On the eve of Independence Day, the people of this great republic declared their independence from the United States Senate under the stirring battle-cry, "No legislation without explanation!" The geniuses who'd cooked up the "comprehensive" immigration bill's "grand bargain" behind the scenes in the pork-filled rooms had originally planned to ram it through in 48 hours before Memorial Day. And, right to the end, the bipartisan Emirs-for-life of Incumbistan gave the strong impression they regarded it as an affront to be required by the impertinent whippersnappers of the citizenry to address the actual content of the legislation.
For "the world's greatest deliberative body,'' this was a much more ominous popular insurrection than the conservative backlash against the president's nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. Time and again, the remote insulated emirs were offered the opportunity to rise above their condescension and declined to do so. Sen. John McCain (R-Maverickistan) confidently asserted that he'd worked hard on this bill and knew it better than all these no-account nonentities riled up about it and then had to have it explained to him -- by bloggers on a conference call -- that he'd misunderstood a key provision of his own legislation: There was no requirement for illegal immigrants to pay back taxes. Their amnesty would come tax-free. Blustering senators who claimed to have drafted this thing had to be told what was in it by critics who'd actually taken the trouble to look at it.