Good analysis here on how the younger, more in-tune with America GOP Senators defeated the Old Guard - the older, crusty, been in Washington to long elitists from both parties:
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy could establish a new civil rights legacy to rival his brothers’; Sen. John McCain could show leadership and accomplishment by standing up to his party’s base; and President Bush could secure a major domestic achievement for his second term.
Instead, the young guns — a small, wily group of junior Republican senators, most of them with less than a full term in the upper chamber — sent the bill into a tailspin, tying Democratic leaders into legislative knots and earning enough opposition among senators to block the Senate bill, culminating in yesterday’s vote to kill the measure.
“Those of us who have been on the campaign trail in the last couple of years have had to talk about immigration reform and we’ve campaigned — [Sen. David] Vitter made campaign promises, I made campaign promises — we should not reward those who came here illegally with a path to citizenship,” said Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican.
DeMint, a true hero, recognizes the Kennedy - Bush relationship on major initiatives of the Adminstration:
“The president’s major initiatives — No Child Left Behind started withKennedy and a few Republicans; the prescription drug bill was Kennedy and a few Republicans. And so he was going back to his standby of Kennedy and a few Republicans,” Mr. DeMint said. “The idea was to marginalize the conservatives. And we would have been railroaded, run over, completely flat, if the American people hadn’t gotten so mad about this.”
Meet the GOP Young Guns:
Mr. DeMint, Mr. Vitter of Louisiana and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, all of them in the class of 2004, spent hours camped on the Senate floor protecting their rights, objecting to Democratic requests and generally making life difficult for Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.
They were often joined by Sen. Elizabeth Dole, North Carolina Republican from the class of 2002, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican who completes his second term next year.
Sen. John Thune, South Dakota Republican and another member of the class of 2004 who fought the bill, said the first-termers are coming of age.
McConnell is still hiding:
Throughout the debate this week the Republicans were without the aid of their own leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican ducked the fight, not speaking on the floor at all Wednesday and waiting until late afternoon yesterday, long after the debate had ended, to explain himself.
But he never explained his own vote yesterday to block the bill, after supporting it earlier this week, and after having said repeatedly it was a better bill than last year’s — a bill he voted for.
“I had hoped for a bipartisan accomplishment and what we got was a bipartisan defeat,” he said.
Rule of thumb - If it has Kennedy’s name on it, it CAN’T be good for America.
-- 'The Commish' A.J. Sparxx