MARK STEYN: No legislation without explanation. Good battle-cry!


Time and again, the remote insulated emirs were offered the opportunity to rise above their condescension and declined to do so. Sen. John McCain, R- Maverickistan, confidently asserted that he’d worked hard on this bill and knew it better than all these no-account nonentities riled up about it and then had to have it explained to him – by bloggers on a conference call – that he’d misunderstood a key provision of his own legislation: There was no requirement for illegal immigrants to pay back taxes. Their amnesty would come tax-free. Blustering senators who claimed to have drafted this thing had to be told what was in it by critics who’d actually taken the trouble to look at it. . . .

If the senators have any sense of why they lost, they’ll learn their lesson. But initial indications are not encouraging. Predicting victory, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., declared gravely and portentously that “the will of the Senate” would prevail. And that’s what matters, isn’t it? As the rebel colonists cried all those years ago, “No legislation without self-congratulation!”

Happy Independence Day!

Read the whole thing — Trent Lott comes off especially badly, which is to say accurately. And my suggestions on how to do better next time can be found here.