By Joe Guzzardi
March 23, 2012
When it comes to the DREAM Act, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is a broken record. Since Reid assumed his lofty Senate position in 2005, he’s promised that the DREAM Act “will pass” any day now. Yet, despite Reid’s happy talk, the amnesty legislation has been soundly defeated by Republican and Democratic controlled Congresses.
Reid is at it again. Last week, he told the Las Vegas Sun that the DREAM Act is “…going to pass when we get a few Republicans to help us—just a few.” What Reid conveniently omitted is that during the 2010 lame session, five Democrats voted “nay” to kill the DREAM Act. The blame, at least the last time around, lies with Reid’s party and not the opposition.
Apparently, Reid not only has a short memory but also poor judgment. He waltzed North Miami Senior High School student and illegal alien Daniela Paleaz around Capitol Hill, introduced her to his peers and claimed that she’s exactly the type of student the nation needs more of even though thousands of American kids can’t afford a college education or have been wait-listed because of too few available freshman seats.
Inspired by Paleaz, Reid threatened that it’s “very possible” that he’ll hold a DREAM Act vote before November to “get every Senator on record” prior to the election.
I wonder if Reid is of sound mind. First, the Senate has already voted on DREAM multiple times. Americans are well aware of their individual positions. Second, no incumbent whether Republican or Democrat wants to go near the toxic DREAM Act, one of the most reviled legislation in political history. Those Congressmen whose re-elections are at risk are unlikely to support the DREAM Act.
As proof, take a look at the unusual election playing out in Indiana where Senator Richard Lugar is a fixture. First elected in 1977, Lugar is the Senate’s third most senior member. Prior to serving in the Senate, Lugar was Indianapolis’s mayor. Despite his high visibility and seemingly well entrenched position, Lugar is unlikely to survive his May 8 primary challenge from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Lugar carries heavy baggage. In addition to being included in the widespread anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping the nation, Lugar has also incurred Republicans ire by endorsing President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, earmarks and the START Treaty. But the DREAM Act also haunts Lugar.
Until 2011 when he realized his perilous political status, Lugar along with Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin had repeatedly co-sponsored the DREAM Act in all of its versions. His staff hosted public forums for DREAMers to explain the bill’s fine points.
Today, Lugar faces an uphill climb. The majority of Indiana’s 92 Republican county chairmen and its state party executive committee support Mourdock. For any state’s party establishment to withhold its endorsement of an incumbent is rare.
The DREAM Act and the political pandering that surrounds it should be considered exhibit one when analyzing why Congress has a 9 percent approval rating. In a recent Gallop poll that would be funny if it weren’t so sad, Americans indicated a more favorable opinion of polygamy, the BP oil spill, pornography, banks and even the United States going communist than they do Congress. Congress should drop the DREAM Act and end ethnic identity politics. Liberated from those burdens, Congress should then return to the long overdue task doing the people’s business.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His editorials are syndicated nationally. Contact him at [email protected]