29 June 2012

Killed Bill, Part 2

This week’s example of OIP Derangement Syndrome is provided by Sen. John Kyl, Republican of Arizona. After the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling on Arizona’s attempt to have local police enforce national immigration law, Kyl issued a statement that claimed:
I note that in his response to today’s Supreme Court ruling, President Obama called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. I also note that the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill I helped draft in 2007 was killed — in part — by then-Senator Obama.
Kyl referred to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which Wikipedia describes this way:
The bill's sole sponsor in the Senate was Majority Leader Harry Reid, though it was crafted in large part as a result of efforts by Senators Kennedy, McCain and Kyl, along with Senator Lindsey Graham, and input from President George W. Bush, who strongly supported the bill. For that reason it was referred to in the press by various combinations of these five men's names, most commonly "Kennedy-Kyl".
As a U.S. Senator, Barack Obama voted for cloture on that bill—i.e., for bringing it up for a final vote. Sen. Kyl ended up voting against cloture, thus “killing” the bill. Both sides of those cloture votes had a mix of Democrats and Republicans, with most Democrats for and most Republicans—once again, including Kyl—voting against it.

Kyl’s shift presaged a longer, severe change in his attitude toward immigration reform. In 2010, Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) started talking about a bill based on the same framework as the “Kennedy-Kyl” bill, and Kyl promised to filibuster it. Think Progress noted:
Ironically, in 2007, Kyl sponsored an immigration reform bill that included many of the same basic principles that Schumer and Graham have adopted as part of the framework for their own bill. Kyl has argued that this time around is different because the “consensus” behind the bill he co-sponsored “has all but evaporated.” Given the fact that Schumer and Graham have simply provided a broad blueprint of what is still only an idea for an unwritten bill, it seems odd that Kyl is so quick to come out against it — especially considering the fact that he took a much different approach to immigration reform in 2007.
What changed between 2007 and 2010? Barack Obama became President. By pointing at Obama in his statement, Kyl subconsciously acknowledged that that event was significant in his changed thinking, but he got the facts about who killed his bill exactly backward. That combination of shifting positions, misstatement of facts, and blame for the President is the hallmark of OIP Derangement Syndrome.

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