either have to vote for something they strongly oppose or vote against something they strongly support. Then, of course, the Democrats get to lie about the results either way. If the law passes it's, "See, even the Republicans are for this," when everyone knows the Republicans were only voting for the military, and if the law fails it's, "See, the Republicans really hate the military," when everyone knows the Republicans were really voting against the DREAM. It is a lose-lose for everyone except far left career criminals.
This should be impossible. This should be illegal! A single bill should not require people to vote in two different directions. A bill that has no chance on its own should not be forced down people's throats by tacking it onto an easy win. The entire bill amendment/rider process is flush with corruption and abuse and needs to go away yesterday!
Some states include in their constitution a prohibition against just this behavior. By their state constitutions, a state bill must be about one subject and only one subject and cannot be used to sneak additional laws into play. I have said for decades that we need an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that does the same. Everyone talks about corruption in Congress, but no one does anything about it. This would do something about it. This would remove one of their most blatant tools of corruption. Of course, if we trimmed them back to Constitutional authority and took away their assumed power to pass laws on anything and everything that enters their crooked little minds, that would go a long way toward stamping out their corruption. It is a bit more difficult to be corrupt when you have nothing to sell.
This is not about Right or Left, Democrat or Republican. This same practice occurred under Republicans and will occur again regardless of which party holds office. This is not even about whether or not you like the laws in question. If you like them so much, get up off your lazy butts and campaign for them to have a chance on their own! This is about the inherently corrupt process of making a Frankenstein's monster out of disparate, unrelated bills and forcing people to vote against their conscience or true desires.
Everyone wants a better America, but you cannot have a better anything through corruption. The corruption will always eat through and destroy what you were trying to build. If you truly want a better country then fight against corruption, even when that corruption appears to be on your side.

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