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Dana Milbank’s Subtlety


Today in the Washington Post, he writes:

Not since George Wallace, perhaps, has an Alabamian taken as passionate a stand for a lost cause as the one Jeff Sessions is taking now.

Bipartisan immigration legislation is making its way inexorably through the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although its ultimate fate is unclear, its passage by the committee is assured, and conservatives on the panel such as ranking Republican Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (Utah) are doing what they can to improve the bill. Even firebrands such as Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Mike Lee (Utah) are holding fire.

Then there’s Sessions. The wiry Southerner is on a one-man crusade to undo the compromise drafted by the Gang of Eight (four of whom, two Democrats and two Republicans, are colleagues on the committee). . . .

His most prominent defeat: a 17-1 vote last week against his proposal to restrict legal immigration. Before that bipartisan rebuke, he spent one hour and 11 minutes arguing his case.

Look, he said “perhaps” . . . But Milbank obviously believes that it’s clear Sessions’s proposals, because he finds little support for them among his colleagues in the Senate, are beyond the pale. That’s why, just to properly secure that pale, he italicized the fact that Sessions proposed “to restrict legal immigration” — reminding us how a position consistently supported by at least as many Americans as not (lower levels of legal immigration) is an antediluvian, unimaginable one.


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