Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sensenbrenner: The head brick

Rep. F. Jim Sensenbrenner has been called a lot of things in the last year or so, several of them by me.

The New York Times, in a weekend editorial, had a new description for him: The head brick. Not to be confused with blockhead. Here's the context:
Americans should be proud of what the United States Senate did this week. It passed an ambitious bill that could lead to the most far-reaching overhaul of immigration laws in the nation's history. It did so after months of thoughtful debate and through a bipartisan compromise, a creature that many thought had vanished from Capitol Hill. The bill has many flaws, but its framework is realistic and humane. At various low points in the debate, this outcome could scarcely have been imagined, but the near-impossible happened on Thursday, by a vote of 62 to 36.

The Senate has given the cause of immigration reform a lot of momentum, which it will need since it is now heading for a brick wall: the House of Representatives.

The House Judiciary Committee chairman, James Sensenbrenner Jr., in the role of head brick, called the Senate bill "a nonstarter" the morning after it passed. Discussing the odds of reconciling the House and Senate legislation into one bill, Mr. Sensenbrenner struck a tone of deathly pessimism. The chambers had once been miles apart, but now they were "moons apart or oceans apart," he said, grasping for words to convey the vastness of his gloom, and the ferocity of his bargaining stance.
Read the rest.

More on old Brickhead: Cory Liebmann says Sensenbrenner has a real credibility problem when he talks tough about employers of illegals. And Joel McNally says F. Jim's crusade on immigration shows his true colors.

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