An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Talk radio hits a nerve
Credit or blame for the plight of the immigration bill now before the U.S. Senate is being heaped on talk radio. While I rarely have a chance to listen during the work day, the snatches of talk radio conversation Iâ€™ve heard lead me to cheer their efforts to explain the billâ€™s provisions.
A key test comes tomorrow. The Senate needs 60 votes to resume debate. Itâ€™s uncertain whether supporters have the 60, despite efforts over the weekend by President Bush to rally support. Even Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., who has become the target of talk radio criticism said Sunday, â€œIâ€™m not committed to voting for the final product. The wheels may come off. But I am committed to trying.â€
Lott drew the wrath of talk radio hosts and listeners for saying last week that â€œtalk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.â€ How â€œthat problemâ€ is dealt with is open to question. It could be by government-mandated â€œbalanceâ€ in programming or by more fully using the medium to have a conversation with those who are concerned about a process that would grant amnesty to 12 million illegals.
Lottâ€™s wrath is annoying. As Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) pointed out, â€œThis is a bill that was written behind closed doors by a small group of senators, and now itâ€™s being brought to the floor again without an opportunity to offer, freely offer, amendments and to have the kind of debate that I think this topic deserves.â€ Frankly, any politician, like Lott, who would complain about talk radio, or any other information system that amplified details of a bill for fuller debate, has grown remote and should go home.
Both of Georgiaâ€™s senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss are now opposed to the bill, though presumably that could change. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said his support hinges on amendments that may be debated starting Tuesday.
Whatever the outcome, talk radio has performed a useful public service. Hosts very quickly digested the billâ€™s provisions and explained or commented on their consequence. Who could possibly find fault with that?
If it weren’t for talk radio, no one would know just how bad this shamnesty bill sucks.Â Perhaps that’s the problem?Â We know, and they don’t want us to know that the folks in D.C. don’t give a happy crap about the LEGAL citizens of this country.