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Someone please send Kay Bailey Hutchinson a Thesaurus!

Reported by Chrish - April 7, 2006

Rather than have a debate on The Big Story today 4/6/06, host John Gibson first had on Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and then Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson in much the same way as he did March 28. As also happened 2 days ago, the Republican was set up to be able to rebut the Democrat and to have the last word. Hutchinson's word was "wrong."

Gibson first asked Durbin if he thought the mass protests we've already seen and the ones planned for next week (60 cities, reportedly) are putting pressure on Congress to legislate one way or another. Durbin replies that there's not pressure, but a rally he went to in Chicage a couple of weeks ago, attended by 110,000 people asking that they might have an opportunity to find legal status in this country, was a reminder that they are a critical part of our economy in Chicago and many other US cities.

Gibson used the infamous "some say" ploy, and this time they're saying that these demonstrations signify a demand that we make laws that they would approve of - is that an unfair characterization? Durbin thinks it is, and says that as he spoke with people in Chicago he saw that all they want is the same chance that his mother had. They are outraged at the Sensenbrenner bill passed by Republicans in the House that would make them aggravated felons, putting them and people who assist them charitably (nurses, volunteers, clergy) in the same class as rapists.

Durbin is unaware of any schools that have banned flags, including American flags, and asks skeptically "what schools are those?" Gibson either didn't hear him or ignored him, going ahead with his loaded question " are the demonstrators making a mistake displaying the Mexican flag over the American flag?"

When Durbin asks again which schools are those?, clearly puzzled, Gibson says one school in particular in Oceanside CA, home of Camp Pendleton. Durbin says he hasn't heard of that, there's not a single school in America that can't display the American flag, and he'd like to look into that story. Gibson encourages him to check it out, bragging that they've been covering it for a couple of days and it's made a lot of people angry. (Comment: more on that tomorrow.)

Asked where he is on the compromise bill that's come out of the Senate, and does he think it can pass the House, Durbin replies that it's a good bill, a bi-partisan compromise, and he salutes the Republican Senators who stepped up to help make it happen, including the White House and Senate Majority Leader Frist who support it. It's a comprehensive bill that addresses many facets of the immigration issue, including strong enforcement, more border agents, more technology and barriers and fences where appropriate to cut down the flow of illegal immigration, more enforcement on employers, but also allowing people to step out of the shadows so we know who they are and where they are. Regarding the House coming along on the bill, Durbin says there's a world of difference between the Sensenbrenner/Tancredo bill and the Senate's compromise bill, and he hopes to be on the conference committee reconciling the two. He says it will not be an acceptable compromise to reduce the aggravated felony charge to a felony; "we're going to have a bill that's consistent with American values, or no bill at all."

Kay Bailey Hutchinson was next. She (must watch FOX) is aware that "the American flag has been banned in a few schools" and she thinks it is terribly wrong. To say that you cannot put our flag on any school, in any school in our country, is absolutely wrong.

Asked if the planned demonstrations by Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants next week, "demanding immigration reform", are pressuring the US Congress, KBH agreed with Durbin that she does not think they are. Although, she says, we all support their right to hold peaceful demonstrations, it's wrong to ask people to leave work or school. She says it's not a leadership position to say come into our country, leave school, break laws to demonstrate for a law you want changed - it's not right. "Everyone has the right to their opinion and if they do it on Saturdays and they're not urging people to leave school and leave work, then that is their right."

Comment: Note to KBH - these are not 9-to-5ers. Laborers and clerks and other invisible elves work (second jobs) nights and weekends so your office is nice and shiny Monday morning.

She continues that it's very important that we talk about this in a very positive and productive way, and what's happening on the Senate floor right now (bipartisanship? compromise? compassion?) is terribly wrong. She complains that there were no votes today in the Senate because the Democrats (you saw that coming) won't allow any amendments. "They have 'filled the tree' - that is wrong." We need to debate this bill - one of the most important bills that we will ever pass in our terms in the Senate - vast consequences on the future of America - and for Democrats to keep Republicans from passing amendments or defeating (said incredulously) amendments, is wrong."

Gibson's all confused now. He asks "What do you think of what the Senate did - did the Senate approve some compromise today? I'm lead to believe it did."

"No. There has been a compromise that the leader has come out in support of. I think the compromise is wrong" because it still allows people to come in illegally and know that if they wait long enough they'll be able to get into citizenship track, with very little responsibility..."I think that's wrong.." I do believe in a guest worker program....but I don't think the bill before us nor the compromise bill is the right one....we need more amendments and more debate to do this right.

Gibson says the advocates who are planning next week's demonstrations are also planning a national boycott May 1st to call attention to their power - does she think that'll work?

Well, well, well. Hutchinson thinks that would be very wrong and it will backfire. If people want to come here and have legal status most members of Congress agree that we need to do that. But breaking our laws, carrying Mexican flags, boycotting our economy, suggesting that children leave school and people leave their jobs is wrong. That doesn't further their cause. Peaceful demonstrations that do not break laws are fine, we promote that. But I don't think it is right for people who come into our country and press for laws that allow illegal immigration or laws that tell us not to enforce laws against illegal immigration. I don't think they should be doing that in an illegal way.

Comment: Hutchinson didn't offer any concrete ideas of her own, just kept up the mantra that what is happening is wrong. She could be the poster child for what's supposedly wrong with the Democratic party. She made sure to talk a good game about free speech and protest, but simultaneously insinuated several times that the demonstrations and planned boycott are somehow illegal because they are scheduled for a weekday. Gibson never called her on that, probably because it seems to be the right-wing way - "honor" the protests, not the protesters. (Hey dude.)

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