Fareed Zakaria on Sunday blamed the Tea Party for the "extraordinary polarization in Washington today."
"It's ideologically extreme, refuses to compromise, and cares more about purity than problem solving," Zakaria told viewers of the CNN program bearing his name (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If you look at the description of yesterday afternoon's U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote Number 278 ("A bill to amend title 28, United States Code, to clarify and improve certain provisions relating to the removal of litigation against Federal officers or agencies to Federal courts, and for other purposes."), you'd never know it had anything to do with illegal immigration.
But it did. It was a cloture vote (60 needed to get the measure to the Senate floor) about about the so-called "DREAM Act," granting de facto amnesty to a vast number of illegal immigrants for entering college or joining the military. It has been a Democratic Party-"inspired" initiative with heavy Republican opposition from the get-go. It could easily have passed if the Democrats had been able to hold their membership together while picking off a couple of squishy Republicans.
They got their squishes: Republicans Murkowski (AK), Lugar (IN), and Bennett (UT) voted yes. That should have given the measure 61 votes. But Democrats Baucus (MT), Hagan (NC), Nelson (NE), Pryor AR), and Tester (MT) voted no, while Manchin (WV) did not vote. The measure's 55-41 support was not enough to move it to the next step.
Bob Bennett is a man of integrity, and the Democratic half of the political Bennett Brothers. He appeared last night on Mark Levin's nationally syndicated radio show to debunk the media myth built-up around Arizona Senator John McCain's role in the Keating Five mess circa the late 1980s and early 1990s.
(Brother Bill served as Secretary of President Ronald Reagan's Department of Education and Director of President George H.W. Bush's Office of National Drug Control Policy, and is now a nationally syndicated radio host in his own right, of "Bill Bennett's Morning in America.")
Bob Bennett is an attorney, and was at the time of the Keating Five scandal hired by the Senate Ethics Committee as Special Counsel to lead the investigation into what had happened. After over a year of exhaustive examination, Bennett recommended that Sen. McCain (and Sen. John Glenn of Ohio) be exonerated of all charges having to do with the Keating scandal. The ethics committee, which was majority Democratic, rejected Bennett's recommendation.