OPINION: Mis-Immigration

Putting out your story in Washington is nothing new. Putting out your "facts" is nothing new either and the immigration debate has put up with plenty of both.

The White House story is not selling and apparently the goodies they are offering to U.S. senators aren't migrating any more votes to the yea column.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has put off a vote on immigration reform until early next week, citing confusion within his own party on concluding work on the energy bill. That may be true, but what may also be true is that he likely does not have enough votes to overcome a filibuster by the bill's steadfast opponents. But waiting may not be in his interest as time is on the opposition's side.

Known in the Senate as McCain-Kennedy, the immigration bill which is being strongly supported by the White House is most strongly opposed by the conservative base of the Republican party, and up until now, President Bush's strongest supporters.

Conservative talk radio, which for the better part of six years defended the White House on nearly every position, is in outright revolt.

Their opposition is not so much disrespectful to the Republicans or the president as it is the kind of support a friend would give to another who is about to jump off a cliff.

Wanting to be first off that cliff was Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., who told The New York Times that "talk radio is running America" and "we have to deal with that problem."

Blaming talk radio is like blaming the fact that you're broke on your banker who loaned you the money that you spent.

Further depleting the account earlier this week was White House press secretary Tony Snow who appeared on the Sean Hannity's radio show to try to explain the inexplicable.

Snow, having for several years hosted a national talk radio and TV show himself, is about as good a communicator as you could hope for, certainly the best in this administration by a long shot. But not long into the interview, he sunk into a conspicuously condescending tone as Hannity, who on most days would be on the front lines fighting for the administration, tried to explain to his friend why this bill was simply not doable.

Snow then sunk deeper with accusations that Hannity was putting out misinformation. But when asked to "name one thing" that he had said that was untrue, Snow came up empty -- empty as the administration's political capital account.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (my boss), running out ahead in order to save his friends as they marched steadily toward the cliff, launched an Internet ad this week sponsored by Citizens United.

The ad is designed do one thing: defeat McCain-Kennedy.

The message in the ad is clear. Since Sept. 11, before which 5 of the 19 terrorist hijackers were at some point in the United States illegally, our borders remain open not just to people who cross illegally to find work and a better way of life, but to drug dealers, gangs and terrorists.

Newt also wrote a lengthy solutions-approach to immigration in his weekly Winning the Future Newsletter .

As Newt often points out, more time has passed since the Sept. 11 attack than all the time it took the United States to defeat the Nazis, the fascists and the imperialists during World War II, yet today we are no closer to protecting our borders.

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